Read-a-Thon One Last Look


Alright for you purists out there you may not want to read this post because I actually didn’t read the full 24 hours.  I became very tired and got the starts of a headache so I decided it was best, for my health, to make my way to bed.  I must say that I think it was a great decision, I really needed that rest.  But I must also say that I still feel tired as I think about it.

There is a meme on the Dewey’s Read-a-Thon site that I feel compelled to answer the questions.  

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?  
Well, I would have to say 1pm when I finally made my way to bed.  I just was too tired, if I would have gone to bed earlier the night before and didn’t have to get up early to work I probably would have made it longer.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
I really don’t feel comfortable answering this.  There are books that I’ve taken recommendations and wondered afterwards why anyone would recommend such a book.  So I’d just say pick something light and short, make that a lot of short books that are light.  Have a few that are different to keep your interest throughout the day.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
I really don’t know, if you’re looking for a short answer. If you’re looking for a longer one I think what I’d like to do is organize a local read-a-thon and have a group of people read together at the time. I enjoy reading with others around and if we’re together we could encourage each other to get through the day. And we could pass books back and fourth that we enjoy.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
I think it was great to have several books sitting in front of me. They were all very different from each other which allowed me to read what I felt like when it was time to select a different book.

5. How many books did you read?
I got two and a bit read.

6. What were the names of the books you read?
I finished two books:
The Man Who Forgot How to Read by Howard Engel
La’s Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith
I also got a few books started:
A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
Bartholomew Fair by Ben Jonson

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
I really enjoyed Bartholomew Fair and La’s Orchestra Saves the World.

8. Which did you enjoy least?
I really couldn’t stand Howard Engel’s book. I finished it right away because I thought if I put it down there would no way I’d pick it up again and finish it at another time. It was reading it for the CBC Book Club.

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
I was not a Cheerleader but I think next time I would like to take the opportunity to be a Cheerleader for next year. I also want to take this time to thank all the Cheerleaders that came by to encourage me while I was reading. I truly appreciated all that you did. Three cheers for the Cheerleaders!
Hip hip Hurray!
Hip hip Hurray!
Hip hip Hurray!

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I would be inclined to participate in the read-a-thon again. I’d be a reader and I would also take the time to be a Cheerleader for an hour or two.

This was the first time I participated in the read-a-thon and I must say I had a lot of fun. Hopefully next time I won’t have to work that day and can spend the whole time reading. And I’ll also go to bed earlier the night before and hopefully make it through the full 24 hours. Thanks for a great time everyone!


Read-a-Thon Mid-event Survey


Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now?

2. How many books have you read so far?

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

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

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?

9. Are you getting tired yet?

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?


  1. I’m currently taking a break from La’s Orchestra Saves the World as it’s heavier reading then anything else I’ve read by Alexander McCall Smith.  Rather than reading part of another book I’m going to a short story from A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami.
  2. At this point I’ve read one and half books.  I would have had much more read if work didn’t get in the way this morning.  Ugh those were 4 very long hours.
  3. I’m looking forward to finishing La’s Orchestra and getting more of Fool by Christopher Moore read.
  4. The only thing I would have had to change would be my work schedule.  But given that I’m going to having several doctors appointments in the months to come (I’ve got a sinus infection that’s not going away and it’s causing some terrible migraines) I didn’t think it would be wise to take another day off work.
  5. I had to migrate to another part of the house for a bit because my roommates decided to watch TV where I sitting and reading.  Aside from that no interruptions.  But I’m thinking I want to hit Dairy Queen up for a blizzard before I dive back into reading for the second half.
  6. I generally have a short attention span (I’ve taken several ADD/ADHD tests online and they all tell me I should talk to a doctor about it) so I’m surprised that I’ve been focused the whole time.  Makes for more reading being completed.
  7. This is my first time doing the Read-a-Thon and it seems to be great so far.  I’m not sure what would be better for next time. 
  8. I think next time I’m find several collections of short stories.  I think this will give a great sense of accomplishment, which should in turn give more motivation.  And I don’t usually read short stories so it would be a different take on the whole project all together.
  9. NO!!!!!!
  10. I think I just picked some really great books which help to motivate.  Not really what else could be done.  It’s just difficult to give suggestions as a first timer.  I don’t know what’s normal and what isn’t.  

