Read-a-thon Hour 24

Time: 8:15am
So that’s it! I am sorry that the Read-a-thon is over, because… I still have lots of books on Mt TBR!!
After Two Lipsticks, I ended up picking up The Lover. I guess that’s a continuation of the French theme, The Lover is translated from French. Then I had about 1/2 hour left, so I started on a manga, because honestly I too tired for anything else.

Currently Reading:

Reading Location: In the living room.

Total Pages read so far: 1541

Name Me Nobody: pg 1 – 227 (227)
Fasting, Feasting: 1-228 (228)
The Butterfly Tattoo: 1-186 (186)
Single White Vampire 1-369 (369) – 1010
Two Lipsticks and A Lover 1-277 (277)
The Lover 1-117 (117)
Real Love 1-137 (137)

Feel like this year while I excelled in quantity, I miss out on quality. The last few times there were books that really made me go wow, that made me cried or moved me very much. But this time, nothing too exciting. I’d say the best of the bunch if Fasting, Feasting, about an Indian family. But that’s like the relative best. A bit disappointing.

Total Time spent reading so far: 16 h 0 min

8:15am – 11:15pm Name Me Nobdy: 3 hr
(mini challenge, visit other readers)
12:45pm – 2:00pm Fasting, Feasting (1-92): 1 hr 15 min
(lunch)
2:30pm – 3:30pm Fasting, Feasting (93-228): 1 hr
3:30pm – 4:45pm The Butterfly Tattoo: 1 hr 15 min
5:00pm – 6:30pm Single White Vampire: 1 hr 30 min
10:00pm – 1:30am Single White Vampire: 3 hrs 30 min
1:30am – 2:00am Two Lipsticks and A Lover 30 min
(power nap)
2:30am – 4:30am Two Lipsticks and A Lover 2 hrs
(ice cream & power nap)
6:00am – 7:30am The Lover 1 hr 30 min
7:30am – 8:00am Real Love 30 min

Other Readers I have visited:
This year I signed up as a cheerleader so I visited considerably more readers than before. I enjoyed it, gives me a break away from the reading, and it’s not time consuming as I only take a few minutes to frequent a couple of blogs now and then. Will definitely sign up again next round.

Noumena
Kate @ Midnight Girl
shaunesay
Elsi
VeganMedusa
Tania @ Moshimoshineko
Tasha @ Truth, Beauty, Freedom & Books
TFrances @ Wading through the Ocean of Life
delaisse
priya
Two Canadian Readers
Scribacchina

Books I have finished:

Name Me Nobody

Fasting, Feasting

butterfly tattoo

Single White Vampire

Two Lipsticks and a Lover

the lover

Real Love

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Published in: on April 22, 2012 at 8:23 am  Leave a Comment  

Read-a-thon Hour 21

Time: 4:40pm
Finished Single White Vampire. Like it but not as much as the other books in the series. Then I started on Two Lipsticks and A Lover, but was so tired I took a power nap.
Now I am off to reward myself with some Ben & Jerry, also because I am sick of reading about all those slim French women. Then decide on the next book, which may be the last I can finish.

Currently Reading:

Reading Location: In the living room.

Total Pages read so far: 1287

Name Me Nobody: pg 1 – 227 (227)
Fasting, Feasting: 1-228 (228)
The Butterfly Tattoo: 1-186 (186)
Single White Vampire 1-369 (369) – 1010
Two Lipsticks and A Lover 1-277 (277)

Total Time spent reading so far: 14 h 0 min

8:15am – 11:15pm Name Me Nobdy: 3 hr
(mini challenge, visit other readers)
12:45pm – 2:00pm Fasting, Feasting (1-92): 1 hr 15 min
(lunch)
2:30pm – 3:30pm Fasting, Feasting (93-228): 1 hr
3:30pm – 4:45pm The Butterfly Tattoo: 1 hr 15 min
5:00pm – 6:30pm Single White Vampire: 1 hr 30 min
10:00pm – 1:30am Single White Vampire: 3 hrs 30 min
1:30am – 2:00am Two Lipsticks and A Lover 30 min
(power nap)
2:30am – 4:30am Two Lipsticks and A Lover 2 hrs

Other Readers I have visited:

Noumena
Kate @ Midnight Girl
shaunesay
Elsi
VeganMedusa
Tania @ Moshimoshineko
Tasha @ Truth, Beauty, Freedom & Books
TFrances @ Wading through the Ocean of Life
delaisse
priya
Two Canadian Readers
Scribacchina

Books I have finished:

Name Me Nobody

Fasting, Feasting

butterfly tattoo

Single White Vampire

Two Lipsticks and a Lover

Published in: on April 22, 2012 at 4:52 am  Comments (2)  

Read-a-thon Hour 15

Time: 11:55pm
Went out to dinner with my friends and lost several hours of reading time. I seriously considered saying I couldn’t make it but then I figure as I see them only a few times a year they should come before reading.

