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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?
    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 ;)

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Jardin des Plantes (Tardi)

We’re in the last hour of the readathon (already? ;) and I’ve finished 2 graphic novels since my hour 20 status update: Adèle and the Beast (Isabelle en het beest) & Monsters All! (Allemaal monsters!) from the series Les Avontures Extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec (De avonturen van Isabelle Avondrood) by Jacques Tardi. They were re-reads but it was at least 20 years ago that I first had my eyes on them, so I had mostly forgotten what the stories were about. In this post you’ll find a preview of the drawings and our IRL (in real life) reproductions.

Jardin des Plantes (photo)

The Museum of Natural History plays an important role in the first volume I mentioned, Adèle and the Beast, and I’ve been wanting to visit the museum ever since I was studying Museology (almost 20 years ago). The weird thing is: every time I’m in Paris something prevents me from going there! Last month it was closed on the day we had picked (bad planning, I know) and postponing it to another day didn’t fit with our schedule. Sigh.

Jardin des Plamtes (Tardi)Jardin des Plantes (photo)

Status report

24 Hour Read-a-thonTime period: 10.00 – 13.15

Currently reading: time to choose the last book of my readathon stack!

Total of time read: 8 hrs 40 mins
Total amount of pages read: 250 pages (nice round figure!)

Books finished: 4 books (The Following Story by Cees Nooteboom, caught up with Sei Shonagon’s The Pillow Book read-along, Adèle and the Beast (Adèle et le bête) & Monsters All! (Tous des monstres!) from the series Les Avontures Extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec by Tardi)
Mini-challenges participated in: 11 (Since last update: mini-challenge about character pictures)

Noooo, I haven’t travelled to France while napping (dream on grrl!).

I went to sleep at 5am and set my alarm clock for 8:30, but wasn’t able to get my lazy bum out of bed to make breakfast until half an hour ago. And now I’m having coffee & croissants while I’m picking up the Adèle graphic novels. As I mentioned before in my ‘pile post‘, Mr Gnoe and I photographed several locations from the comic books in real life when we were in Paris a month back, to make a Google Map out of. But first I’m going check out how everybody else is doing!

Non-fiction & Memoir/True Stories Mini-challenges

The hour 19 & 20 mini-challenges came just at the right time. Just before I went to bed I finished catching up on The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon. It’s some kind of journal written by a court lady of Heian Japan, around 990. She wrote down her thoughts, observations and tells about the habits of her time and class. To answer the questions on Rainy Day Reviews’ Memoir/True Stories challenge:

  1. Have you ever read a memoir/true story (Or book ‘based on true events’?)
    I do so every once in a while. Like last night ;)
  2. If so, what was the title/author?
    The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon, or In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, or the Marlene Dietrich biograhy by her daughte Maria Riva or Butterfly in the Wind by Rei Kimura… can go on forever!
  3. What what it about?
    I’ve told you about The Pillow Book above and the Dietrich bio is obvious as well ;) In Cold Blood is the re-telling of a horrible murder and its court case. It’s actually faction: fiction based on facts. Butterfly in the Wind is the Okichi Saito, concubine of Townsend Harris, the first American Consul to Japan in 1856.
  4. Did you like it? Would you recommend it?
    I’m struggling a little with The Pillow Book (I prefer a plot), I erm… liked In Cold Blood and would recommend it as a classic, but I don’t think you need to read it before you die ;) The life of Marlene Dietrich bored me to death. I really tried for 880 pages (!) and finally gave up. Butterfly in the Wind… was just plain horrible. But I read it all.
  5. How many have you read?
    Counting would take too much time — although it seems fun!
  6. Why or what made you want to read it?
    Different reasons: it might be a classic, I’ve come across the book by chance, it peaked my interest.
  7. What was the saddest/scariest one you read?
    The Diary of Anne Frank? (Hey, I’m Dutch — of course I’ve read it! Several times ;) Slaughterhouse-Five? Maus? From the ones I mentioned above Butterfly in the Wind would be saddest, In Cold Blood scariest.
  8. Did it have a ‘happy ending’?
    No, no and no ;)
  9. When choosing a memoir/true story, do you look for a certain kind? ( i.e. historical diary, inspirational like The Freedom Writer’s Diary, Christian, non Christian)
    No, I don’t pick memoirs/true stories because of the genre but because of the topic.
  10. Bonus question(s-it’s in parts:) for my giveaway: Have you read 3 or more memoirs/true stories? Title/Author, would you recommend them? If you were to win the giveaway prize, would you want the book, (Sizzling 16 by Janet Evanovich) and would you prefer the coffee or tea? or both?
    Can I refer you back to my answer to the second & fourth questions? :) And I’d prefer tea, if you ship to Europe ;)

Status report

24 Hour Read-a-thonTime period: 4.50 – 10:00

Currently reading: Adèle and the Beast (Adèle et le bête) & Monsters All! (Tous des monstres!) from the series Les Avontures Extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec by Tardi

Total of time read: 7 hrs 15 mins
Total amount of pages read: 154 pages

Books finished: 2 books (The Following Story by Cees Nooteboom & finally caught up with Sei Shonagon’s The Pillow Book read-along)
Mini-challenges participated in: 10 (since last update: Wordle, Non-fiction, Memoirs)

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

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