Magical Readathon: The NEWTs 2019

NEWTs stands for Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests.  Seriously?  That doesn’t sound formal, but rather a joke of an official acronym.  Whatever it is, it’s in a month’s time so time to get the deets squared away. 

Please tell me I am not the only one.  I keep telling myself, this is a just a freaking readathon, my life doesn’t depend on it, my future happiness and material wealth and personal fulfillment does not depend on it, but I still couldn’t make up my mind about my career choice after Hogswart!

I browse the career guide; I am not sure I have the stuff for Auror or a medical career. Broom maker sounds janitorial to my muggle ears. Should I be a magizoologist? Hmmm…

I am most attracted to Aurologist. Years ago I was fascinated by someone doing Aura Reading at a New Age fair. May include travel to France, Japan and Nepal?  Sign me up!! It requires:

OWLs: Astronomy, Divination, and History of Magic
NEWTs: E in Astronomy, E in Divination

(Each subject has 3 pass grades. A for Acceptable, E for Exceeded Expectations & an O for Outstanding, the highest grade.)

Ha, so happened I did not pass Astronomy (book with star in title) and Divination (a book that takes place in the future) in my OWLs.  But I know I can do it Hermione style, talk Professor McGonagall into letting me take the NEWTs in those subjects anyway.

Here’s the curriculum for Aurologist, a easy-peesy four books, six for overachievers :

A: Moon on the cover or anywhere in the title
E: Word “night” in book title or series name
0: Read a sci-fi book (or book with stars on the cover

A: Read a white book
E: Read a short story or a collection of short stories
O: Read the last book you bought/took from your library 

The over achiever in me finds the curriculum for Metal Charmer, my second choice, much more challenging:
OWLs: Ancient Runes, Arithmancy, Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration + 2 more subjects (I have History of Magic and Care of Magical Creatures)

NEWTS: O in Arithmancy, O in Charms, O in Transfiguration, E in Ancient Runes, A in Defense Against the Dark Arts

A: Book that ends on an even page number
E: Read a standalone
0: Book that’s longer than 350 pages 

A: Read a book that you think has a gorgeous cover
E: Read a comic/graphic novel/mang
a (or book under 150 pages)
O: Spongify (softening charm) – read a paperback book 

A: Read a book with LQBTQA+ representation
E: Read a book that’s not a first in the series
O: McGonagall does not mess around! Read a book over 500 pages

Ancient Runes 
A: Ehwaz (partnership) – read recommended by a friend
E: Book written in past tense
0: Book that has been on your TBR for ages 

Defence Against the Dark Arts
A: Book that’s black under the dust jacket
E: Gilderoy’s memory charm – (grab a pen! first book that you remembered just now from your TBR!
0:Cornish pixie! Swat it away with a book written by an English author or set in England


Published in: on July 5, 2019 at 7:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Book Junkie Trails

Ok I stumbled upon the Book Junkie Trails Reading Challenge online…

Pretty cool… You get sorted into different groups, kind of like HP houses, and based on that, you have to complete different challenges.

I tested twice, and both times I am a scribe, so scribe I am!! I don’t understand though why we have to make up our TBR list ahead of time. But well, can’t complain as I am not the Queen.

As a Scribe my required five challenges are:


Dwarf Mount: You spot a fair tavern wench, however the Dwarf Mines, grimey and dusty, didn’t evoke a very romantic feeling. Read a book with a hint of romance to get you in the mood. ~ The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

Apothecary Towers: Where the wizards dwell. Tricksters. They have blind-folded you and randomised all your books, choose a book at random from your bookshelf. ~ Mountain Girl, River Girl by Ting-xing Ye

The Great Library: Ahh the great archives, find and read a book that has been on your TBR forever. ~ Swallow by Mary Capello (Have this since 2013, not oldest but old enough)

The Drowning Deep: The Whirlpool… is so…. mesmerising. Read a book with rich world-building that will suck you into its own world, instead. ~ The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

The Bookie Grail: Here you find a lost manuscript, delivered on this forgotten island by a fallen star. Read the group book: Stardust. ~While I love Stardust and have it on my permanent collection, I see that many people are going with an alternate, so I decide to opt for something new and help reduce my TBR by reading instead Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida. 

The ability to rewrite their tale.
Their unique ability is to read a book that wasn’t on their declared TBR
– as long as it still completes the challenge.
As scribes spend so much time documenting their findings,
one of their challenges will take MUCH longer than normal.
They must read a book over 500 pages.

