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Prosecco wine with mandarin licueur

A toast to a successful readathon!

So. The bed is made, a load of laundry is running and the dishes of dinner, snacks, breakfast and lunch can wait a while longer while I write up this second-and-last update for the April 2014 24 hour read-a-thon. Let me say first: I had such FUN! My go-with-the-flow attitude was just what I needed to make this readathon a success. I am very grateful to my reading buddy Kuki whom stayed with me (or rather on top of me) most of the time. She even tried to wake me up before the alarm to continue reading ;) Her being so faithful made me less sad about my former readathon buddy Juno isn’t here any more.

Cat

My sweet reading buddy Kuki – yes you may kiss the screen ;)

The statistics…

Cover Crossing to SafetyI’ve been reading just one book and wasn’t able to finish it in time: Crossing to Safety ~ Wallace Stegner (ebook)

Percentage of book read: 51%

Amount of time spent reading: 7 hours and 35 minutes

Amount of time spent socialising: 1 hour 30 minutes

Mini-challenges: just the kick-off and end of the event memes

Tools: the readathon spreadsheet that Jenn of Jenn’s Bookshelves provided, Timelytics app on my phone

End of Event Meme

24 Hour Read-a-Thon button

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?|
    The first few… I was looking forward to it so much and then I something came up that made me miss out on the first six hours. So in fact I got an eighteen hour twentyfour readathon ;) Had to adapt a little and try not to be too disappointed. Also, when I went to bed at 1:30. I had planned on reading a while longer but my eyes fell shut even before my head hit the pillow.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
    YES! I’ve only been reading Crossing to Safety and time flew! I can definitely recommend it to everyone.
  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?
    My own attitude of going with the flow and just enjoying the event, taking part in the community stuff. I may not have made that concious decision if Andi hadn’t mentioned it in one of her video blogs!
  5. How many books did you read?
    One.
  6. What were the names of the books you read?
    Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner (1987).
  7. Which book did you enjoy most?
  8. Crossing to Safety obviously ;)
  9. Which did you enjoy least?
    -
  10. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
    -
  11. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
    I want it to start RIGHT NOW! Reader and unofficial cheerleader (like I did now).
Late night snacks

Late night snacks: toasted nori, assorted nuts, potato chips, lemon olives, chili rice crackers and tomato juice

According to my e-reader I need only 3 more hours of reading to finish the last 27% of Crossing to Safety. If.. I had started at the right time I had made it. So I am a little tempted to steal that time right now but on the other hand there are several tasks waiting for me. Appealing my self-discipline. ;)

Anywayz, I have enjoyed myself SO MUCH that I’m determined to make reading part of my daily routine again (and play on my phone less). Thanks to Wallace Stegner I already know I want to read Bill Bryson’s Walk in the Woods next. Yay for getting out of my reading slump!

THANK YOU Dewey and all the awesome people behind the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon!

Juno

In memory of my beloved former readathon buddy Juno

24 Hour Read-a-Thon button

Kick-off meme

  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?
    Finishing Crossing to Safety and finally reading We the Animals.
  3. Which snack are you most looking forward to?
    Haven’t prepared any but I cleaned a whole bowl of grapes so… Looking forward to that!
  4. Tell us a little something about yourself!
    I’ve read so little for a long time lately that I hardly dare call myself a reader any more. My choice of books is literature (rarely Dutch though) and mysteries. Some of my favourite books are Mr Sandman by Barbara Gowdy, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Murakami, A Pale View of Hills and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and ANYTHING by David Mitchell. I love both reading from paper as on my Kobo Glo. I just don’t like that I can’t choose fitting bookmarks to accompany the different ebooks. :(
  5. If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?
    I didn’t participate in October’s readathon but I was here for the one in April 2013. Today I’m NOT going to read as many hours nor books as possible and I AM going to connect with the community fun a lot.

Cover Crossing to SafetyCurrently reading: Crossing to Safety ~ Wallace Stegner (ebook)

Books finished: 0

Pages read: 0

Running total of pages read: 0

Amount of time spent reading: 0

Running total of time spent reading: 0

Amount of time spent on socialising: 0

Other: -

Readathon button

We’ve got a little more than an hour to go of the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon but I realised that I no longer feel like reading. So I’m going to quit! I’ve read for an embarrassing total of 3:15 hours (*hides in shame*) but that’s more than I’ve read in a long time and I got halfway The Book of Negroes -a chunkster- so I’ve met my goal. ;)

You can laugh.
You can point your fingers at me.
You may argue that I’m not a worthy readathonner.

