Jun 6, 2008

Read-a-thon meme and a few giveaways

Even though I won't be able to participate as a reader in the upcoming 24 hour Read-a-thon, I realized that I would be able to participate as a cheerleader, so I'm doing just that. Darcie, who is organizing the cheerleaders (and even made a Cheerleaders Blog), tagged me for this Read-a-Thon meme:

If I had 24 hours to read, be my goals would be… To read as much as I could, of course, but also to keep in mind that the read-a-thon is supposed to be fun, and thus not pressure myself to continue if I felt I had reached my limit. I think that if I were participating I would treat myself to a few books I really want to read but haven't yet for some reason or other. That would give me extra motivation to read, read and read!

This is what I am going to have to do to get 24 hours of reading… Well, what I'd do would be enlist someone in my family to attend to the needs of the cats and dogs for 24 hours. (This is usually my job - the cats in particular always come to me for attention. It could be because I spoil them more than anyone.) That would help to minimize distractions. Also, I'd make sure there was lots of coffee and snacks around.

If someone asked me for recommendations of “can’t put down” books for the read-a-thon, I would recommend:
As several others have mentioned, short books probably work better, because they give you a feeling of accomplishment. Here are a few that are both short and very, very gripping:
  • Truckers, Diggers and Wings by Terry Pratchett (Together they form The Bromeliad trilogy which is available in a single volume, but also as separate books, all of which are less than 200 pages long. They are brilliant. And hilarious. I finished this trilogy earlier this week and it might very well be my favourite read of the year so far)

  • Big Fish and The Watermelon King by Daniel Wallace

  • I Was a Rat! by Philip Pullman

  • Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman

  • Black Maria, Dogsbody, Howl's Moving Castle or The Ogre Downstairs by Diana Wynne Jones

  • Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland (I read it in a single sitting and I don't do that very often)

  • The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman

  • Voice of Our Shadow by Jonathan Carroll

  • Pretty much anything by Roald Dahl
If you participated in the October 2007 read-a-thon:
For you, what was your favorite part of the October read-a-thon and why?
How many hours/ books/ pages were you able to read in the Read-a-thon?
I didn't sign up either as a reader or as a cheerleader because I wasn't going to be home that day, but when I arrived in the evening I sort of became an unofficial cheerleader. As an observer, my favourite part was realizing how much fun everyone was having. There is something about seeing people celebrate their love of books in such an original way that is just beyond awesome. Also, even as an outside observer I could feel the huge sense of community the read-a-thon generated. Even I got to feel this kinship with other book bloggers, so I imagine that the participants felt it even more intensely. So if you participate, you're pretty much guaranted to meet some cool new people.

That's it. I hope you all consider participating, at least as cheerleaders. Keep in mind that as a cheerleader you won't be required to stay up for the whole 24 hours. All you have to do is find at least an hour here and there to go visit participants and leave them encouraging comments. You can also host a mini-challenge (check Darcie's blog for more details). Believe me, it will be fun.

And now a bunch of giveaways! First, Valentina is celebrating one year of blogging by giving away a copy of whichever book you want among those she has reviewed to three lucky winners. To wish her a happy blogiversary and to be entered, leave her a comment here.

Secondly, Dewey is giving away a copy of We Are On Our Own by Miriam Katin. To find out what you have to do to be entered, go here. One of the things is spread the word about the Graphics Novel Challenge, which is what I'm going to do just now. The challenge lasts for all of 2008, and even though it's already June you can still sign up. If you do so now, you'll only be required to read 3 books instead of 6.

When Dewey first announced the challenge, I wrote an overly enthusiastic post that includes some recommendations. Like Dewey, I love comics and graphic novels, and it always saddens me to see people dismiss them as irrelevant or frivolous. I also know that some people don't dismiss them or look down on them, but they think they are just not their thing.

But a common misconception about comics is that they are a genre. They are not - they're a medium. To speak of comics and graphic novels as a genre is the same as to speak of movies or TV series or whatever as a genre. As a medium, they encompass all sorts of things, from superhero stories to fantasy, horror, science fiction, non-fiction, memoir, coming of age stories, true crime, holocaust literature, world literature, you name it. So I can say for sure that there is a comic out there that each and every one of you would love. You just have to find it.

Also, they are quick reads. So even if you're overchallenged you could still join and be done with it in no time.

Finally, Strange Horizons, one of my favourite websites, is asking for donations. If you're not familiar with Strange Horizons, they are a weekly online magazine that publishes speculative fiction stories by established and emerging writers, book reviews, art, columns, etc. Their are staffed by volunteers but pay professional rates to their writers and artists, so they really need your support. You can help by either donating or by spreading the word about the Fund Drive. If you do so, you'll be entered to win a set of three Datlow/Windling fairy tale anthologies. How awesome is that?