As I do read more than 5 books a month, I will try to do some of the other challenges as well…

Crimson Peaks: These peaks are about to blow! Re-read a favourite to soothe them into dormancy ~ Tin Tin
Queendom Stone: The stone of our Royal Majesty – what are the royal customs of other lands? Read a book featuring Royalty. ~ Malice in the Palace by Rhys Bowen
The Forgotten Forests: All those open series, the forest knows and feels your forgetfulness. It will sing a mounful lament, tormenting you until you read the next in a series. ~ The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Half by Catherynne M. Valente
The Weeping Falls: To pass through the rapids unscathed, you must give to the Falls. Read a tear-jerker. ~ Ceres, Celestral Legend vol 11-14
Orc Grove: Some say there is no talking to Orcs, but a good political relationship is needed. Learn some Orc customs by reading a book that is gruesome, gory, or gritty. ~ The Anatomist by Bill Hayes
Ol’ Pirate Cove: Shiver me timbers. You shall be walking the plank if you don’t learn how to sail better. Read a book that takes place, at least in part, on sea. ~ The Children of the Sea by Daisuke Igarashi
Glimmer: This Isle is alight with gems and crystals, one of the most picturesque spots in The High Queendom. Make sure you fit in with a beautiful or colourful book. ~ The Secrets of Pistoulet by Jana Kolpen
Draconic Isle: Oh My! This island is swarming with wyverns and dragons. Brush up on your draconic knowledge with a book that features dragons. ~ Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik
The Elven Guard are surprised by your visit, and are immediately on the offensive: Read a book with War, Military or Political Themes to learn how to help calm the situation. ~ Animal Weapons by Douglas J. Emlen
On the Hallow Isle, lurk incorporeal monsters and the ghosts of your past: Read an Atmospheric or Horror Book to pass this test of nerve. ~ Vampire Hunter D
Empty Barrel Inn, everyone deserves a swig or too, some say it even aids warming up those vocal cords: Enjoy An Indulgent Read. ~ Tall, Dark and Hungry by Lyndsay Sands
Giant Squid, a fearsome fellow: Read a book that intimidates you, and this foe shall be a doddle. ~ The Lost Daughter of Happiness

Published in: on June 18, 2019 at 12:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Magical Read-a-thon: the OWLs

While posting for the Dewey Read-a-thon, I noticed that some of my friends are hashtaging OWLSreadathon. I was really curious and tried to find more info about it, but it wasn’t as easy as I thought. Finally through another blog I found the Youtube video with links to the docs on Google where things are explained to me. I love the idea, but just wish they have posted the info on a blog or instagram directly.

The read-a-thons take place in April and August. April is the OWLs (Ordinary Wizard Level, a word play on the muggle’s O Level) exams and August is the N.E.W.T.s. We can select a career path, like herbologist, seer, wardmaker, etc, and based on that, select the classes, aka challenges, we want to focus on.

So happens I have been reading a ton of books in April for my trip to BookCrossing Readathon, and it was relatively easy to fit many of them into the categories.  The grades are: 2 passed exams – Acceptable, 6 passed exams – Exceeding Expectations, 9+ passed exams – Outstanding.

Useful link to people who can explain it better than I can:
OWLs Magical ReadAThon TBR 2019

ETA: Okay, Report card is out… Looks like I may have a bright future in magical zoology. As I was reading exclusively books to take to the convention, either on another BookCrosser’s wishlist or to release there, I didn’t look for books to fit the titles but rather see whether the books I read fit any of the courses. As I’ve read books in 9 subjects, I managed to get an Outstanding.  But of course, what would you expect from a Ravenclaw?

Really glad to find this reading challenge, I enjoy it a lot!  Look forward to NEWT in August!

Ancient Runes – Read a retelling

Arithmancy – Work written by more than one author

Astronomy – “Star” in the title
Care of Magical Creatures – Land animal on the cover

Charms – Age Line: Read an adult work

Defense Against the Dark Arts – Reducto: title starts with an “R”

Divination – Set in the future
Herbology – Plant on the cover

History of Magic – Published at least 10 years ago

Muggle Studies – Contemporary

Potions – Next Ingredient: Sequel
Transfiguration – sprayed edges or a red cover

Published in: on April 20, 2019 at 12:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon April 6, 2019

Stars haven’t really aligned for me to do many read-a-thons lately. I tried to get the day off but my boss said he “needs” me. I figure I’ll have the rest of the day to read but then my friends invited us to dinner and my hubby really wanted to go. He doesn’t do sad puppy eyes but I know he did, and I know he hated having nothing to do on a Sat and just stay home with a reading wife. So I agreed to go.

