The Sunday Salon [11.21.10]

The Sunday Salon.com
Just a quick note to say hello this Sunday. I haven’t had a chance to read at all this week (other than a tiny bit of my audiobook while running) and I’m actually not reading anything right now and haven’t had “a book” since last weekend. This is why I will happily be participating in the Thankfully Reading weekend this Thanksgiving.

Thankfully Reading is a very informal readathon.  I’ll be visiting my dad in Boston but I’m hoping to get a few books read while I’m away. I’m trying to travel light so I’m only taking one print book with me (for takeoffs and landings) and I’ll be attempting to get to some of the ebooks  I’ve been saving up.

I hope you hear from me at some point this week (seriously, when is life going to get less crazy again?) but if I do not end up posting anything (and let’s be honest, that’s more likely) I want to wish all of my US readers a wonderful Thanksgiving. Happy Reading!

The Sunday Salon: The Post-Readathon Edition

The Sunday Salon.com

Good morning everyone! Have I mentioned how much I love waking up to open windows and fresh air? Love that we have some cooler nights now.

Congratulations to all the Readathon participants: readers, cheerleaders  (I heart the cheerleaders), and organizers. I hope everyone had a blast as usual.

How did I do? Well, I kind of failed at the readathon this time around. My heart just wasn’t in it. I finished two books, but I could probably do that on any lazy Saturday if I really wanted. I only gave you one update, didn’t participate in any mini-challenges, and didn’t really cheer that much at all. But, as usual, I had still had a lot of fun.

My day went something like this:

  • Start reading at 8am for an hour.
  • Half hour break.
  • Read for an hour.
  • Half hour break.
  • Read off and on until 2pm when I finish Paranormalcy.
  • Go to the grocery store for snacks and dinner.
  • Sit anxiously on the couch awaiting the start of the Michigan game.
  • Attempt to start a new book but unable to really get into it because of the Michigan game.
  • Take an incredibly long break to watch the Michigan game.
  • Grow more and more depressed as my team collapses and eventually loses to it’s second-biggest rival for the third year in a row.
  • Too devastated by first loss of the season to read.
  • Beer.
  • Calm down enough to read a little.
  • Still restless so read in the bath to calm down further.
  • Read the saddest thing ever while taking the bath and end up sobbing uncontrollably.
  • Continue to read while watching a little hockey and baseball.
  • Finally finish Hurt Go Happy around midnight.
  • Put on audiobook while going to bed.
  • Fall asleep in less than 5 minutes.
  • Wake up at 7:53 to congratulate those who did not sleep through 1/3 of the event.

See what I mean? I’m a bit of a Readathon failure. But it’s ok. I went into it expecting to have a more relaxed day than normal. And now I have two library books that I don’t have to return unread.

Today, I am hoping to write some reviews, start Never Let Me Go, get various things done around the house., and maybe catch a movie. As I am well-rested, that should be possible. Any fun post-readathon plans for you?

Readathon Update Number 1

7 1/2 hours in and my first update. I told you this was going to be a lazy Readathon for me.

So far I have finished one book, Paranormalcy by Kiersten White. It was a great Readathon book – paced just right to keep me reading.

I am currently working on my second book of the day, Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby.

But I am taking a pretty decent break right now to watch the Michigan/Michigan State football game. I’ll probably squeeze some reading in there but I’m a little too anxious/excited for this HUGE game to really concentrate. I’ll try to squeeze in some Cheerleading as well.

Happy reading to all participants. And a big thanks to the cheerleaders for leaving wonderful comments.

Happy Readathon

Good morning. I am up bright and early (well…for a Saturday) for Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon. I am taking a laid back approach this time around. I’ll read what I read – no pressure. I’ve had at least 3 absolutely insane weekends in a row and I’m glad for this relaxing one. What does this mean for you? Well, I probably won’t post here every four hours like I generally do. And I’m not sure I’ll track my “stats” as closely either. I just want to read. And maybe get through some library books.

So good luck to all the readers. And cheerleaders. Hope everyone has fun.

The Readathon is Almost Here

October 9, 2010

Last October, I experienced my first 24-hour-readathon. I still felt pretty new to the book blogging world and I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting into. But I had a blast. And met so many awesome people. So I am thrilled that this October’s readthon is on the one Saturday I have no plans this month (although I will be watching the Michigan/Michigan State game in the middle – I assume Emily is with me on this one).

