Daily Archives: April 10, 2010

Read-A-Thon: Charity Event

As you may or may not know, the Read-A-Thon has always been a charity event. In the past, I’ve raised money for Reading is Fundamental as well as a Triple Creek Ranch (a therapeutic horseback riding program). But this year, I am very focused on one charity: Reading for a Cure.

Reading for a Cure is all about raising money and awareness to find a cure for childhood cancer. It is about making a commitment over the course of one year to make a difference in the lives of children. I am asking the book blogging community to show how much we care for children by committing to this cause.

All year I am donating $2 per book I read to the Pediatric Cancer Foundation in order to help find a cure for childhood cancer. The same holds true for the Read-A-Thon…I’ll be including the books I read here in my month’s total.

It is not too late to join me in this charity cause. Go to this post to sign up; or visit my dedicated page about the project.

Read-A-Thon Update: Hours 16 & 17

Once every TWO hours I’ll be providing an update on how I am doing with the Read-A-Thon. This update is for hours 16 and 17 of the event (8:00 PM – 10:00 PM)

How I am feeling at this point in the Event:

I am slowing down. But I am really, really happy I finished another book (especially since it is a review book that has been on my shelf far too long!)

What I am currently reading:

I finished The Marriage of True Minds, by Stephen Evans – great book! I am planning to read for maybe another 1-2 hours…and think I’ll start The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo and see how far I can get.

What I have eaten during these hours:

Nothing at all.

Mini Challenge(s)done in these hours:

Literarily Speaking is hosting the Early Favorites Mini Challenge.

In this mini-challenge, I’m asking you to tell me about the first book you remember loving. I’m talking, soul-searing, blood-boiling, can’t-get-enough-of-it love. This book doesn’t have to be from your childhood but it can be.

I had a lot of wonderful childhood favorites like The Borrowers and Charlotte’s Web. But the first book I remember being totally and completely blown away by, where I just wanted to tell everyone about the book and make everyone read it, was The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. I think my edition was somewhere around 550 pages long, and I read it in a day. I’m not kidding. I sat on the couch and read and read, and cried, and sobbed, and read some more. It is that good. Here is my review if you’re interested.

The stats:

Hour of Event # of Pages Read/Total # of Pages Time Spent Reading (hours)/Total Time Reading (hours) Time Spent Blogging (hours)/Total Time Blogging (hours)
8:00 PM – 10:00 PM (hours 16 & 17) 89/554
1.05 hours/8.35 hours
0.7 hours/4.82 hours
Hour of Event Time Spent Visiting (min)/Total Time Visiting (min) Mini Challenges Completed This Hour Down Time in hours
8:00 PM –10:00 PM
(hours 16 & 17)
.25 hrs /1.45 hrs
1 0.5 Hrs

Books I’ve completed since the event began:

  1. Iron Lake, by William Kent Krueger
  2. Impatient with Desire, by Gabrielle Burton
  3. The Marriage of True Minds, by Stephen Evans

Bloggers I’ve visited since the event began:

  1. A Literary Odeyssey
  2. Luvvie’s Musings
  3. Reading In Texas
  4. Bekah’s Bytes
  5. It’s Just Me
  6. Lesley’s Book Nook
  7. Deepening
  8. Reading through the Night
  9. Books to the Rescue
  10. The Lady Fern
  11. Firefly’s Book Blog
  12. My Favoritest
  13. Bart’s Bookshelf
  14. The Boston Bibliophile
  15. SMS Book Reviews
  16. This Book and I Could Be Friends
  17. The Magic Lasso
  18. Mawbooks Blog
  19. Life in the Thumb
  20. The Crazy Life of a Bookaholic Mom

List of Mini Challenges completed since the event began (with links to host posts):

