48 Hour Book Challenge Finish Line

Yay! In a half-hour I’m going to finish my 48-Hour Book Challenge!

And when that’s done, I’m going to bed!

So — I’m going to jump the gun a little and write my Finish Line post now.

When I finish writing this, I will read until 10:50 pm. But that’s not enough time to finish another book.

Given that information, here are my stats:

Yes! I set a new record for time spent reading and reviewing during the 48-Hour Book Challenge. (I knew that living alone was good for something — I confess I even skipped taking a shower this morning. The more time to spend reading.)

My total was 31 hours and 40 minutes spent reading, reviewing and networking in the last 48 hours. (Okay, since no one else was doing the challenge, “networking” was hanging out on Facebook every now and then as a break. Take that off my totals if you don’t like it! But I think it counts.)
That was broken down as:
23 hours reading
45 minutes listening to audiobooks
1 hour 45 minutes “networking”
6 hours 10 minutes blogging/reviewing

I read 2095 pages, and finished 8 books, only 4 of which I began during the challenge. I read parts of 18 different books. (I read bits of lots of books as part of my quiet times in the morning.) I wrote reviews of all 8 books that I finished.

The books I finished were:
Spontaneous, by Aaron Starmer
The Name of God Is Mercy, by Pope Francis
Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, by Chris Cleave (audiobook)
Three Dark Crowns, by Kendare Blake
Let Your Voice Be Heard, by Anita Silvey
Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Ghost, by Jason Reynolds
The Rose and the Dagger, by Renée Ahdieh

And I started the time with a vestibular migraine — and am finishing it without one!

And I just had a lovely two days off. I’m going to have to find more ways to put more reading into my life the next three months. Not only is it important for judging the Cybils — It’s a lovely way to spend my time.

I am not sure when I’ll get the reviews posted. I’m afraid that’s a lower priority than getting the books read, but I will try!

48-Hour Book Challenge Starting Line

cybils-logo-2016-web-smAnd I’m off!

Tonight I’m starting my own personal 48-Hour Book Challenge at 10:50 pm!

I’m modeling it after the Challenges that Mother Reader did every year for 10 years, borrowing her rules and format.

The idea: In a period of 48 hours, spend as much time as I can reading and reviewing.

Networking is also allowed, and I will allow spending time posting reviews. But I want to maximize reading time.

The occasion: I’m a first-round judge for the 2016 Cybils Awards, in the category of Young Adult Speculative Fiction, so I want to get off to a good start! I have Thursday and Friday off this week because I worked six days last week — and I’m going to spend them reading!

And I’m so excited!

But first, it’s traditional for me to post my 48-Hour Book Challenge Theme Song:

And now, to READ!!!

It’s Cybils Time!


I’m a first round Cybils judge!

The Cybils are the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards. This year I’m serving as a first-round panelist in the category of Young Adult Speculative Fiction.

What this means is that I’m going to need to do a LOT of reading in the next three months.

More than 100 books will likely get nominated in my category, and we hope to have at least two panelists read each book. All panelists will read books that are serious contenders for the shortlist.

So I need to read!

(And I do love it when I get to say that! Instead of feeling guilty for taking time to read, I should feel guilty when I don’t!)

The bad side is that I’m going to get even further behind on posting reviews. I currently have 66 reviews written that I haven’t posted yet. So I’m going to try to get about one per day posted most days — but that will not catch me up.

And Sonderling Sunday is going to be a much more rare feature.

So — if my posts get a little less frequent — It’s because I’m reading!

And — this coming Thursday and Friday, I’m going to hold my own personal 48-Hour Book Challenge!

By something of a fluke, I have those days off. So I’m going to brush off the spreadsheets I used for Mother Reader‘s past years’ 48-Hour Book Challenges and use her rules.