Still reading Single White Vampire. I was hoping to finish it by midnight but looks like it’s not happening.

On a side note – my parrotlet was with me, and he bite a small corner off the cover! It’s not the first time he gets a taste of what I’m reading, but considering it’s a vampire book, I find it rather funny to see a puncture mark on its cover.

Currently Reading:

Single White Vampire

Reading Location: In the living room.

Total Pages read so far: 904

Name Me Nobody: pg 1 – 227 (227)
Fasting, Feasting: 1-228 (228)
The Butterfly Tattoo: 1-186 (186)
Single White Vampire 1-262 (262)

Total Time spent reading so far: 10 h 0 min

8:15am – 11:15pm Name Me Nobdy: 3 hr
(mini challenge, visit other readers)
12:45pm – 2:00pm Fasting, Feasting (1-92): 1 hr 15 min
(lunch)
2:30pm – 3:30pm Fasting, Feasting (93-228): 1 hr
3:30pm – 4:45pm The Butterfly Tattoo: 1 hr 15 min
5:00pm – 6:30pm Single White Vampire: 1 hr 30 min
10:00pm – 12:00am Single White Vampire: 2 hrs

Other Readers I have visited:

Noumena
Kate @ Midnight Girl
shaunesay
Elsi
VeganMedusa
Tania @ Moshimoshineko
Tasha @ Truth, Beauty, Freedom & Books
TFrances @ Wading through the Ocean of Life
delaisse
priya
Two Canadian Readers/a>

Books I have finished:

Name Me Nobody

Fasting, Feasting

butterfly tattoo

Published in: on April 21, 2012 at 11:58 pm  Comments (2)  

Read-a-thon Hour 9

Time: 5:05pm
When I did the mini challenges, I ended up spending almost an hour on it. : (
So I did some speed reading to catch up. I enjoyed Fasting and Feasting, and then I figure I will do one fast read before going into something a bit longer, an Argemeau Vampire novel in mind. I picked Philip Pullman’s The Butterfly Tattoo. The thinness of the book, the large font and his other works made me think it’s a children’s book, but it’s not. Not a bad novel, just more adult than I expected.

Currently Reading:

Single White Vampire

Reading Location: In the living room.

Total Pages read so far: 642

Name Me Nobody: pg 1 – 227 (227)
Fasting, Feasting: 1-228 (228)
The Butterfly Tattoo: 1-186 (186)

Total Time spent reading so far: 6 h 30 min

8:15am – 11:15pm Name Me Nobdy: 3 hr
(mini challenge, visit other readers)
12:45pm – 2:00pm Fasting, Feasting (1-92): 1 hr 15 min
(lunch)
2:30pm – 3:30pm Fasting, Feasting (93-228): 1 hr
3:30pm – 4:45pm The Butterfly Tattoo: 1 hr 15 min

Other Readers I have visited:

Noumena
Kate @ Midnight Girl
shaunesay
Elsi
VeganMedusa
Tania @ Moshimoshineko
Tasha @ Truth, Beauty, Freedom & Books
TFrances @ Wading through the Ocean of Life
delaisse
priya

Books I have munched on:

Books I have finished:

Name Me Nobody

Fasting, Feasting

butterfly tattoo

Published in: on April 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm  Comments (2)  

Reading in Translation (Mini-Challenge)

I decided not to participate too much in the challenges as to concentrate on my reading, but I just happen upon my answer to this challenge so I figure I will post it.

    1. If you could read any book that’s been translated into English in its ORIGINAL language, what would it be?
    2. Include the original book’s cover if possible; if you want, also post the English cover for comparison.
    3. Optional imaginary bonus points: post a sentence from the book in its original language.

I love to read translated work because it is a wonderful window into another culture.  I enjoy reading historical fiction too, as it’s a peep into another time.  So you guess right if you think I like historical fiction set in another country.

The one book I want most to read in original language (that I can think of now) will be The Tales of Genji, or Genji Monogatari in Japanese. Written in the early 11th century, around the peak of the Heian period. It is sometimes called the world’s first novel.  The story is about the life in the royal court, about Genji, a super handsome son of the emperor.  However, as he was born to a lowly concubine, he was not a contender for the throne.  He leads a very romantic life, falling in love with many women.

More about the book is on wikipedia.

As it’s an old, poetic literature, I would imagine a lot is lost in translation.  If I can understand the original language, I imagine it will be a very beautiful read.