BUT I’M HAPPY WITH WHAT I’VE DONE! And I know you’re all nice people and won’t think anything bad of me anyway! :D

A big THANK YOU to the organisers, mini challenge hosts, cheerleaders and all participants who made this spring 2013 read-a-thon possible. I hope to see you all around next fall!

Early End of the Event Meme

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
    The first few hours when I had expected to read a lot in one stretch before I needed to go to a birthday party but didn’t . :(
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
    Well, the book I have been reading today is definitely one of those: The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill!
    Another would be Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami or Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending for a shorter novella.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
    Not really, everything runs so smoothly! Except maybe that I don’t like mini challenges that take up a lot of reading time but are too tempting to resist. I’ve had issues with those in previous years and now I tend to ignore the challenges as a whole so I won’t get distracted.
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
    I can’t think of anything that went better than other times!
  5. How many books did you read?
    (*whispers*) Not even one: just the first part of The Book of Negroes; books 1 and 2.
  6. What were the names of the books you read?
    Ha! I already mentioned that several times and I don’t think you want to hear me say it again! LOL
  7. Which book did you enjoy most?
    Well, THAT one. ;)
  8. Which did you enjoy least?
    -
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
    -
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
    Yes please! Looking at my results I shouldn’t challenge myself beyond reading though…

Sunday Salon logoThe Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, blogging about bookish things of the past week, visiting each others weblogs, and oh — reading books of course ;)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? logoWHOOOAAH! Another post today? Yes! Joining in again with Sheila from Book Journey’s It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? meme.

I’m currently reading two books.

Cover Geketende Democratie (Japan), Hans van der LugtGeketende democratie: Japan achter de schermen (‘Democracy in Chains: Behind the Scenes of Japan‘) ~ Dutch nonfiction about Japan by Hans van der Lugt, who’s been a foreign correspondent in Tokyo for 10 years. It’s a very interesting book and I’m glad I recently picked it up again after having ignored it for a few months.

This week I’ve been reading about corrupt police officers (and uragana, secret money funds), about the dowa issue (still existent discrimination of the lowest classes) , Van der Lugt ‘meeting’ the emperor and empress in a press meeting where he was the only foreign journalist allowed to ask questions, and the holiday to The Netherlands crown prince Naruhito took in 2006 with his depressed wife Masako. It reminded me that I desperately want to read the biography of the royal princess, written by Micha Fritz & Y. Kobayashi.

Cover Sneeuwland, Yasunari Kawabata (isbn 9029047321)For fiction I’m reading the Dutch translation of Yasunari Kawabata’s Snow Country: Sneeuwland. I only just started so there’s nothing to tell yet.

In the past week I’ve read the following books & stories.

  • Hear the Wind Sing by Haruki Murakami
    I had my heart set on reading Murakami’s first novel(la) first thing in 2011. And I did, right after I finished the last book I had started in 2010 (Caos Calmo). It was like meeting a good friend!
  • Near the end of the Hear the Wind Sing I came across this quote:
    “I bought a ticket for the overnight bus, sat down on the waiting room bench, and just looked at the lights of the town. As the night wore on, the lights began to go out until only the street lamps and neon signs were left. From far off steam whistle sounded, ushering in a slight sea breeze.”
    Not only is that shear poetry, it also made me re-read the title story of ‘A Steam Whistle in the Middle of the Night‘, a miniature love story that is absolutely beautiful.
  • Poelie de Verschrikkelijke (‘Poelie the Terrible‘) by Frans Pointl
    This autobiographic collection of cat stories, Kodaks and poetry by Frans Pointl should be read by every cat lover. Just be prepared to shed a tear or two.
  • Last but not least I devoured Blacklands by Belinda Bauer
    It’s the Boekgrrls’ January group read and I’m so glad this book got chosen because chances are it would never have popped up on my radar otherwise. It is so much more than a crime novel! I really felt for 12-year old Steven Lamb, looking for his family’s affection by searching his uncle Billy’s body.
    “How had it happened? Where had he gone? Somewhere, somehow, the little boy who used to be him had disappeared and been replaced by the new him.”

I’m awfully happy with how 2011 started! Planning to keep it up ;)

Of course it’s also Music Monday on this — not so depressing — Blue Monday, so I’ll close off with the wonderful eighties hit by New Order. Enjoy!

Ringo sunbathing (2009)

I know I already did a book-related 2010 wrap-up post, but on Bookie Mee I came across the 2010 wrap-up meme inspired by A Guy’s Moleskin Notebook and thought it fun to play along.

