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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?
  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 ;)


Cover Het volgende verhaal / The Following Story (Cees Nooteboom)Yay, I finished reading my first book! And although I really didn’t expect it (and got a little annoyed by the obviously erudite blah blah of the author at first), I absolutely loved it!

I’m talking about The Following Story by the Dutch author Cees Nooteboom, which I (dôh) read in my native language: Het volgende verhaal. I probably would have never read it if it hadn’t been recommended by my all-time favourite author David Mitchell. The story goes that while he was in Holland researching The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet on a writer’s fellowship, he picked up Nooteboom’s novella while he took cover in Waterstones’ bookstore during an awful downpour — and he couldn’t stop reading. Nooteboom is being acknowledged in ‘Jacob de Zoet’, so I guess they met afterwards.

I almost bought myself a second hand copy of The Following Story, but discovered — just in time! — that I already owned it! That’s what happens sometimes with the free publications of National Book Week… So I might have never picked up this book if it hadn’t been for Mitchell. Worse: it could have ended up in a Boekgrrls book swap unread! But just now I recommended it for the new Boekgrrls reading schedule… Let’s hope it’ll be picked!

I plan to write a short review after the readathon has ended. But one thing I can tell you already: this book has made me want to visit Lisbon! How appropriate, since the hour 8 mini-challenge on The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader is about Arm Chair Travelling!

Now I’m really curious to hear what tanabata of In Spring it is the Dawn thinks of The Following Story!

Also, I finally got around to making a donation so that those generous people providing prizes for the readathon are able to send it to the lucky winners. Let’s return some love to all those book bloggers behind the scenes of the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon!

Shake Your Pom-Pom Cheer: “Flip that cover, turn your page, we’re reading for the read-a-thon!

Status report

24 Hour Read-a-thonTime period: 16.30 – 21.45

Currently reading: Gotta decide!

Total of time read: 4 hrs 27 mins & I lost track of blogging / cheering / tweeting time ;)
Total amount of pages read: 93 pages

Books finished: 1 book (The Following Story in Dutch = Het volgende verhaal, by Cees Nooteboom)
Mini-challenges participated in: 5 (Since last update: Show me the books, Arm Chair Travelling, Shake Your Pom-Pom!)

I’m almost halfway The Following Story and really liking it. Right before I stopped for this 1st status update I stumbled unto something that inspired David Mitchell to use in his latest novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet! Tomorrow my favourite author is being interviewed about his book and research of Japan in the Sieboldhuis, but I won’t be attending because of the readathon :\

I haven’t read for all of the two and a half hours since the readathon started: I had to take a break to make cream cheese icing for my carrot cake — which is delicious by the way. I’ve found the perfect recipe! Slice anyone? :)

Homemade carrot cake!

Mini Challenge: Back in the Day Childrens Books

My copy of De Ongelofelijke ReisMiss Wisabus mini-challenge ‘Back in the Day Childrens Books‘ asks after favourite books from when we were young. Ha! I’ve already posted about that a while ago! I absolutely loved The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford, a thrilling story for an animal addict lover like myself! :)

This year our first niece and nephew turned 10, just the age I had been waiting for! I gave this childhood treasure as a present to them both (which is only available second hand these days). One of them even called to tell us how great it was!

Status report

24 Hour Read-a-thon24 Hour Read-a-thonTime period: 14:00 – 16.30

Currently reading: Het volgende verhaal (The Following Story) by Cees Nooteboom

Total of time read: 1 hrs 22 mins
Total amount of pages read: 42 pages

Books finished: 0 books
Mini-challenges participated in: 2 (Back in the Day Childrens Books, Indie Books)

24 Hour Read-a-thonYay! The Fall 24 Hour Read-a-thon has STARTED! It’s 2pm here in Utrecht, Holland (+1 GMT), and I’m totally in the mood since I’ve been preparing since last night…

I’ve been saving my books so I can start a new one RIGHT NOW, my carrot cake is cooling down to enjoy later on with some golden mandarin green tea, I’ve made salsa picante for a veggie nachos snack and hoarded up on other relatively healthy goodies like fruit salad, baby figs and cucumber to dip in a yoghurt-herb sauce. Ha!

My readathon pile was posted on Thursday: please check it out!

