Yup, it’s that time of year again: curling up on the couch in comfy clothes, with cats (!) a fleece blanket and a pile of books to read. Who cares it’s cold and dreary outside? I don’t – it’s rather perfect for fall 24 hour readathon!

Introduction Survey (mini-challenge #1)

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
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?

  1. Utrecht, the Netherlands (Europe, obviously)
  2. Hug Time by Patrick McDonnell ^_^ It’s actually a present I bought for a dear friend needing a care package but I can’t resist reading it -carefully- first.
  3. Well it can’t be the apple cake I didn’t bake… I guess it’ a cold soy macchiato! And I bought myself a whole load of vegan cookies *grin*
  4. I love animals more than books, especially (my own) cats, donkeys (!) and wildebeests. ‘Gnoe’ is Dutch for gnu and I got this nickname in highschool as it’s rhyme with my real name.
  5. I’m not going to be hard on myself. Just chill and have fun. Change my reading spots and don’t forget to go outside (yay audio books!)

I will mostly be updating on Instagram today!

Are you joining me today?

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon buttonAlas, Dewey’s 24 hour readathon has ended. Even though my ‘numbers’ (which I’ll add later) may not show it, things went very well this time! I rediscovered my love of reading; so much that I wish the event could continue for another day! Maybe it’s a good thing my Lynley mysteries didn’t arrive in time for the weekend — when I’ve finished my current book they’ll probably be here to help me keep my mojo. Without the help of a RaT. And anyway, the community –YOU– will be still around for motivation!

End of the Event Meme

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
    None in particular: all of them due to the pull of social media and mini challenges. Of course I went to bed at three to sleep for a few hours.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
    A sequel in a series you like and acknowledged page turners in a favourite genre.
  3. Illustration Mutts © Patrick McDonnellDo you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
    Nope. It’s perfect!
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
    The possibility to pick a medium of choice for updating; not just blogs AND the warm-up tip to use Storify to keep everything in one place! Here’s my story.
  5. How many books did you read?
    Four (not all finished yet).
  6. What were the names of the books you read?
    Oorlog en terpentijn (finished)
    Timothy’s Book: Notes of an English Country Tortoise (finished, after three years on hold!)
    Housekeeping – on audio
    Ik kom terug

    Handleiding voor poetsvrouwen
  7. Which book did you enjoy most?
    The book I’m currently reading: Ik kom terug. Loving it and I want to own a copy after I give it back to the friend who lend it to me.
  8. Which did you enjoy least?
    Maybe Housekeeping, just because audio isn’t as intense as reading a book yourself. That I enjoyed this one least of all four does NOT mean I don’t like it!
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
    Be strict about the amount of time allotted to cheering… I found myself spending way too much time in cyberspace instead of in a story. Make a choice — and stick to it.
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
    YESH! I can’t wait! I’ll sign up as reader-cheerleader again and hope to keep a better balance. ;)

A big THANK YOU to Mr Gnoe, my Instagram and blog followers, all readers, organisers, cheerleaders, challenge-hosts (and anyone I may forget) for making this event such a success. WOOT!

Mutts strip © Patrick McDonnell

The Sunday Salon.com

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon button1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
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?

  1. I’m from Utrecht, The Netherlands.
  2. Looking forward to The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro and reconnecting with The Best of Mutts.
  3. Can’t wait to devour my homegrown veggies (wrote about them in my kick-off post)!
  4. I like to snailmail: sending old-fashioned letters with small gifts enclosed in pretty envelopes. It’s relaxing and addicting at the same time.
  5. The previous time I participated (last autumn) I hardly read. But I’m mega motivated now! Also, I signed up to be a cheerleader for the first time. :))

Remember, I’m not really updating on the blog during the event. Follow my progress on Storify or Instagram!

YESH! It’s that time of year again: Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon is on. I’ve been looking forward to this weekend awfully much because I desperately want to get my reading mojo back. And the prospect of it actually made me pick up a book and read, read, read already in the past week. :) Let me show you my readathon stack.

