End of Event Meme:
- Which hour was most daunting for you? That would be either the 20th when I gave up and went to sleep or the 22nd when after waking up and reading a bit more I went to sleep again.
- Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I read The Bookman’s Tale which if you like academic mysteries, I think you’ll enjoy. Maybe a bit long for this event.
- Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? More readathons!
- What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I think the whole thing is really well organized. Thanks to all the hosts and cheerleaders and everyone!
- How many books did you read? Almost 1. .96 books
- What were the names of the books you read?The Bookman’s Tale
- Which book did you enjoy most?The Bookman’s Tale
- Which did you enjoy least?The Bookman’s Tale
- If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? I wasn’t, but they were swell
- How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Very likely as a reader.
So, sadly I didn’t even finish the one book The Bookman’s Tale. Sooooo close. Finished it this afternoon and enjoyed it. Our hero is dumb as a box of rocks at one point, but the story is pretty clever and an enjoyable read. A total fantasy, but I don’t really mind that. Who might like this? If you enjoy academic stories full of libraries, manuscripts, bookbinding, forgery and the investigation of it, stories which take place across centuries, then it should be on your list.
The story follows Peter Byerly as a young widower, as a student and also follows a particular manuscript through the years. Byerly suffers from social anxiety and grief at the loss of his wife. We meet him in England trying to follow his doctor’s orders for getting his life back together. He’s a bookseller and he’s going into a bookstore for the first time since she died. He’s in Hay-on-Wye, a real town, really full of bookstores. He pulls a book about Shakespeare forger William Henry Ireland off the shelf and out of it comes a watercolor — a watercolor of his dead wife. Or that’s what it looks like, but it’s a hundred plus years too old to be his wife. (Now, what are the odds? Told you this was a fantasy.) This sets off a chain of events as he tries to find out who the woman in the painting was. As mysteries go, Lovett is no Agatha Christie and Byerly more of a Hastings than a Poirot, but the story is interesting, the idea is fun and despite moments of idiocy, Peter’s a likable enough guy to stick with. I definitely recommend this to anyone into academic mysteries or the whole Shakespeare authorship controversy.
Thanks again to everyone who stopped by and everyone who ran this readathon! It’s always fun even if I can’t stay up 24 hours. Or finish a book.
Noon – four hours done and starting a fifth. The big excitement is I’m moving to the couch.
8 PM – okay, where’d the last eight hours go? I was reading and then I had the opportunity to go on a short hike which had been rained out twice before, so thinking it was a good way to wake up and good for me generally, I did that, then I heated some frozen samosas and got back to my book. The cat made himself comfortable in my lap so moving wasn’t possible for a while. He seems to want a second dinner now. I have often explained to him it’s one dinner per day, but he doesn’t seem to absorb this.
So, now we are halfway there and I’m about halfway through my book. Which has gotten quite interesting and if you’re at all interested in academic mysteries, I can highly recommend the first half. I’m sure though we’ve all read great first halves that fell apart in the second, so you should probably wait until I finish and let you know.
I forgot. It’s time for the Mid-Event Survey!
1. What are you reading right now?
Still Bookman’s Tale. I told you I’m slow.
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?
The second half of this one! I had been hoping to read two, but I don’t think that’s likely.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Took a hike. I interrupt myself a lot. I don’t really need help with that.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
That every one of them I seem to read slower than the time before.
End of hour one. Read maybe 20 minutes. The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett. Will probably take me the whole day as focus doesn’t seem to be a thing today. Not the book’s fault as there’s a bookstore and a mysterious old painting of a dead wife.
Funny there are at least three versions of the cover– the woman’s eyes look either off to the side, down, or straight out. Oh and mine has a different engraving of the Thames. Odd.
Almost no progress, but I’ve got a kitty in my lap, coffee and maybe progress will happen next hour.
Hour 3 (10 AM – 11 AM):
Some progress. Bookman’s Tale is one of those parallel time books. Alternating from 1995 to 1983 to 1592 – one of my favorite times with some of my favorite people: Marlowe, Greene, Nashe. Definitely off to a good start this tale. I don’t keep track of pages because I’m the slowest reader in America and it’s deflating to think about. I have a sausage and egg croissant heating up and it looks beautiful out. Beautiful, but not warm like yesterday. Read on, all you bookish friends around the world! And if you’re slow like me, just ignore the “Just finished my eighth book tweets!”
