48-Hour Book Challenge Finish Line

I hit 30 hours, 30 minutes! Woo-hoo!

Here’s the breakdown:

Reading: 15 hours, 25 minutes
Blogging: 9 hours, 5 minutes
Networking: 4 hours, 50 minutes
Listening: 1 hour, 10 minutes

I read 1,606 pages and finished 8 books.

I wrote 9 reviews, posted 3 blog posts about the challenge, and posted 5 quotations on Sonderquotes, for a total of 7,858 words. I got one of those reviews posted.

I confess, as the time went on, I started reading short books so I’d finish more! For nonfiction, I read a bunch of individual chapters, but here are the books I finished. They were all excellent:

The Great Wall of Lucy Wu, by Wendy Wan-Long Shang
The Seven Towers, by Patricia C. Wrede
The Silver Bowl, by Diane Stanley
Squish, Super Amoeba, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Zita the Spacegirl, Far From Home, by Ben Hatke
Freddie Ramos Springs into Action, by Jacqueline Jules
Freddie Ramos Zooms to the Rescue, by Jacqueline Jules
The Periodic Table: Elements with Style, by Adrian Dingle

With Networking, I didn’t plan to do so much, but got hooked into the YASaves conversation, and then couldn’t bring myself to stay away.

In fact, after writing that sentence, when I went to find the link, I then got hooked into Cecil Castellucci’s fantastic article on the Los Angeles Review of Books blog. This is an awesome quotation: “Putting the right book in the right kid’s hands is kind of like giving that kid superpowers.”

I did not get even close to caught up on writing reviews. But I did make good headway, and I’m hoping that I got into the groove so that more reviews will follow quickly.

What did I learn? I really do love to read! What a fabulous way to spend a weekend! I’m going to have to make more time for it.

What I’ll do next time: Get more sleep BEFORE the 48-hour Book Challenge. Needing sleep was my downfall as far as getting any more reading done, and I was tired the whole time. At the end of the challenge, I planned to take a short nap, and then get my weekend errands done. I slept for 4 1/2 hours! So now I’ll be a bit behind all week, but it was worth it!

YA Saves

I was taking a little break to “Network” — reading tweets from authors and other readers. I learned about this frightful Wall Street Journal article.

It started with Libba Bray’s brilliant and passionate responses:

I’d like to roll my eyes at this article, but I can’t. And not just because one of my eyes doesn’t move that way. But because I genuinely

believe that these articles are hurtful, that they goad banners & keep much-needed books out of the hands of the teens who should be reading

them. Books are, at their heart, dangerous. Yes, dangerous. Because they challenge us: our prejudices, our blind spots. They open us to new

ideas, new ways of seeing. They make us hurt in all the right ways. They can push down the barricades of “them” & widen the circle of “us”

And when one feels alone–say, because of a terrible burden of a secret, something that creates pain and isolation, books can heal, connect

That’s what good books do. That’s what hard books do. And we need them in the world. I’m going to shut up now, @WSJ. But only for a little

while and only because I want dessert.

Then, Maureen Johnson asked people to post their own stories of how reading YA has helped them, with the hashtag #YASaves. The stories that followed are simply incredible.

One of many things that got to me about the article: If the woman who couldn’t find a good current YA novel had gone to a LIBRARY instead of to a bookstore, where Librarians with Master’s degrees work, I am absolutely sure that she could have found a current YA novel that she would have been happy to give to her teen. Librarians are knocked in the article for giving dark books to teens. We’re actually quite good at finding the right book for the right reader. And we could even find a book that would make that mother happy. And if she let her own teen pick a book, we could find a book that would make her happy.

And we might find a book that would save her life.

Saturday Morning Check-In

Good Morning! I’m off to a great start on the second day of the 48-Hour Book Challenge!

I decided that Tim having the SAT today was absolutely perfect — I took the day off work, and got up early — all the better to read! Of course, I listened to an audiobook in the car. The one I was listening to was the third CD of Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese. It was kind of funny — they were talking about a doctor facing a difficult delivery of twins. Very specific. And then the doctor decided to crush the baby’s brain in order to get it out. Very graphic.

Of course, I apologized to my son for the unfortunate selection. He understood that I was listening so as not to have a break in the 48-Hour Book Challenge. He said it was no problem — that would probably be the selection they would have him analyze on the SAT.