My reading stack and snack

I desperately hoped my order from Bookdepository would arrive in time because I’m dying to start a new Inspector Lynley mystery. But I just saw the parcel delivery van pass my home without stopping. :'( Not that I haven’t enough to choose from… ;)

I’m currently reading the award-winning Oorlog en terpentijn by Stefan Hertmans, which I’ll probably finish in one and a half hour. I know this because of the Readmore app I use to keep track of my reading. :) On audio I’m listening to Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping.

My next read will either be Adriaan van Dis’ Ik kom terug or Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant, alternated by Lucia Berlin’s collection of short stories Handleiding voor poetsvrouwen (A Manual for Cleaning Women), translated by my talented friend Maaike (and co’s). The Best of Mutts comics and Timothy’s Book will provide yet another change of palate.

Mutts strip © Patrick McDonnell

The greens in the background are there for a reason: they’ll provide healthy snacks. Homegrown radishes (did you know you can eat the leaves as well?), corn lettuce and baby spinach. I’ll have to share though because Mr Gnoe is joining me in the readathon for the very first time! Yay, love having a buddy. :D

I don’t plan on reading for the full stretch. I’m not feeling too well today and I never manage twenty-four hours anyway (remember, I’ve been up for half a day already!) Luckily staying at home, taking a rest and read is just what the doctor ordered. ;) I’m just cheating a little by starting a bit early… Local starting time is 2PM and since I’ll be officially cheerleading that first hour I’m kicking-off reading at the nice round number of 1 o’clock. Shoot me if you don’t approve. ;)

Wishing all participants a blast!!!

You can follow my updates during the event on Instagram via @gnoe!

Or see it all collected in one story on Storify.

What are you reading?

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon button

Although autumn weather has been really kind to us so far, the past two days have been really cold (east wind brrrrr) and anyway: Sinterklaas dinner has to be a hearty, wintery meal no matter what the temperature. Comford food! As I mentioned on Monday we’re having company, so we decided on a three course meal which I’ll post below. But first our plan for the rest of the week. I hope you’ll find some inspiration in our meal planning?!

Menu plan 4 – 9 December

  • Thursday: spaghetti with tomato-veggie sauce.
  • Friday (Sinterklaas): see below.
  • Saturday: purple kale-potato mash with homemade seitan sausages from Isa Does It (p.237).
  • Sunday: Indonesian style meal with nasi goreng, sambal goreng kool (cabbage) and a tempeh dish that has to be decided. Also plan on making atjar tjampoer with the rest of the cabbage plus carrots.
  • Monday: vegetable stirfry with tofu
  • Tuesday: [leftovers]

Sinterklaas Menu

  • Starters: ‘Pumpkin Duo’ = pumpkin-sunchoke soup and a pumpkin-potato pierogi with garlic-herb sauce on a bed of two kinds of mustard leaves.
  • Entrée: beer-braised seitan with carrots and sunchokes (Vegan Eats World), oven-baked french fries and large-leaf chicory salad with apple, clementine and walnuts.
  • Dessert: kukicha tea poached pears with candied ginger (Vegan Eats World).
  • After dinner: tea with liqueur bonbon and Inca berries to compensate ;)

Leftover in our fridge are carrots and 4 or five sunchokes. Plenty of options with those!

Turkish meal by Mr Gnoe

Last time we did some menu planning was halfway June, when Mr Gnoe started a new job. We were full of resolutions, but didn’t manage to keep it up. Trying again – just a few weeks before the end of CSA season O_O

Menu plan 29 November – 2 December

  • Saturday: Pumpkin mash with endive and oven baked lemon tofu
  • Sunday: Turkish Feast by Mr Gnoe: millet with sun-dried tomatoes and olives, eggplant casserole, fasulye (beans) and spicedcabbage salad (pictured above)
  • Monday: Isa Chandra’s Braised Cabbage with Seitan (p.97 Appetite for Reduction), potato mash and mushroom gravy (either this recipe or this one)
  • Tuesday: Lisette Kreischer’s easy pumpkin-sunchoke soup (substituting large‐leaved chicory for pak choy and adding a little leftover coconut milk) with bread and salad

I love that I no longer have to think about what to eat the next few days! And looking forward to the meals to come :D Will be planning more after our next CSA arrives on Wednesday. Luckily I’ll have a sneakpeek of the contents on Monday as I have to write the accompanying leaflet this week. Need to think about Friday’s Sinterklaas dinner! We’re not really celebrating but there’s a guest coming and I want to make something special.