So here goes…

The first book you read in 2010: Trespass by Valerie Martin

The last book you finished in 2010: The Christmas Quilt by Thomas J. Davis

The first book you will finish (or did finish!) in 2011: Caos Calmo by Sandro Veronesi

Your favorite “classic” you read in 2010: The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima

The book series you read the most volumes of in 2010: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Les Aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec by Jacques Tardi (both graphic novels)

The genre you read the most in 2010: literary fiction (quite a lot of it being JLit)

The book that disappointed you: The Evenings (graphic novel) by Gerard Reve & Dick Matena

The book you liked better than you expected to: Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami

The hardest book you read in 2010 (topic or writing style): The Pillow Book by Sei Shōnagon (struggled with it for months and almost gave up!)

The funniest book you read in 2010: Mutts by Patrick McDonnell

The saddest book you read in 2010: this is a hard one.. probably The Wasted Vigil by Nadeem Aslam

The shortest book you read in 2010: A Steam Whistle in the Night by Haruki Murakami

The longest book you read in 2010: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

A book that you discovered in 2010 that you will definitely read again: I’m really not much of a re-reader but I know I’ll be picking up David Mitchell’s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet again: I just won a Dutch copy and because of the games Mitchell played with my language in the English version, I’m curious to know how it was translated. I’ve heard the author say he liked what the translators did, so… That’s why I worked so hard a winning a copy ;)

A book that you never want to read again: Thomas J. Davis’ The Christmas Quilt; not that it wasn’t a cosy read for the holidays, but once is enough

And finally, make a New Year’s Resolution: since 2010 was a slow reading year I plan to read more — in time as well as amount of books; at least 11 more to be precise (Books on the Nightstand +11 reading challenge) BUT I won’t give in on quality over quantity!

And what’s the relevance of cat pictures in this post?
Absolutely none. :)
They’re just my cuties that almost didn’t make it into the new year.
And I’m awfully grateful they did.

Juno sunbathing in a cardboard box (2009)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? logoToday I’m joining in again with Book Journey’s It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? meme. Yesterday I had other priorities than to write a Sunday Salon post, like putting up Christmas decorations (my Secret Santa gift is now under the tree!) and READ. There was a low-key mini-readathon going on in Twitterverse and although I only got to read 4 of the 12 hours, it’s more than I would have done otherwise!

I’m now at 1/3rd of Nadeem Aslam’s The Wasted Vigil and it’s absolutely fabulous. Aslam has a great way of saying things — I try to absorb each and every word he says.

Cover The Wasted Vigil (Nadeem Aslam)It’s an intriguing story, broadening my horizon; about the lives of five people who come together in post-9/11, war-torn Afghanistan.

Marcus, an English doctor whose progressive, outspoken Afghani wife was murdered by the Taliban, opens his home—itself an eerily beautiful monument to his losses—to the others: Lara, from St. Petersburg, looking for evidence of her soldier brother who disappeared decades before during the Soviet invasion; David, an American, a former spy who has seen his ideals turned inside out during his twenty-five years in Afghanistan; Casa, a young Afghani whose hatred of the West plunges him into the depths of zealotry; and James, the Special Forces soldier in whom David sees a dangerous revival of the unquestioning notions of right and wrong that he himself once held.

A few years ago I read his previous book Maps for Lost Lovers and loved it so much I had to get The Wasted Vigil as soon as it came out. Weirdly enough it stayed on my shelf for another two years! :-o But now I’m thrilled to find myself in 2005 Afghanistan while sitting safely on the couch.

It’s probably not too early to say that Nadeem Aslam now officially belongs to my favourite authors!

Cover The Christmas Quilt, Thomas J. DaviesI hope to read a lot this week — so what am I doing blogging??? — finishing The Wasted Vigil in a few days. I’ve been saving a book especially for the upcoming holidays you see, ever since I got it from velvet in January this yearThe Christmas Quilt by Thomas J. Davies. Now is the time to read it!

BTW Two more book-shaped parcels appeared mysteriously under the Christmas tree last night… Oh goody! ;)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? logoSince I didn’t get to write my Sunday Salon post yesterday due to Sinterklaas baking (apple pie with almond paste), cooking (Bisschopswijn, similar to mulled wine) & other festivities (cheese fondue), I decided to join in again with Book Journey’s It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? meme. You can read more about Saint Nicholas in the Virtual Advent Tour blogposts of Leeswammes and Iris on Books by the way. And join their giveaways!

Today I’m halfway The (Temple of the) Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima, a Japanese Literature Book Group read. The discussion post is already up, if you’d care to take a look. I’ve put part of the book title in brackets because in Dutch the novel is just called Het Gouden Paviljoen, without the temple-part. The translator, C. Ouwehand, argues that the Japanese name Kinkakuji is used for both the temple of the Golden Pavilion and the entire building.