Turned out barely had I waken up, that I got a text message from work. Someone couldn’t come in so I had to head out asap. Bye bye books!

So… while I managed to read a little during my work lunch, while we drove to and from the dinner place, my reading time didn’t really start until after my dinner… which is more than halfway through the 24 hours.

I managed to read, in whole:

The Last Egret – a lovely children’s story based on the real life adventure of a pioneer family in South Florida, written by the great-grandson.
Buoy – a cute little illustrated tale about a small buoy out in the ocean.

And read in part:

My Jane Austen Summer – I am not exactly a JA fan, but reading this before I pass this on to a friend who is.
The Pun Also Rises – Totally brilliant book about puns. Puntastic!!
Alpha Beta – a book about the origin of alphabets. A bit dry so I had to slip in two books in between to keep from falling asleep.
Red Dust – a travelog of China by a “spiritually polluted” Chinese artist.

Needless to say, didn’t participate in any mini challenge.

Published in: on April 20, 2019 at 12:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2019

This year there are a lot of fun categories. And I’ve added a few words to my vocab: I had no idea what is LitRPG or cli-fic.

1. A book becoming a movie in 2019
2. A book that makes you nostalgic – Just So Stories
3. A book written by a musician (fiction or nonfiction)
4. A book you think should be turned into a movie –
5. A book with at least one million ratings on Goodreads
6. A book with a plant in the title or on the cover – Sister of My Heart
7. A reread of a favorite book – Goose Girl
8. A book about a hobby – Tolstoy and the Purple Chair
9. A book you meant to read in 2018 – Baba Yaga Laid an Egg
10. A book with POP, SUGAR, or CHALLENGE in the title
11. A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover – My French Whore
12. A book inspired by myth/legend/folklore
13. A book published posthumously
14. A book you see someone reading on TV or in a movie
15. A retelling of a classic
16. A book with a question in the title – How Would You Move Mount Fuji?
17. A book set on college or university campus
18. A book about someone with a superpower
19. A book told from multiple POVs – Sister of My Heart
20. A book set in space
21. A book by two female authors
22. A book with SALTY, SWEET, BITTER, or SPICY in the title
23. A book set in Scandinavia – The Almost Nearly Perfect People
24. A book that takes place in a single day – Today Will Be Different
25. A debut novel – A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea
26. A book that’s published in 2019
27. A book featuring an extinct or imaginary creature – Perdido Street Station
28. A book recommended by a celebrity you admire
29. A book with LOVE in the title – Island of the Sequined Love Nun
30. A book featuring an amateur detective
31. A book about a family – Green Island
32. A book author from Asia, Africa, or South America – The Gift of Rain
33. A book with a zodiac sign or astrology term in title – Paris to the Moon
34. A book that includes a wedding – Sister of My Heart
35. A book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter – Crucible of Gold (Naomi Novik)
36. A ghost story – Strangers
37. A book with a two-word title – Red Dust
38. A novel based on a true story – The Realm of Shells
39. A book revolving around a puzzle or game – The Pun Also Rises
40. Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading challenge: A novel based on a real person – White Truffles in Winter

Advanced Reading
1. A “cli-fi” (climate fiction) book
2. A “choose-your-own-adventure” book
3. An “own voices” book – #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women
4. Read a book during the season it is set in
5. A LitRPG book
6. A book from a genre/subgenre you’ve never heard of
7. A book with no chapters / unusual chapter headings / unconventionally numbered chapters
8. Two books that share the same title
9. A book that has inspired a common phrase or idiom
10. A book set in an abbey, cloister, monastery, vicarage, or convent – Women in Korean Zen

Published in: on January 11, 2019 at 12:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon October 21, 2017

Time: 9:00 am
I went to nap at around 5, when I got too sleepy to read. I woke up to do my last book, and decided that I want to be able to finish one book cover to cover at least, so I picked Nzingha, a children’s book about a warrior queen in Angola.

Not a lot of pages read this time around, but I had the most fun with mini challenges this year.

Time: 1:00 am
More than 12 hours later. Been to work and back, managed to listen to The Girl with No Shadow (aka the Girl with Lollipop Shoes), the sequel to Chocolat, while commuting. And a little bit of reading during lunch time. Now, I’m all set to do some serious reading! Well, couldn’t resist first some fun with mini-challenges. To me that’s the best part of read-a-thon!

Time: 11:30 am

I am so glad that I can participate this time, as it’s Dewey’s 10th Anniversary! I wish I could say that I was here since the very first one, but all I say is every time I participated it was a lot of fun. Last year I couldn’t due to travels, but even though I have to work later today, I am reading what I can.