Of course, that made me laugh! That would be the day! A selection involving a woman’s reproductive system and crushing the brain of a baby? Yeah, that would go over great on the SAT! So I sent him off to the test with a laugh. (I do love that kid’s sense of humor!)

Today I actually don’t have any more commitments at all except picking Tim up from the SAT at 12:45. Oh, and I need to call my Mom to wish her a Happy 70th (!) Birthday! But otherwise, my biggest challenge will be staying awake to read. I might give in and take a short nap — the better to stay up late tonight.

I did finish one book yesterday, and absolutely loved it — The Great Wall of Lucy Wu, by Wendy Shang. I did write a review, and promise to post it after I have written five reviews. Here are my stats so far:

Hours Reading: 5 hours, 45 minutes
Hours Blogging: 3 and a half
Time Listening: 20 minutes
Time Networking: 30 minutes

Grand total: 10 hours, 5 minutes

Not bad for 18 hours into the challenge. If I took 8 hours to sleep and shower and eat and do my writing, I hope that tomorrow, with going to church, I can keep it down to less than 10 hours — I want to hit 30 hours. It will be a challenge, but I might be able to do it….

Book stats are 418 pages read, one book finished. (I read a lot of excerpts from nonfiction.)

I’ve written 4 reviews, posted 4 quotes, and written one other blog post, for a total of 4,814 words.

Now, I am not writing reviews as quickly as I will need to if I want to make significant progress on getting caught up. I will have to start making them shorter. However, I am enjoying writing them, and I am writing them, so it’s all good. I have begun reading The Seven Towers, by Patricia C. Wrede, and I’m loving that, too.

This is proving to be a truly beautiful weekend! Read on!

48-Hour Book Challenge 2011

Woo-hoo! I am now officially beginning this year’s 48-Hour Reading Challenge at 4:30 on Friday!

Mother Reader is the blogger who sponsors the Challenge. This is her sixth year doing the 48-Hour Book Challenge, and my third year participating. As I said in my round-up last year, this is the time when the guilt is totally reversed — You get to feel guilty if you’re NOT reading! 🙂 Woo-hoo!

The rules are most reasonable and quite lovely. As Mother Reader says, this is “that weekend extravaganza that lets you say, “Back off, I’m reading.

In fact, that statement makes me think I need to point out what our theme song should be:

Seriously, I love the 48-Hour Book Challenge and look forward to it all year. This year, because I have to take my son to the SAT tomorrow morning (while playing an audiobook), I actually have both Friday and Saturday off. So I am planning to stretch myself and see if I can hit the 30 hour mark this year.

I’m afraid I’m going to be unspiritual and skip my small group Bible study tonight. We’re even doing a book study, but I will be so close to 30 hours… I won’t, however, skip church Sunday morning, so that’s the main “interruption.” If I’m not lingering to talk so much after church, this is why!

Of course, I’d meant to get started much earlier today. But I decided I really should run some errands first. Had to buy snacks, right? And then it seemed like a good idea to take a nap. It’s going to be tricky going all the way until 4:30 on Sunday, since the big question will be whether or not I can skip my Sunday afternoon nap. I have my doubts! That will give me a few hours left on Sunday to get ready for a long week’s work — I’ll be working the next 6 days.

Now, the point of the 48-Hour Book Challenge is to pick a 48-hour time block on the designated weekend and read and blog about books as much as possible in that time. Blogging time counts.

This year, I’m way, way behind on writing reviews. There are stacks of books which I have read this year, and very much want to review, but simply haven’t done it yet. So my goal for this weekend is not quite as much fun as spending 30 hours reading. I want to spend the majority of my time writing reviews. I want to get within reach of catching up on that backlog.

Now, I probably won’t post all the reviews I write today. It works well for me to write them ahead and then post one a day. When I post the reviews, I add in links to related reviews and things like that and a link between the blog and the main site, www.sonderbooks.com. But I think I will keep track of my progress by posting a review after every five reviews I write. And I simply have to get some books read, or where’s the fun in the challenge? So I’ll definitely be reading some books, too. In fact, I think the key to reading instead of sleeping is to find one of those books that I can’t put down if I wanted to. So I hope I can pick a good one!

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.