Before I go I must say I’m enjoying the comments that have been left here.  They are great motivation!  Thanks everyone!  


Keep Reading!

BBC Books Meme

So, here is a meme that is floating around on Facebook and I thought it would be more appropriate to post it here. Rather than tagging anyone to do this if you’re interested feel free to take part and post your link in the comments to we can take a look at your list.

Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.

a. Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read.
b. Add a ‘+’ to the ones you LOVE.
c. Star ‘ * ‘ those you plan on reading.
d. Tally your total at the bottom.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen x
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien x
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling x
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee x +
6 The Bible x
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte x
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell x +
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens x +

Total so far: 8

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott x
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller x
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare x +
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien x
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger x
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger *
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot *

Total so far: 13

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell x
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens *
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams x +
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky *
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck x
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll x
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame x

Total so far: 18

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy *
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens x
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis x
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis x
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini x
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne x

Total so far: 23

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell x +
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown x
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez *
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving x
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery x
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding x
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan

Total so far: 28

51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel x
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens x
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon x +
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez *

Total so far: 31

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck x +
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov x
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold x
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac *
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville *

Total so far: 34

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens x
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker x
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett x
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath *
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt

Total so far: 37

81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens x
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker x
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry x
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White x
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom x
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle x
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

Total so far: 43

91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad x
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery *
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams x
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole x
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas x
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare x +
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl x
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo x

Total: 50

I’ve Been Tagged Again! – Blogging Tips Meme

Melody from Melody’s Reading Corner has tagged me to do the Blogging Tips Meme.  I don’t typically talk about anything non-book related on here but I thought this might be of some interest to anyone that comes here as most visitors have their own blog.  The more information we can get about blogs and blogging can be helpful.  On the flip side of this I really don’t know much about blogging or points of interest for anyone that does blogging or is looking for some pointers.  I’ll try as best as I can to give a few points about blogging, and I’ll use this as a platform to discuss what I’ve learned since I started blogging.

  1. Selecting a Host: This is one mistake that I made when I started this blogging exercise.  I was really excited to get into the whole blog thing that I didn’t do my research before starting.  There are so many different blog hosts out there on the internet that it can be very overwhelming when it comes down to selecting the host that works best for you.  I started at one site but it just wasn’t able to do all that I wanted it to so I switched to wordpress.  I’m so glad that I did because I can do so much more here than I was able to do at my old site.
  2. Respond to Comments: There are few things that irritate me more than leaving a comment on a persons blog and not getting a response.  It doesn’t matter how you respond to you a comment, and in fact there are a few ways you can, just please respond.  You can respond via email or leave a comment within the comment section.  Whichever you chose to do be consistent with what you do and let your readers know how you will respond to comments (probably in your about section).  When I leave a comment I always go back to the post to see if there has been a response and if they don’t it tends to take a longer than usual time before I’ll leave a comment again.  I used to not comment on my blog and I felt that I was losing contact with my readers.  It doesn’t take long to post a response and it’s just courteous to reply to those people that take the time to respond to your post.
  3. Why Post like That?: I don’t understand why some people take the time to post that they are behind on their blogging rather than post one of the many blog ideas you have stored in your memory bank.  It doesn’t make sense to me to do that when you have other things, that are probably of greater interest than telling us you are behind.
  4. Keep it Personal: I find the most interesting posts are the ones that the writer reveals something about themselves.  It’s important to keep the blog specific but if you relate something personal within the post I find it a better read.

I’m not going to tag anyone, rather I’ll leave it up to anyone that reads this to post their own tips if they feel so inclined.  It doesn’t hurt to know more about how you can go about improving your blog.  I’ll thank everyone in advance for posting their tips.  And if you do posts some tips please leave your link in the comments section.