Set my alarm to ring at 7:30am, but didn’t roll out of bed till it’s 8, haha, as my plan to sleep early last night didn’t work well. In all honesty it had been a rather shitty time lately. There was hurricane Irma, my dear parrotlet passed away, and I am in my 3rd round of cold in a month. Really, I think I have snotted out half my brain at this point. And it feels like it, most of the time I was in a zombie mode. Not working out much doesn’t help either, but I don’t have enough energy for the gym, and I find out during downward dogs that gravity is bad for running noses.

Anyway, here I am. Finished the little bit of the book I’m on, and started my second.

Opening Meme
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Sunshine state of Florida, as usual.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
All Things Good by Sarah Turnbull, about her time in Tahiti.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Mochi! Got three boxes of them from Costco last month.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
Love reading since I was a child. Mom said I was such a easy child to raise, just give me a book and I’ll stay quiet for hours. And apparently I slept so soundly as a baby my dad had to wake me up just to be sure I wasn’t dead.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?
Well, I started using Instagram, so I’ll be posting more there and on twitter instead of on my blog.

Total Pages read so far: 513

Plain Secrets pgs 136-202 (67)
The Tale of Kieu pgs 1-24 (24)
The Girl with No Shadow pgs 1-107 (108)
The Wives of Henry Oades pgs 230-363 (134)
All Good Things pgs 1-44 (45)
Nzingha pgs 1-133 (134)

Total Time spent reading so far: 6 hr

Mini-challenges I’ve entered:
Opening Meme

Traveler’s Log
Book and a Beverage
Time Flies

Really love this one, totally brilliant idea. It took me a while to figure out the covers. I would love to make my own clock but as my reading time is scant already I don’t have time to go hunting around for them.

1. First Frost
2. Two From the Heart
3. The Three Musketeers
4. Four Weeks, Five People
5. Fives and Twenty-Fives
6. Six Impossible Things
7. The Seventh Function of Language
8. Orphan #8
9. Sweetness #9
10. The Woman in Cabin #10
11. 11/22/63
12. The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
Reading Buddy
Which of course is my dear Walle, who just passed away less than 2 weeks ago, after 9 years with us.

You’re Wearing That?

Books I have finished:
Plain Secrets

Other Readers I have visited:

Published in: on October 21, 2017 at 12:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Book Riot Reading Challenge

I totally had fun with Book Riot’s challenge in 2015.  There are plenty of reading challenges out there, but this one just seemed perfect, the right amount of books, and a mix of some that I read all the time and some that stretches me slightly beyond my comfort zone.

The list for 2016:
Read a horror book – Slade House
Read a nonfiction book about science – Modified: GMOs and the Threat to Our Food, Our Land, Our Future
Read a collection of essays – Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls
Read a book out loud to someone else –
Read a middle grade novel – Endymion Spring
Read a biography (not memoir or autobiography) – A Thousand Miles of Dreams
Read a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel – Rut
Read a book originally published in the decade you were born – 2001: A Space Odyssey
Listen to an audiobook that has won an Audie Award – The boy in the suitcase 
Read a book over 500 pages long – City of Glass
Read a book under 100 pages – The Sleeper and the Spindle
Read a book by or about a person that identifies as transgender – Stuck in the Middle with You
Read a book that is set in the Middle East – I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced (Yemen)
Read a book that is by an author from Southeast Asia – The Bondmaid (Singapore)
Read a book of historical fiction set before 1900 – Cloud of Sparrows
Read the first book in a series by a person of color – With the Light
Read a non-superhero comic that debuted in the last three years –
Read a book that was adapted into a movie, then watch the movie. Debate which is better –
Read a nonfiction book about feminism or dealing with feminist themes – I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced
Read a book about religion (fiction or nonfiction) – A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants
Read a book about politics, in your country or another (fiction or nonfiction) – Blood Diamonds
Read a food memoir – Roasting in Hell’s Kitchen
Read a play – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Read a book with a main character that has a mental illness – The Atlantis Complex

And, for record, my 2015 list:

1. A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25 – A Fine and Private Place
2. A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65 – The Tent
3. A collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people): Fantasy Gone Wrong
4. A book published by an indie pressAaron’s Crossing
5.A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ: Shanghai Tango
6. A book by a person whose gender is different from your own – Lego: A Love Story
7. A book that takes place in Asia: The Painter from Shanghai
8. A book by an author from Africa: The Almond
9. A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.) – Morning Girl
10. A microhistory – Tilt
11. A YA novel – The Hunger Game
12. A sci-fi novel – Shades of Grey
13. A romance novel – The Inheritance
14. A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade – The Inheritance of Loss
15. A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.) – Godmother
16. An audiobook – The Painted Girls
17. A collection of poetry – Voices from WahKon-Tah
18. A book that someone else has recommended to you: The Chaperone
19. A book that was originally published in another language – The Character of Rain
20. A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind – The Color of Earth
21. A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (Read, and then realize that good entertainment is nothing to feel guilty over) – Bite Me If You Can
22. A book published before 1850 – Ourika
23. A book published this year – Vitamania
24. A self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”) – Doing What Matters