Button 24 Hour Read-a-ThonWhile the weather is turning rather nasty as if to mourn, the fall edition of Dewey’s 24 hour readathon has ended. And I’m SO glad I participated! It remembered me of ‘old times’… making me all warm and glowy inside. ;)

What I read

Cover The Bone ClocksAs planned I immersed myself in The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell and got some 20% down. Love it! I’m glad it’s a tome and I still have the majority to go. :) I’m sorry I can’t give you a short summary of this magical realist novel yet – I’ll have to see where it’s going first! The birthday party that broke up this RaT was of family I hadn’t seen in a long time. Of course I was very eager to see and speak to everyone, but it didn’t take long or I longed to be back in ‘Mitchell-verse‘.

During some housework I also listened to a short story on audio by Esther Verhoef, called Nouveau Riche. I hadn’t read anything from her yet and I now don’t think I will again. The account of expats in France reluctantly receiving friends from the past was largely predictable and not at all exciting. It was… just okay I guess.

The numbers

To help me keep track of time I used the Timelytics Time Log app on my phone. Handy!

  • Total of time read: 6:55
  • Of which the audiobook took: 0.55

This surprised me as it feels like I read for more than a scant seven hours. I could have gotten in another one at the end but I was hungry and got distracted by making lunch. Before I knew the readathon was over! :( But I’m not going to let that spoil my mood: it was fun and I haven’t read this much in twenty-four hours for a long time!

Lentil salad for lunch

Already planning next time!

In my start-up post I didn’t know yet where I’d pop up in cyberspace. It happened to be on twitter (where I hadn’t been for a long time either; it’s becoming a theme! ;) Twitter is quick and dirty easy, which makes it perfect if you want to feel connected but spend not too much time at your computer or mobile device. And socializing, I realized, is something I really love about Dewey’s readathon and missed some of the previous times I participated. A big thank you to Cautious‘ Katja B. (@eeyorenyk) whom made me aware of it (ánd was a faithful cheerleader).

Jotting down my plans for next time here so that I’ll know where to find them in six months time.

  • I’ll try to completely clear my schedule so I can devote the full 24 hours to the readathon.
  • I’ll reserve some time for socializing — and to keep me to it I may even sign up as a cheerleader!
  • I’ll return to pre-readathon planning:
  1. think about food & snacks; prepare some meals in advance (including a lentil-, pasta – or couscous salad and possibly lasagne or casserole),
  2. line up some audio books for when I can’t read a physical copy and make an actual schedule for when to use these,
  3. revive my ‘readathon update post’ template,
  4. get some drafts set up.

Edited to add after listening to other participants’ experiences:

  • read successive books from a (familiar) series – for example the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger (I’m up to #3 Blameless);
  • go read in a library for a while.

Last but never least

I really enjoyed seeing familiar faces names in my time-line – old times relived! My IRL readathon buddies were Mr Gnoe and da kittehs Nina and Kuki, one on each lap (from me and hubs that is). A fun fact is that Mr Gnoe and I are both reading the same book; he’s got the paper -limited edition- copy and I have my Kobo e-book. Can you imagine anything more cosy? :D

Kuki on our limited edition of The Bone Clocks

I’d like to thank all cheerleaders, hosts and participants whom made this readathon a success. And I salute the memory of Dewey, without whom we never would’ve had this marvellous event. I wonder if it’s a (perfect) coincidence that there was a cameo of Professor Dewey in The Bone Clocks today???

Quote from The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

Button 24 Hour Read-a-Thon Wow, two blogposts in one week? Sure, why not! It will probably be even more because tomorrow I’m participating in the biannual 24 hour readathon. I’m playing by my own rules and adjusted the time element because my cousin is hosting a “Just sixty” birthday party and I don”t want to miss that (either)!

