Oh, what a challenge (The 2010 wrap-up post)

reading_medieval_-_2The challenges of 2010.  The suffering and guilt, the fantastic books and prizes – here’s a wrap-up of the challenges I conquered, and the ones that nearly conquered me!

There was the 100+ Reading Challenge, over at (what once was) J.Kaye’s Book Blog.  I managed to get 71 books read, which was a record for me but still didn’t get me over the bar.  It was also the first year I participated in The Story Siren’s Debut (YA) Author Challenge – for which I read and reviewed 9 out of 12 debut novels. Then there was J.Kaye’s YA Reading Challenge, for which I read a grand total of 37 books.  Pretty impressive given the fact I’d set out to read only 25.

I also took part in two of Literary Escapism’s New Author Mini-Challenges.  These were super fun, as they only lasted a month and I actually managed to complete them!  First there was The League of Reluctant Adults Mini-Challenge (where I discovered Jaye Wells and Richelle Mead), and then there was the Deadline Dames vs. Fangs Fur & Fey Mini-Challenge.

The award for most neglected challenge of 2010 goes to… the Finish that Series Challenge.  To be honest, I just forgot about this one once I’d signed up for it.  You didn’t have to check in monthly, there were hardly any wrap-up posts, and well… I still managed to complete the Mercy Thompson series (although a new book has since been released!).

The only challenge I regret not completing was the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Readalong.  I managed to get half-way through Two Towers before I accidentally abandoned the books.  I truly do plan on finishing this series at some point in my life – just a shame I didn’t manage to do it in 2010!

I also participated in two of Dewey’s 24-hour Read-a-thons.  I didn’t get too many books read, but they were great fun! I really look forward to the September 2011 Readathon.

The 2010 24-hour Readathon!

I had not planned on signing up for a readathon this weekend – but that was because I didn’t know about it!  The last readathon I took part in, I had exams on my plate – but for this 24-hour-readathon I have less to do and more time to devote to reading.  Not to mention my eyes kinda hurt, so no tv for me!

Dewey’s readathon just started (oh, about 2 hours ago), so there is still plenty of time to sign up!

Instead of what I did last time – a new post for every update – I am going to keep the whole readathon to this post.  Mini-challenges, updates – the whole shebang.

So, what’s on my TBR pile for the next 24 hours? 

  • A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin – Yep, I am still reading this.  I don’t actually expect to finish it any time soon either!
  • Dark Life by Kat Falls – I have wanted to read this for SO LONG, I am almost nervous to start!
  • Burned by P.C. and Kristin Cast – Why oh why do I continue to read these books?
  • The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
  • Friday Night Bites by Chloe Neill
  • Stargazer by Claudia Gray
Updates!
Hour 8 – I just finished Stargazer by Claudia Gray.  Bianca is still such a disappointing character… there had just been so much damn potential!  Balthazar!  Vic!  Lucas! Raquel!  Her parents!  Such awesome character, unfortunately narrated by a dud.
I has set me off balance and means I will take a bit of a reading break… not sure what I will start next.Hour 22 – I slept way too long!  Just I managed to nearly finish Dark Life by Kat Falls (has been OMG BRILLIANT).  Still, this was more reading than I’ve been able to do in weeks, so I am a happy bunny!

Mini-Challenges
Hour 1 questions

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? 6

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon? To enjoy myself as much as possible.  If I sit around focussing on deadlines, I will just end up reading for speed – which is never fun!

If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time?  I am not exactly a veteran, but I have participated before.  Don’t go too crazy with the mini-challenges.  They such up every drop of energy and then you end up posting them AFTER the deadline.  If something is going to interrupt your reading flow, just skip it!  Also, stick to YA.  You will get through them faster and feel like you have actually accomplished something.

Hour 2 – Back-in-the-Day Children’s Book Mini-Challenge

Hosted by Miss Wisabus – What were some of your favorite children’s books when you were younger? Do you have any new favorites now that you’re an adult? Have you included any children’s or YA titles in your Read-A-Thon stack this year?

I was a huge fan of the Animorphs series by K.A. Applegate. I started reading them when they came out, and read every single one as it was published – 55 books + extra super-length special books. I was a HUGE fan. Of course, I also read the American Girl books (such a shame about that company being bought up by Matel) and – as a tween/teen – the Harry Potter books consumed my soul. I read the first four about 20 times, and was one of the types that would camp out in front a bookstore to get a copy.  Why am I speaking in past tense?  I still am that type!

Actually, the HP were the only kids books I read as a teen. YA was not big when I was a YA, but I think I am making up for it now! 4 of the books on my Readathon TBR pile are YA!

And with that answered, I am off to buy unhealthy energy drinks and healthy snacks

Hour 5 – Show me the books! Mini-Challenge

Hosted by Crystal @ My Reading Room – Oh, how I do love pictures of my shelves/  And how I love to see pics of other peoples’ shelves – Enjoy!

I’m afraid that, because of my limited shelf space, I only keep TBR books on my shelves.  If I start putting them away, I forget that I own them and never read them.  So let’s look first at my Genre books – YA and UF:

And a few of my non-genre books, which are so rarely appreciated here on DBD.  These are actually my favourite books – nicely shelved together for people to fawn over.  You’ll notice a lot of Ann Patchett and Javier Marias.  They are two of my very favourite authors and I never get a chance to show them love… so here it is!  LOTS OF LOVE. ♥

Hour 6 – Microfiction Mini-challenge

Hosted by Iheartmonster – Fiction in under 100 words. This ended a lot darker than it started out – listening to Alanis Morissette does that to me:

I knew we would meet again. Perhaps introduced at a party, both of us eager to say “What was your name again?” As if we didn’t know.

