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Button 24 Hour Read-a-ThonYay, after two-and-a-half years I’m finally participating again in the 24 hour read-a-thon! And I’ve been extremely looking forward to it. :) It was rather difficult to keep the date free since so many activities seem to be planned this weekend, but I was firm and only have a birthday to go to later on.

That’s also why I allowed myself to start an hour earlier than the set time for my zone here in Utrecht: at 13.00 instead of 14.00. And I already know I won’t be reading around the clock but that’s okay: today is meant to get some reading done and I NEED that because I’ve been in some kind of slump and I got this Bookcrossing bookray that I want to get on with – The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill (Het negerboek in Dutch).

Cover Het negerboek / The Nigger Book (Lawrence Hill)

The bookmark you see I cut from a thank-you note card that was sent to me by a swap-bot member.

Delight in the little things

Balou the Bear from Jungle BookCute, isn’t it? That’s a quote by Rudyard Kipling, the author of Jungle Book (who used to be accused of racism but got revalued later on).

I also won’t be blogging, tweeting, FB-ing much today, nor participate in (many) challenges or lose myself otherwise in social media. I may post an occasional update but for me today is meant for reading even though I know the readathon is much about the community as well. A grrl has to set priorities!

Why don’t you follow my example and pick up a book?

Summarizing for the Introductory Questionnaire

  1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
    Utrecht – the Netherlands – Europe
  2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
    Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
  3. Which snack are you most looking forward to?
    None in particular, though I’ll be having a nice mezze dinner at a birthday party with dishes like houmous, pide bread and caponata mmmmm. :)
  4. Tell us a little something about yourself!
    I’m looking forward to having some quality time with da ladies: Juno, Nina and Kuki! Reading and cats go great together! ;)
  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 haven’t participated in the last read-a-thon (as I said at the beginning) but I know from previous ones that social media are majorly distracting!

Again, Gnoe seemed to have disappeared from earth after her last update in hour 19 of the readathon. Yeah, well: this weekend wasn’t as relaxing as I had meant it to be ;) I tried to keep my calender clean of other activities, but in the end I failed ;) So I had a fun but full few days.

The hard part for me in the readathon is balancing actual reading with community activities like cheering and mini-challenges. In October I had read for 6 and a half hours; 300+ pages. It’s not that much more this time, even though I’ve kept myself on a tight leash about pc-time — and I was WAY more relaxed!

Next time (yes, you’ve read that right) I should try to feel less frustrated about this sort of thing. Because I really think the community aspect is an important part of the readathon: otherwise I could do a 24 hour session on my own! And it’s like Kihana said in her comment: as long as you have fun — fun while reading makes for a 100% successful Read-a-Thon!

Cover Her Fearful Symmetry (Audrey Niffenegger)And yes, I absolutely enjoyed it. A major difference with the October readaton was that I have only been reading in 1 paper book and 1 audio book. I had planned on starting with short stories, but the novel I had started a few days before, Her Fearful Symmetry, is such a pageturner that I didn’t feel like picking up anything else. It even bothered me when I had to switch to Paul Auster’s Invisible on audio when I had to bake for today’s hanami picnic!

Now, here are my answers to the end-of-the-event meme:

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
    Hour 9 (= hour 11 for me because I had started early), when I got back from the butoh peformance and I was tired. I now know for sure: I just need to sleep during the readathon because I get really depressed when I don’t.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
    Definitely Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger!!! GREAT Readathon book!
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
    Nope.
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
    Nothing in particular. But for me it worked well to start earlier in the day (starting at 2pm is no fun).
  5. How many books did you read?
    Two, but I finished none.
  6. What were the names of the books you read?
    Her Fearful Symmetry (Audrey Niffenegger) and Invisible (Paul Auster) on audio.
  7. Which book did you enjoy most?
    Do you really need to ask? I thought I’d been quite clear on that! LOL
  8. Which did you enjoy least?
    Well, since I’ve only read two… Invisible, by Paul Auster. But that’s because I found it hard to concentrate on the audiobook when I also needed to concentrate on my cooking.
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
    I wasn’t a cheerleader but I’m very grateful to those who were!
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
    I want to participate again in October! I thought springtime would be better for a readathon but now I’m not so sure anymore… Maybe next time I’ll even be an official cheerleader! I’m already used to cheering, so… ;)

The finals

24 Hour Read-a-thonTime period: Sat 10.30 – Sun 11.30 (with a 4 and a half hour time-out on Saturday night)

Total of time read: 8 hrs 0 mins
Total amount of pages read: 224 pages (& 1 hour of audio)
Mini-challenges I participated in: 4 (Intro meme, Kick Off Champions, Book Title Poetry, End of Event meme)

I lost track of my blogging and cheering time, but I’d say about 4 hours.