The point is to see how many hours out of a chosen consecutive 48 hours I can spend reading. I’m allowed one audiobook, and can count hours spent reviewing or posting my reviews. And I’m allowed to spend time networking — posting about my challenge. I’m going to see if I can hit a personal best. Can I top 30 hours and 30 minutes? (Do I even want to?) For that matter, can I pass 18 hours spent reading? (I might want to go easier on the non-reading activities.)

So — I’m going to get behind on posting reviews, but it will be worth it!

And you can participate! Anyone who has read a good children’s or young adult book published between October 16, 2015 and October 15, 2016 — nominate it for a Cybils Award!

Give me more great books to read!

48-Hour Book Challenge Finish Line 2015

48hbcYay! This morning at 7:45 am, I finished this year’s 48-Hour Book Challenge just as I finished reading another book.

My grand total was 28 hours and 15 minutes reading and reviewing, my second most for the challenge.

I finished the most books ever during the challenge — 8, and reviewed the most books ever — 5.

Here’s how the time was broken up:

18 hours and 30 minutes spent reading. That includes 1827 books read.

The books I finished and reviewed were:
Gone Crazy in Alabama, by Rita Williams-Garcia
Read Bottom Up, by Neel Shah and Skye Chatham
The Boys Who Challenged Hitler, by Phillip Hoose
Jinx’s Fire, by Sage Blackwood
Maeve’s Times: In Her Own Words, by Maeve Binchy

The book I finished just as I reached the Finish Line and so haven’t had time to review:
Wearing God, by Lauren F. Winner

Books I finished but decided not to review:
The Art of Stillness, by Pico Iyer
Mirror, Mirror On the Wall, edited by Kate Bernheimer
Peanuts Every Sunday, 1956-1960, by Charles M. Schulz

Books I read parts of:
The Bible
Horn Book Magazine
Rilke’s Book of Hours
The Spirit of Saint Francis, by Pope Francis
The Real Thing, by Ellen McCarthy
The New York Times Book of Mathematics
Surfaces and Essences, by Douglas Hofstadter
The Annotated Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery
The Slow Regard of Silent Things, by Patrick Rothfuss

2 hours, 30 minutes spent listening to The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, by Julie Berry. 2 CDs completed.

3 hours, 45 minutes spent writing the reviews and blogging. 2465 words written.

1 hour spent networking.

2 hours, 30 minutes spent posting the reviews.

And I come away wishing I could make all this a priority for the rest of the week! How delightful to spoil myself! Now I’m going to have to take care of some weekend errands I put off and deal with mundane things like getting some sleep. But it was so much fun while it lasted!

48-Hour Book Challenge Starting Line 2015

48hbcWoo-hoo! The 48-Hour Book Challenge is here again!

The basic idea: Choose a 48-hour period of the weekend, and see how many hours of that time you can spend reading, reviewing, and bookish connecting.

I don’t know why on earth I didn’t participate last year, but I found my records from participation 2009 through 2013:

2009: 23 hours, 30 minutes; 5 books finished; 1120 pages; 5 books reviewed
2010: 26 hours, 40 minutes; 3 books finished; 995 pages; 4 books reviewed
2011: 30 hours, 30 minutes; 3 books finished; 1606 pages; 4 books reviewed
2012: 27 hours, 30 minutes; 3 books finished; 758 pages; 3 books reviewed; 5778 words written
2013: 20 hours; 3 books finished; 518 pages; 2 books reviewed; 3472 words written; 4 reviews posted

This weekend, alas, I have to work on Saturday. However, today is beautifully clear. (I don’t feel as guilty about cancelling with my Friday night gaming group as I used to feel cancelling my Friday night Home Fellowship group. I used to work around it.) So my goal will be 24 hours — of course if I have extra energy and find it possible to do without sleep (probably not possible; probably not a good idea), it would be fun to try to set a new record and go for 31 hours.

If the totals seem small, I should add that I always read many parts of books. I always have a few dozen nonfiction books going at once! This morning in my first hour of reading, I had an extended devotional time, reading parts of five different books, with a page count of 54 pages. (Page count tends to be lower when reading in pieces.)