Published in: on April 14, 2016 at 7:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dewey 24 Hour Read-a-thon ~~ October 17 2015

Time: 8:00 am
I did it!! Another year of Raed-a-thon! Can’t believe it’s over already and I have to wait another six month… sob…

It was kind of slow reading for a while, I finished The Inheritance and started on Just My Type, even though I know I won’t be able to finish the book. Glad I did, it was an interesting read.

This year I’ve read a lot of manga, which was a nice boost to my page count.

Time: 2:40 am
I finished vol 7 and 8 of Peach Girl in an hour, wanted to start on something new but my eyes couldn’t read a straight line. You all know how it’s like. So I took a quick nap, and now hopefully am ready for a thin quick book, The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott. Written in 1849 when she was 19, this book nicely fills two spots for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge (written before 1850 and written by someone under 25.)

Time: 11:30 pm
I had a break for dinner, and by this time finished vol 6 of Peach Girl. Will continue on to vol 7 and 8 (I hope it ends at 8) and then get back to reading another book with more words.

Time: 7:50 pm
Progressing nicely – since I had a late start I’m still going strong.
Snacked a little on a Earl Grey Moonlight Tea chocolate bar from Adagio Teas. It is milk chocolate with some tea leaves and black sea salt in it. Quite delicious.

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now?
A manga series called Peach Girl.
2. How many books have you read so far?
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
Not sure if I’ll get to it but I have a book about type face: Not My Type. I know, an odd choice but I’m excited about it as I like fonts.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Oh yes… getting groceries, meals, doing laundry. It’s life. Would love it if my hubby offers to do it all…
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
No big surprise, but it’s turning into a manga-a-thon for me! It feels real good to the ego to breeze through the volumes.

Time: 5:20 pm
Okay, I finished Sour Sweet. I thought I was really slow, but doing the math it was about a page a minute, so not too shabby.

Mini-challeng: Book Scavenger Hunt
From Sour Sweet by Timothy Mo
1. Something hard: The coffin the grandpa makes in his backyard
2. Something fast: the way Lily drives her car
3. Something sweet: the sweet cake the family enjoyed at new year
4. Something high: the aspiration Lily has for her son
5. Something funny: instead of getting a driver license, Lily stuffed some money into her card holder. Which worked as a bribe when she was stopped by a cop.

Time: 2:07 pm
So, finally… Ate breakfast, unpacked luggage, bought grocery, ate lunch. Now seriously starting my Read-a-thon in earnest. Will try to finish Sour Sweet, which I have been slogging through for a while. I must admit I suck at breaking up bad relationships… lucky for me I haven’t met many awful guys, but I have a hard time giving up a book even if I’m not enjoying it. Anyway, am hoping that I can just fast-read through it today.

Time: 10:56 am

Had breakfast.  That would be dinner in Hong Kong time zone.  Unpack my bag.  Good news: my beers from Hong Kong arrived safely.  I didn’t doubt they would but nonetheless it’s glad to open the suitcase and not see broken glasses and beer smelling clothes.  Bad news: American Airlines broke my luggage. They reduced their overhead bin size so much they hardly have space for everybody to fit their carry ons, so they made me check in mine.  Grrrrrgh!!

Ok, my goal for this read-a-thon: I hope I get to read some manga, and one or two mico-history books, as I have both bookboxes coming to my doorstep soon, and need to read up to have some AVLs for trading.

