48-Hour Book Challenge Final Summary

Here I am enjoying the 48-Hour Book Challenge last night:

What a lovely weekend! Though it goes to show that even with a whole weekend set aside for it, I barely make a dent in my piles of books to read and books to review. This weekend, I also made some progress blogging about the upheaval in my life this month. It’s book related, since the main event was losing my job as a librarian, right? Anyway, I also did some blogging on Sonderjourneys, Sonderblessings, and Sonderquotes. Besides posting reviews on this blog, I also posted the reviews on www.sonderbooks.com, my main website where I have links to related books and have all my reviews organized by type of review.

My 48 hours are up. Here are my stats:

Reading: 11 hours, 35 minutes
Listening to an audiobook: 3 hours, 50 minutes
Blogging: 9 hours, 20 minutes
Networking: 1 hour, 55 minutes (I did not count the 3 hours I spent at the DC Kidlit Book Club, though!)

Total: 26 hours, 40 minutes

The key this year was reading The Sky Is Everywhere through the night until I finished it. If I had been as caught up in The Red Pyramid, maybe I could have done it both nights.

I was disappointed that I only finished 3 books. But I did get lots of reading time in, so I can’t really complain. And I always read nonfiction books a chapter at a time, rotating my many piles of books. So any reading time makes progress!

I did review all the books I finished, plus one book from the backlog. I would probably have to spend more time on reviewing to take care of that backlog altogether. But it was nice to finish the weekend without being further behind on books to review.

Here are the books I finished. I was already on page 234 of The Red Pyramid, but the rest I began this weekend:

The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan
The Birthday Ball, by Lois Lowry
The Sky Is Everywhere, by Jandy Nelson

The other book I reviewed was a fantastic tribute to librarians:
This Book Is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All, by Marilyn Johnson

The audiobook I’m listening to and totally enjoying is The Princess Plot, by Kirsten Boie

However, even though the total finished is low, here are some other interesting stats:

Pages read: 995
Words written on blogs: 6,356

I read lots and lots of partial books. First, during my daily devotional time, I read a page out of several devotional books:

The Bible
Journey to the Heart, by Melody Beattie
The Book of Common Prayer
Praying God’s Words Day by Day, by Beth Moore
Grace Notes, by Philip Yancey
Meditations to Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay
More Language of Letting Go, by Melody Beattie

The other nonfiction from which I read chapters are:
God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World — and Why Their Differences Matter, by Stephen Prothero
Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children’s Book, by Anita Silvey
A Thousand Names for Joy, by Byron Katie
Getting Organized in the Google Era, by Douglas C. Merrill
For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage, by Tara Parker-Pope
Won’t Let You Go Until You Bless Me, by Andree Seu
Feel: The Power of Listening to Your Heart, by Matthew Elliott
Embracing the Wide Sky, by Daniel Tammett
Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream, by Tanya Lee Stone

I kept expecting to find one to grab me enough to finish it to the end, but I was impatient and wanted to get to the fiction. Most of these I will finish before too much longer.

It was a wonderful weekend! I want to do this every weekend! Especially with so much turmoil and uncertainty related to my job, it was extra nice to have time to forget about it all and read, and also to reflect on it all and blog and remember to count my blessings.

Thank you, Mother Reader for sponsoring this challenge! What a treat!

48-Hour Book Challenge 24-Hour Update

I’m just about halfway through my 48 hours of reading and blogging. Why do I feel I’ve gotten so little done? I suppose it’s because 48 hours sounds like soooooo much longer than it ends up actually being.

I’ve finished only two books, but the first was the very long (516 pages) The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan. The second was shorter, Lois Lowry’s The Birthday Ball. I’ve only gotten the first of those reviewed, but I have done a total of 8 posts, counting posts on Sonderjourneys, Sonderquotes, and Sonderblessings.

Here’s how my time has broken down:
Reading: 6 hours and 45 minutes
Blogging: 4 hours and 20 minutes
Listening to an audiobook: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Networking: 50 minutes

For a grand total of 13 hours and 35 minutes! Woo-hoo!

I wish I thought I could get this much time in during the second half.

I should point out that in my reading, I like to read nonfiction a little bit at a time. I have a stack of devotional books out of which I read a page a day. Then my other nonfiction, I read a chapter at a time. So in that 6 hours and 45 minutes, I may have finished only two books, but I have read parts of 15 books.

