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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

Cover De pianomanYay, I have finished my first book! De pianoman, by Bernlef. I liked it, but as I said in my previous update post I didn’t get to concentrate as much I should :( I hope that will get better with my next read: I am a cat by Natsume Soseki. I need to review it for the Japanese readalong, so I’d better know what it’s about!

The Piano Man

The Piano Man is fiction based on a true story of a man washing ashore in Sheerness in 2005. Because of his taciturnity, the authorities couldn’t identify him for quite some time. Once identified as the German Andreas Grassl, he was put on a plane home.

The fictional Piano Man is a Dutchman named Thomas Boender, who prefers to keep silent because his upbringing in the northern part of my country never taught him to speak his mind very well. Like Andreas Grassl he’s lower-class and homosexual. Not being good with words, he is rather clever at playing the piano (taught to him by his school teacher). That’s why the English call him Piano Man. The book is about him ending up in Sheerness — and getting back home. Keeping all thoughts for themselves makes people heavy, talking makes you (feel) lighter.

Bernlef is fascinated by language. Even his pseudonym has something to do with it: he named himself after a 8th century, blind lyrical poet from Friesland (in the upper part of The Netherlands).

Status report

16:30 – 19:00

Currently reading: I am a cat (starting with the first chapter at page 3)

Progress since last update

Time read: 0 hrs 54 mins
Amount of pages: 44 pages
Books finished: 1 book (De pianoman)

Mini-challenges I participated in: 1 (Bart’s Title challenge)
Blogging time: hard to keep track of… So I won’t bother you with it anymore.

Totals

Hours read: 2:05
Pages read: 88
Books read: 1
Mini-challenges: 4

ReadathonpileThis is my final readathon pile! The third book from above (Model Gliding by Marcel Möring in Dutch: Modelvliegen) I will actually not read on paper: I have the audiobook waiting on my iPod. With thanks to Elsje las!

Listening to the advise of oldtimers I’ve decided to start with a short book to get a feeling of accomplishment: The Pianoman (also in Dutch: De Pianoman), by Bernlef. It’s the boekenweekgeschenk from 2008: ‘book week present’. Each year in March there’s a week devoted to books and reading. If you spend 20 euro’s on Dutch literature, you’ll get that year’s gift written by a famous author. This started as early as 1930! In the beginning the public had to guess who the author was by reading the novella.

Oh my, I suddenly discover I forgot to put one book in the photograph… The China Lover! Well, I might even never get to it anyway ;)

I wonder what this readathon will do to my daily post statistics… LOL The hard part of coming 24 hours will be not to spend too much time behind my computer blogging and following other readathonners! Beneath you can see my starting position. Good luck to all! :)

startingposition

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 ;)

This is very exciting: on Wednesday the Monopoly 2.0 release game got started! My teammate myranya and I are called De boekenleggers, which can be translated into bookmarks — but it is a better name in Dutch because it is literally ‘the book layers’ (people laying books). Our first assignment is to leave a book at an IKEA shop… This is my 2nd time playing Bookcrossing monopoly and it was great fun last year!

Cover The CorrectionsSpeaking of Bookcrossing: I received no less than two RABCK’s this week! (Weekly Geeks made us improve our weblogs, so I’m referring you to my new glossary for the explanation of RABCK ;) First came Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections from Marsala. It is #1 on the list of Best Fiction of the Millenium (so far)! Marsala read the book during the September readathon. And yesterday my surprise gift for joining in that same monthly readathon arrived! I had joined in preparation of the 24 hour Read-a-Thon of October 24th. I am really excited that I already got my pile of books done! Here’s what I will be reading during those 24 hours (although I probably won’t manage all of the books/hours):

  • short stories: Nocturnes, by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • De pianoman (‘The Piano Man‘), by Bernlef
  • audiobook: Modelvliegen (‘Model Gliding‘), by Marcel Möring
  • [my current book of that moment]
  • Dromen van China (The China Lover), by Ian Buruma
  • graphic novel: Coraline, by Neil Gaiman
  • graphic novel: Persepolis & Persopolis 2, by Marjane Satrapi
  • comic: The Best of Mutts, by Patrick McDonnell

There’s just one title I would like to add: Zijde (Silk), by Alessandro Baricco. So if anyone has got a copy available, in Dutch or English..?

Buying graphic novels for the upcoming read-a-thon was a first for me! I figured it would be great for variety. But the funny thing is I can hardly wait to start reading them now! I should keep myself from picking them up first thing on THE Day ;)

My mailbox really had to work overtime this week: I also received my three online Japanese book group reads yesterday!

    Japanese book group books

  • I Am a Cat (Wagahai wa Neko dearu 1905), by Natsume Sōseki — readalong, part 1 TBR before November 15th
  • The Old Capital (Koto 1962), by Yasunari Kawabata — TBR before November 30th
  • The Housekeeper and the Professor (Hakase no aishi ta sūshiki 2003), by Yoko Ogawa — TBR before January 30th 2010

Next week I hope to have finished John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath… I’ll see you then!

This year’s personal reading challenge is to read all books on the Best Dutch Book (ever) shortlist that I haven’t read yet. The election took place in March this year but the original website has unfortunately been deleted (already!) so there’s no link to provide you with. Here’s the list:

cover Hersenschimmencover Huis van de moskeecover Donkere kamer van Damoclescover Nooit meer slapencover Ontdekking van de hemelcover Max Havelaarcover De uitvretercover Titaantjescover Dichtertjecover Publieke werkenmeneer Beertacover De avonden

Titles in italic I had already read before I started this challenge, bold titles are still to be read before the year ends…

Hersenschimmen, J. Bernlef
Het huis van de moskee, Kader Abdolah
De Donkere Kamer van Damocles, W.F. Hermans
Nooit Meer Slapen, W.F. Hermans
De ontdekking van de hemel, Harry Mulisch
Max Havelaar, Multatuli
De uitvreter / Titaantjes / Dichtertje, Nescio
Publieke werken, Thomas Rosenboom
Het Bureau, J.J. Voskuil
De avonden, Gerard Reve

The final contest was between Kader Abdolah and Harry Mulisch, and Mulisch finally won. It’s interesting that an immigrant came so close to winning the prize for Best Dutch Book ever!

I am now reading Publieke werken so I should be able to finish my challenge before the end of 2007. But because I had left some of the thicker books until last and I didn’t feel much like picking them up, I am participating in an international Bookcrossing challenge: the SIY (Set It Yourself) challenge. It helps motivate to complete my challenge – I don’t think I would have managed otherwise!

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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