My first introduction to this book is the manga series by Yamato Waki.  Her artwork is simply breath-taking.

Liza Dalby is an American author who, for her PhD dissertation, lived in Japan and worked as a geisha in Japan.  She also wrote an interesting fiction The Tale of Murasaki, about the author of Genji. I enjoyed this novel a lot too.

There are lots of English translations of the book.

And naturally even more in Japanese.  As it’s written in an old languages they have some simplified versions of it too, written in a more comtemporary Japanese.

Also found this, an illustration book published in Taiwan.

Just like Shakespeare’s works, this classic has been made into movies and TV dramas numerous times.

Published in: on April 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Read-a-thon Hour 3

Time: 11:48pm
Just finished reading Name Me Nobody. A growing up story about a slightly over-weighed girl in Hawaii.
Now starting on Fasting, Feasting, another old TBR from 2007.
Yikes, three hours taken for the first book. Has to crank it up a bit.

Currently Reading:

Fasting, Feasting

Reading Location:On my bed.

Total Pages read so far: 227

Name Me Nobody: pg 1 – 227 (227)

Total Time spent reading so far: 3 h
8:15am – 11:15pm Name Me Nobdy: 3 hr

Other Readers I have visited:

Noumena
Kate @ Midnight Girl
shaunesay
Elsi
VeganMedusa
Tania @ Moshimoshineko
Tasha @ Truth, Beauty, Freedom & Books
TFrances @ Wading through the Ocean of Life

Books I have munched on:

Books I have finished:

Name Me Nobody

Published in: on April 21, 2012 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Read-a-thon Hour 1

Okay, wait and wait… and I got up late. No, I didn’t. I woke up too early, thought, oh no, I need every minute of sleep before start time so I don’t get sleepy later… so I tried to stay in bed a bit longer. Which means when the clock turns 8:00 I am still munching on my breakfast.

Anyway, here’s the intro questions:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Miami, Florida. Where it’s rainy and windy! My hubby was planning to go canoeing today while I stay home, and now he’s stuck at home with me!

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

The Argeneau vampire book. I’ve decided to read a book of this series today.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Ben & Jerry ice cream!! And Tim Tams!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I love trying out new restaurants and yelping. I usually ordering the weirdest item on a menu, because I don’t like ordering what I can make at home myself (and sometimes even better).
I am a very bad book cheater (see Tasha @ Truth, Beauty, Freedom & Books. I am always having an affair, two-timers, three-timers… I have an audio book in my car, a hardcover or thicker book at home, and a lighter paperback to take around, for reading at lunch break, on errands. And I sometimes even have one night stands (or my hubby calls them one line stands).

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?

This year I did accept my friend’s invitation to go out to dinner. I figure friends are important too and they don’t wait around for me forever as my books do.

Time: 8:43am

Currently Reading:

Name Me Nobody

Selecting this because this is the third oldest TBR in my pile. I have it since 2007. Shame, shame.

Reading Location:In living room by the computer.

Total Pages read so far: 27

Total Time spent reading so far: 30 min
8:15am – 8:45pm Name Me Nobdy: pg 1-27

Other Readers I have visited:

Noumena
Kate @ Midnight Girl
shaunesay
Elsi
VeganMedusa
Tania @ Moshimoshineko
Tasha @ Truth, Beauty, Freedom & Books

Books I have munched on:

Books I have finished:

Published in: on April 21, 2012 at 8:52 am  Comments (1)  

Getting Ready for Dewey’s Read-a-thon

It’s only a mere twelve hours away from the semi-annual read-a-thon. I am glad this year I can stay home from work. I plan to head to bed early so I can get up early, have breakfast, and be ready-ready, book open, at 8am sharp.

This year I have signed up to cheerlead for the first time, after some hesitation. I feel it’s time I pay it forward, having been visited and cheered on in the past, but I am not sure if I am up to the task. I mean, I am the shy and nerdy type so cheerleading was definitely not my thing in school, and I am not good at thinking of smart and cute things to say. I’ll try my best, and hopefully the readers get other cheerleaders to visit them besides me.

This will be my 4th Dewey’s Read-a-thon. I’ve also done a few that last for 3 days. Any longer and I don’t feel the intensity to read more than normal.

Here’s my thoughts on how to prepare for a read-a-thon:

1. Have a good selection of books
Usually a week or two before the read-a-thon, I will start selecting the books I want to read. I will start a pile and keep adding to it. It’s normal to have more than you can actually read. My friend had a stack of 24 books, which, as her husband said, is just about right at the rate of a book an hour. You don’t quite know for sure what you will be in the mood for. Usually my pile will include books that have been on Mt TBR forever, books I want to send on to my friends, etc.

