Book Review, Books!, Reading Challenge

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon Wrap-Up

Hey all, Dani here.

Whew! It has been another highly successful readathon for me. This is the fourth readathon I’ve done so far this year, and it is definitely my most successful one. Thank you to everyone who liked and commented on my updates on Instagram and on Twitter. I definitely appreciate the support.

I started reading at 8:00am on Saturday, October 22, and I managed to finish my final book just as the clock struck 8:00am on Sunday, October 23. There were a few times I took a break during the 24 hours of the readathon, and I did even sleep for a few hours.

All in all, I finished reading NINE books, which in total amounted to 2026 pages. The readathon also brought me up to a total of 121 books read so far in 2016, which is great considering my original goal was 75…then 100…now 130. Hmm..if I wasn’t going to be occupied with NaNoWriMo next month I would probably need to increase my reading goal again.

Anyway, now I’m just going to give a rundown of the books I read over the course of this latest readathon and what I thought of them. Oh, and for anyone who’d like to join in on Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon in the future, it takes place in April and October, so add it to your calendar now.

Saturday, October 22

8:00 am – The Readathon begins and I start my first read: Saga, Volume 5 by Brian K Vaughan. I admit that it takes me a little bit to get into the story, but that’s because it has been a year since I read Volumes 1-4.

8:34 am – I finish Saga Volume 5 and immediately grab Saga, Volume 6 since I already had it ready to read. Both of these are lovely graphic novels so they really don’t take me all that long to read.

9:08 am – Just over an hour into the readathon and I have read two books already for a total of 304 pages. Things are going well but I’m not really feeling ready to jump into a lengthy book just yet.

9:11 am – I pick up Genrenauts, Episode 1: The Shootout Solution by Michael R Underwood. I have been wanting to read this series for a while, and now seems like the perfect time to dive in.

10:17 am – I finish my third book for the readathon and then have to debate what I’m going to read next.

10:21 am – Okay, fine, I guess I want to keep reading about the Genrenauts, so I pick up Genrenauts, Episode 2: The Absconded Ambassador. This is basically a series of novellas or short novels, and they are filled with different themes and such that fans of genre fiction will enjoy.

11:25 am – I have now finished four books for a total of 617 pages. The first two installments of Genrenauts are entertaining and have all the geekery I’ve come to expect from Michael R Underwood, but instead of continuing on with the rest of “season one,” I think it’s time to dive into another book.

11:30 am – After a quick bathroom break, I pick up Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I saw the movie when it came out years ago, but somehow never got around to reading the book. Considering that I’ve read a bunch of the Sandman comics this year, I’m just in the mood for more of Gaiman’s storytelling.

1:11 pm – Stardust had quite a few differences from the movie, differences that make it a little more of a mature read than I was expecting, but it was really good. I’m now up to 865 pages read for the readathon.

1:20 pm – Now’s the time when things really start slowing down. I decide to go grab lunch at my local pizza place, and start reading The Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson while I wait.

2:45 pm – I need to take a little break from reading, so I pop onto my social media accounts, and check in on the #readathon tag to see how other people are doing

3:30 pm – Back to reading, but not as quickly as in the morning

5:30 pm – My mom asks me to run a couple errands for her, and I see it as a chance to stretch my legs and grab a caffeine jolt, so I get an iced coffee to keep me going.

6:34 pm – I finally finish reading The Kiss of Deception. It was a really interesting book, and I’m glad that I already own book two and that the third and final book has been released as well. Now when I find some free time I can read those as well. I’m now up to 1351 pages read for the readathon.

6:45 pm – I pick up one of my new book purchases, a book whose release I’ve been anticipating: The Librarians and the Lost Lamp by Greg Cox. It is a tie-in novelization to the TV series, The Librarians, which is a show I dearly love.

8:00 pm – I can’t take it any more. The PBS documentary about Alexander Hamilton is just begging to be watched, and my Hamilton obsession is massive. So I take a break to watch it.

11:38 pm – After all of that, I have managed to finish another book. This readathon is going pretty darn well. My Librarians book was a new adventure that didn’t take place on screen, but the characters were written accurately and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Total page count now at 1637 pages.

Considering the fact that I’ve read 7 books by this point and I’m pretty tired, I decide to go to sleep, setting my alarm for 5:00 am so I can try to squeeze in another book or two before this readathon ends.

5:15 am – I’m up and have done a quick check in on social media to see how everyone’s doing, and then I’m picking up A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. I’ve heard amazing things about this book and the movie is coming soon so it seems like a perfect time to read it.

6:24 am – Even with all of the hype and the movie trailer and such, I still didn’t quite know what to expect with this book, but it was great, and I don’t quite have the words to do this book justice, at least right now. Now my readathon page count is up to 1862 pages read.