Cover Het volgende verhaal / The Following Story (Cees Nooteboom)I’ll be starting off today with The Following Story in Dutch (Het volgende verhaal), by Cees Nooteboom, a buddy-read with tanabata. This publication was a gift handed out in the 1991 National Book Week (in promotion of Dutch literature). Bookmark from Elm@And I’ll be using an appropriate bookmark that was kindly given to me by Boekgrrl elm@. It’s a Still Life with Plaster Statuette by Vincent van Gogh, made in 1887.

I have no specific goals, I will go to sleep at some point when I get too tired, and I’ll check in every few hours for a status update and/or to visit fellow participants. Wishing you all loads of FUN!

My pile of books for the 24 hour readathon in October 2010

These are the books I’ll be picking from next Saturday, when I’m participating in the fall 24 Hour Read-a-thon (starting at 14:00 local time).

As you may notice it is an a-typical pile in that they’re mainly Dutch titles! The bulk of my yearly reads is in English but I decided to make it easy for myself since I haven’t been reading much lately and I may be easily distracted the coming weekend as well. Juno, one of my kittehs, is very ill and last Sunday we didn’t even think she’d make it till readathon weekend. But this tough old gal is still fighting to get better! So instead of her keeping me company in my reading chair and bed (like previous RaTs), I might go sit with her on a pillow in a corner of the room. Less comfy, but darn well cosy and I’d be so much enjoying her presence! Of course if worse comes to worst I might drop out of the challenge to read for 24 hours. But let’s not think about that yet!

Now, which books are you looking at in that picture (clockwise)?

  • Dromen van China (The China Lover), Ian Buruma
  • Nocturnes, Kazuo Ishiguro (short stories)
  • Het volgende verhaal (The Following Story), Cees Nooteboom (novella)
  • Isabelle en het monster and Allemaal monsters! (Adèle and the Beast / Adèle et le bête & Monsters All! / Tous des monstres!) from the series Les Avontures Extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec, Jacques Tardi (graphic novels)
  • Sneeuwlandschap / Snow Country (雪国, Yukiguni), Yasunari Kawabata
  • Het hoofdkussenboek van Sei Shōnagon (The Pillow Book), Sei Shōnagon (short autobiographical entries)
  • Modelvliegen (‘Model Flying‘), Marcel Möring (audiobook)

24 Hour RaT buttonI feel like starting these books RIGHT NOW — all at the same time! LOL But I guess I’m most excited about The Following Story because it was recommended by David Mitchell and I will be buddy reading it with tanabata from In Spring it is the Dawn. That’ll be so much fun! It’s a story about Herman Mussert (a former teacher of Latin and Greek), who falls asleep in Amsterdam one evening only to wake up in a hotel room in Lisbon with the fear that he is dead.

I’m also looking forward to The China Lover, of which The Independent writes:

Reading Ian Buruma’s novel is like your first visit to a sushi shop with a knowledgeable friend. Everything is unfamiliar, some of it unpalatable, but your companion ensures you finish sated, delighted and feeling that bit more knowledgeable yourself. [..]

The story traces the real-life career of a Manchurian-born Japanese movie star, known variously as Ri Koran, Shirley Yamaguchi and Yoshiko Yamaguchi. Her three incarnations act before very different backdrops: the colonial experiment of “New Asia” in the 1930s and 1940s, the post-war MacArthur administration, culminating in the student protests of 1960; and the armed resistance of the Japanese Red Army in Palestine in the 1970s.

But Yamaguchi merely guest-stars in her own biopic, for each section is narrated by a different man: a China-loving mentor, a restless American expat, and a pornographer-turned-terrorist.

This year’s graphic novels are from Tardi’s series about Les Aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec. I’ll be rereading these because part of the adventures take place in Paris (France) and Mr Gnoe and I have been photographing the very same places when we were there a month ago. Our plan is to make a thematic Google map! Having graphic novels at hand for a change of palate is one of the great tips I got when I first joined the readathon. Although I was completely wrong in thinking that reading comics takes less time… It rather doubles it: reading the story and looking at the pictures!

Something special about this year’s readathon is that I actually know 2 other Dutch participants: Leeswammes and JannyAn. I hope this will make me feel less lonely in the dark hours of the night, when it’s still daytime at the other side of the globe. Although I do not plan to go completely without sleep, because I tend to get depressed if I do so ;) These grrls even live in the same state as I do (Utrecht province), so maybe next year we’ll be holding a pyjama party during the readathon?! ;)

Juno keeping me company during 24 Hour RaT in September 2009

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!


Currently grazing

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Gnoe herding...