Sunday, October 23, 2016

Read-a-Thon Wrap-Up for Oct. 2016

The official questions:

Which hour was most daunting for you?
I faded around hour 17 (9 pm my time), but a change in venue and a lighter book gave me what turned out to be my final second wind.  I called it a night at hour 21, going to bed at 1 am.

Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
I enjoyed my novels more than my "break" books, which surprised me.  Switching from rather heavy YA to a lighter MG novel (One Came Home) also helped me keep going.  Maggot Moon's short chapters made it a pretty easy read for the latter part of the event.  

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season?
Nope.  I love it. I just wish I could afford (in terms of both money, time, and obligations) to make it the center of a three day weekend at the beach by myself, or with only reader friends.  But I guess that's not really YOUR responsibility to make that happen.

What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
I really like how much we can personalize it.  Want to read the entire time and come back later to write it up?  Fine.  Want to participate in every challenge, engage actively on social media, and host hours?  Fine.  Able to take the whole day to just engage in read-a-thon?  Fine.  Need to fit it around other activities, just coming back to reading in bits and pieces as time allows?  Fine.  

How many books did you read?
I read eight books: four novels, 2 graphic novels, and two children's novels in verse. 

What were the names of the books you read?
Books I Completed
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  • 12 Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali by Charles R. Smith, Jr.
  • More Happy than Not by Adam Silvera
  • Thor: Goddess of Thunder vol. 1 by Jason Aaron
  • Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse by Tamera Will Wissinger
  • Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
  • One Came Home by Amy Timberlake
  • Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash

Which book did you enjoy most?
More Happy than Not.  

Which did you enjoy least?
Gone Fishing

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
100% likely.  I'm not quite ready to take on official work, but I will work harder to recruit friends and even students next time.  I had several people say, "What?  Tell me more!" in response to random FB posts I shared.  

Falconer's Reflections and Additional Stats

Snack, hour six (11 am)

Coffee with whipped cream after finishing two books
  • Counting the 66 pages of I'll Give You The Sun I read before admitting I needed to call it a night, I read a total of 1,693 pages.  Counting only the novels, that would be 1,116 pages.  
  • I read during 18 of the 24 hours, slept during five, and did household chores, updated the blog, and fixed food during the remaining hour.  That's not to say I read for 60 minutes  during each hour that I read.
  • I drank two and a half cups of coffee, two cups of herbal tea, and one cup of cocoa, as well as maybe three glasses of water.
  • I did the entire thing without chocolate.  Really.  For some reason, when buying my snacks and treats, I got almond cookies and caramels, but not chocolate.  This is very confusing to me.
  • I spent most of my reading time stretched out on my couch.  When I started to fade, I went up to my reading chair (leather recliner) in the bedroom.  When my husband went to bed, I came back downstairs, but the light isn't as good, and I didn't last much longer.
  • My vision was an issue for much of the event, which is completely new.  Words were blurry, and I had to be in daylight or really direct, bright light to read easily.  I made an eye appointment on Friday because I've noticed such a decline in my vision over the past six months, and the RAT confirmed that this is needed.
    The "potential" pile I brought home with me.
  • It was fun focusing on a theme, which was "Books I Ordered Through My Grant But Haven't Read Yet So I Can't Recommend Them To Students Very Convincingly."  (Say THAT five times fast!)  I further prioritized Printz medalists and honorees, and when I was really stuck, I used a random number generator to choose the next novel.  Each time I did so, I felt like the book I subconsciously wanted to win did so.  But that might just be because I was excited about my entire stack.
    Needed a break by this point, but didn't love either of these.
  • My "light" reads were kind of a bust.  12 Rounds to Glory was good, but I'm not a comic book reader, so Thor was kind of lost on me, and Gone Fishing was much     more juvenile and cutesy that I'd expected.  I liked Honor Girl, but found it hard to figure out who the characters were (something that really bogs me down in some graphic novels) and the complete lack of resolution, even for a memoir, was frustrating.
  • "Award bait" is an intentionally loaded term.  From Oscars to Newberys, there's the idea that only a certain kind of material will be considered by the panel, and that serious & gloomy are the way to go.  All of the YA I read was kind of a downer, with much more difficult endings than you'd find in MG, or, frankly, adult literature.  They are also all highly recommended books.  But are they books teenagers themselves like?  That I'm not 100% sure of.  
  • For this reason, even though I usually grumble about the pat endings of MG novels, I really enjoyed taking a break with One Came Home, although now that I think of it, it's a book with a satisfactory, but not "happy" ending too.  
  • The cover of More Happy Than Not features part of a smiley face, which features in the plot.  But I noticed it also could be seen as a semi-colon, which has become a symbol for moving on from periods of depression or being suicidal.  Now I'm wondering if that's intentional.
  • I'm ridiculously envious of the people that posted pics of their fuzzy companions.  That's really all I was lacking--a cat.  

I'm linking up to the Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer as well, since it's Sunday, and this is definitely a "what I've been reading" kind of post!  



  1. Wow, I really need to do a readathon. It’s cool that you were able to read so much in 24 hours. I understand the eye issues, though. Even with glasses, I have terrible eyesight and occasional blurry vision. Eye drops have helped because I don’t blink enough while I read and get dry eyes.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. You should totally do the next one in April. It was a lot of fun.

  2. Now that's a stack of books. LOL
    sherry @ fundinmental My Sunday Memes

  3. Next time I'm going to have more contact with you during the actual event!

  4. I'm glad you had a good time. I heard from a blogger in Australia that she put together a team. I like that idea. I may put out a call to do that next April.

  5. I remember reading about this on your blog last year and being fascinated. I really wish that I could take a full 24 hours and do nothing but read, but I'm not sure if my family would go for that. Hmmm ... must ponder this further ...

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


Please share your thoughts. Comments are almost as sweet as chocolate!