I’m It! Six Random Things About Myself

Alright this is my first meme and therefor the first time I’ve ever been tagged to do one…at least that I’m aware of. Chartoose is who tagged me over at Bloody Hell, It’s a Book Barrage! This is a new site I came across this week, I think I found it via Weekly Geeks. I don’t know how long chartroose has been out skulking around on That’s the Book! but I’ve been tagged anyway. So without further adieu here are six random things about me:

  1. Since this is a book blog I think my first little tid bit will be about books. The first novel I read was The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. I don’t exactly remember when I picked up this book but once I did it didn’t take me long to devour it. If I had to guess when I read this I would say it mid to late elementary school. Tolkien created such a wonderful world it wasn’t difficult to fall in love with it. Once I got to University a course was being offered my final year that I just could pass up – Tolkien and medieval Literature, what book fiend wouldn’t jump at a chance to take this course?
  2. I have been plagued since middle school with nickname Gumby! Now the story is quite embarrassing and is a wonderful demonstration of my sporting prowess. I was playing intramural volleyball at lunch time. I don’t recall why the guy was packed that particular, it may have been finals and everyone came to watch, but that wouldn’t explain why I was playing. Anyway, I noticed the ball come hurtling toward me and I bumped the ball. After giving it a good whack I was quite proud of myself, and thought it was going to be launched over the next only to be volleyed back to me so I could miss on the second go around. Alas, that is not what happened. I did bump the ball and sent it hurtling through the door! Now, this may not seem all that bizarre except for the fact that the door was directly BEHIND me! Once the ball made it out the door someone in the stands yelled out, “Way to go Gumby!” And that name has been with me since. I’m sure there are still people I went to school with that have no clue what my real name is.
  3. I’m also a huge fan, a little scary at times, of theatre. In particular I love musical theatre. I don’t know why this is because my parents never took me to shows while I grew up, the only thing we did see as a family was “Anne of Green Gables the Musical” in PEI on our trip there. But I did get to see a lot of theatre through school. I grew up in Stratford Ontario home of the Stratford Shakespearian Festival and was introduced to the Bard in grade 5 (I think). Every year, until High school, my class would study a play by Bill that was being produced at the Festival and after studying it we would attend a performance. It was a wonderful experience and I have always loved the theatre. I did a lot of theatre in High School and some in University and have been involved in a lot of community theatre. Once it gets in your blood I think it’s there to stay.
  4. My hero is Stephen Lewis. I wrote a lengthy post on him at my old host site. Rather than going on here is a link to the old post. I personal think it’s the best post I wrote to date.
  5. I’ll reserve these last two points for my two dreams. The first is to travel extensively in Africa. I really don’t know what it is about that continent but I really want to travel there, specifically the northern countries. I want to go to Rwanda, Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia. I’ve been drawn to this area even more, and I didn’t think that was possible, since I read What is the What by Dave Eggers. I loved that book and I’ve picked up a few more books recently about the dark continent that I’m really looking forward to; The Key to My Neighbor’s House: Seeking Justice in Bosnia and Rwanda by Elizabeth Neuffer and A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah (which I’m reading for the Orbis Terrarum Challenge).
  6. I want to own and operate an independently owned new and used bookstore. I’d like for it to be a place that feels like home. A place to get a cup of tea or glass of wine and find your favorite book. A cozy place to do your book hunting and relax, a place to get away from everyday.

There are six random things about me! So I guess now I have to select six other people to do this as well. So, here you go:

  1. Trish from Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?
  2. Susan from Naked Without Books
  3. Amber from Our Little Brown Blog
  4. Matt from same as above
  5. John from The Book Mine Set
  6. Melody from Melody’s Reading Corner

Here are the rules:

  • Link to the person that tagged you (hello, it’s me)
  • Post the rules somewhere in your meme
  • Write the six random things
  • Tag six people in your post
  • Let the tagees know they’ve been chosen by leaving a comment on their blog
  • Let the tagger (hello, it’s me) know your entry is posted