Sunday, April 28, 2013

Read-a-thon Home Stretch

Less than four hours to go and I'm starting to fade - time for an energy drink. Reading Lionheart now, but interspersing it with some Fitzgerald stories. My page count isn't going to be as high as I'd like, but I made some good headway today. Looking forward to sleeping, though!

Hour 22 Mini-Challenge: If It Were a Movie:

I'm reading Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman right now, which would be a fun movie to cast. I know she imagined Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson as Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, but that casting would work better for Time and Chance - I'm thinking maybe Helen Mirren as an older Eleanor of Aquitaine. I'm having a hard time thinking of anybody except a young Anthony Hopkins as Richard, but I could imagine Dan Stevens as Coeur de Lion, at least in terms of looking the part. And Benedict Cumberbatch wouldn't necessarily look the part, but he'd make a great John. Matthew Macfadyen perhaps as William Marshall, Laurence Fox as Philip of France. And Peter Jackson to direct, since he could start with When Christ and All His Saints Slept and have enough material for a dozen movies... He'd probably have Howard Shore compose the score, but I'd like Patrick Doyle or perhaps Murray Gold, with a scattering of Holst.


  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
    Hour 21- I dozed a bit around 2am and then caught a bit of a second wind, or at least enough of one to be able to concentrate on reading again.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
    I enjoyed re-reading some of F. Scott Fitzgerald's short stories. They were nice palate cleansers in between longer reads.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
    I think everything about it is a great event!
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
    There was a good mix of mini-challenges from quick answers to ones that took a little more thought.
  5. How many books did you read?
    I read two, finished two that had been previously started and got part-way through another two.
  6. What were the names of the books you read?
    The Magnificent Century by Thomas Costain (the final 234 pages)
    What's a Golfer to Do? (240 pages)
    Wine for Dummies (388 pages)
    Friends, Lovers, Chocolate by Alexander McCall Smith (the final 130 pages)
    Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman (the first 160 pages)
    Several short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald (135 pages)
  7. Which book did you enjoy most?
    I'm really enjoying Lionheart so far.
  8. Which did you enjoy least?
    I've actually really enjoyed all the books this time round, in different ways.
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
    The October Read-a-thon is challenging for me, as my weekends aren't free in October, but I'll do as much as I can.
And now to bed!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Read-a-Thon Hours 17-20

I've finished Wine for Dummies and Friends, Lovers, Chocolate now, so it's time to start a new book. I'm not sure if I want to commit myself to Lionheart this late in the game; maybe I'll give Telegraph Avenue another chance. I tried to read it last Read-a-thon, but started even later than this and didn't get far.

I'm not feeling too tired yet, but then I rarely fall asleep before 1am, so I'm a couple of hours away from normal sleep patterns.

Back to the books!

Read-a-Thon Hours 13-16

I finished What's a Golfer to Do and will finish Dummies for Wine next, but since I only loaded half of "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz" on my iPhone, I pulled out a collection of Fitzgerald short stories and I'll stagger through through the rest of the read-a-thon.

Hour 14 Mini-Challenge: Share a Quote
Pulling out the Fitzgerald also lets me share one of my favourite endings. I'm a big fan of endings (hence the title of my blog) and I'm particularly fond of the ending to "The Offshore Pirate":

"What was in the bags?" she asked softly
"Florida mud," he answered. "That was one of the two true thinbgs I told you."
"Perhaps I can guess the other one," she said; and reach up on her tiptoes she kissed him softly in the illustration.

Hour 15 Mini-Challenge: Casting Couch
I like this one! I'm always casting stories I read.

Story: The Diamond as Big as the Ritz by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Character: John T. Unger of Hades, Mississippi
Actor: Time capsule choice - Robert Sean Leonard.
Why?: RSL - He read the audiobook, so he naturally came to mind, but I think he would have been perfect in his Dead Poets Society/Swing Kids days. He had that blend of sensitive elgance I imagine in Fitzgerald heroes. I tried to think of someone a little more age-appropriate in 2013, but couldn't think of anybody except maybe Nicholas Hoult.

Read-a-Thon Hours 9-12

I'm heading off to the soccer game in half an hour, but I have "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz" on my iPhone and some podfics that will take up about half of the time I'll be away. I'll read on the bus and listen at the game, so that I can watch the field.