  1. The read-a-thon looks to be great fun - if the stars align just right, I'll join you as a cheerleader (I should have my schedule sorted sometime next week)

  2. you won a OT giveaway book...check the blog!!

  3. The read-a-thon looks fun but I am just too busy sadly to be able to join in in any capacity at the moment which sucks. I hope everyone participating or cheerleading has a great time. There are a few books you recommended that I am looking forward to reading this year anyway. Oh and yay for Roald Dahl, his books rock!

  4. I really, really, really wish you could read! Hmmm...that doesn't sound quite right, does it? I mean in the Read-a-thon, but I'm sure you knew that. I most definitely can understand why you can't...read-a-thon + final in a less than 48 hour period...not a good idea. I'm so glad you're going to be a cheerleader though! It was really fun meeting new people last time, but to perfectly honest, the people who kept me going the best were "old friends" like you and Chris. Hopefully Dewey will host again in the fall (though bless her sweet heart, I don't know how she does it all) and you can read then!

  5. By the way, thanks for the recommendations! I think I could probably get my hands on at least of few of those. Yeah, who am I kidding...as slow as I read I really only need a couple books. So why do I have a pile of seven books set aside already? And keep looking for more? I guess a girl's got to have options, huh?

  6. I love what you said about graphic novels and comics being a medium instead of a genre! I am adopting that philosophy for my own. I definitely agree, because if someone says they've never read a graphic novel, if I ask them what genre they normally like, I can find them a graphic novel they'll love. Just today I saw someone new join the challenge and say she wasn't sure what to read. So I look at her category cloud and recommended a few things based on what she normally reads.

    Too bad about the timing and your final! I hope that cheerleading will make for good study breaks, but without too much procrastination. :)

    (Oh and Debi, at this point, I do plan to do a fall one, and from then on, I'm thinking of doing it regularly every October and April.)

  7. OMG! You won the pecans thsi week! I'm currently posting about it and wanted to let you know. Please e-mail me with your address and I'll get the khans in the mail ASAP. :D


  8. If I did something like the 24 Read-a-thon, I'd probably have to read while feeding the dog and cat. LOL My husband probably wouldn't remember. And the dog only comes to me when he wants out. I don't know why exactly. I think we inadvertently trained him that way.

  9. The Read-a-thon sounds fun!!! Unfortunately I don't think I'm able to participate... but I'd like to wish everyone who participated happy reading and to have a GREAT time! :)

  10. Ken, I hope you can make it!

    Bethany: yay!

    Rhinoa: It's too bad you can't make it this time, but Dewey said there'll be another one in October, so maybe then?

    Debi: lol! I know what you meant, yes :P I know Annie has Dogsbody so you can always steal her copy! And yes, for something like this you definitely should have lots of books to pick from. You don't want to be stuck with something you can't get into!

    Dewey: The Read-a-thon will start at 5pm my time, and by then I am normally done with my studying for the day anyway...I can never focus properly in the evening. So don't worry, I don't let you all be a bad influence on me :P and yay for another read-a-thon in October! I should be able to make it as a reader then.

    Maggie: yay! Thanks so much! It must be my lucky day :o

    Literary Feline: lol, I know... same with my cats. It's not really their fault, I reinforce them whenever they come to me :P

    Melody: It's too bad you can't make it. But yes, it will be fun for sure. I wish I could be a reader!

    Terri B: I'm glad you think so :)

  11. Thanks for the clarification, Nymeth, that graphic novels is a medium....I was also classifying it as a genre in my mind.

  12. Great recs for read-a-thon books! I've had Big Fish on the pile for a while now, so I think I'll add that one to my projected pile o'books.

  13. Rebecca: It's only natural that you did...even in magazines and such I often see them referred to as a genre. The problem is that it gives readers the idea that all graphic novels have the same feel and deal with the same themes, when in fact there are as many kinds of graphic novels as there are of unillustrated novels.

    Andi: I'm glad you're participating. It will be a pleasure to cheer you on :) I hope you enjoy Big Fish!

  14. I'd really like to do the 24 hour challenge, but I'm a little (lot) intimidated. I think I might try a partial read-a-thon and see how it goes. Have a great time! And you spoil your pets...I don't believe it for a second. ;) Just kidding!

  15. Oh, that looks like a great list! I have never heard of most of them. I saw Big Fish the movie, is the movie based on the book? wow...I guess I need to head back over to the lib for some goodies!!! thanks for sharing that! and your meme was really fun to read too.
    I am excited you are a cheerleader...it will be fun stuff!

  16. Trish: lol :P I bet a partial Read-a-thon would be fun too. It doesn't matter how long as you stay up for as long as you're having fun.

    Bethany: Yes, Big Fish is based on the book. They are quite different, actually, but I love them both. And yes, it will be fun! I'm looking forward to saturday.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.