My plan

The official times for my region are 2PM Saturday – 2PM Sunday. As I have to leave for the party around 3:30 ánd need to get dressed for the occasion -you all watch Downton Abbey and know how it works, right?- that doesn’t leave much room for reading. So I’ll be brave and set my alarm clock at 7:30 PM to start RaT-ing early!

We’ll get to the party venue by bus on which I hope to be able to do some unofficial cheerleading. If I don’t get carsick that is… >.< Once home again I’ll probably go to bed and get up indecently early next day.


I plan on immersing myself in just the one book: The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell. *happy dance* Mitchell is my favourite author and I’ve been looking forward to this novel SO much! I wonder which old acquaintances will I meet?

The book is 600+ pages and I want to finish it before a book club meetup on November 15th. That won’t be an easy feat in my current reading pace. So I have started already and am currently on page 15. My progress can be followed on Goodreads and I may occasionally post here too.

In case I really need a change of palate I will be reading short stories from Haruki Murakami’s The Elephant Vanishes. Can’t wait to get comfy and read-read-read!

The rest

I probably won’t be participating in (m)any mini challenges because I know they just distract me from reading. The same goes for blogging and spending time on social media. But you never know where you’ll meet me in cyberspace during the RaT! Where can I find you?

Meatless Monday Mihun Bento (13-10-2014)

Yesterday I had my first bento lunch in a long time. That makes me happy. :)

Meatless Monday Bihun Bento

Curious about the contents of this bento?

Right tier
Mihoen (bihun) goreng with faux chick’n leftovers from Soy, my local Chinese vegetarian restaurant, topped with fried courgette and parsley.

Left tier
Red Batavia lettuce, tomato, creamy borlotti-balsamic bean spread (recipe from Think! Eat! Act! A Sea Shepard’s Chef Vegan Recipes by Raffaella Tolicetti), pickles, kalamata olives, and a spoonful of capers.

On the side
Rosemary crackers.

Where from?

I won the Sea Shepard’s vegan cookbook I few months ago on Lisa’s Project Vegan blog and the recipes I’ve tried so far are all thumbs up! I hope to spend a post on the book sometime soon so I can link it up to Trish’s Cook It Up — but let’s not get ahead of myself. I used local borlotti beans out of our organic CSA haul for the bean spread this past weekend. Other local and organic ingredients in this lunch are zucchini, lettuce, tomato and parsley.

 I hope I’ll be presenting my next bento again soon… See you then?

Bout of Books

This week I’m playing BoBRaT again: participating in the Bout of Books readathon. Unofficially, because I was too late to sign up. But I so desperately need some pressure to tackle the books on my Mt TBR that I’m just ignoring that fact. Don’t need to win any prizes anyway, as long as I’ll achieve my goal. Which is..?

Readathon Goal

I want to read every day this week for at least 30 minutes, preferably in one sitting. It can be anything: from the pile of magazine clippings and leaflets that’s been bugging me to one of the three books I should be reading right now…

Cover Kleuroze Tsukuru TazakiJLT8 button (2014)De kleurloze Tsukuru Tazaki en zijn pelgrimsjaren / The Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. I’ve joined the August 12th – September 12th readalong of Master Murakami’s most recent book, which is part of Dolce Bellezza’s Japanese Literature Challenge #8

Cover RayuelaRayuela: een hinkelspel / Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar. This notorious Latin American literary experiment of 500+ pages was picked by my IRL bookgroup to be read before September 7th. Oomph.

Cover Op de vleugels van de draakOp de vleugels van de draak (‘On the dragon’s wings’) was chosen as one of two books to be read in August by the Boekgrrls, a Dutch mailing list and on-line book group. And though reading along is always voluntary, I was the one to nominate Lieve Joris’ newest nonfiction. So I can’t drop out now, can I?!

It’s not that I don’t WANT to read these books, I just can’t get myself to do it :( Can you help?

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!


Twittering Gnoe

Currently grazing

And munching on..

Gnoe herding…

Current fav place to graze

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