Total Pages read so far: 2160

Sour Sweet pgs 100-279
Hats (160 pgs)
Peach Gril Vol. 1 (180 pgs)
Peach Gril Vol. 2 (168 pgs)
Peach Gril Vol. 3 (176 pgs)
Peach Gril Vol. 4 (176 pgs)
Peach Gril Vol. 5 (179 pgs)
Peach Gril Vol. 6 (176 pgs)
Peach Gril Vol. 7 (174 pgs)
Peach Gril Vol. 8 (170 pgs)
The Inheritance (188 pgs)
Just My Type (1-232 pgs)

Total Time spent reading so far: 13 hr

Mini-challenges I’ve entered:
Mid-Event Survey
Book Scavenger Hunt
Accio Cinnamon Rolls
4 Seasons 4 Books
Who am I?
Blanket Fort


Books I have finished:
sour sweet


peach girl 1

Peach vol 2

Peach girl 3

Peach girl 4

Peach girl 5

peach girl 6

Peach girl 7

peach girl 8


(Not finished)

Other Readers I have visited:

Deb @ ReadWriteTell

Published in: on October 17, 2015 at 11:15 am  Comments (6)  

Dewey Read-a-thon October 17, 2015 Opening Meme

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

I’m in Miami, Florida

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

Hmm… I don’t know yet… just woke up, ha hah.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Tim Tam!!  Always!  The Unofficial snack of BookCrossing

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

Love to read, love to eat, likes wine and beer.  Enjoy travelling, love a good massage.

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?

Well, this is most certainly different from my previous read-a-thons!!  Usually I have everything all set up days before and am up and ready for the event!

This year – well, I didn’t even think I would be able to participate.  I was in Asia the past few weeks, and was scheduled to fly back to the U.S. on Friday afternoon.  So I most naturally think that I would be up on the airplane the most of the read-a-thon.  I may do some reading on my own but not able to participate socially.  Until my husband pointed me to the miracle called time difference.  The same wondrous thing that allows Fogg to win his wager in Around the World in 80 Days.

So, I arrived home in time, but it wasn’t till 1am Saturday morning that we got home. Good thing was I was so tired I slept through the night without jet lag, but I barely woke up now.  Will have some breakfast and get started.

I will attempt to read some today, but also need to unpack, do laundry, get grocery, etc. all the boring things one have to go through after a good time away.  But going from not able to participate to being able to, it’s a lovely thing.

Published in: on October 17, 2015 at 10:04 am  Comments (2)  

Dewey Read-a-thon April 25, 2015

Time: 5:40 pm

So, finally got home from work, ate a quick late lunch (by mistake, grab the wrong container from my fridge… so didn’t have a proper lunch at work) and started reading. With my late start at Hour 9, I am happy to report that I finished my first book.  Actually, it’s half a book, I think I started on it during another read-a-thon and then didn’t finish.  I guess you can say it’s not a page-turner, but I’m the commited type who tend to stay in a relationship till the end, unless it’s really hopeless.  I was looking on my shelf for my TBR books for RAT, and saw this and figure it’s about time to end the affair.

Time: 9:02 pm

Took a quick nap at 7pm for half an hour, then woke up and helped hubby prepare dinner.  He was nice enough to do the cooking and washing, while I offered some token help, like mincing the garlic and laying the forks out on the table.

Time: 9:54 pm

Finished Brewing Up a Business, written by Sam Calagione, the head of Dogfish Head.  It’s a shame that I was reading about beer but I couldn’t drink any!  Sadly, experience taught me that I would get too giddy and sleepy to continue reading much.  This book was autographed by the author when he came to Funky Buddha Brewery a few weeks ago.

Time: 12:10 am

Finished The Tent.  A easy, beautiful and enjoyable read. Not really sleepy yet but as I goes to work at 6am not sure if I can do much more.  Maybe something short or a manga.

TIme: 1:38 am (hour 18)

Another book done! I picked Earth and Ashes up at a Booklegger shelf, thinking that this thin book is perfect for read-a-thon.  Snack: Tim Tam!

Time: 3:42 am (hour 20)

As it’s late it’s perfect time to pick up from manga!!  A marshmallowy high school romance. First love, first kiss. Ah, beautiful youth! Now time for bed as I have to be leaving for work at 6am.

While I did not read as much as I’d want, I had a great time this read-a-thon.  I have joined a few mini challenges, and have great fun joining the chat on Twitter, “meeting” other readers from different cities and countries: Denmark, Dominican Republic…

Total Pages read so far: 955

Tone Deaf in Bangkok:  pg 73-155
Brewing up a Business: pg 168-269
The Tent by Margaret Atwood pg 1-155
Earth and Ashes by Atiq Rahimi pg 1-54
We Were There vol 1-3 by Yuki Obata pg 186, 186, 186

Total Time spent reading so far: 9 hr

Other Readers I have visited:


Mini-challenges I’ve entered:

In 100 Years… 

Which contemporary books will become classic in a 100 years? It’s a fun mini-challenge, and wish there is some way I could really know what books will still be around and read by students in a 100 years. After some quick consideration, my votes are: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Bookish Brews

It’s funny I am reading a book about Dogfish Head Brewery, and up pop this challenge. While a bottle of beer would be my “choice of beverage”, sadly, experience taught me that I don’t read too well under influence. So the next best thing is the butter beer. Found it at Whole Foods a few years back and it simply screams Harry Potter without infringing any copyright.

