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Dewey's Readathon - April 2012 - Hour 24

So I gave up blogging last night due to my computer crashing and freezing on me constantly. It just wasn't fun. That and my IBS flared up so I was stuck with a hot water bottle on my tummy and a pint of water by my bed feeling all wretched. It was better I didn't spoil anyone elses' Read-a-thon with my moaning! But I did continue to read.
Even if I did spend less time reading than I would like. I slept for about 8 hours too. But I completed another book in my 'downtime'.
'Briar Rose' by Jane Yolen. It was a beautifully crafted piece of art, very poignant and clever. I loved it.
Then I started on 'The Executioner' by Chris Carter and am about halfway through that as I finish up the Read-a-thon.
So 3 and a half books isn't a bad total for April 2012 :D

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? 
Around about hour 9 when I started to get ill. That wasn't fun. And I finished 'My name is Mina' and was stuck for what to read next despite having tons of books. I think I started on 3 or 4 before settling on 'Briar Rose'

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

Well, Chris Carter's crime novels are pretty gripping. Every chapter is a cliffhanger practically so your are desperate to continue, even if it is a little annoying at first. He has lots of short chapters too which make for nice break points if you are flagging.

Also, in general I'd recommend the 'Pirates Adventures' novels by Gideon Defoe. (Made into a film by Aardman - 'The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists/The Pirates: Bunch of Misfits (US Title))  because they are amusing but shortish books that should cheer you up and bulk out your pile of completed books during the read-a-thon.

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

Not really. It was quite fantastic as always, even without many prizes. I guess we couldspread the word a bit more... more advertising? But no. It's amazing as it is.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

The blog posts were awesome and the challenges were brilliant!

5. How many books did you read?

4 and a half.

6. What were the names of the books you read?

'Secret Heart' by David Almond'
'My Name is Mina' by David Almond
'Briar Rose' by Jane Yolen
half of 'The Executioner' by Chris Carter

7. Which book did you enjoy most?

I loved them all but for me, despite my crippling IBS as I was reading it, 'Briar Rose' was something that really struck me as wonderful. Though 'My Name is Mina' comes a close second!

8. Which did you enjoy least?

Not that I didn't enjoy it, but out of all of them I guess 'Secret Heart' was the one that was less enjoyable than the others. It was still brill though!

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

Not a cheerleader but they are awesome people and I want to thank them for all their hard work :D

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

As long as I am not working and can afford the possible lack of sleep, I will be there blogging away. I'll always try and take part in some way as long as I can get some books in my hands and read em. I'd be a reader, no doubt, but I may even be a prize doner. We'll see ;)


Dewey's Readathon - April 2012 - Hour 7

Start of hour 7 and I have finished My Name is Mina :D 2 books completed now. Unsure of what to do next, but I think I may read a few quick reads on my kindle and then get stuck into one of my Japanese authors' books.


Dewey's Readathon - April 2012 - Hour 6

Hour 6 and I have read another 141 pages of 'My Name is Mina' by David Almond.
I am almost done. Should be starting on book #3 by the end of this hour :D Yay!
Going to go make a cup of tea though - I'm sooo thirsty!

ETA: Oh! And though I am not entering the challenge this hour, I would still like to complete it, since it is quite fun :)

The challenge was to come up with a menu for people at a book group reading my current book.
My current book is 'My name is Mina' and what I would serve at my book club meeting is:

Mina's favourite fig biscuits, some jammy dodgers which Sophie Smith introduced her to and she quite liked. Then maybe if people wanted a proper meal, I'd make up some spaghetti pomodoro. There would be tea and juice for drinks.


Dewey's Readathon - April 2012 - Hour 5

Start of hour 5 and I managed 108 pages of My Name is Mina.
Just gone and got myself some dried fruit to snack on, prompted by the fact Mina says she loves fig rolls. It reminded me that I had some dried figs in the cupboard. Yay! Haven't eaten much today, so they are quite lovely XD

I'm not doing the challenge this hour because it takes me forever to upload my photos from my phone to my computer and my computer is dodgy enough right now so I doubt it would like having extra duties onto of allowing me to blog. XD

Hope I can finish my book in the next hour or so.