I’ve decided to dedicate next week’s readathon to library books. Because they are quickly taking over my staircase (that’s where they live when the come to say with me) and I would love to actually read a few of them before they must be returned. So my reading list was pretty easy to come up with. These are the books I currently have checked out and I hope to get to 2-3 of them next Saturday.

Knowing me, I’ll probably end up reading the two YA books during he readathon but I’ll see how I feel then.

Have you signed up yet? You really should…

BBAW: Forgotten Treasure – Simon Singh’s Big Bang

Today’s Topic:

Thursday – Forgotten Treasure
Sure we’ve all read about
Freedom and Mockingjay but we likely have a book we wish would get more attention by book bloggers, whether it’s a forgotten classic or under marketed contemporary fiction.  This is your chance to tell the community why they should consider reading this book!

My recent reading life is so blogger-driven that I had a really hard time coming up with a book to feature today. Sure, some books I read are not as well known as some, but none of them seemed appropriate for this. So I’m taking you all the way back to October of 2007 when I was assigned a book for law school (don’t ask how this is law school appropriate) and fell in love.

Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe by Simon Singh tells the history of the big bang theory in a very interesting and easy-to-understand manner. I will admit that I am partial to books about The Universe, but I think anyone with any interest in learning how we got to our understanding of the history of Everything would enjoy this one. I don’t have a science background but I found it very readable. I have at least one more of Singh’s books and I really should get around to reading them.

I hope you check out Big Bang if you have any interest in the subject matter. Please let me know how you like it if you do.

PS – I think this book might be the beginning of my attempt to explain to Ben how when we look far away we are looking back in time. I think he might finally understand it.

BBAW: Look What You Made Me Do

Today’s Topic:

Wednesday—Unexpected Treasure
We invite you to share with us a book or genre you tried due to the influence of another blogger.  What made you cave in to try something new and what was the experience like?

Me (while thinking of how to answer this question): What book did I only read because of a blogger’s recommendation?
Ben: EVERY book you’ve read this year.

He has a fair point (although he said it with some amount of disdain in his voice). Most of my reading is formed by other bloggers. It’s how I know what’s out there and worth reading. As a result, I can’t single out ONE book that I tried because of a blogger’s recommendation. Instead, I am going to discuss two to knew genres and one new series I tried because of bloggers. I never was very good at following directions.

(1) Fantasy

I’ve read some light fantasy and young adult/middle grade fantasy but before this year, I had yet to read a real, adult fantasy novel (wow, “adult fantasy” give you the wrong idea, huh?). My IRL friend and sometimes book blogger, Susan, gave me The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan a few years ago, but it was Heather from Age 30+…A Lifetime of Books who finally convinced me to read it. She picked it as her That’s How I Blog book and I figured that was as good a time as ever to finally sit down and read it.

Well, I tried to sit down and read it and it didn’t work out. Heather’s show came and went and I still hadn’t read it. But I did pick up the audio from the library and even though it took me months (that’s a LONG time to stick with an audiobook) I finally finished it.

What did I think? Um, I didn’t really like it. You can read my full review here. But I am glad that I tried it. That’s part of the fun of reading, right? Figuring out what you like and what you don’t. I’ve gotten very good at picking out books that I’ll like but I still like to push myself a bit.

(2) Graphic Novels

Another genre that I had neglected as a reader was graphic novels. When Nymeth from Things Mean a Lot gushed about Blankets by Craig Thompson, I couldn’t resist. I grabbed it for the spring readathon, devoured it in a couple hours, and decided that graphic novels were my new favorite thing.  I then promptly forgot to read any more of them and still haven’t to this day. But I want to. Because I loved Blankets. You can read my full review here.

(3) Betsy-Tacy

In my Favorite Books of 2009 post, I said that I will remember 2009 as the year I discovered Betsy-Tacy. It was a combination of Emily from Books, the Universe, and Everything and Jen from Bookclub Girl that finally got me to give these books a try. And, while I haven’t read them all yet, I love what I have read. I think part of me doesn’t want to finish it because it’s that good.

So there you have it, three new things I tried because of a blogger. What new books/genres have you tried this year?