  1. Introductory Mini Challenge
  2. The Kick Off of Champions (Miss Remmers’ Review)
  3. Feed Me Seymour (Linus’s Blanket)
  4. Lights, Camera, Read! (Mama Librarian)
  5. Soundtrack Song Mini Challenge (Alita Reads)
  6. Where in the World Are You? (Nomad Reader)
  7. Reading Is Fundamental Mini Challenge (Joystory)
  8. Get up and Move Challenge (Jehara)
  9. Early Favorites Mini Challenge (Literarily Speaking)

Total time participated so far (less down time): 14.6 hours

Read-A-Thon Update: Hours 14 & 15

Once every TWO hours I’ll be providing an update on how I am doing with the Read-A-Thon. This update is for hours 14 and 15 of the event (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM)

How I am feeling at this point in the Event:

A little tired, but I am reading a very, very funny and whimsical book which is entertaining me.

What I am currently reading:

My current read is The Marriage of True Minds, by Stephen Evans

What I have eaten during these hours:

Nothing at all.

Mini Challenge(s)done in these hours:

None.

The stats:

Hour of Event # of Pages Read/Total # of Pages Time Spent Reading (hours)/Total Time Reading (hours) Time Spent Blogging (hours)/Total Time Blogging (hours)
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM (hours 14 & 15) 73/465
1.6 hours/7.3 hours
0 hours/4.12 hours
Hour of Event Time Spent Visiting (min)/Total Time Visiting (min) Mini Challenges Completed This Hour Down Time in hours
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
(hours 14 & 15)
.42 hrs /1.2 hrs
1 0.5 Hrs

Books I’ve completed since the event began:

  1. Iron Lake, by William Kent Krueger
  2. Impatient with Desire, by Gabrielle Burton

Bloggers I’ve visited since the event began:

  1. A Literary Odeyssey
  2. Luvvie’s Musings
  3. Reading In Texas
  4. Bekah’s Bytes
  5. It’s Just Me
  6. Lesley’s Book Nook
  7. Deepening
  8. Reading through the Night
  9. Books to the Rescue
  10. The Lady Fern
  11. Firefly’s Book Blog
  12. My Favoritest
  13. Bart’s Bookshelf
  14. The Boston Bibliophile
  15. SMS Book Reviews
  16. This Book and I Could Be Friends
  17. The Magic Lasso

List of Mini Challenges completed since the event began (with links to host posts):

  1. Introductory Mini Challenge
  2. The Kick Off of Champions (Miss Remmers’ Review)
  3. Feed Me Seymour (Linus’s Blanket)
  4. Lights, Camera, Read! (Mama Librarian)
  5. Soundtrack Song Mini Challenge (Alita Reads)
  6. Where in the World Are You? (Nomad Reader)
  7. Reading Is Fundamental Mini Challenge (Joystory)
  8. Get up and Move Challenge (Jehara)

Total time participated so far (less down time): 12.6 hours

Read-A-Thon Update: Hours 12 & 13

Once every TWO hours I’ll be providing an update on how I am doing with the Read-A-Thon. This update is for hours 12 and 13 of the event (4:00 PM – 6:00 PM)

How I am feeling at this point in the Event:

I was able to move around and eat during these hours, so I am feeling a bit more energized.

What I am currently reading:

My current read is The Marriage of True Minds, by Stephen Evans

What I have eaten during these hours:

Cold pasta salad with chicken and assorted veggies. Herbal tea. More Dove chocolate.

Mini Challenge(s)done in these hours:

Jehara hosted the Get Up and Move Challenge:

Choose a physical activity to engage in for a few minutes. You can spend as little or as much time on this as you want. You can take five minutes or fifteen minutes. It’s completely up to you. Here are some suggestions of things you could do. If none of them sound appealing, feel free to come up with something on your own. It just has to be something that requires moving your body.

I put on a CD of Shania Twain and danced around my kitchen while unloading the dishwasher, re-loading it and making my dinner (pasta salad with chicken and veggies). It got my blood moving and helped me overcome the lethargy I was feeling.