The Pillow Book

I had planned to read this weeks batch of The Pillow Book entries during the readathon, but…

1) My main readathon book was way to exciting to switch to something else.
2) Again, I didn’t get as much reading done as expected, or hoped.

Excuses, I know. I’ll just need to catch up with Sei Shōnagon once I’ve finished Her Fearful Symmetry! Which probably won’t take too long since I plan on reading every free moment in the next few days ;)

Other bookish things

Book The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de ZoetI’m really happy to have received The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet this week: David Mitchell’s new novel. I’ve been looking forward to it for years now! I’ll probably start reading as soon as I’ve finished Niffenegger, oh — and the next entries for The Pillow Book of course ;) A random connection between these two novels (I’m forgetting about the journal for a minute) is a Dutch character in an English book. Mitchell has Jacob de Zoet (obviously) while Marijke de Graaf plays a role in Her Fearful Symmetry.

This also was the very last week of Bookcrossing Convention Monopoly. Team De Boekenleggers didn’t win, but we did manage to loose all our books during the game! Our last release was on Easter Monday, in the busy shopping street of Lage Vuursche — where there’s only one actual shop… Thanks to iiwi for being such a great game host!

The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

I’ve got some fun bookish things to share from the past week. First of all I received a RABCK from ApoloniaX in Germany: The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. Did you know it is the prototype of the modern detective story in the English language?

But that wasn’t all. I also received my present from velvet’s 12 Days of Christmas giveaway on vvB32 reads. A package with no less than 3 books and some other goodies! A post about that will be up soon, so I’m keeping the exact contents a secret for just a while longer ;)

I also worked some more on Graasland: I added my list of books read in 2001 and published my review of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. The classic is now on its way to another reader in the UK.

Me, I’m off to the suburbs for another release in Bookcrossing Monopoly. Sounds like I’m having a good time, right?

The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

Sunday, actually most of the weekend, was dominated by my first Bloggiesta. And it’s not over yet, so I’m still having fun! Even though I didn’t get as much work done on Graasland as I had hoped. Especially regarding my review backlog… :(

Anyway, following last week’s Sunday Salon about the books I read in 2009 I made some pie charts on:

  • gender,
  • fiction/nonfiction,
  • original language.

I forgot about statistics on authors new to me: 22 of 34!

Yesterday I finally finished reviewing my best read of 2009: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. That is such a relief! Post scheduled for later this week.

I decided to cut back on challenges this year that require me to write reviews. That means I have to stick with the ones I’ve joined until now — and maybe even drop out of the What’s in a name? challenge. Unless I’ll be able to write really short reviews, or even just comments on the challenge blog. Let’s not be too radical at once ;)

During the week I finished reading 2 books, one of which belongs to the What’s in a name? challenge, category ‘title’ (Professor):

Both were VERY good, so I’m off on a good start this year! :)

My Gnoegle map of Bookcrossing releasesThanks to the Bloggiesta I added two challenge pages to Graasland: current and finished. That way I could declutter my sidebar of old challenge buttons. But I replaced them with something new: a Gnoegle map button leading to my Google map of Bookcrossing releases. I completely made it myself! *solliciting compliments*

One of the things you’ll be able to find on the Gnoegle map is team De Boekenleggers’ release in week 10 of Bookcrossing Convention Monopoly. Search for Een echte Lizzie kerst (A Real Lizzie X-Mas) on page 2. It was hung in a real life Christmastree and happened to be the 200th release of the game!

Which reminds me of some other Bookcrossing related activities I participated in last year, that haven’t been mentioned yet on this blog.

