Saturday, April 25, 2015

Readathon 2015 Updates and Challenges

Hour Six Update:

Sheesh! This is when I freak out about how fast the day is flying by.

What I’m (we’re) reading now: We are all still reading the same books!

How many pages read since last update: I think I've added another 80 pages or so.

How many pages read total: 200 ish

Books finished since last update: none!

How many minutes/hours read since last update: Many distractions this past sprint, probably only actually read half of the time, an hour and a half maybe.

What we are listening to: changed the Spotify station to Hans Zimmer. A lot of Interstellar is coming through.

What we are eating: broke out the caramel popcorn and the peanut butter m and ms. :)

Distractions: giggling teenagers, crazy cats, beeping phones and etc.

Here's the group reading shot if you missed it on Instagram:

Also, our four seasons books:

And now I'm going to have a shower so I can feel a little more human.


Hour Three Update:

What I’m (we’re) reading now: It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
The teenagers are reading: The Davinci Code, The Winner's Curse, Harry Potter #2 and The Graveyard Book

How many pages read since last update: I've read 120 pages so far! Other pages reported: 50, 75.

How many pages read total: See above!

Books finished since last update: None yet!

How many minutes/hours read since last update: 2 hours

What we are listening to: David Arkenstone station on Spotify

What we are eating: We have just taken a breakfast break... strawberry banana smoothies and muffins.

Distractions: Breakfast... and the arrival of two more teenagers. So that's me, me daughter and three extra kids now! We'll see how this goes!


Happy Readathon! Let the reading begin!

Here, all day long, I'll be updating my (our) reading progress and experiences and fun. Be sure to follow along on my Instagram and Twitter too! (See sidebar for links!)

Each time I update, I'll put the newest bits up top and I'll just add to this post all day. I always start out strong and peter out as the day goes along. I expect tomorrow to be no exception! But maybe I'll update a little more than normal!

Here's my opening get to know you post:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?


2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

You know, I'm not sure! I think a Jenny Han book will be fun. :)

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Peanut butter M and M's.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

Let's see. I have four kids, two still at home. One of them is off to France in a week for study abroad and I'm so nervous! I work at the library in administration doing odd jobs and secretary stuff. I've been blogging for a long time and knew Dewey and her readathon way back when. I remember thinking..."you guys are so CRAZY!!" :)

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've got it pretty much figured it and won't be changing anything up too much. We are expecting a bunch of teenagers to join us today, so I'm looking forward to that. One of them is here already! Arriving a few minutes before the official start time! (which is 6 am here. Crazy!)

I'm off to read! See you back in a few. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Readathon Prep

The biannual Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon is coming up in just two days! I have every intention of participating and reading from 6 am to midnight at least! (However, there's lots of stuff happening in life at the moment so I will have to be flexible as usual!)

My daughter (now 16) has participated with me since she was,  I don't know, probably 10 at least. And she can't wait to do it again! She's even inviting all her friends! If we end with a teenager readathon crowd at this house, you know I'll be taking pictures and sharing!

Anyway, here's the stack of my potentials. I forgot to include our current read along book, Dune, but yes, I will knock of some pages in that during the readathon too! Also, I may dab into some Kindle books, but I have no idea what at this point. So, they are not listed.

Mostly this is some fun fluffy library books that I grabbed the other day, plus a couple that have been kicking around here dying to be read. I'll probably jump into the Jenny Han books (those are the ones on the bottom that are hard to see), just because I know they'll be fun and easy. I wanted so bad to try Saga for the readathon, but when I went to get it from the library, it was already checked out. So it will have to wait.

It's fun to look at the stack and think about reading all of them! But I can pretty much guarantee that I'll make it through only one! Sigh.

As for snacks. All I know is that we need to make caramel popcorn. And I should probably do that today since tomorrow might be already booked. I have no idea what else we'll munch on. Maybe I should buy a frozen pizza. That'll probably do it. M and M's maybe and we'll be good! Keep it simple I say!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Authors... EVER?

The prompt at The Broke and Bookish is to list our favorite authors. Our ALL TIME favorite authors! List them by genre! List 20 of them! Just list them!

Yeah. Right.

Well I'll attempt. But I'm thinking you can guess a few of mine.

Did you guess them?

Top row: Charles Dickens, Kasie West, Neal Shusterman, Laini Taylor
Two center rows: John Green, Brandon Sanderson, Wilkie Collins, Jane Austen
Bottom row: Laura Hillenbrand, Patrick Rothfuss, Elizabeth Gaskell, Melina Marchetta
Center Square: Markus Zusak! :)

All lovely lovely authors. And just SOME of my favorites.

Who are your favorite authors? Do we share some of the same?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Book Review Discussion: Remake by Ilima Todd

Book: Remake by Ilima Todd
Genre: YA Dystopian
For: Fun, Supporting Local Authors
From: I bought this one at Costco

Short Synopsis: The main character, Nine, is trying to figure out if she wants to be a boy or a girl. In this future world, when kids turn 17 they can decide to become whoever they want, including changing their gender and their physical looks. Nine and her friend Theron are about to become remade but she is really stressing about this decision. However,  on the way to the facility, there is an accident, and she is washed ashore to a whole new world. One where people embrace who they are when they are born (and that whole being born thing is fascinating too!) and live in families with parents and siblings. All this is new to Nine and she's not sure she really likes it.