I've been reading What's a Golfer to Do? with golf on in the background in the hopes that I'll get reinforcement while I read...

Back home now with about an hour and a half of audio achieved. Unfortunately I only loaded half of Diamond on my iPhone, so I'll have to read the rest.

HOUR 12 Mid-Event Survey:

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?
I'm quite energized, having walked a ways from the bus stop.

2) What have you finished reading?
I've finished one book and am most of the ways through two more.

3) What is your favorite read so far?
So far it's been listening to "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz" - FSKF and RSL FTW :)

4) What about your favorite snacks?
I just picked up some sticky rice, sunomono and gyoza, so am looking forward to that in a bit.

5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love!
I'm going to finish my books in progress and then do some surfing!

Dewey's Read-a-thon Hours 5-8

Six and a half hours in and I'm about 1/3 of the way through my second book. I'll read the next part and then

Hour Seven Mini-Challenge: Best and Worst Covers

I chose Friends, Lovers, Chocolate as I thought it would be the best bet for having different covers (not a lot of cover variation in the "Dummies" series!).

   book cover: Friends, Lovers, Chocolate 
Cover 2 is the edition I have, which is middle-of-the-road for me. Cover 1 is the version I liked the least, as it felt more like a travel book to me - there are better variations of the theme in other covers. Call me boring, but I actually like Cover 3 the best - simple, with a bit of tartan at the bottom for Edinburgh and a suggested image.

Dewey's Read-A-Thon Hours 1-4

And we're off! I have my books on the table, a few snacks to energize me and I'm ready to read.

Introductory Questionnaire:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Vancouver, BC, Canada

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman, even though I'm not a big Richard I fan.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Breaking the diet! Sour cream and onion potato chips.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
This is my fourth read-a-thon. I'm an arts administrator and marketing contractor, a player of field hockey, golf, and trumpet, and I love to read.

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?
I'll be able to put a little more time to the read-a-thon this time round - I hope to read for at least 20 hours. I do have to go to the Whitecaps game this afternoon, so this year I'll also try listening to an audiobook while I'm out of the house.

Hour 3 Mini-Challenge: Book Appetit!
I'm reading Wine for Dummies at some point, so I'm imagining a tasting menu based on wines in my "cellar" and books in today's queue:

Majella Sparkling Shiraz - a selection of fruit - pears, apples, cherries - that might have been available during the time of Lionheart (Sharon Kay Penman)

Gray Monk Gewurztraminer - a good Okanagan wine, also home to some of BC's best golf courses (What's a Golfer To Do? Golf Digest and Ron Kaspriske). Nachos shared with my virtual foursome.

Main Course:
Ravenswood Zinfandel - roast pork (or better yet, boar) in honour of The Magnificent Century by Thomas Costain

Graham's Late Bottled Vintage Port - chocolate of course, since I'm reading Friends, Lovers, Chocolate by Alexander McCall Smith

Hour 4 Mini-Challenge: Re-Title Your Current Read
I just finished The Magnificent Century by Thomas Costain (311 pages - 74 already read - 237). Given the subject, I'd retitle it A Parcel of Rogues, Warriors and Visionaries.

Next up is Wine for Dummies...

Monday, April 8, 2013

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-A-Thon - April 2013

I only ever seem to use this blog for the read-a-thon, so perhaps my goal for 2013 will be to become more active. Until then, I will be participating in the April event. I was supposed to be out of town, but my plans fell through (twice), so reading it shall be!

Half the fun for me is in the planning, so I'll be going through my bookshelves looking for a good mix of engaging fiction and non-fiction.

So far on the shortlist is:

Thomas Costain - The Magnificent Century (I'm part-way through, so I'll start off by finishing it)
Sharon Kay Penman - Lionheart (since I'm on a Plantagenet kick)
Wine for Dummies - I'll get some work done and feel productive
Neil Oliver - A History of Ancient Britain (though I might be getting a bit too history heavy)
Alexander McCall Smith - Friends, Lovers, Chocolate (in progress)

I also need to download an audiobook if I go to the Whitecaps game - something three hours long will cover me! I was going to give my ticket away, but I think getting some fresh air in the afternoon will be good.