Now, with only an hour and a half left in the readathon, I’m faced with a dilemma. I could start a book and not finish it, or I can finish a book I’ve started previously. Looking at my options, I decide that I really want to finish my read through of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Illustrated Edition.

6:28 am – I pick up my pretty illustrated book and get started, which means starting on page 95.

8:00 am – As the clock changes over to the hour, marking the end of readathon, I finish reading my Harry Potter book, which was all of 164 pages considering where I started.

I am very proud of my totals for the readathon, and even better, I really enjoyed all of the books I read, and I did a little more interacting on social media this time around. I’m already looking forward to April 29, 2017, which is the date for the next round of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon.

Book Releases, Books!

More November Releases I’m Anticipating

Hey all, Dani here.

So when I posted my most anticipated fall releases I said that November was a light month for me, which was great because of my participating in NaNoWriMo.

As it turns out, I lied.

Or rather, I either forgot about some books or just missed them while making mylist. I intend to correct that now. So here’s just a few more upcoming book releases I’m really looking forward to:

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray (Nov 1) This is the release of the paperback version for book two, and since I have the paperback version of book one, this is what I’m waiting for.. However, book three, A Million Worlds with You will also be out on Nov 1-in hardcover. This trilogy just sounds really cool and basically takes on the multiverse theory, and while I haven’t started reading the first book yet, I think I know that I’m just going to want to binge read them all so I’m only a couple weeks away from being able to do that.

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid (Nov 1) This cover is freaking awesome, and the story sounds intriguing as well. The main character, Nemesis, is a Diabolic, a ruthless and powerful humanoid designed to protect the person they were created for. Nemesis was designed to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. When Sidonia is summoned to the Galactic court to serve as a hostage, the best way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia is to become her instead. What follows sounds like political intrigue and a lot of interesting twists and turns as Nemesis finds that she is more than a deadly force and possesses her own version of humanity that might be the key to saving the whole Empire.

Shades of Honor by Sandy Williams (Nov 4). This is the second book in the Anomaly series, and I actually really enjoyed the first book, Shades of Treason. This follows the further adventures of Commander Rhys “Rip” Rykus and Lieutenant Ramie “Ash” Ashdyn, as Rip faces court martial and Ash fights against the Coalition’s brainwashing so she can find her way back to Rip.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman (Nov 22). This story takes place in a world where disease has been eliminated, so the only way to die is to be randomly killed by professional Reapers known as Scythes. Citra and Rowan have been selected to be Scythes’ apprentices and have to learn all aspects of the job and its necessity. Then it becomes clear that only one of them will actually become a true Scythe’s apprentice and the winner will have to “glean” or kill the loser, so they are pitted against each other in a fight for survival. It just sounds really interesting.

Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley (Nov 22). This book follows four girls with the ability to control the elements as they fight against an evil to save the world. And when one Effigy (what these girls are called) dies, another is called upon to take her place. But with technology created to protect the cities from attacks, the Effigies stop fighting evil and instead become celebrities. Then the protection of New York City falls one day and high school student Maia suddenly finds herself as the new Fire Effigy. I actually received an ARC of this at my local B&N Teen Book Fest over the summer and will be reading it very soon, but I’m looking forward to owning a finished copy as well.

Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (Nov 29). This is the third and final book in the Tearling trilogy, and I have just heard so many wonderful things about these books. I already own the first two, and this is another trilogy where I just already know that I’ll end up binge-reading them so I don’t have much longer to wait before I can read all of them.

Vampire Academy: 10th Anniversary Edition by Richelle Mead (Nov 29). I can’t believe that this series was started ten years ago. I loved following the characters and their adventures and issues and everything. This new edition will include four bonus stories, and I’m just really excited to get my hands on this version.

Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, And Everything in Between by Lauren Graham (Nov 29). I’m a huge fan of Gilmore Girls, so finding out that Lauren Graham’s memoir/auto-biography is coming out, it obviously makes my list of books I’m anticipating. This book is listed as a collection of essays by Lauren Graham about her time on Gilmore Girls, her time in Hollywood, and more. I’m really looking forward to both the GG revival and this book. November is going to be awesome.

NaNoWriMo, Writing

NaNoWriMo is Coming

Hey all, Dani here.

As most of you are probably aware, I am a huge advocate of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This year marks my 11th year as a participant as well as my 9th year as my region’s Municipal Liaison. I have been lucky enough to succeed with the writing goal of 50,000 words in 30 days each November. The Camp NaNoWriMo session is April and July on the other hand, have been a mix of wins and losses.

Anyway, NaNoWriMo 2016 is quickly approaching and that means I have a lot to do in order to get ready for the month. This year I am lucky enough to have a co-ML so we’ve already met and scheduled out all of our write-ins for November, which is great. That’s one box on the to-do list I’ve already checked off.