My Response: I really liked this one! Very interesting premise, especially given the hot topics of families and gender in this day and age. And while the author's viewpoints on this topics are pretty obvious, I never felt banged over the head with them. In fact, it's actually quite thought provoking on many levels. What makes a family a family? What makes a person who they are? What are all the different kinds of love? Anyway, I was totally engaged and read the book in only a couple of sittings. Also, it ended well enough that I figured it's a stand alone but I've just found out that it's actually a trilogy. Which makes me quite happy!

Bottom Line: I really enjoyed this fun book and interesting take on yet another dystopian society.

Let's Talk About: your feelings on books that tackle hot topics. Do you like it? Are you interested in what an author has to say about such things through their stories? Or would you rather not think about these sorts of things when you're reading? Do you worry about that fine line between preaching and interesting?  As for me, I think it's really interesting if it's done well.  I enjoyed how this one was done.

Other Reviews:

Like I said, I loved Remake! The world building, the characters, the plot twists, everything. The only thing I disliked was that the book ended. From Minding Spot

A post-overpopulation dystopia, Remake is in many ways quite typical of the genre: our young heroine grows up in relative isolation, unaware of any alternatives to her controlled community, until circumstances force her to consider her place in the world. From Rachel Cotterill Book Reviews

If you like dystopian novels with romance, pick this one up. It's different enough and will immerse you in its story. From Library of Clean Reads

I fully believe this book should beat Hunger Games in every shape and form; no obvious plot holes, better heroine and love story then any dystopian book on the market, and overall a universe that keeps you wanting more. From SweetEnd Book Reviews

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Dune Read Along Starts Now!

Welcome to the Dune Read Along!

It's time to start reading!

Schedule of Events:

Section 1: April 19 - 27 Discussion post by Jenni Elyse on April 27, Twitter chat that same evening at 9 pm MDT.

Section 2: April 28 - May 6 Discussion post here at It's All About Books on May 6, Twitter chat the next evening on May 7 at 9 p.m. MDT

Section 3: May 7 - 16 Discussion post by Kami's Library Thoughts on May 16, Twitter chat the same evening at 9 p.m.

Be sure to follow the #DuneRAL hashtag all throughout the read along. Post your thoughts. Let us know what's going on with your reading experience in real time.

As mentioned on our sign up post, this read along is in conjunction with our IRL book club book for May. We are inviting you to virtually join our book club discussion on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 7:30 pm MDT as Jenni live tweets! 

As with our last read along, we plan to have a movie party to watch the Dune mini-series. The date for that as of this moment is set for May 30 at 6 pm. MDT. Join us IRL if you live nearby, or join us on Twitter if you don't!

Mark, get set, READ!!!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Movie Review: The Theory of Everything

Movie: The Theory of Everything
Genre: Biography
Staring: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones
Rating: PG 13
My Rating: Two thumbs up

We are meant to think this movie is about Stephen Hawking, the brilliant scientist with theories about space who ended up in a wheelchair. And it is, but it's really even more about his wife, Jane.

They meet at college. They fall in love. He is diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease and told he has about two years. She says, I don't care and they get married.
Falling in love.

From there, it's story of how she takes care of him, has his three babies and gives her whole self to his work. Many many years go by.

And I thought this would be the whole story. But that's not how it ends. Things start to become too much for her. They get help. She falls in love with the help. But does nothing. Then, after things become even worse for him (after he loses his voice for instance) they get more help. Now he falls in love with the help! And he does something.
The help.
(Aka. her church choir director!)

Which makes him look bad on the surface, but I think, really, he was setting her free.

Fascinating story, truly.
Eddie as Stephen

And yes, the acting job deserved an Oscar. He made you think he was truly and genuinely losing his ability to move. Amazing.

I've been wanting to see this movie forever! So glad it finally happened!

Eddie and Stephen together.

Here's the trailer:

Speaking of movies and trailers... here's one you should see if you haven't already:


Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Shadow Prince Giveaway

I have two copies of The Shadow Prince to giveaway. Who wants one!??

When I read this book last year, I gave it a five stars. Which means, of course, that I loved it! (Here's my review if you want a reminder.) But if you don't want to click over here's what I said:

I loved this book. The plot was awesome and fun and a wonderful take on the Hades/Persephone myth with lots of other myths also alluded to. It was great. The characters are fun, especially Haden who has this strange upbringing and is introduced to a world where this upbringing is completely wacko. He changes so much! Anyway, I just thought it was really fun and page turning and one of those books that I couldn't stop thinking about when I wasn't reading.

This book just came out this week in paperback and I have two copies... two SIGNED copies I should say. If you would like one, fill out the form with your info and I'll pick two random winners on Monday April 27. At that time, I'll have another giveaway for the sequel to this book, The Eternity Key!

Good luck!!


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