Being in the mood for archiving I also added two posts to Graasland about books read in 2005 en 2006. And I have updated my profile on the Bookcrossing bookshelf. Such a lot of maintenance I got done! HOORAY!

So, how was your week???

The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

Book Bloggers Holiday Swap buttonHow exciting, I’m going to be a secret Santa! I’ve dropped my name in Santa’s bag for the Book Bloggers Holiday Swap. Want to join as well? Be quick: subscription ends November 12th!

Good thing the holiday swap perked me up because my attempt at the Bookcrossing Spooky Booky 24 hour readathon was an absolute #FAIL. I knew I was on a tight schedule last week, but I had hoped to at least beat last month’s result of 15 hours and 8 minutes. Well… I didn’t even come close! [starts whispering] I scrambled together a meagre total of 7 hours, 10 minutes :-o

So the ‘spooky’ book I’m reading is still the same as last Sunday: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. It’s pretty grim! It shows the real thing to fear are our fellow humans; not those Halloween ghosts, vampires or zombies. Capote absolutely has me by the throat!

A more relaxing bookish event that took place at my home yesterday was that some Boekgrrls came over to watch Revolutionary Road, the movie adaptation of Richard Yates’ novel. The overall opinion? Director Sam Mendes did a great job (even though the book is still way better). I’m just not sure whether I would have liked the film as much had I not read the book beforehand.

April & Frank Wheeler

Another minor detail: I kept seeing Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet instead of Frank and April Wheeler… But still, I’m glad to have seen it: I enjoyed it much, much more than, in example, the adaptations of Atonement and Enduring Love (other books I really like). Although ‘enjoy’ might not be the right word for a story like Revolutionary Road…

Well, I’ve only got another 100 pages left of In Cold Blood, so coming week I hope to start in The Old Capital, by Yasunari Kawabata for my Japanese Literature Book Group. I’m embarrassed to say I had never heard of this Nobel Prize winner before, but since I know we’re going to read his book I have heard other novelists mention him as an example for their own writings. So, I’ll talk to you next week in The Sunday Salon!

The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

Well, obviously this week was dominated by Dewey’s 24 hour read-a-thon. You can’t have missed it! Not only if you’re a visitor of Graasland: we also made it a trending topic on Twiter. Yay!

I had a lot of fun, but it was much more difficult than I had expected. From the total of 24 hours I’ve slept six and a half — the rest was spent on the event (except for some eating and stuff). Because of that my totals seem a bit meager!

Read-a-thon totals

Hours spent on the read-a-thon: 17:30
Hours read: 6:24
Pages read: 319
Books read: 2
Mini-challenges: 8

I couldn’t keep track of time spent behind my computer, but it didn’t feel as if I was cheering or blogging or twittering too much. So it was the community aspect of this read-a-thon that made it great, but also more difficult to read as much as I would have normally been able to. Time flies when you’re having fun! ;)

Read more about what I read and what I found hard about the read-a-thon in my last progress update and the ‘End of the Event Meme‘.

During the read-a-thon I took part in the following 8 mini-challenges. Unfortunately several times I’ve forgotten to admit my link to the challenge post; who knows what prizes I would have won otherwise! ;)

Other bookish stuff

Cover Be With YouWas there no other bookish stuff going on this week, you ask? Of course! I finished Be With You (Takuji Okigawa) just before the read-a-thon started. I absolutely loved it! I will be adding it to my Japanese Literature Challenge so you might look forward to a review.

Cover ZijdeAnd I bought another book (thinking I could read the novella during the read-a-thon, dôh): Silk, by Alessandro Baricco, in Dutch: Zijde. Unfortunately the book cover is not original but shows the movie poster… I don’t like it when publishers do that! I do not plan to see the film; here’s what Mee wrote about it.

And last but not least: our Bookcrossing Monopoly mission was ‘restaurant’, so De Boekenleggers released a Dutch copy of Como Agua Para Chocolate (Rode Rozen en Tortilla’s) at the moped of a Mexican Delivery Boy. Have you seen it crossing Utrecht city? We know it has been caught, but unfortunately there’s no journal entry yet!