Currently reading: The Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji) by Yukio MishimaNow you know how I like to use an appropriate bookmark when I’m reading? This time I have the perfect one! It shows a picture of the Golden Pavilion and is part of a series of 6 Kyoto temples. It was a prize in last year’s Hello Japan! challenge about Kyoto temples.

So far the novel seems like a ‘tidal’ read: pulling me in and pushing me away. The story about a stuttering (or does he have a stammer?), troubled youngster training to be a buddhist priest at Kinkaku-ji, keeps you at a distance as the protagonist is not really someone to relate to. Still, several times I found that I was thinking about the story and its characters when I was nowhere near the book. As if it has taken possession of me. So I definitely want to read on and finish it, no matter how long this will take me.

But I do want to hurry up a little. There are several other books on my agenda for this month!

Two weeks ago I held a poll about what book to read next. Nadeem Aslam’s novel The Wasted Vigil is a clear winner and I’d really love to pick it up soon and buddy read it with my friend MaaikeB. She’s already started!

Also, my Dutch online book group the Boekgrrls is reading Caos calmo this month, for which author Sandro Veronesi won the prestigious Strega Prize. Next weekend I’ll be able to borrow a copy from Mr Gnoe’s aunty C.

And last but not least I have something put aside especially for the holidays: The Christmas Quilt, by Thomas J. Davies, which I won earlier this year in Velvet’s giveaway. I’m determined to beat my reading slump and get at least some of these books done this month!

Other bookish things

Signed book: Leugens en lotgenotenI received a surprise book from Ailantus publishers. When I got the parcel I thought for a minute I had won their contest for a signed translation of David Mitchell’s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: De onverhoorde gebeden van Jacob de Zoet. Of course we have our own signed English copy, but we’d like to own a Dutch translation as well because of the link with Holland.

Alas, it wasn’t exactly what I hoped for. BUT. It is a very appropriate gift! Leugens en lotgenoten (‘Lies and Fellow Sufferers‘), signed by Jan Willem Smeets, is about two brothers that have been detained in WWII Japanese prison camps as children. That has my interest because so was my dad! One of the boys in the book goes back to Indonesia as an adult; something I would like to do someday too: visit my father’s birth land.

And then there’s a new What’s in a Name challenge (#4) about to start! I finished reading all entries for #3 but I still need to write up a wrap-up post reviewing most of them. Will get to that — I hope. Next year’s categories are:

    What's in a Name Challenge #4 button (2011) 

  1. A book with a number in the title (Pinball 1973 or 1Q84 or The 19th Wife or 2666)
  2. A book with jewelry or a gem in the title (The Moonstone)
  3. A book with a size in the title (Vernon God Little)
  4. A book with travel or movement in the title (I’ll Steal You Away or The Elephant Vanishes or…)
  5. A book with evil in the title (Savage Detectives or Crime School or Lies and Fellow Sufferers or PROBABLY Poelie de Verschrikkelijke (‘Poelie the Terrible‘))
  6. A book with a life stage in the title (Bento Box in the Heartland: My Japanese Girlhood in Whitebread America)

As you can see I have some titles from Mt TBR lined up already, but I definitely need to go have a look at my shelf and compose a complete list and admission post. Mr Gnoe and I are having a discussion about ‘savage': he would not label that as something evil… What do you think?

So much to do & read — good thing we’ll be having a few days of at the end of this month!

Some of my all-time favourite books (read in 2004)

In June 2008 I posted my version of The Big Read: a list of 100 well-known books of which an average British citizen had read only 6 — at the time. My score was 37.

Now that this meme is making a new round on Facebook and Yvonne tagged me, I figured it would be fun to do a redux and see how many titles I’ve added in the last 2+ years… Assuming they haven’t swapped any books on the list of course! Something they have changed is highlighting the ones of which you saw the movie, instead of those you love… Is that an improvement???

You can also now indicate if you’ve just read an excerpt, where we used to share which novels we planned on reading. I guess that’s more interesting indeed and I’ve used this category for books I got to know in a special children’s version, like the Bible and Alice in Wonderland.

Two out of three makes a lot of changes on the original challenge, but hey: the most important question is still the same: how many books on this list have you read? Well, here goes!

Instructions

  • Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety.
  • Italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish or read an excerpt.
  • Underline the ones you’ve seen the movies of.
  • Tag other book nerds.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling (all)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (yes, all of them!)
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

So… (counting..) that makes a new total of 39. Thirty-nine. Just two more than previous time — how can that be? I know I’ve read at least 5 books on this list last year so something is definitely wrong. Either they’ve changed some of the titles, I miscounted or… cheated last time ;) If anyone bothers to find out, please let me know! I’m getting worried about the capabilities of my long-term memory :\

How many of these books have you read? More than 6? I’m not much of a tagger so feel free to pick up the challenge yourself!