Dewey's Readathon - April 2012 - Hour 4

It is the start of Hour 4 now and I have finished my first book! Yay!

I really enjoyed David Almond's 'Secret Heart' - what's not to love about socially dysfunctional protaganists making friends with circus folk and being stalked by spiritual tigers? It was quite awesome.

Now onto another David Alomd book, 'My name is Mina', the prequel to his bestselling book 'Skellig' which happens to be on the curriculum in secondary schools. So I guess since I am going to be an English teacher, reading this book is almost homework as well as fun, right?

I've just taken part in the latest challenge (Skipped Hour 3's challenge as it was time-consuming and I'd wasted 45 mins on the previous challenge and needed to get some reading done!)

This challenge was to complete the given sentence, using something from page 32 of the current book I was reading.


My sentence ended up being

"I'd rather read a book than stand at [the] window staring out any day!"

taken from page 32 of 'My Name is Mina'. Really, that was the only thing I could get from that page to fit. Not much there for amusing answers unfortunately. Oh well.

Back to reading! I have lots to get through. Only a few pages in at the moment.

Dewey's Readathon - April 2012 - Hour 2

I'm still reading David Almond's Secret Heart. It's getting quite i9nteresting. I love how I can tell it is set somewhere in the North-East through the dialect they use. "Aye" and "Pet" and "Funny'n" etc. It's really good :)

Mini-Challenge - Reading in Translation


If you could read any book that’s been translated into English in its ORIGINAL language, what would it be?

One of my favourite foreign books is Natsuo Kirino's OUT. It is originally written in Japanese, so when I went to Japan I took the opportunity to buy myself the original. Books in Japanese though tend to be realsed in parts. They are small bindings, so long novels have volumes rather than bigger bindings (most likely for ease of storage and for easy handling for communters on packed trains. No doubt the writing system is another reason for the extra volumes. OUT was in 2 volumes.
I was studying Japanese, so wanted to see if there were differences in the translation, but my kanji level isn't very high at the moment, and there is no furigana so reading this novel has me spending more time on my electronic dictionary than reading! But one day!

[OUT (上) - 桐野夏生 ~第二書 (p.127)]

Dewey's Readathon - April 2012 - Hour 1

Yay! An excuse to get back on LiveJournal. It has certainly been a while. I keep meaning to update my monthly reading lists but keep forgetting. I've read about 46 books so far this year and hopefully I will get past 50 in the next 24-hours with this read-a-thon.
I actually have the time to do it this time around, which is good :)

So, 5 minutes before I start reading.
My plan?

I need to finish reading Secret Heart by David Almond. That will be book 1.
I also have many others to choose from.
My Name is Mina - David Almond
The Executioner - Chris Carter
Briar Rose - Jane Yolen
Naoko - Keigo Higashino
The Lake - Banana Yoshimoto
In Search of a Distant Voice - Taichi Yamada
and several Mary Poppins books, Haruki Murakami books and hundreds of books on my kindle.

Yep, this is going to be a good read-a-thon. I can tell.
I'm off to grab a snack, grab some coffee and then be on my way.

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

My parent's home in Sunderland, NorthEast England.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

I can't wait to read The Executioner by Chris Carter. Finished The Night Stalker earlier in the month and it was fantastic.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Well, I just grabbed myself a KitKat Chunky and haven't had breakfast or lunch yet so.. that. :)

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I'm training to be a teacher, so try to read lots of young-adult and kids books. But I also minored in Japanese at uni so love reading novels translated from japanese too. They feature heavily on my reading lists.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

Couldn't do the last one, but on my last read-a-thon, I didn't get much reading done. I plan to change that now I have my kindle and a ton of books to read, and that I have improved my reading speed over the past year.


December Reading Summary

Wow. I am actually a bit surprised that I made such a big improvement in my reading this year. Last year I read hardly anything compared to this year, and now I can read at least 4 books a month! And I have expanded my reading into many areas. I feel rather accomplished actually!
In December, I managed 10 books again, just like last month. The list included 1 play, 1 quickread book, 1 young children's book and 4 non-fiction books, but still, I read a lot.