While some readers may be entirely content to spend the whole day reading one book, many find it more encouraging to be able to finish reading a book. So unless you’re the type, Read-a-thon is not the best time to start on Anna Karenina or Atlas Shrugged.

However, I also find that short books don’t always work the best. With each new book it takes a little time to get used to the writer’s style, and to get to know the characters and background. After that, the reading speed picks up. With short books you keep having to readjust, and that doesn’t make for the most pleasant reading.

Also, considering I will be reading for many hours, I tend to pick books with bigger fonts and more space margin, as they are easier on the eyes. Not to mention that the pages fly by faster.

I like non fiction, so I include them in read-a-thon, though they tend not to be as much a page-turner as a James Patterson may be.

I enjoy the feeling of bountiful books, having many titles available whatever my whim may be. However, if you think a stack of books will stress you, then don’t.

2. Snacks
Snacking is great for a little break. Have some ready!

3. Drinks
While coffee has more caffeine, it tends to crash too. My favorite is a hot cup of tea. Especially when it’s in the middle of the night.
Beer and wine relaxes me too much and I end up sleepy, so I save them for another day…

4. Blogging
Have a template ready so it’s easier to update.

5. Get an audio book
With an audio book playing, you can do some exercise, cook, or clean your house while still “reading”. The speed won’t be as fast, but it sure helps to get off that couch/chair/bed and walk around a bit while still making progress.

6. Take a power nap
When you notice you are reading the same line over and over, and the book falls off your hand – you need rest. I find that a power nap of an hour or so actually does a lot of good, and I am able to start reading at a good pace afterwards. It’s better to rest a little and start fresh, then to keep dragging on with little progress. Usually I get real tired around 3 or 4 am, and I will set my alarm to 6 am. I sometimes wake up before then, but if not, I will wake up two hours early to make a good dash across finish line.

7. Your Friends and Family
Last but not least. While you want to concentrate on reading, remember this: your books will always be around, but not so your friends and family. Don’t put reading ahead of them! I am willing to bet you are more likely to regret not spending enough time with someone you love, rather than regret not reading another book. So, even if they don’t share your love of reading, put down your book and give them a hug or smile once in a while!

Published in: on April 20, 2012 at 7:55 pm  Comments (2)  

The Sugar Queen

by Sarah Addison Allen

sugar queen
I totally love this book. I didn’t expect much of it, it is not my usual type of read, but being a selection of my book club, I figure I will give it a try. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down. I took it along while I went dinner w my hubby, reading it while he read the menu, then finished it in bed. (Yeah my poor hubby…)

Josey Cirrini is the only child of the late, great Marco Cirrini, who came to Bald Slope and almost single-handedly brought prosperity to the small town. Now living with her aged and disapproving mother and a maid, Josey is a sorry excuse of Southern belle. She hides candies in her closet and chauffeurs her mother to her hair appointments, teas and social clubs, the day only livens by the visit of the handsome mailman.

Then one morning she found someone hiding in her closet. Della Lee, a local waitress with a bad reputation, decides to camp out in Josey’s closet while she breaks up with her boyfriend. One part nemesis and two parts fairy godmother, Della Lee has stirred up Josey’s stagnant life, and nothing is the same here on.

Like Garden Spells, the story has a tinge of magical element in it: people who literally can’t break their promises, a girl’s temper and passion can boil water and fry eggs, and books showing up mysteriously (and we are not talking about BookCrossing)… giving the story an unusual charm. The characters, however, are very flesh and blood. The author never did quite explain why Josey was such a horrid child, though. Other than that, the characters are solidly portrayed. Together the realism and magic weaves an enchanting tale of love and friendship.

Published in: on April 20, 2012 at 11:39 am  Leave a Comment  

The Rabbi’s Cat

by Joann Sfar

rabbi's cat

The story begins in 1930’s Algeria. A rabbi’s cat ate a parrot, and suddenly finds himself able to speak. To his master’s consternation, the cat immediately begins to tell lies (“I didn’t eat any parrot!”) The rabbi decides to educate him in the way of the Torah, and the cat insists he wants a Bar Mitzvah, and that by cat’s age he is well past thirteen.

The author cleverly works interesting questions about religion and culture into the story in a charming, humorous and witty way. There is a magic, a tenderness in the story telling. I didn’t exactly like the look of the cat, though I have to admit a good resemblance to the artist’s own pet. He looks a bit devilish in the beginning, but his unique view of things make for interesting narration. The rabbi character is so disarmingly endearing in his honesty, and his love for his cat and his daughter, it’s impossible not to love him.

I am happy to find that there is a second volume. Definitely will get a copy of it!

Published in: on April 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm  Comments (1)