BBAW: Interview with Katy from A Few More Pages


Today is what I have heard many people tell me is their favorite part of BBAW – interview swap day. I have the pleasure of bringing you Katy from A Few More Pages (@afewmorepages on Twitter). I already knew Katy a bit from Twitter but I had fun getting to know her better. I hope you all enjoy the interview and you can see Katy interview me over on her blog today. I will turn things over to Katy now.

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1. How did you become a book blogger?

After I started talking a lot about books on my family/kids blog, I decided to start a blog that focused solely on books. Then when I found the Book Blogs Ning, I realized that there was this big community of book bloggers that I could connect with. I started networking, and I never looked back. What started as a hobby to just post my thoughts about books I’ve read became something even better when I started talking to other book bloggers.

2. Where is your favorite place to read?

I love to read just about anywhere, but my favorite place is in my bed. I’ve always loved reading before going to sleep (though that often means I stay up too late reading those books that I just can’t put down).

3. Where is your favorite place to blog?

Hmmm, I don’t really have a lot of choices, so I guess my favorite place to blog is at my desk. Timing is more important than location, though–I like to blog in the morning when hubby is at work and the kids are at school (and preschool) so I can concentrate with no interruptions. 🙂

4. If you could only read one genre for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Historical fiction. I love it. There are so many time periods, locations, and subgenres that I could immerse myself in. Most of my reading lands in that genre already.

5. How do you balance blogging and reading with your work and family life?

Reading is something I’ve always done to relax. Most of the time I would rather read than watch TV. Blogging and work both happen mostly when the kids are sleeping or at school, so when my workload gets heavier the blogging has to slow down. I’ve had to step back from blogging a bit in the last few months because of my job, and although I’m not posting daily right now I’ve tried to focus more on reviews. Once I gave myself permission to not post everyday, it was a lot less stressful and a lot more fun.

6. In your bio, you talk about giving your kids a reading obsession similar to yours. How is that working?

I think it’s coming along nicely! They love books and we read books together throughout the day. We always read before bed. They adore going to the bookstore and the library, and they won’t let us leave without bringing some books home with us.

7. How many book blogs do you regularly read?

Well, I’ve got about 250 blogs in my Google Reader, which I try to go through at least once a week. I haven’t been commenting as much lately as I used to because I’ve been a bit busy (shame on me for lurking!), but I have been reading new posts. I also visit blogs I’m not subscribed to through twitter when I see a tweet that grabs my interest.

8. What is your favorite aspect of blogging?

I love to dialog with other people about books–I don’t have a lot of people in real life to talk books with besides my mom. I love visiting other peoples’ blogs and reading reviews and discussions about books I’ve read or am planning to read. I think one of my favorite blog-related activities is Twitter–I got on Twitter because of my book blog and I love being able to tweet with authors and other book bloggers about books.

9. What kind of reader were you as a child?

I was a serious book nerd when I was a child! When I wasn’t outside playing in the summertime, I had my nose in a book. I loved going to the library and discovering new authors and series. And silent reading time was one of my favorite times of the day in grade school.

10. What is the best book you’ve read this year?

Ah, it’s so hard to pick just one! Just based on how long I kept thinking about it after I had closed the book, I’d have to say The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. But I also couldn’t put down Shanghai Girls by Lisa See, which I just finished reading last week. I have been so lucky to read a lot of really great books this year.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog Michelle! This was really fun!

BBAW: Check Out These Book Bloggers

Book Blogger Appreciation Week is here. Expect posts from me this week on the various discussion topics including my interview of Katy from A Few More Pages tomorrow.

Today’s topic:

Monday—First Treasure
We invite you to share with us about a great new book blog you’ve discovered since BBAW last year!  If you are new to BBAW or book blogging, share with us the very first book blog you discovered.  Tell us why this blog rocks your socks off and why you keep going back for more.

I hope the BBAW organizers don’t mind if I take this one in a little bit of a different direction. Instead of sharing just one book blog, I want to share several. And the reason is that a lot of my original online friends from around the world have (like me) started new book blogs this year (and due to vox.com ‘s recent closing a couple are brand new). While some are more active than others, I like these blogs because of the people behind them who write them and I always look forward to new posts.

In alphabetical order, they are:

I hope you check them out if you haven’t before. There are some really great people behind these blogs.

And now I’m off to check out how everyone else answered this question (I’m assuming you all did a much better job of following directions than I did).

PS – I really hope I didn’t forget anyone. Please forgive me if I did.