Bookcrossing Monopoly release wk 2: restaurant

Yesterday I went on a hike on the Utrechtse Heuvelrug (‘Utrecht Hill Ridge‘). If I want to participate in the 100 Mile Fitness Challenge I’ve got to get outdoors! I walked for 9.41 km and (in this case) I am also counting my cycling to the train station, so I’m 7 miles down for the challenge – 93 more to go!

For lunch, I brought bento #81, called Herfst Hike Bento because I like alliteration and ‘herfst’ is the Dutch word for autumn.

Top tier

  • Crackers
  • Crispy fried seaweed snack
  • Mini matcha muffin with azuki filling
  • 2 yoghurt coated apricots
  • Fudge candy
  • Corn cob
  • Watercress leaves
  • Cove-ripened goat’s cheese star
  • Fairtrade African pepper spices (hiding under cheese) for corn
  • Lemon infused extra vierge olive oil for corn cob

Lower tier

  • Falafel (chickpea patty)
  • Chili-tomato sauce for falafel
  • Mini carrot
  • Yellow Cabbage quiche (a.k.a. pie of slobber cabbage ;)
  • Garden peas with Fairtrade Basil Herb mix
  • Sundried tomato spread with another goat’s cheese star

I thought I had some edamame left but when I got the bag out of the freezer it appeared to be garden peas. No matter, I like them too ;)

CSA (& organic): corn, carrot, yellow cabbage
Organic: watercress, falafel, tomato spread

My hike took me through different types of landscape: estates, sands and moorland, but mostly forest. Which is preferable for autumn ;) Especially when you can enjoy the great weather I got! I should confess I took a wrong turn somewhere, but I got back on track quite easily ;)

Along the way I also released a bookcrossing copy of Almayer’s Folly for my 2nd round of the 2009 History Challenge at Stoop Pavilion (de Koepel van Stoop): a folly itself.

You can find the pictures I took on my hike in a special set on Flickr.

spotvogel2It’s a sin to kill a mockingbird [..] They don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us.

Thanks to a bookcrossing book ring I have finally read Harper Lee‘s 1960 classic To Kill a Mockingbird. It had been on my wishlist for quite a few years and became part of two challenges: the 2009 Classics Challenge and my personal 2008-2009 challenge. There has been written a lot about this book so I’m just going to add my personal view. Well.. and a little about the story for people who haven’t read it (yet).

To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel in which a female attorney, Jean Louise — Scout — Finch, looks back on her childhood during the Great Depression in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama.

Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first new it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the court-house sagged in the square. Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer’s day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft tea-cakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.

People moved slowly then. They ambled across the square, shuffled in and out of the stores around it, took their time about everything. A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County. [p.11]

The story focusses on the events of a certain summer, that morally and socially shaped Louise into the adult she became. Because of this, the book is considered a Bildungsroman. Although Harper Lee used a lot of autobiographical elements, the novel is fiction.

Cover To Kill a MockingbirdI am very glad I got to read the book. I don’t think it will end up in my 2009 top 5 list, but it was a quick, entertaining read: the story immediately grabbed me and I liked the atmosphere of doom, suggesting that ‘something was going to happen’. The first paragraph sets the tone:

When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow. When it healed, and Jem’s fears of never being able to play football were assuaged, he was seldom self-conscious about his injury. His left arm was somewhat shorter than his right; when he stood or walked, the back of his hand was at right -angles to his body, his thumb parallel to his thigh. He couldn’t have cared less, so long as he could pass and punt.
When enough years had gone by to enable us to look back on them, we sometimes discussed the events leading to his accident.

The reader now knows that the rest of the book will tell about the events leading up to Jem’s accident. But like in a court case where seperate witnesses have different truths, the sibling’s have different points of view on where it all began.

In my online Boekgrrls book group there was some discussion whether or not the quote above contains vivid imagery. I think so ;) Some people didn’t find it evocative — worse, they thought it gawky because they had to physically try the position of the arm. I rather like it that everywhere around the world and through time, people are swinging their arms while reading ;)

Some women also didn’t find it believable that children were accepted into the courtroom. Well, it was a long time ago… And honestly, isn’t it really harder to believe that black people were treated as lesser humans? And they were! Even though you know that it’s true, it is still shocking to read about this kind of racism. To Kill a Mockingbird was published 5 years after Rosa Parks had refused to give up her bus seat for a white passenger (also in Alabama); Harper Lee had been writing on the book for a few years.