I also get less read if I use the time writing reviews and posting reviews, which is why I started keeping track of words written and reviews posted as well. Today I have some reviews written and waiting to be posted, so I may break up my reading by posting them.

The totals are much, much less, of course, than I’d like them to be. Oh the ambitious stacks of books I’ve set aside in the past! But regardless of the totals, it’s so much fun putting everything else aside and taking time to READ!

And I always like to post my theme song for the challenge!

And, oh yes, I officially began at 7:45 am on Friday morning. I will finish at 7:45 am on Sunday morning. How many books will I be able to read and review in that time? How many hours will I spend? Stay tuned….

48-Hour Book Challenge Finish Line

Look at that! While I was finishing Wednesdays in the Tower, the 48 hours ended. I’m going to write up my finish line post and then take a NAP!

And I did it! I actually spent a full 24 hours and 35 minutes out of the last 48 reading and blogging!

Okay, 20 minutes were unpacking boxes of books, but that’s still more than 24 hours on officially sanctioned activities.

I finished 3 novels — Heart’s Blood, by Juliet Marillier, reread Tuesdays at the Castle, by Jessica Day George, and just this minute Wednesdays in the Tower.

I’m a little disappointed in Wednesdays in the Tower. I rather wish I hadn’t reread the first book, or I think I would have liked it more. But the magic of the castle didn’t seem to work the same way — but most of all, the story isn’t finished. It didn’t tie up nicely like in the first book. Anyway, I’ll save it for a review.

Here’s how my time was spent:

13 hours and 55 minutes reading. I read 933 pages, 267 of which were various nonfiction books, the rest of which were the three novels.

2 hours and 25 minutes were spent listening to The Plantagenets by Dan Jones.

2 hours and 15 minutes were spent posting previously-written reviews.

5 hours and 40 minutes were spent writing reviews or blog posts or recording times.

20 minutes were spent unpacking 3 boxes of books. (Not an official activity, but I thought it should count if I only unpacked boxes of books.)

And now it’s time to sleep!

Sonderling Sunday – Peterchen Hase

I’m doing the 48-Hour Book Challenge this weekend. If I can keep from napping for another 4 hours, I will have more than 24 hours spent reading and blogging over the last 48! Before anything else, I’m going to write my weekly feature, Sonderling Sunday, where I play with language by looking at the German translation of children’s books.

I do not believe you need to know German to enjoy Sonderling Sunday. The idea is to discover a slightly different way of looking at everyday things, to let melodious and appropriate sounds roll off your tongue, and to learn handy phrases.

By the way, I just finished listening to David Sedaris’ audiobook, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, and he talks about the pitfalls of phrasebooks. Delightfully, Pimsleur sent a “Bonus track” of what would be on their Japanese instruction CDs if David Sedaris were the one writing the phrases. Think of what follows as what you’d find on a German instruction CD if I were the one writing it — using handy phrases found in children’s books.

While I was moving, I discovered that I have a small Dover edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, translated into German: Die Geschichte von Peterchen Hase: Ein buntes Märchenbuch von Beatrix Potter, illustriert von Anna Pomaska. That’s “The Story of Petey Rabbit: A colorful storybook.” A note in the front says, “This Dover edition… contains a German translation by Meike Werner…. For this edition the artist, Anna Pomaska, has created new illustrations based on selected images by Beatrix Potter.” I’m guessing there was copyright trouble with the original images. What do you think?

Anyway, the reason I had to feature this book is on the very first page. You probably know how the English tale starts:

“Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits,
and their names were —
and Peter.”

This translates to:

Es waren einmal vier kleine Häschen, die hie?en —
und Peterchen.

I’m sorry, but every time I read Kuschelschwänzchen I can’t help but laugh. Yes, it means “Cotton-tail,” but it just doesn’t have the same lilt to it, does it?

