sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

October 19, 2008

readathon: hour 24
posted by soe 7:09 am

Sun’s out. Farmers’ market opens in an hour. Must help Susan move…

Must doze first…

No more books finished, but I did start another one.

Here’s the final meme of the readalong:

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

Hour 12 was tough, as was Hour 19.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

Hmmm… My brain isn’t working too well right now. Mysteries, probably.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

I thought it worked really well this time. Kudos to Dewey and her cadre of volunteers, organizers, and cheerleaders.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

All of it?

5. How many books did you read?

I finished three, read portions of three others, and listened to part of a chapter of another.

6. What were the names of the books you read?

I finished Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Carnet de Voyage, and Book of a Thousand Days. I read/listened to portions of Stardust, Death of a Gentle Lady, Little Women, and Around the World in 80 Days (in both French and English).

7. Which book did you enjoy most?

Probably Book of a Thousand Days.

8. Which did you enjoy least?

Carnert de Voyage.

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

N/a, but I do appreciate the comments from the Cheerleaders who stopped by yesterday.

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

I’d definitely read again. I’m not sure if I’d take on other roles or not.

Other pertinent Readathon info:

Number of books read since you started: 3+
Running total of pages read since you started: 820 pages of paper + 6 Daily Lit entries + half an hour of audio.
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 20ish hours

Category: books. There is/are 5 Comments.

readathon: hour 23
posted by soe 5:40 am

readathon logoAlmost 6:30 and still no streaks of morning light…

Carnet de Voyage, by Craig Thompson

From the jacket: “Craig Thompson — the award-winning creator of Blankets and Good-bye, Chunky Rice — traveled for three months through France, Barcelona, and the Alps, as well as Morocco, where he spent time researching his next graphic novel, Habibi. Spontaneous sketches and a travelogue diary document his adventures and quiet moments, creating a raw and intimate portrait of countries, culture and the wandering artist.”

My take: I’m tired, and while I hoped that a graphic novel would be an easier read so late in the game, I expect that a standard novel might have been a better idea. I’m a word-based person, so drawings take me longer to parse. And Thompson, while obviously a talented artist, often gave into self-indulgence in this piece, which just made me feel like he was being whiny (I’m not sure he’d argue with that characterization) when I was already feeling a bit whiny myself.

The book is sort of a mini travelogue, told with straight-up sketches (where he shows real ability to capture a scene or a person), comics, and more post-modern self-conversations. He’s blunt about the woes of travels, particularly in Morocco, where he seems troubled by the problems of being a first-world traveler in a second-world nation. He wants to see the country as locals see it, but doesn’t necessarily like what he sees — when he’s even able to do it. He’s inclined to moping about feeling lonely and unwell. Toward the end he complains a lot about how his arthritic hands hurt. (I’m not saying that I don’t believe that he’s exaggerating for sympathy; I believe he probably is in excruciating pain. It’s just not what I was hoping to read about at 5 in the morning…)

This is my fear about my upcoming trip: that I will not be able to get past my own issues/lack of understanding/overwhelming need to step back and refuel in order to appreciate France for what it is and what it offers. This book just played into every paranoia…

As I said, I probably just wasn’t in the right mood for this book.

Pages: 224

Other pertinent Readathon info:

Number of books read since you started: 3+
Running total of pages read since you started: 672+
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 19ish hours

Category: books. There is/are Comments Off on readathon: hour 23.

readathon: hour 18
posted by soe 1:07 am

readathon logoThree quarters of the way through. Second book done…

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

From the jacket: “Nick’s just seen the girl who dumped him walk in … with a new guy. What else can he do but ask the strange girl next to him to be his new girlfriend for the next five minutes? Norah would do anything to avoid conversation with the not not-friend girl who dumped Nick … and to get over the Evil Ex whom Norah never really totally dumped. What else can she do but answer Nick’s question by making out with him?”

My take: I wish I’d read this book before the movie came out and the previews gave me sufficient peeks into the characters to make me think of the actors when I ought to be thinking of the people the authors created. That aside, this was a fun read and would make a terrific double feature with High Fidelity because music features so heavily in the book. Much of it is set in New York clubs and the two main characters are punk aficionados with an appreciation for pretty much all genres.

I’ve said before that my best compliment to a character is to call them quirky. I’d say that both Nick and Norah are, even when they aren’t. They’re typical teenagers (or, at least, teens whose parents don’t mind if they stay out all night in New York City) with raging hormones and emotions, but they’re also smart kids with unusual and wide-ranging interests.

And there was a little homage, toward the back of the book, to the original Nick and Nora, which made me happy as can be. (Who doesn’t love The Thin Man?)

Love teen romances? Romance in general? Books heavily influenced by the music of the past thirty years? Stories where New York is a character in its own right? This might be the book for you…
Pages: 183

Other pertinent Readathon info:

Number of books read since you started: 2+
Running total of pages read since you started: 448+
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 15ish hours

Category: books. There is/are Comments Off on readathon: hour 18.