I am going to do some networking now — visit the blogs of others who are doing the 48-Hour Book Challenge. But then I really want to get some more reviews written. I don’t want to end the weekend more behind on reviews than I was when I started, after all!

2010 48-Hour Book Challenge

Hip Hip Hooray! It’s time for Mother Reader‘s annual 48-Hour Book Challenge! The time when the guilt is totally reversed — You get to feel guilty if you’re NOT reading! 🙂 Woo-hoo!

This has been a crazy and insane week. I’ll blog about that later. Let’s simply say that I am totally ready to forget about all that and READ. I also have a stack of 10 books I’d like to review, so I will want to review the books I get read as well as clear the backlog.

I am not so dedicated that I won’t take some time off to sleep. And I confess I’m not planning to set my alarm on Saturday. And I will go to church on Sunday and I hope also to the local Kidlit Book Club. I will listen to an audiobook in the car on the way!

For the first book, I am halfway through Rick Riordan’s The Red Pyramid, so I will see if I can stay awake long enough to finish that tonight. Mother Reader does request that we read books intended for fifth grade and up, but I confess that this year I’ve been eyeing some of the shorter books. And a lot of my backlog of books to review are picture books. She didn’t put any restriction on what you blog about, so I think it will be okay to get some of those reviews written.

Last year, I completed a total of 23 hours and 30 minutes. But a lot of that time was spent upgrading my blog because it had quit working about a week before. Last year, I finished 5 books and reviewed 5 books and read parts of 6 books, for a total of 1120 pages. I’m hoping I can top all those totals this year. We’ll see!

Anyway, enough rambling on! Woo-hoo! I NEED to read!

48-Hour Book Challenge Final Summary

48hbcWhew! I did it! And I enjoyed it and only wished I could do it longer! The fun of putting aside everything else and catching up my reading and my website was very gratifying. (Though I ended up with just as many books waiting to be reviewed as I started with. But at least all my blogs are upgraded and working again.)

My final statistics for the 48 hours between 10:30 Friday night and 10:30 Sunday night:

Total time spent reading and blogging: 23 1/2 hours.

(I almost spent half the time!)

This was broken down like this:
Reading time: 11 hours, 40 minutes
Listening time: 50 minutes
Blogging/reviewing time: 11 hours

Books finished: 5
Books reviewed: 5
Partial books read: 6

Pages read: 1,120.

Goodness, though, it did give me the bug and made me super aware of all the books I have waiting to be read…. I had checked out extra books to be ready for the challenge, and the sad part is that I really want to read them all, but obviously it’s going to take a lot longer than the check-out period to do so.

All in good time! It was a whole lot of fun making a start!

Here’s a list of books I read and partly read:

The Holy Bible (11 pages) Hey, I figured that I could count my nightly Bible reading in the total. It is reading!
The Eternal Smile, by Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim (finished and reviewed)
10-10-10, by Suzy Welch (52 pages). I lost interest and am turning this back in. The idea is great — when making decisions, consider the implications after 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years. However, the idea is simple enough, it doesn’t seem like you need to read a whole book to understand it.
Dragon’s Keep, by Janet Lee Carey (301 pages). Finished and reviewed.
Excuses, Begone! by Wayne Dyer (64 pages). Good stuff. I’ll keep reading this one, but I always read nonfiction slowly over time and in little bits.
How to Ditch Your Fairy, by Justine Larbalestier. (307 pages) Finished and reviewed. Fun!
Show & Tell: Exploring the Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration, by Dilys Evans (21 pages). Good stuff. I’ll read more.
The Lincolns, by Candace Fleming (82 pages). Interesting! I’ll be finishing this soon, I think.
Not Becoming My Mother, by Ruth Reichl. 112 pages. Finished but not reviewed yet. A quick and interesting memoir.
Octavian Nothing, Volume I, by M. T. Anderson, the last 15 minutes of the audiobook. Finished and reviewed.
His Majesty’s Dragon, by Naomi Novik, the first 40 minutes of the audiobook. Good so far!

Another review written: Tea Time for the Traditionally Built, by Alexander McCall Smith.