Though when you see a -chen on the end of the word, that’s a diminutive. Like Cotton-tailet or Cottony-tail Apparently one can’t translate a story about little rabbits without inserting a lot of these. (At least they didn’t call the first two Flopchen and Mopchen.)

Here are some more phrases:
“underneath the root of a very big fir-tree” = unter der Wurzel einer riesigen Tanne

And I simply must quote Mrs. Rabbit’s entire warning speech:
“you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don’t go into Mr. McGregor’s garden: your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor.”

ihr dürft auf die Felder oder den Pfad hinuntergehen, aber auf keinen Fall in Herrn McGregors Garten: euer Vater hatte dort einst einen schlimmen Unfall. Er landete schlie?lich in Frau McGregors Pastete.

My literal translation of that: “You may on the fields or the path go down, but under no circumstance in Mr. McGregor’s garden. Your father had there a bad accident. He landed finally in Mrs. McGregor’s pastry.”

I like schlimmen Unfall for “accident.” It sounds very schlimm indeed.

“Now run along, and don’t get into mischief”
= Nun lauft und gebt gut acht, da? ihr keinen Unfug macht.
Literally: “Now run and give a good eight, that you no Mischief make.”
(“Mischief” = Unfug)

“She bought a loaf of brown bread and five currant buns.”
= Sie kaufte einen Laib braunes Brot und fünf Rosinenbrötchen.

And I love any sentence with Kuschelschwänzchen:

“Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail, who were good little bunnies, went down the lane to gather blackberries.”
= Flopsy, Mopsy und Kuschelschwänzchen, die artige kleine Häschen waren sprangen den Pfad hinunter, um Brombeeren zu pflücken.

“But Peter, who was very naughty, ran straight away to Mr. McGregor’s garden, and squeezed under the gate!”
= Das ungezogene Peterchen aber rannte direkt zu Herrn McGregors Garten und schlüpfte unter dem Gartentor hindurch!
Literally: “But the naughty Petey ran directly to Mr. McGregor’s garden and squeezed under the garden gate!”
(“squeezed” = schlüpfte)

“ate” = knabberte This gives more the idea of “nibbled.”

“rather sick” = ein bi?chen übel

“parsley” = Petersilie

“cucumber frame” = Gurkenbeetes

“young cabbages” = jungen Kohl

“waving a rake” = Er fuchtelte mit dem Rechen herum

I like this one. It’s hard to imagine him actually calling this out.
“Stop thief!” = Stehengeblieben, du Dieb!

“Peter was most dreadfully frightened.”
= Peterchen hatte fürchterliche Angst.

“unfortunately” = unglücklicherweise

“gooseberry net” = Stachelbeernetz

“got caught by the large buttons on his jacket”
= sich mit den gro?en Knöpfen seines Jäckchen darin verfangen hätte”
(“caught” = verfangen)

“shed big tears” = weinte dicke Tränen

“sparrows” = Spatzen

“sobs” = Schluchzen
(I’ve heard of choking with sobs, but saying “sobs” in German makes me choke.)

“implored him to exert himself” = ermunterten ihn, sich mehr Mühe zu geben
Literally: “encouraged him, more effort to give”

“pop upon the top of Peter” = über Peterchen stülpen

“toolshed” = Geräteschuppen

“can” = Gie?kanne

It’s always fun to see how onomatopoetic phrases are written:
“Kertyshoo!” = Hatschi!