The stats:

Hour of Event # of Pages Read/Total # of Pages Time Spent Reading (hours)/Total Time Reading (hours) Time Spent Blogging (hours)/Total Time Blogging (hours)
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM (hours 12 & 13) 20/392
0.5 hours/5.7 hours
1.0 hours/4.12 hours
Hour of Event Time Spent Visiting (min)/Total Time Visiting (min) Mini Challenges Completed This Hour Down Time in hours
4:00 PM –6:00 PM
(hours 12 & 13)
0 hrs /0.77 hrs
1 0.5 Hrs

Books I’ve completed since the event began:

  1. Iron Lake, by William Kent Krueger
  2. Impatient with Desire, by Gabrielle Burton

Bloggers I’ve visited since the event began:

  1. A Literary Odeyssey
  2. Luvvie’s Musings
  3. Reading In Texas
  4. Bekah’s Bytes
  5. It’s Just Me
  6. Lesley’s Book Nook
  7. Deepening
  8. Reading through the Night
  9. Books to the Rescue
  10. The Lady Fern
  11. Firefly’s Book Blog
  12. My Favoritest
  13. Bart’s Bookshelf

List of Mini Challenges completed since the event began (with links to host posts):

  1. Introductory Mini Challenge
  2. The Kick Off of Champions (Miss Remmers’ Review)
  3. Feed Me Seymour (Linus’s Blanket)
  4. Lights, Camera, Read! (Mama Librarian)
  5. Soundtrack Song Mini Challenge (Alita Reads)
  6. Where in the World Are You? (Nomad Reader)
  7. Reading Is Fundamental Mini Challenge (Joystory)
  8. Get up and Move Challenge (Jehara)

Total time participated so far (less down time): 10.6 hours

Read-A-Thon: Mid-Event Survey

Wow, we’re already at the half-way point of the Read-A-Thon. I am always so amazed at how fast the time goes for this event!!!

The organizers have asked us to do a Mid-Event Survey. Here is mine:

    • What are you reading right now?

    I’m actually in between books right now and trying to decide what to read next.

    • How many books have you read so far?

    I finished one whole book, and also finished reading one I had started before the Read-A-Thon.

    • What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

    I have a great stack of books to read…and to be honest, my brain feels so fuzzy right now, I can’t decide which one I want to read or which one I am most looking forward to reading!

    • Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?

    No. My day was pretty free to begin with…

    • Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

    It has been very quiet here. The most interruptions I’ve had to deal with have been feeding the animals and eating.

    • What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

    How incredibly fast the time goes by.

    • Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

    No…every time I do this I am simply amazed at how smoothly things run and the huge amount of time and work that goes into the event.

    • What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?

    I have it down to a science now *laughs*

    • Are you getting tired yet?

    I wouldn’t say tired…perhaps fuzzy headed is a better description.

    • Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?

    Pick fun, easy to read books. Prep your blog posts ahead of time (I use a template). Only do updates every couple of hours because trying to them every hour is too hard and takes away from your reading time.

      Read-A-Thon Update: Hours 10 & 11

      Once every TWO hours I’ll be providing an update on how I am doing with the Read-A-Thon. This update is for hours 10 and 11 of the event (2:00 PM – 4:00 PM)

      How I am feeling at this point in the Event:

      Lethargic. I am going to take a short break to make a salad and some tea.

      What I am currently reading:

      I finished my second book in this last hour: Impatient with Desire by Gabrielle Burton. I have not decided what my next read will be yet…

      What I have eaten during these hours:

      Nothing.

      Mini Challenge(s)done in these hours:

      1. Where in the World are You? hosted by Nomadreader who asked us to:

      Go to this map(You must be signed into a Google account to post on Google maps. You can create a Google account if you don’t have one.)

      • Zoom until you find the location you want to click
      • Click edit, which will give you the ability to add a pin mark.
      • Enter the book(s) you’re reading or have read today. Include the title and author. If you’re reading in the past or future, feel free to include the year too! If you want to include your blog address (if you have one), please do!
      • Click OK to add your pin.
      • Click Done in the left side bar.

      I set my pins at Donner Pass in California and in Aurora, Minnesota for the two books I’ve been reading.