Aside from the main storyline (which I am not writing down because it is broadly known and when you’re in the dark about it you might want to keep it that way), you can feel how Scout grows into her later profession even though that was not yet common for women of that time.

“There are lots of reasons. For one thing, Miss Maudie can’t serve on a jury because she’s a woman –“
“You mean women in Alabama can’t –?” I was indignant.
“I do. I guess it’s to protect our frail ladies from sordid cases like Tom’s. Besides,” Atticus grinned, “I doubt if we’d ever get a complete case tried — the ladies’d be interrupting to ask questions.”
Jem and I laughed. Miss Maudie on a jury would be impressive. I thought of old Mrs. Dubose in her wheelchair — “Stop that rapping, [judge] John Taylor, I want to ask this man something.” Perhaps our fore-fathers were wise.
[p.225]

After Jem and his sister have sneaked out to watch the court case, some Southern ladies tease Scout afterwards:

“Watcha going to be when you grow up, Jean Louise? A lawyer?”
“Nome, I hadn’t thought about it..” I answered, grateful that Miss Stephanie was kind enough to change the subject. Hurriedly I began choosing my vocation. Nurse? Aviator?
“Well…”
“Why shoot, I thought you wanted to be a lawyer, you’ve already commenced going to court.”

Recently To Kill a Mockingbird became #1 on the list of the best 60 books of the past 60 years. Maybe not because Harper Lee is the most skilled writer of recent history, but because her book is about the equality of Man.

“Well how do we know we ain’t Negroes?”
“Uncle Jack Finch says we really don’t know. He says as far as he can trace back the Finches we ain’t, but for all he knows we mighta come straight out of Etiopia durin’ the Old Testament.”
“Well if we came out durin’ the Old Testament it’s too long ago to matter.”
“That’s what I thought,’ said Jem, ‘but around here once you have a drop of Negro blood, that makes you all black [..]“
[p. 165]

John Sutherland remarks in his article about the list of 60 books:

“[..] as Henry James said, the house of fiction has many rooms. One important room is reserved for fiction that expresses the basic ideals of its time: such as Oliver Twist, or The Grapes of Wrath. To Kill a Mockingbird will always have a high place in that company.”

Cover Grapes of WrathHa! I have just finished John Steinbeck‘s The Grapes of Wrath, which is also on my challenge list (review pending). That book is more about equal rights for ‘poor’ white people from the East of the US migrating to the West in the same period as To Kill a Mockingbird. Both books won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in the year after they were published (respectively 1940 and 1961). And both books play in the American South.

Have you ever heard of Southern Gothics, a sub genre of the gothic novel and unique to American literature? I hadn’t. But To Kill a Mockingbird is (by some) considered to belong to this genre.

“Like its parent genre, it relies on supernatural, ironic, or unusual events to guide the plot. Unlike its predecessor, it uses these tools not for the sake of suspense, but to explore social issues and reveal the cultural character of the American South.

[..] the writer takes classic Gothic archetypes, such as the damsel in distress or the heroic knight, and portrays them in a more modern and realistic manner — transforming them into, for example, a spiteful and reclusive spinster, or a white-suited, fan-brandishing lawyer with ulterior motives.”

Lawyer. Heroic knight. That’s why Atticus, Scout’s father, seems a bit too good to be true sometimes! But I think it is also because most of the story is told through the eyes of a child — don’t young girls often look up to their fathers, seeing them as hero’s?

Gregory PeckI had to think about my father a lot whilst reading this book. He was a great fan of Gregory Peck, who played Atticus in the 1962 movie adaptation. But he was also born in the same year as Harper Lee and had a huge sense of morality, of justice. He would have liked to become a lawyer. Hee hee, maybe he even looked a little bit like Gregory Peck ;)

I couldn’t help but think of another film as well: Mississippi Burning. Some marvelous actors playing in it: Gene Hackman, William Dafoe, Frances McDormand (I’ll leave it to you to look them up if you don’t know them ;) I would definitely like to see that movie again soon! I don’t feel the need to see To Kill a Mockingbird. But I liked reading this classic enough to want to have a copy of my own. I’ll be on the lookout for a nice edition! :)

Mockingbird sound recording courtesy of The Quomma.