“trembling with fright” = zitterte vor Angst

“had not the least idea” = hatte nicht die geringste Ahnung

“damp” = aufgeweicht

“wander about” = herumzustreifen

“lippity lippity” = hoppel di hopp

“no room” = keine Ritze

“squeeze underneath” = durchdrücken (“through press”)

“running” = sauste (Google: “dashed”)

“stone doorstep” = steinerne Schwelle

“carrying” = schleppte

“puzzled” = durcheinanderbrachte (“through-each-other-brought”)

“pond” = Teich

“the tip of her tail twitched” = zu zuckte die Spitze von ihrem Schwanz

“hoe” = Hacke

“scr-r-ritch, scratch, scratch, scratch” = kr-r-ritz, kratz, kratz, kritz

I enjoy this almost-rhyme:
“Peter scuttered underneath the bushes.”
= Peterchen huschte in die Büsche

“he came out” = kroch er gleich wieder hervor

“climbed upon a wheelbarrow” = kletterte auf einen Schubkarren
(“climbed on a thrust-car”)

“peeped over” = spähte

“black-currant bushes” = schwarzen Johannisbeerbüschen

“was safe at last”
= fand schlie?lich Schutz

“scare-crow” = Vogelscheuche

“to frighten the blackbirds” = um die Amseln zu erschrecken

“flopped down” = niedersank

“rabbit-hole” = Hasenhöhle

“One table-spoonful to be taken at bed-time.”
= Einen E?löffel vor dem Schlafengehen einnehmen.

“But Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail had bread and milk and blackberries for supper.”
= Flopsy, Mopsy und Kuschelschwänzchen aber bekamen Brot und Milch und Brombeeren zum Abendessen.

Ah. That one just makes me happy. And now, if you’re ever traveling in Germany, you know what sound to make when you sneeze. Hatschi!


48-Hour Book Challenge: Saturday Progress

Wow! I might actually be able to hit the 24-hour mark in the 48-Hour Book Challenge! Even though I worked.

I am now posting this simply to keep myself awake. Once I stop, I need to go straight to bed.

But I’ve already done 14 hours and 35 minutes of the challenge! So if I can fit in 9 hours and 25 minutes, even though I’m going to church, I can hit the 24 hour goal. The big question: Can I keep from taking an afternoon nap?

Here’s how it’s broken down:

I spent 3 hours and 45 minutes blogging and writing reviews, not counting
1 hour and 35 minutes posting reviews.
I spent 7 hours and 45 minutes reading, not counting
1 hour and 50 minutes listening to an audiobook.
I’ve spent 10 minutes unpacking books.

I haven’t done any networking so far, except what I did in between customers when working at the library reference today. I learned that my sister Marcy is participating in the Challenge!

I have completed three books, though two of those were nonfiction books that I only had the last chapter left to read. I read many, many nonfiction books at a time, rotating piles. I don’t recommend that method to anyone, but it does keep me from getting bored.

The third book was Heart’s Blood, by Juliet Marillier, which I also only had to finish. Tonight I’d had enough “productive” time spent. I wanted to have the fun of reading! So I went out on my balcony (pictured in the Starting Line post) and finished the book. I’m so happy with the balcony! Birds were singing loudly the entire time. On the grass, I watched a squirrel, and later a bunny. It just felt so nice to sit out there enjoying a book.

My page total is 369 pages. That doesn’t seem like very much with 7 hours and 45 minutes spent reading, but shuffling around the nonfiction books goes much slower than settling in with fiction. For that matter, the Heart’s Blood pages were long ones.

Anyway, I’m really drooping and need to get to bed. Can I do 9 hours of the challenge tomorrow without skipping church? We shall see….

Review of Heart’s Blood, by Juliet Marillier

Heart’s Blood

by Juliet Marillier

A Roc Book (Penguin), 2009. 402 pages.
Starred Review

I love Juliet Marillier’s writing. She knows how to make characters from fairy tales seem like real people with their own complex emotions, set in a real historical time.

Heart’s Blood is a modified version of “Beauty and the Beast” set in Ireland at the time Normans were invading and taking land for themselves. But Heart’s Blood removes all the abusive elements from the fairy tale. In fact, Caitrin is fleeing from abuse. Her father never goes to the “Beast’s” castle. In fact, Caitrin’s beloved father died not long before the story begins. A distant cousin and his mother took over the family home, claiming that it belonged to the cousin as the only male relative. But he is harsh and abusive and his mother convinces everyone that Caitrin has gone mad with grief.