Six Words Story

Books I have finished:

Published in: on April 25, 2015 at 5:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Getting Ready for Dewey’s Read-a-thon April 25, 2015

Yay!  Another read-a-thon!  I read on the website that this is the 8th year of Dewey’s Read-a-thon, and it will be my 9th. Not bad, huh?

I have to work both Sat and Sun morning this weekend, so that would cut into my reading time, but I plan to try my best!  STAY AWAY FROM MY PHONE, for example.  I had plans to go out for dinner, but when my friend texted me to cancel, boy, I’ve never been happier!  A whole evening of reading!

I’ll likely start my Read-a-thon listening to an audio book as I drive to work.

Also plan to finish the book I’ve been reading,

Afterwards, will likely start on:

For any cheerleader and fellow Read-a-thon-ers, thank you so much for stopping by to cheer me on! Just want to let you know that I really appreciate that. It makes reading less lonely. (Probably that’s why I love BookCrossing so much.) Happy Reading to you all!! 

Published in: on April 24, 2015 at 9:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dewey’s Read-a-thon Oct 18, 2014 Wrap Up

That’s it, my 8th Dewey’s Read-a-thon!!

Well, this year I totally missed the RAT in April as I was travelling, and for October’s, I was out and about most of the day, so I really did minimal reading – a little bit of audiobook while driving, a hurried few pages here and there, except for (really proud of myself) a solid two hours when I woke up at 4am to read two hours before heading to work!

I have to admit, with some shame, that my smart phone has seriously taken time off my reading.  However, reading last year’s notes, I realized that I’ve actually read more books this year than last year.  I guess my longer commute helps made a difference.

Knowing that I have little time to read, I’ve picked some really slim books, and as a result I managed to finish quite a few books!!  More than some other RATs, I’d say…

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

Well, considered I didn’t read much, it wasn’t daunting, except that I have to say I am really proud of myself for waking up at 4 am to read for 2 hours before heading to work!

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

Manga/graphic novels are great for in between longer reads. Young adult paranormal fantasies are great too.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Funny, last year I complained about not receiving any cheering, and this year I got several visits!  I used twitter more this year as I was on the road mostly, and I guess it helps, easily for both me and the cheerleaders to fire off a short exchange?

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
The tweets.

5. How many books did you read?
I’ve read 5, plus a manga and an audio book I didn’t finish.

6. What were the names of the books you read?
At Her Majesty’s Request
The Last Brother
The Snow Geese
The Ghost Map

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
Happy to say I enjoyed all the books and didn’t think any was a waste of my time.  The Snow Geese is my favorite.

8. Which did you enjoy least?
Can’t pick one – I like them all so even to pick one and say I like it least feels like a betrayal.

9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
Most definitely. And hopefully I’d have more reading time so I can join the cheerleading as well. Overdue for some pay it forward!

Total Pages read: 726
At Her Majesty’s Request – 140
What? – 84
The Last Brother – 164
The Snow Geese – 58
Sumo – 106
Angel – 74
The Ghost Map – 100

Total Time spent reading:

About 4 hrs

Other Readers I have visited:

Books I have munched on:


Books I have finished:

Mini Challenges I participated in:
Sadly, none. Hopefully next time as I do love them.

Published in: on October 21, 2014 at 10:22 am  Leave a Comment  

Dewey Read-a-thon Opening Meme

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

I’m in Miami, Florida

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

Hmm… I would say it’s my manga.  If I get to it.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Tim Tam!!  Always!  The Unofficial snack of BookCrossing

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

Love to read, love to eat, likes wine and beer.  Enjoy travelling, love a good massage,

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?

I didn’t do April’s but have done a few read-a-thon before.  One thing I do different today? Umm, not read as much… because luckily, or sadly, I won a free ticket to a food & wine fest and that’s just too good to pass up!! Will try to read while in car, etc, and I have stacked up a few very thin book so at least I can claim to finish a book or two.

Now on to a little bit of reading before I have to go to volunteer at the library!

Published in: on October 18, 2014 at 8:27 am  Leave a Comment  

Getting Ready for Dewey’s Read-a-thon October 18, 2014

Just a sleep away from the read-a-thon!!

I missed April’s as I was travelling in Thailand on that day. True, I could read some books, but I figure it would be a terrible waste of a trip that could be once-in-a-lifetime.