You might wonder how I spent so much time blogging with only 5 reviews written. Well, I also wrote entries about the 48-hour challenge and entries on my other three blogs, Sonderquotes, Sonderjourneys, and Sonderblessings. I also added a page for each review on the main site and updated the About Me page there and on all the blogs. (They still said that I was pursuing a Master’s in Library Science! I’ve been a librarian for a year and a half now!)
I also finished upgrading the blogs and changing the look of each one to match my main site– but that was mostly a matter of letting the computer delete and copy files while I was reading.

Anyway, the whole thing was a whole lot of fun and it felt great to ignore unpacking boxes for a weekend and pay attention to my website. (Yes, I still have boxes to unpack from my move in mid-April. Mostly books!)

My biggest drawback was that I stayed up very very late two nights last week — reading and blogging — so I really needed to sleep this weekend. Oh well! Next year I will plan that better!

48-Hour Book Challenge Halfway Point

So, it’s 10:30 on Saturday night, and I’ve come halfway through the 48-Hour Book Challenge. I’m having a lot of fun. So far, I wish I could do this longer than 48 hours, because I’m just not getting as many books read as I had hoped to.

I’m ending up spending almost half my time blogging, but I still have only reviewed the two books I finished reading. Still, all four of my related blogs are now upgraded and integrated with the look of my main site. If I hadn’t set aside the weekend for reading and blogging, I doubt that would have happened for months! So I’m excited about that and glad for this excuse to spend time on my blogs.

Here are my stats at the halfway point:

Total time spent: 11 1/2 hours

Time reading: 6 hours
Time blogging: 5 1/2 hours
Time networking: None yet (I want to do that!)

Pages read: 646
Books finished: 2
Books reviewed: 2

I’m not sure if I can do as much in the next 24 hours, since I will be going to church in the morning. However, today a big chunk came away from taking a nap and doing all the laundry. So maybe I can do as well. Almost half my time on it seems pretty good! 🙂

I do have to take my son to a meeting for a group project (making a Rube Goldberg machine), which should give me a chance to finish listening to the audiobook of Octavian Nothing, Volume I. I’m on the last disc, and it’s an exciting part. That’s what I don’t like about listening to audiobooks in the car!

Read on!

Another Fix

Okay, this bug took me a half-hour to fix. But it’s important for my blogging….

Because of changes I’d made to the blog header, the pages with a single post were not providing any link at all to take you back to the main page. Fortunately, I’m learning enough that I was able to fix it. I hope that is the last bug I need to fix! The good thing is that if I fix it on this blog, I can just copy the files to my other blogs.

Bug Fixed!

Yay! I did have one bug left after the upgrade that I thought I was stuck with — I was getting strange characters showing up in my old posts.

Well, this morning I decided to try getting rid of the CHAR-SET line in the new wp-config.php files. Presto! No more problems! So that’s a nice way to start the morning.

Again, I think that fixing my blog counts as blogging time. Doing it took only about 5 minutes, though.

Also overnight, I decided which stats to keep, so here’s my status on Saturday morning at 10:00, almost 12 hours into the 48-Hour Book Challenge:

Time Spent: 4 1/2 hours
Blogging: 2 hours
Reading: 2 1/2 hours
Networking (See the rules. There’s a provision for visiting other blogs of people doing the challenge and leaving comments after 5 hours participating. It will be fun!): None yet

Books Finished: 1
Books Reviewed: None yet

Pages read: 325

As mentioned before, I have a stack of books to review, from the time when my blog was down (and from already being behind). Let’s see. There are 18 books in it. So I hope I will end up reviewing more books than I finish reading, and thus not get further behind. Last night, I was too tired, though. After I do some more reading this morning, I plan to get started on the reviews.

I’m still loving this! Wasn’t even able to sleep in much. I’m too excited! Of course, that’s making me laugh at myself, and making my son laugh at me. It’s a harmless obsession, but so much fun!

Challenge Progress – Friday Night

So, I’m progressing on the 48-hour Book Challenge. It’s 1:50 am. So I’ve been going almost 3 1/2 hours now.

In that time, I finished one book, The Eternal Smile, by Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim. I read some chapters. In the Bible, I read Mark 4; I Chronicles 6-8; Psalm 119:145-176; Proverbs 4-5. I read the Introduction and Chapter 1 of 10-10-10, by Suzy Welch. And I read the first 8 chapters of Dragon’s Keep, by Janet Lee Carey.

I had some very irresponsible late nights this past week, so it almost feels normal to be up this late. But tomorrow I can sleep in! Huzzah! More luxury!