She flees to a castle on a Tor that none of the people from the village will go near. The chieftain needs a scribe who can read Latin, and her father trained her as one. Besides, she needs a place to stay where her cousin can’t find her.

The chieftain is no Beast, just someone who’s features aren’t symmetrical because of an illness in his youth. But his family is indeed under a curse. His great-grandfather raised a host from dead souls to fight his enemies, only something went horribly wrong, and all generations after that chieftain must stay at the castle to keep the host in check. And his retainers are souls from the host.

Meanwhile, Caitrin works in the library, copying documents and looking for a counterspell. A magic mirror, enchanted by the great-grandfather, shows her the dark spells he used, but not a way to counteract them. She gets to know the souls from the host who live there with Anluan. There’s even a small child who turns to her for comfort. Meanwhile, the Normans threaten attack, but how can Anluan go down from the Tor to even meet with them?

Once again we’ve got ancient magic, a romance based on two characters knowing each other well, and a young woman with a good heart who wants to do good in the world. Another lovely story by Juliet Marillier.

Buy from Amazon.com

Find this review on Sonderbooks at: www.sonderbooks.com/Fiction/hearts_blood.html

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Please use the comments if you’ve read the book and want to discuss spoilers!

Official 48-Hour Book Challenge 2013 Edition

It’s time! Time for the official 48-Hour Book Challenge of 2013!

Last week, I did a practice run. Although I got 20 hours in, I didn’t get nearly as much blogging accomplished as I hoped. For that matter, I never get as much done as I hope. A weekend is simply not that long! However, it’s fun to do what I can!

Tomorrow I have to work, but I do plan to read during my lunch break and listen to an audiobook in the car. And then when I get home, I’m going to immerse myself in reading. I started at 7:00 pm on Friday, so that means after 7:00 pm on Sunday, I can get to my mundane details like grocery shopping and ironing.

Now, I’m hoping to do some good blogging, as well. I currently have a stack of 10 books (one of which I just finished after starting the Challenge) to write reviews for. Now, I also have 48 reviews written but not posted. So I very much want to get several of those posted. And I’m currently especially obsessed with posting the reviews I wrote in 2012. There are 8 of those left. So if the books seem older, that is why! I still have some reviews to post that I wrote when I was on the Cybils panel judging middle grade science fiction and fantasy.

They did ask to post a picture of the books I plan to read. Now, I know full well I won’t make much headway on this stack, especially if I do much blogging. But here is my stack:

On top is Heart’s Blood, by Juliet Marillier, which I’m about half done with.

Does anyone remember my Reading Plan? I’m still following that, sort of — just inserting lots and lots of interruptions. But Heart’s Blood was the “older library book” in the plan.

Next up is rereading a book. I was having trouble deciding what to reread when an Amazon package came today! Hooray! Perfect timing! One of the books in the package was Wednesdays in the Tower, by Jessica Day George. So that means the perfect book to reread is Tuesdays at the Castle. And that takes care of the next book in order, a book I own.

After those three, the rest of the books are books that Capitol Choices is considering, which I would very much like to have read before our meeting next Friday. We’ll see how I do.

Now, if this were all I’m reading, that would be one thing. But I have a system of piles of Nonfiction, which I read a chapter at a time. It is currently completely out of control:

But I just finished a Nonfiction book I’d been working on for months, Surviving Survival, by Laurence Gonzales. So I do, eventually, finish them.

I also intend to spend a little of the time unpacking boxes of books. I know that’s not in the official rules, so I will keep track of exactly how much time I spend (not more than one box per hour, and they only take about five minutes each). I think my recent move makes it a special case. I will only do boxes of books this weekend. These shelves in my bedroom are almost the only ones left to fill:

But that’s enough pictures of clutter and chaos! The fun one to post is the one of where I will spend significant time reading, at least during daylight hours.

There you have it! Happy Reading!