I still need to figure out my blog posts for the month, because I’m going to try and pre-write most of them, with the exception of my NaNo mid-month check in. So I need to schedule out my time so I can write up all of those posts. I have about half of them figured out so far and the books I read the rest of this month might help with the rest.

Then I need to make sure I have everything I need for my writing: notebooks, pens, pencils, writing snacks, and …oh yeah, a clean writing space. My room is rather cluttered right now so I’ll have to spend a few hours tidying up so I don’t have to think about it. Actually, it might be longer than a few hours; I just weeded out my library and now need to reorganize my bookcases. If I get my room and bookcases looking nice, maybe I’ll do a library tour for one of my November blog posts. That would be nice.

I’m pretty much ready to go on the actual writing for NaNoWriMo. I actually have the first seven or so chapters loosely plotted for my writing project, which should make for a nice first seven-to-ten days of NaNo. Most of my chapters tend to be around 4,000 words.

My project for this year’s NaNoWriMo is Project Death: Redemption, the third book in my Project Death series that I’ve been trying to focus on these past few years. The first book was released three years ago and I really need to push myself into finishing the second book so I can get it out this year. The goal for the third book is to have it ready to go for my first convention appearance in 2017–more news on those events in a future blog; I want to make sure I have my booth purchased for each convention first.

All of this means that my final t0-do item for October is to sit down and finalize everything for the release of Project Death: Revelation. I am so ready to have this book finished and out in the world. Thanos has been one of the most difficult narrators I have ever worked with. His story is interesting and it needs to be told because it is important to the world I’ve created in these books, but he has so often stubbornly refused to talk about his past, and half of the book is him telling Tamesis about how he became Death, so discussing his past is necessary.

Plus I’m also trying to finish up some of the books I’m reading (like Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, and Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman), so I don’t leave them unfinished for all of November. I’m actually doing really well for my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal; so far I’m at 112 books read out of a new goal of 130 books. I think by the end of October I’ll be around 120 books read, so that puts me in a really great position for the rest of the year.

All right, well obviously I have a lot to do in the next couple of weeks, so I should probably wrap up this post and get to work on that to-do list. NaNoWriMo is coming and I need to be ready.

Books!, Reading Challenge

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow… I am so sorry for being a horrible slacker lately when it comes to blog posts. Though I do have about 11 post ideas written up so I really just need to sit down and type them up and schedule them for release.

Anyway, today I’m just on here to briefly announce that I have decided to once again participate in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. I participated during the last session back in April and had a lot of fun. I took photos of my reading progress and posted them on my Instagram throughout the day and managed to read five books in the 24 hours of the event. I should have been able to read more but I took a long break for LARPing and ended up taking a nap for a few hours as well.

This time around I basically just have reading on the agenda. Yes, I’ll technically be at work for basically the first four hours of the event where I am, but I’m working a job where I can actually read at work so it’ll be just fine.

I’ve been building a stack of potential readathon books for the past few weeks, but my readathon TBR is not set in stone; I have a lot of books I’d like to read so basically whatever sounds good is what I’ll pick up.

For those of you who have never heard of this event, it was started in 2007 by a woman known as Dewey online. Every year her husband and son would participate in 24 hour Comics Day and she would drop them off and pick them up. After participating in a 48 Hour Book Challenge, Dewey decided that in October 2007, when her husband and son were off creating a comic, she would hold a 24 hour readathon. 37 people joined up for the first event, and Dewey planned to make it an annual thing.

Unfortunately Dewey passed away in 2008, but the three ladies who had helped her with the hosting and organization of the event decided to keep it going, and in 2009 it was renamed to honor Dewey.

Now it is held every April and October and the number of readers has grown to around 2,000. Some readers only participate for a few hours and some (like me) go all out and try to stay awake and reading for as much of the 24 hours as possible.

Unlike other readathons where each time zone starts at say midnight in their respective time zone, Dewey’s readathon starts at the same time across the board. So, where I am in Eastern Daylight Time, I start at 8:00am, but someone in England would start at 1:00pm. Then it continues for the next 24 hours. You can figure out your start time here.

Not everyone who participates in this event is a reader though. There are people who host mini-challenges on the site or their blog, etc, and there are even people known as cheerleaders who visit the social media accounts of readers and cheer on their progress. Basically it is the community of readers and book lovers coming together to celebrate books and reading.

I enjoyed reading in April but I didn’t do much interacting with others. This time around I’m going to try to cheer on other readers when I take food, drink, or bathroom breaks. If you’d like to follow my progress for the readathon, I will be updating on my Instagram feed. Or stop by here again next Monday and I’ll have my readathon wrap-up blog post up.