Cover AffinitySo cool, today I received my (sur)prize for participating in the September readathon! Chucklethescot sent me Affinity, by Sarah Waters. This book has been on my wishlist for years — I put it there immediately after reading Fingersmith, in which there’s a chilling storyline in a psychiatric ward. That was so impressive I figured I should also try Affinity, about a woman in a Victorian prison.

Sarah Waters has been on my mind lately because her most recent book was on the shortlist for the 2009 Man Booker Prize. But she didn’t win, that prize went to Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. ‘Poor’ Sarah, she’s been shortlisted three times now!

Well, I’m very happy with my prize :) Thank you so much for this RABCK Chucklethescot!

Sunday Salon logoThe Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

Let’s start this Salon post with a confession: I have been a bad grrl and bought 3 more books for myself!

  • I Am a Cat (Natsume Soseki)
  • The Old Capital (Yasunari Kawabata)
  • The Housekeeper and the Professor (Yoko Ogawa)

I’ve got a great excuse though: I joined the new online Japanese Literature Book Group and Read-along at In Spring It Is The Dawn — and these are the first books on the agenda. I am really looking forward to it!

Hello Japan! logoAnother fun thing to do over there is this months Hello Japan! mini mission:

Read or watch something scary, spooky, or suspenseful, and Japanese of course!

DarkWaterSince I have enough to read already I decided to rent a movie that has been on my wishlist for a long time now: Dark Water (Honogurai mizu no soko kara), by Hideo Nakata. You might have heard of the American remake with Jodie Foster, but I prefered to see the original. I’ll tell you why in my upcoming review post! It was a nice Friday night activity to surprise Mr Gnoe with, especially with the stormy autumn weather that has set in :)

But back to bookish things. For the last three months of 2009 I am also participating in the Set It Yourself Challenge (SIY) #10. Just to keep the pressure on my challenges: I have listed all 5 books I need to read before the end of this year:

  • The Chosen (Chaim Potok)
  • The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
  • The Pillowbook (Sei Shonagon)
  • The Sea, the Sea (Iris Murdoch)
  • The Old Capital (Yasunari Kawabata)

I have joined this Bookcrossing challenge before in 2008 and 2009; succeeding twice, failing once…

Speaking of Bookcrossing: I made a first attempt at the Bookcrossing monthly readathon. 24hrreadathonbuttonBut instead of 24 I read for 15 hours and 8 in the last week of September. So technically I failed but I am actually quite proud of the result because it was an awfully busy week. You can read about my thoughts concerning the readathon in Friday’s post. Now I am really looking forward to the autumnal 24 hour read-a-thon of October 24th! I am already making a list of books and snacks to lock myself in with :)

Partly thanks to the readathon I finished more books in September than I usually read in a month:

  • Vlinder in de wind (Butterfly in the Wind) by Rei Kimura (reviewed)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (review pending), #4 on the list of Banned and Challenged Classics
  • Het pauperparadijs (Pauper Paradise) by Suzanna Jansen (no review planned)
  • Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates (review pending)

Current book: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Wednesday’s update post will tell you why I picked this book. I am ‘buddy reading’ with two Boekgrrls: MaaikeB and Manon, so one of these days I should mail them my thoughts so far!

Another exciting thing going on this week is BAFAB! Buy A Friend A Book. One of my favourite reads of the past years is on its way to a long time friend that is on a busy schedule at the moment. I’ll give the book a chance to arrive for a few days longer, so I can’t say more! ;)
Do you BAFAB?

Challenges / Bookgroups etc.

Progress update on my challenges that I have not yet mentioned above:

Current Bookgroup reads:

  • Boekgrrls September book: Away, by Amy Bloom (read and reviewed in Dutch on the mailing list)
  • Boekgrrls October book: Revolutionary Road, by Richard Yates (read, to be reviewed)
  • Japanese Literature Book Group for November 30th: The Old Capital, by Yasunari Kawabata (TBR)
  • Japanese Literature Read-along for November 15th: I Am A Cat (part I), by Natsume Soseki (TBR)

That’s it for now. I need to get up my review of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird a.s.a.p. so that I can send this Bookcrossing book along to the next reader. Better get on with it!

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