I also did some blogging in that time (about an hour and a half). I am counting as blogging time spent upgrading my other blog, Sonderquotes, and posting an entry on it. Sonderquotes is a blog of great quotations I run across in my reading, so it’s directly related to Sonderbooks.

Since I did the work of changing the files when upgrading this blog, upgrading Sonderquotes is a matter of deleting the old files and copying in the new. A lot of clicking. A lot of dragging. In between, while the computer is working, I read. (Just looking up to click now and then. So you see, it still counts as reading and blogging, since it was working on the blog!)

And Sonderquotes looks so pretty now! I’m so happy to have it matching this blog and sonderbooks.com! This time it was a piece of cake compared to all the work of figuring out how to do it with this blog. Now I only had to copy files.

So — the first three and a half hours done. Tomorrow I will sleep late and have breakfast, and then tackle the reading again. I didn’t do any reviewing tonight because I’m too tired, but tomorrow I hope to get a lot of reviews written.

Happy reading!

The 48-hour Book Challenge

48hbcTonight, Friday night at 10:30 pm, I am officially beginning the 48-hour Book Challenge!

The rules are here on motherreader.com. Basically, in the next 48 hours, I will spend as much time as possible reading and blogging about it.

I’ve been laughing at myself all day for how excited I am about this! You see, whenever I have a special day and try to think of a dream-come-true way of indulging myself, the first thing I think of is ALWAYS to sit around and read all day long. But I ALWAYS conclude, for one reason or other, that it’s not practical, or it’s too lazy, or for some reason or other I just can’t do that.

But it’s all in the marketing: Now it is not laziness, it’s a challenge! Woo-hoo! I am not indulging myself — I am working hard! Okay, the truth is, I AM indulging myself, and I have a wonderful excuse, so I’m not feeling even a little bit guilty! Thank you, MotherReader, for providing the excuse!

What’s more, my blog has been broken for the last three weeks. Just today, I got it working. What’s more, in order to fix it, I had to learn enough about WordPress that now I was able to give the blog the same color scheme and look as my main site, sonderbooks.com. This morning before work, I finished fixing the color scheme to match. For the more than a year that I’ve had the blog, and my three other blogs, I’ve meant to make them look like the main site, but I never got around to figuring out how to do it.

Well, in order to figure out how to fix the problem and upgrade the blog, I had to learn enough about WordPress to adjust the look. I’m really happy with what I ended up with! And I just happened to finish tinkering with it this morning.

What’s more, the challenge happened to hit the only weekend in months and months when I have nothing on the calendar. Yes, I’ll go to church on Sunday. Yes, I’ll write for 15 minutes on Saturday. (I haven’t missed a day of at least 15 minutes writing in 2009!) Yes, I have to take Tim to a group project meeting on Sunday. But the cool part is that I can listen to an audiobook on the way there, and read while I am waiting for him to finish! It will simply provide a change of scenery.

The clear schedule is so rare as to almost be miraculous. Definitely a Sign. I HAD to do this!

I also have a STACK of books to review, since the blog was down for three weeks. It doesn’t really say in the rules, but I’m assuming that time spent “blogging” includes time writing reviews of books you’ve already read. So I’m going to spend time reading, and break it up by writing reviews, and maybe just maybe I can catch up!

Along with updating the look, I also had been toying with the idea of converting my site to a blog only. Well, the blog breaking convinced me that I don’t want to do that. But I think I will make more of the blog — with personal entries like this one about being a reader and a writer and a librarian and a blogger. I’m going to start thinking of sonderbooks.com as an archive of the book reviews. It is arranged by type of book, so is a good resource for finding books to read.

There was one problem with the upgrade. The one thing left that doesn’t work is the “Pretty Permalinks.” So now none of the links from sonderbooks.com to the blog will work. I will need to go in and change those, but I can do that, eventually. In the meantime, if a link to the blog doesn’t work, go to the blog’s main page and then do a search in the blog for the book you want.

I’m also very excited about getting involved in the Kidlit blogging community, the Kidlitosphere. Technically, mine isn’t just a Kidlit blog, since I also review books for adults. But I’m a Youth Services Librarian, and I definitely have an emphasis on YA and children’s books.

Well, why am I spending all this time explaining myself when I could be reading?

Here goes!!! Woo-hoo!!! Woo-hoo!!