      2. Joystory hosted the Reading is Fundamental Mini Challenge. She gave us several options, and I chose to post a picture of a child reading with a link to the RIF site. I loved this photo because it clearly shows the joy of the child and I loved it was taken outside. I’d like to be there!

      Thank you very much to Reading is Fundamental for helping to bring reading into the lives of children!

      The stats:

      Hour of Event # of Pages Read/Total # of Pages Time Spent Reading (hours)/Total Time Reading (hours) Time Spent Blogging (hours)/Total Time Blogging (hours)
      2:00 PM – 4:00 PM (hours 10 & 11) 102/372
      1.1 hours/5.2 hours
      .92 hours/3.12 hours
      Hour of Event Time Spent Visiting (min)/Total Time Visiting (min) Mini Challenges Completed This Hour Down Time in hours
      2:00 PM –4:00 PM
      (hours 10 & 11)
      0 hrs /0.77 hrs
      2 0 Hrs

      Books I’ve completed since the event began:

      1. Iron Lake, by William Kent Krueger
      2. Impatient with Desire, by Gabrielle Burton

      Bloggers I’ve visited since the event began:

      1. A Literary Odeyssey
      2. Luvvie’s Musings
      3. Reading In Texas
      4. Bekah’s Bytes
      5. It’s Just Me
      6. Lesley’s Book Nook
      7. Deepening
      8. Reading through the Night
      9. Books to the Rescue
      10. The Lady Fern
      11. Firefly’s Book Blog
      12. My Favoritest
      13. Bart’s Bookshelf

      List of Mini Challenges completed since the event began (with links to host posts):

      1. Introductory Mini Challenge
      2. The Kick Off of Champions (Miss Remmers’ Review)
      3. Feed Me Seymour (Linus’s Blanket)
      4. Lights, Camera, Read! (Mama Librarian)
      5. Soundtrack Song Mini Challenge (Alita Reads)
      6. Where in the World Are You? (Nomad Reader)
      7. Reading Is Fundamental Mini Challenge (Joystory)

      Total time participated so far (less down time): 9.1 hours

      Read-A-Thon Update: Hours 8 & 9

      Once every TWO hours I’ll be providing an update on how I am doing with the Read-A-Thon. This update is for hours 8 and 9 of the event (12:00 PM – 2:00 PM)

      How I am feeling at this point in the Event:

      A little sleepy. I’ve had to get up and walk around a bit to keep alert. But I’m enjoying my current read tremendously!

      What I am currently reading:

      My current read is Impatient with Desire by Gabrielle Burton.

      What I have eaten during these hours:

      A nice, hot bowl of leek and potato soup which I made last night…with some Parmesan cheese and saltine crackers. I followed that up with some Dove chocolate – yum!

      Mini Challenge(s)done in these hours:

      Alita Reads is hosting the Soundtrack Song Mini Challenge:

      Pick up a book that you’ve read today, or are currently reading.
      * Choose a song that goes with the book – could be that it fits the overall feel of it or even a certain scene.
      * Create a blog post answering the following:

      • Book title
      • Soundtrack song
      • Why you chose that song

      * If possible, include a clip of the song (ie, youtube video).

      I am reading Impatient With Desire by Gabrielle Burton which is about Tamsen Donner and the ill-fated Donner Party who were trapped in the mountains while trying to get to California in 1846-47.  They faced storms, fear and starvation. The song I chose was The Long Day is Over by Norah Jones because I thought musically, and even lyrically, it captured the tone of the book. Here is the YouTube Video of the song:

      The stats:

      Hour of Event # of Pages Read/Total # of Pages Time Spent Reading (hours)/Total Time Reading (hours) Time Spent Blogging (hours)/Total Time Blogging (hours)
      12:00 PM – 2:00 PM (hours 8 & 9) 74/270
      1.25 hours/4.1 hours
      0.3 hours/2.2 hours
      Hour of Event Time Spent Visiting (min)/Total Time Visiting (min) Mini Challenges Completed This Hour Down Time in hours
      12:00 PM –2:00 PM
      (hours 8 & 9)
      0 .42hrs /0.77 hrs
      1 0 Hrs