Did that hurt? Good. Tell your mother I never liked her.

But attending your funeral is something else. People stand crying around your casket, looking at me with distaste when I check my blackberry. I guess can only fake so much.

Oh, by the way, I took the dog we got together to the sermon. He didn’t budge when your name was read. Guess he doesn’t miss you either.

And since I was inspired, here it is in image form:

April 2010 Read-a-thon: The End

Dewey's ReadathonOkay, so this is my final 24 Hour Read-A-Thon update. Guys, it has been absolutely brilliant – and kudos to everyone who managed the whole 24 hours!

Books finished:

  • Strange Angels by Lili St.Crow
  • Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

I really loved both of these books, although maybe not as much as I had hoped to.  Either way, they were perfect reads for this rather exhausting readathon.

Overall, I felt like the readathon was more about posting/blogging/tweeting than it was about reading.  Which was great – there were some brilliant challenges that I was all too eager to participate in – but it also didn’t leave me all that much time for reading.  Alas.  Either way, you can probably expect more at the next October readalthon!

Read-a-thon – Challenge: Bookish Movies

Lydia over at The Lost Entwife has come up with a great challenge for the hour:

Here is your question: Think of your favorite book – has it been made into a movie? If not (and maybe you’ll need to go to your 2nd favorite book and so on), tell me if you’d like to see it made into a movie and pick one character from the book and give me information on which actor you’d love to see cast in the part. Make your post as fun as possible, tell me why you think the movie would be amazing and why the actor/actress you chose would be perfect in the part!

Well, I don’t really have a favourite book in the strictest sense. I do, however, have several contenders for the title. Unsurprisingly, to those of you who frequent DBD, I LOVE the Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong. Seriously. Big, Big Super!Fan.

So, I thought I would cast my two favourite characters from the series:

Dakota Fanning as Chloe Saunders!

She is an amazingly talented actress, and looks slightly too young.  Chloe is described as a rather under-developed, young-looking 15 year old – and I think Dakota has a face that could pull that off even in her late teens.

This shot is from Dakota’s film Push, and she even has the crappy!red-streaks that Chloe has in the books.  FATE.  ♥

Steven Strait as Derek Souza!

Okay, so he isn’t covered in acne.  But neither is Derek towards the end.  He just has that rugged!handsome look, combined with possibly-werewolf-like!earthiness and a not-disturbing!well built body.  And I think Steven could pull off the genius that is Derek.

And just look at those vaguely-emo!eyebrows – you’d follow a guy with those into the woods, wouldn’t you?

*sighs*

Anyhow, that’s my dream cast.  *pets the pretties* Am off to continue reading Perfect Chemistry!

April 2010 Read-a-thon: Update #2: The Half-way Mark

Strange Angels by Lili St. CrowIt is hour 12 of the readathon – which means it is time for a halfway mark survey!  Alas, I have only been able to read for about 5/12 hours, but they have been glorious so far.

What are you reading right now? Still reading Strange Angels by Lili St.Crow (which is awesome and so much sadder than I expected)  Have about 100 pages left till the end.

How many books have you read so far?  Alas, zero.  I did get a fair bit of my course-related non-fiction read though… just not a whole book!

What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?  PERFECT CHEMISTRY BY SIMONE ELKELES!  Whoot!

Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?  I lied and told people I have studying to do.  But isn’t a lie in the name of literature a good this?

Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?  Not so well.  I have given in to telephone calls and dinner invites… everyone thinks they are doing me a favour, taking me away from my work… guess my lie wasn’t the best idea after all!

What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?  How quickly the hours go!  Especially when it comes to challenges.  I made posts for two and then missed the deadline…  *grumbles*
Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?  Please, oh please, post links to the main blog updates on twitter.  *puppy eyes*

What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?  Lots, probably.  Like stacking up on digestive biscuits…. which are surprisingly yummy.

Are you getting tired yet?  Nope!  But I’m a night owl, and had a late start anyways.

Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?  A good soundtrack, people!  Having music on can fill up a room – and seems to stop me from getting distracted by the words on the page.  If you are a skeptic, start with instrumental music first.  A soundtrack you love, maybe?  See how it goes!

April 2010 Read-a-thon Challenge: If the cover fits!

Another great readathon challenge by Trisha over at Eclectic/Eccentric – Finding covers that fit certain words!  This was really enjoyable to put together, and a nice break from reading.  😉

Disturbing The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
This cover just freaks me out.  Even though, yeah, really beautiful work – I don’t think I would be able to sleep well with this book in my house,

Vibrant Knife by R. J. Anderson
This cover is practically electric.  I love it!

Beautiful Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder
These covers are ludicrously stunning, and this one is likely my favourite.  *sighs*

Scary Light Beneath Ferns by Anne Spollen
Even though I really love the image, it is just so ominous.  What is she running from?  What’s behind the mist? It’s getting dark soon… and that can’t be a good thing… *shivers*

Moving The Midnight Twins by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Something about this stunning cover just really pulls at my heartstrings…

I just love cover posts, so this was a brilliant challenge.  Thanks Trisha!

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