For October, I requested my day off work way ahead. However, it looks like there’s some conspiracy from the Universe to keep me from my books (other than inventing the smart phone, that is…) I won a pair of tickets to an event. It’s called Seeds Food & Wine Festival, supposedly the first vegan food & wine festival in the country. I admit I’m not a vegan, though mostly vegetarian, but it does sound like a fun event, and with the ticket costing $40, it seems a waste to pass it up.

Then my friend organized a meetup on Sat night at one of my favorite restaurants, Gyu-kaku, a Japanese BBQ place, where you grill your food at the table. (Yes, I admit, I’m NOT vegetarian)

So, I will try my best to read as much as I can. But in all honesty it won’t be a lot. I have to work Sunday at 7am so it’s not even like I can stay up at night to play catch up. I will probably tweet my progress (@crystalsp) as I’ll be out most of the day.

For any cheerleader and fellow Read-a-thon-ers, thank you so much for stopping by! Happy Reading to you all!!

Published in: on October 17, 2014 at 10:28 pm  Comments (3)  

Dewey’s Read-a-thon Oct 2013 Wrap Up

So, another Dewey went by, again with some tinge of regret that I didn’t read more, but also some pride as I have not been reading much at all the last few months as work was just too busy. I normally clock 10 books a month but this year I’ve read only 80 plus so far. As I have included some graphic novels and a novella, the number of books read this time tops previous read-a-thons.

I finished reading The Bookshop by Penelope Lively with around 20 min to go. I would have called it quits but the book ended on such a sad note with the closing of a bookshop, and I just couldn’t end a read-a-thon on such a sad note, so I decided to pick up another book, a short 100-pager with large print and wide spacing.

Quite pride of myself for brewing a perfect cup of Earl Grey this morning. I like a good cup of tea, but not usually very mindful of brewing one, so often ended up too astringent a cup by steeping the leaves too long. But I managed a nice cup this morning.

Meanwhile, it does sound like I take a perverse joy in this but my hubby asked me to wake him at 6 this morning to go paddling this morning but is still snuggled up. And I should be joining him after I finish the wrap up meme.

As I haven’t done the beginning or midway challenge (as I wasn’t reading at that time), here at least is my wrap up:

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
Well, the hour around 3am I suppose. At the junction I could take a nap or just plod on the finish line.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
The Maximum Ride series is great, so is the Immortal Instruments, and a good manga series.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Well, not sure why, but I didn’t get any visit from the cheering squad? I get some personal friends visiting, but usually I get at least a few visits. Not that I feel offended, but I did enjoy the comments the cheerleaders left, it does make a difference, you know.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
I enjoy the videos.

5. How many books did you read?
I’ve read 9, but really finished copy-to-copy, or mostly, 6.

6. What were the names of the books you read?
Books That Changed The World
Something Rotten
Beethoven’s Hair
Necromancer: A Novella
Pluto Vol 1-3
The Bookshop
a cool moonlight

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
I’d say Something Rotten, from the Thursday Next series. But I’ve only listened to 1.5 CD of that, so not counting it, I’d say Beethoven’s Hair.

8. Which did you enjoy least?
Necromancer. I actually didn’t realize the first half is an extract from the full-length book, which explains why the pace isn’t as brisk as I expected. I enjoyed the novella, but the extract, the writing I dislike so much I almost gave up. Not likely to make me want to read the full version.

9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
Hopefully I can be off work and free to spend the whole day reading. I’d love to be cheering again.

Total Pages read: 1028
Books That Changed The World: pg 162-203 (42)
Something Rotten: approx 50 (50)
Beethoven’s Hair: 76-273 (198)
Necromancer: A Novella 1-36 (36)
Pluto Vol 1: 163-198 (36)
Pluto Vol 2: 1-206 (206)
Pluto Vol 3: 1-201 (202)
The Bookshop: 1-123 (124)
a cool moonlight: 1-133 (134)

Total Time spent reading: 8.25 hr
8:30 am – 9:00 am Something Rotten
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Something Rotten (audio CD while driving)
2:30 am – 6:00 pm Beethoven’s Hair
7:30 pm – 8:15 pm Necromancer (on my cellphone while hubby’s driving)
12:30am – 2:30 am Pluto Vol 1-3
5:30 am – 8:00 am The Bookshop, a cool moonlight

Other Readers I have visited:


Books I have munched on:


Books I have finished:

books change world

beethoven's hair







Mini Challenges I participated in:
None. As I didn’t really get much reading time I don’t want to be sidetracked. Normally, I do enjoy the mini challenges to keep things exciting.

Published in: on October 13, 2013 at 9:56 am  Comments (1)