      Books I’ve completed since the event began:

      1. Iron Lake, by William Kent Krueger

      Bloggers I’ve visited since the event began:

      1. A Literary Odeyssey
      2. Luvvie’s Musings
      3. Reading In Texas
      4. Bekah’s Bytes
      5. It’s Just Me
      6. Lesley’s Book Nook
      7. Deepening
      8. Reading through the Night
      9. Books to the Rescue
      10. The Lady Fern
      11. Firefly’s Book Blog
      12. My Favoritest
      13. Bart’s Bookshelf

      List of Mini Challenges completed since the event began (with links to host posts):

      1. Introductory Mini Challenge
      2. The Kick Off of Champions (Miss Remmers’ Review)
      3. Feed Me Seymour (Linus’s Blanket)
      4. Lights, Camera, Read! (Mama Librarian)
      5. Soundtrack Song Mini Challenge (Alita Reads)

      Total time participated so far (less down time): 7.1 hours

      Read-A-Thon Update: Hours 6 & 7

      Once every TWO hours I’ll be providing an update on how I am doing with the Read-A-Thon. This update is for hours 6 and 7 of the event (10:00 AM – 12:00 PM)

      How I am feeling at this point in the Event:

      Refreshed. I took a pretty good break in order to shower (thus you will see a wet head in the video below!!)

      What I am currently reading:

      My current read is Impatient with Desire by Gabrielle Burton.

      What I have eaten during these hours:

      I drank some juice and ate some chips with salsa.

      Mini Challenge(s)done in these hours:

      Mama Librarian hosted a REALLY fun (but a bit time-consuming) mini challenge – Lights Camera Read!

      While you are reading and posting this day, acquire some pictures of yourself reading.  This is a good way to get a friend or partner, or even your kids, involved (and possibly get them interested in participating in the ‘Thon next fall!).  If you are squeamish about yourself on camera, you can just use pictures of covers of books you are reading.

      When you have a few (six is a good minimum), assemble them into a slideshow using Animoto or your favorite slide-show-creating web site.  iPhoto and YouTube is fine, or anything else you want to use.  It must include music.

      I thought you’d be happy to see Raven, too…so she’s in there (being silly and difficult).

      Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

      The stats:

      Hour of Event # of Pages Read/Total # of Pages Time Spent Reading (hours)/Total Time Reading (hours) Time Spent Blogging (hours)/Total Time Blogging (hours)
      10:00 AM – 12:00 PM (hours 6 & 7) 36/196
      0.75 hours/2.85 hours
      1.0 hours/1.9 hours
      Hour of Event Time Spent Visiting (min)/Total Time Visiting (min) Mini Challenges Completed This Hour Down Time in hours
      10:00 AM – 12:00 pM
      (hours 6 & 7)
      0 hrs /0.35 hrs
      1 0.25 hrs

      Books I’ve completed since the event began:

      1. Iron Lake, by William Kent Krueger

      Bloggers I’ve visited since the event began:

      List of Mini Challenge completed since the event began (with links to host posts):

      1. Introductory Mini Challenge
      2. The Kick Off of Champions (Miss Remmers’ Review)
      3. Feed Me Seymour (Linus’s Blanket)
      4. Lights, Camera, Read! (Mama Librarian)

      Total time participated so far (less down time): 5.35 hours

      Read-A-Thon Update: Hours 4 & 5

      Once every TWO hours I’ll be providing an update on how I am doing with the Read-A-Thon. This update is for hours 4 through 5 of the event (8:00 AM – 10:00 AM)

      How I am feeling at this point in the Event:

      Still feeling energized…and I’m excited that I’ve finished my first book too!

      What I am currently reading:

      I just finished Iron Lake. My current read is  Impatient with Desire by Gabrielle Burton.

