Sunday, October 27, 2019

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon Wrap-up

I was coming off of a long week. Parent teacher conferences mean two 13+ hour days in a row, so I was both tired and behind on daily life. So I gave myself permission to just take the read-a-thon as it came.

It came with naps.

Still, the wonderful thing about it is that I give myself permission to not worry about getting anything else done on RAT days. I read as much as I want, whether that's 19 hours (my record) or 10, which is more what I did yesterday.

My completed books:

I started with The List, which is an OBOB book that most of my students wanted to read. I find that fantasy/sci fi is a hard sell for my reluctant readers, because they aren't up to the task of figuring out what the heck is going on, but it's the most popular genre for my enthusiastic readers because, well, spec fic is awesome. I really liked the premise too, which is that in some dystopian future, only 500 words are allowed to be used--except like the very Jonah like character who is apprenticed to a very Giver type character who tracks all the lost words. It obviously covers a lot of the same themes, but the world as we knew it ended not in war, but in environmental catastrophe.

I then read Lab Girl. It's my favorite kind of non-fiction: story mixed with information explained at my level of understanding. Jahren is exactly my age, and it was fascinating to read about her life, which is not at all like mine. It was equally fascinating to learn about plant biology and research scientists. She crams a lot in here, and I get the feeling there is just as much more that she chose not to add. She's definitely smarter than the average bear, what with her scientific discoveries plus her beautiful writing style. Like, pick a side of your brain and stop making the rest of us look bad.

It was after dinner by then, so I picked up a graphic novel I'd gotten at the library recently, Americana (And the Art of Getting Over It). It's a memoir of an Irishman's attempt to walk the Pacific Crest Trail in 2016. I was a PCT book junkie long before Wild was published, so this was right up my alley. It wasn't the most eventful look at life on the trail, and I was a bit disappointed that such a visual medium did not include more scenery, but I'm still glad I read it.

I debated going to bed, then decided to fit in one fast read. My daughter had insisted I take a stack of her books, which are all YA thrillers, for my read-a-thon consideration. I picked up Liar, which is an avowed unreliable narrator story. So unreliable that at the end, I had lots of questions about what was and wasn't true, and even what was and wasn't real. I feel like the author knows, but from the brief amount of digging I did after I finished, there's clearly disagreement among her readers. I'd love to chat about it with someone! I then headed to bed around 1 am, which is hour 20 in my time zone.

I didn't have time to really prep any snacks, but I did stop by Trader Joe's the night before for a few treats. So I ended up eating bread and cheese and desserts all day, which might possibly be part of why I have a headache today. I know the first two 24 hour read-a-thons I did, way back in 2016, my eyes were not yet noticeably aging, but for the past few years, eye strain has become an actual thing for me. Getting glasses helped, of course, and even though I don't NEED large print books to read, I do think that having a large print title was easier on my eyes. It's very frustrating to have a limitation in an area that doesn't exactly seem like it's the kind of high intensity activity one expects to struggle more with as one ages.

Still, I will continue to look forward to this semi-annual excuse to prioritize reading over all else for a solid day and then some.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Dewey's Post: Six Word Spookiness

Andi at Estella's Revenge has challenged the Dewey Read-a-thoners to come up with six word stories appropriate to the season. This is the kind of writing exercise I adore, so here are my several examples.

Some from a kid's point of view:

My raincoat covers up my costume.

Yuck. Another stupid box of raisins.

Some from a teacher's.

November First. Candy wrappers. Tired kids.

Exhausted students on sugar fumes--focus!

Generally scary:

People don't believe in climate change.

Everyone I love will die someday.

Ate all my read-a-thon snacks already.

Halloween style scary.

Home alone. Hear breathing. Not mine.

No bogeyman--killer clown got him.

Mushroom stew, fresh from my yard.

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon Hour One

Good morning! It is 5:00 in the morning and it's Saturday and I'm up! There could only be one reason for such a thing--DEWEY'S 24 HOUR READ-A-THON!!! And I've not been blogging much at all lately, but for this--always. As tradition dictates, we will start off with this survey.

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
I'm in a suburb of Portland, Oregon on the west coast of the United States. It is currently pitch black out, so I can't give you much of a weather report, but yesterday was full of gusting fall leaves.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
All of them? I really like my stack this time. I plan to start with The List, which is a Battle of the Books title I'd never heard of before, but the premise sounds really cool.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
This is also 100% traditional for my read-a-thon enjoyment: my Trader Joe's Fleur de Sal caramels. 

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I'm a middle school reading teacher, and I'm kicking myself for forgetting to tell all my classes I am doing this. They are always so astonished; it's hilarious.

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'm trying to keep my expectations low in terms of how many hours I read. Every once in awhile I actually manage to read most of the night, but given how busy life is, I'm going to allow myself to go to bed at midnight or so.

Gonna go read now!