1) Writing Best-selling Children's Books (52 Brilliant Ideas) - Alexander Gordon Smith
2) Strangers on the 16:02 - Priya Basil
3) Peter Pan in Scarlet - Geraldine McCraughrean
4) Divergent - Veronica Roth
5) The Crucible - Arthur Miller
6) The Tale of Peter Rabbit - Beatrix Potter
7) Mort - Terry Pratchett (BBC Big Read #065)
8) Success Over Stinkin' Thinkin' - "Dr Dan" Matzke
9) The 5 Second Fkate Belly Secret - Lose 2-3 inches from your body in less than 1 month - Jennifer Jolan
10) How to do Everything and be Happy - Peter Jones

Yep - the self-help books seem to be preparing me for a new year-new me attitude. Also I really want to start writing more seriously, so I've been collecting books on that topic too.
I absolutely loved Divergent, by the way. It was recommended to me by so many people and I found it in a discount bookshop for only £1.99. Bargain! Epic story :)

This brings my 2011 total of books to 122! That is quite a lot of my initial target of 50! Much better than last year's achievements.

Next year I am hoping to read some longer books, complete some classics and read more in general. My target is going to be 100 books - I'm going to hope for 4-5 a month. Or 2 long books. I want to read The Lord of the Rings and finish the Discworld series in 2012.

November Reading Summary

November was a suprisingly good month book-wise, despite the fact I was doing NaNoWriMo too! Of course, I failed at NaNoWriMo (only made it half way again) but managed to read 10 books so it wasn't too bad.

1) The Princess Diaries - Meg Cabot (BBC Big Read #099)
2) Anonyponymous - John Marciano
3) Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier (BBC Big Read #014)
4) The Colour of Magic - Terry Pratchett (BBC Big Read #093)
5) Looking for Alaska - John Green
6) The Light Fantastic - Terry Pratchett
7) Traitors of the Tower - Alison Weir
8) Jack and Jill - Lucy Cavendish
9) Stone Cold - Robert Swindells
10) Equal Rites - Terry Pratchett

As you can see, I started reading the Discworld novels this month. 3 down, 30-odd to go.
I also cemented my love of John Green. What started with Paper Towns now has me deperate for more of his works. Looking for Alaska was brilliant! I read a couple of non-fiction books - Anonyponymous was about the forgotten origins of the names of things apparently named after people. Traitors of the Tower was about historical figures in British hisotry who were locked up in the Tower of London.
That books, along with Jack and Jill, were part of the quick reads collection so were quite short. I also read Stone Cold (for TeachFirst - it's a novel often studyied in secondary schools) and Rebecca and The Princess Diaries is in the BBC Top 100, I believe.
Awesome month, it was. Next month will be too - it's the final push for 120 books. I can totally do it.

NaNoWriMo - Day 05

So, I started NaNo on Tuesday (Nov 1st, day 1) just as I had to move out for a few days. Lady from Finland came to stay at our house before taking the puppy she was buying from us, home. My room was offered. So I stayed at my fiance's for a while. I didn't really get much writing donw because although his laptop is awesome, I got far to distracted to write properly. That and I was exhausted after work as I had pretty full shifts those few days.

I promised myself I'd catch up and and ahead today, since this is my first day off. I wanted to reach 10,000 words (or more specifically 10,002 wrds) so i could be exactly 1 day ahead of target.
I've just caught up to Day 4's word goal. Right now (8pm UK time, 5th Oct) I am at 6670 words.

6670 / 50000 words. 13% done!

I'm hoping to be able to update this later and say I hit at least today's target of 8335. Finger's crossed.

I go by RachelCabbit on the NaNoWriMo website, so feel free to add me as a buddy if you are also NaNo-ing :D

EDIT: So my internet go switched off at midnight by my Dad. Before then though I managed to reach yesterday's word goal and actually go a little over it :D Then I got a head start on Day 6 by writing for an extra half hour before going to bed (which will come in handy because I'm at work all day...) Yay!

8788 / 50000 words. 18% done!

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