      What I have eaten during these hours:

      An English muffin with peanut butter and a vanilla yogurt.

      Mini Challenge(s)done in these hours:

      Feed Me Seymour (Linus’s Blanket) asked that we do the following…

      So over the next few hours let me know if you happen across any passages of food in your reading or you can also flip through some of the books in your Read-A-Thon stack(s) and find me a passage where the characters describe what they are eating or when they are actually eating – write up a post with the book, author, your selected passage and a picture of one the dishes-

      Here is the passage I chose from Iron Lake:

      Cork stepped into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator door. “Perfect,” he said, taking out three leftover boiled potatoes. “Has browns a la O’onnor. How’s that sound?”

      “Delicious. I’ll get the coffee going.” Molly headed to the coffeemaker. “So what you going to do?”

      “Fry up a few potatoes, cut up some onion and green pepper, throw on a little -“ – from Iron Lake, page 311 –

      The stats:

      Hour of Event # of Pages Read/Total # of Pages Time Spent Reading (hours)/Total Time Reading (hours) Time Spent Blogging (hours)/Total Time Blogging (hours)
      8:00 AM – 10:00 AM (hours 4 & 5) 78/160
      1.0 hours/2.1 hours
      0.5 hours/0.9 hours
      Hour of Event Time Spent Visiting (min)/Total Time Visiting (min) Mini Challenges Completed This Hour Down Time in hours
      8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
      (hours 4 & 5)
      0.1 hrs /0.35 hrs
      1 0.2 hrs

      Books I’ve completed since the event began:

      1. Iron Lake, by William Kent Krueger

      Bloggers I’ve visited since the event began:

      List of Mini Challenge completed since the event began (with links to host posts):

      Total time participated so far (less down time): 3.6 hours

      Read-A-Thon Update: Hours 1-3

      Once every TWO hours I’ll be providing an update on how I am doing with the Read-A-Thon. Since I started late, this update is for hours 1 through 3 of the event (5:00 AM – 8:00 AM)

      How I am feeling at this point in the Event:

      Awake, alert. Really enjoying the quiet of the house at this time of the morning, and I’m reading a good book.

      What I am currently reading: Iron Lake, by William Kent Krueger

      What I have eaten during these hours: I’ve just been drinking coffee. But I’m about ready to toast an English muffin.

      Mini Challenge(s)done in these hours:

      The Kick Off Challenge:

      In this challenge we would like you to write a post on your blogs about your kick off strategy.  What have you surrounded yourself with for these early hours of the challenge besides your books?  Is there a coffee thermos, lucky book mark, snacks, pillow….  We want to know how you have prepared so you do not have to leave your cozy reading space (by the way – we’d like to know what is too…. (are you still in bed, a chair, the couch…..)

      My strategy is to be comfortable. I have a pillow, a warm blanket and Raven on the couch with me…with a hot cup of coffee at my elbow and my laptop nearby. I also have my stack of books on the table next to the couch as a bit of motivation! Because I’m reading on the couch, the kitchen is nearby and snacks and drinks are within a few feet when I’m ready.

      Visiting the Readers of the Hour (see the bloggers I visited below)

      The stats:

      Hour of Event # of Pages Read/Total # of Pages Time Spent Reading (hours)/Total Time Reading (hours) Time Spent Blogging (hours)/Total Time Blogging (hours)
      05:00 AM – 8:00 AM (hours 1 – 3) 82/82
      1.1 hours/1.1 hours
      0.4 hours/0.4 hours
      Hour of Event Time Spent Visiting (min)/Total Time Visiting (min) Mini Challenges Completed This Hour Down Time in hours
      05:00 AM – 8:00 AM
      (hours 1 -3)
      0.25 hrs /0.25 hrs
      2 1.3 hrs

      Books I’ve completed since the event began: None yet.

      Bloggers I’ve visited since the event began:

      List of Mini Challenge completed since the event began (with links to host posts):

      Total time participated so far (less down time): 1.75 hours