I wonder if 6 is still the average amount for an ordinary British person. Maybe the BBC could do a redux as well?!

24 Hour Read-a-thonFifteen minutes is not enough to start a new book in the 24 hour Readathon. So I’m taking a sneak preview on the End of the Event Meme questions by copying those of last April! The weather is unusually great here so as soon as the readathon finishes at 1400 hrs, I want to go outside and enjoy it! Exercise!

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
    Hour 15 (5am in the morning here). I threw in the towel and went to sleep for a few hours. I could have read on but decided not to make myself go grumpy ;)
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
    Haven’t read it this readathon, but I’d like to recommend Trespass by Valerie Martin.
  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?
    Everything went particularly well, didn’t it? For me, I’m glad I made it easy for myself this time by picking books in my native language.
  5. How many books did you read?
    Four. Or actually 3 and my complete backlog of entries in the Pillow Book read-along.
  6. What were the names of the books you read?
    The Following Story by Cees Nooteboom (buddy-read), The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon, Adèle and the Beast & Monsters All! from the series Les Avontures Extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec by Tardi.
  7. Which book did you enjoy most?
    The Following Story by Cees Nooteboom. I hadn’t expected to like this much! And I feel really accomplished by having caught up in the Pillow Book, since we’re only a few weeks from the end of the read-along. But most of all, I’m *so* happy that the readathon helped me out of my reading slump of the last weeks! Yay!
  8. Which did you enjoy least?
    Nothing really; I really enjoyed everything I’ve read!
  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! Kudos to all, not just the cheerleaders but everyone behind the scenes!
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
    This was my 3rd 24 hour read-a-thon, can’t you tell I’m addicted? ;) So yes, I would like to participate again in April, although I’ve noticed the spring RaT is harder than the one in fall! Even though the days are longer then…

I’ve spent 8 hours and 40 minutes actually reading (counting really strictly). Double that for the time I could be found in the bloggosphere and on twitter — all readathon related!

So, have you all enjoyed it as much as I did? What did you like best?

Have a nice Sunday!

Read from Readathon Stack Fall 2010

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 ;)

Dancing Concessions Monday Movie Meme logo
For today’s Monday Movie Meme The Bumbles asked us to name our favourite prison films. Listing Shawshank Redemption is not allowed! LOL

* Following links is at your own risk — beware of spoilers in plot descriptions! *

Still from Shutter Island One of the first films I thought of is Martin Scorsese’s recent feature Shutter Island. Sort of an oldfashioned B-movie that is real fun to watch! With ‘future hero‘ Leonardo DiCaprio playing an US Marshall called in to solve the mysterious disappearance of a psychic resident out of Shutter Island prison — yes, which is of course set on an isle :) Bringing to mind that other famous escape from a prison island: Escape from Alcatraz, with Mr Clint Eastwood. I was 9 at the time and don’t remember much, so I can’t put it in my top-3 ;) Hey, I was 3 years old when Papillon came out, so I dare not even mention that classic! LOL
Still from A Prophet Another movie I saw this year was the impressive Un Prophète (A Prophet) which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film. I would not dare use the word ‘fun’ in this case, because it was quite a depressing experience. If you’re one of those optimists thinking goal will help criminals to get back on the right track, you need to go see this picture and wake up.

Sandy from You’ve GOTTA read this! threw in American History X and I’ve been thinking about whether to add it to my list too. I love that picture and believe everybody should go see it; it’s SO good. (Who doesn’t love Edward Norton anyway? And why doesn’t he play in more movies? *mope* ;) Still, I don’t really remember it as a prison film, so I’m excluding it with a heavy heart ;)

Birdy (still from the movie) If I was allowed to recommend only 1, my absolute favourite film would be the cult classic Birdy by Alan Parker (music by Peter Gabriel). Matthew Modine and Nicholas Cage — God, they’re young! — prove to be high class actors in this mesmerizing movie. Yes, I know we all have doubts about Cage sometimes, but think back to his part in Birdy and you can rest assured ;)

Now of course I’m cheating a little because Birdy is not really locked up in jail but in a mental hospital… Still, he’s in detention and when I think back to it, it really feels like prison. As it did to Birdy!

Under Lock and Key ~ Peter Gabriel (2:25)

Did I miss anything YOU would put in your top list of prison movies?

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