Bleurgh. Tried to go to sleep early, but it didn’t work. But I’m up. And not terribly late. I just couldn’t get up early. Every minute of sleep seemed precious if I’m going to try to make it 24 hours.
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Maryland suburb of Washington D.C.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
The Bookman’s Tale
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Frozen samosas, if I can find them.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
This is my third readathon. I’m so not a morning person, reading doesn’t even seem possible. And yet I knowI’ve done it before.
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?
Still haven’t made it 24 hours. Also maybe I’ll try to be more scial. I don’t know. It’s eight in the morning! Well, almost 8:30. More coffee.
With the Readathon tomorrow, I thought I should stop neglecting you, Dear Reader, and let you know where I am in all these projects. I’m sure you’ve been lying awake nights wondering if I got anywhere in Seven Gables or did my foolish joining in with the Morte d’Arthur readalong ruin any chances of that? I will try to catch up and fully inform you of all my readerly doings starting with The House of the Seven Gables. This was supposed to be read in September with Castle Macabre and co. Seemed like a great idea. Not too long a book. Fits in with R.I.P. Plus it’s old enough it’s a free download.
Well, I downloaded it and I started it, but progress was slow. There is progress and I am now over half-way, but I find parts of it rather long-winded. Descriptions of Clifford sitting by the window go on for pages. I am not nearly so entranced by Clifford as Hepzibah and Hawthorne. The book has plenty of charming moments and a few creepy ones. Old Pyncheon’s death is quite good. And having just finished chapter 13 – the story of Alice Pyncheon, that was gripping enough to make me read on when I’d finished my MPR (minimum page requirement.) I’m hoping to finish it by the end of the month and I think that will happen even if the revealing of information continues at the previous glacial pace, though I think the pace has to pick up a bit. All the characters have, I think, been introduced. Now we need some villainous action and some seekrits revealed.
One thing I noticed was the description of the house was not at all like the pictures of the one you can take tours of. Aside from the similarity of having seven gables, the real life house has no glittering plasterwork and other ornamentation mentioned in the text. The book house is several degrees fancier than the inspiration. I also am rather puzzled why the original Pyncheon wanted this particular bit of land so badly. It doesn’t seem to be especially good. But then people will fight over something just for the sake of the fight rather than the prize.
Hopily I’ll finish soon and be able to give a view on what I think of the book over all. I think I enjoyed Marble Faun more, but then it’s been years and maybe I’m just forgetting that had dull bits, too.
Though actually I finished this weeks ago, before Supernatural Enhancements. I have been on a Christie rampage again. And I read this one because I’d accidentally rented the dvd and for some reason I have to read them before watching. Can’t be bothered to read them after seeing them. So, Dead Man’s Folly’s a Poirot and Ariadne Oliver mystery. Ariadne Oliver has been hired to create a murder hunt for a garden fete, but Mrs. Oliver feels there’s something wrong in the house. She asks Poirot to come along and help figure it out, but before anything can be figured, the fake victim of the murder hunt turns into a real murder victim. But why? Who would want to kill the teenage girl? There seems to be no reason for this killing. Despite the hundreds of guests at the fete, owing to the arrangements of the murder hunt only six or so people could have done it (in time-honored Christie tradition.)
I don’t have much to say about it. It’s not one of her most brilliant, but I didn’t figure it out. Although in my time-honored fashion I did pick up on one of the clues, but didn’t follow it through mentally-speaking. The version I watched was the Peter Ustinov with Jean Stapleton as Ariadne Oliver, turned American for the occasion. It, too, was not bad, but not brilliant. I’m getting used to Peter Ustinov. He’s no David Suchet, but then he’s not without a certain charm of his own. Perhaps if I’d never seen Suchet, I’d even buy him as Poirot… no, probably not. But if I don’t take the whole operation seriously, I can enjoy Ustinov’s Poirot. Sorry this isn’t much of a review, more of a record of the fact I read it. But then, that’s mainly what the blog’s for, innit?
So, back and forth, forth and back, should I or shouldn’t I? I’ve hemmed and I’ve hawed. I’ve long wanted to read Morte d”Arthur. And readalongs give one the most inspiration in these post-school days. But good heavens, it’s 1100 pages! I could read three or four other books in the same time. It does fulfill the Arthurian challenge, but so would plenty of other things. And I rather think it will be like Ulysses and Moby Dick, not finished until long after the end, if ever. It is 1100 pages! Eleven. Hundred. Pages. And yet, I started it this evening. So, in for a chapter, in for 1100 pages. I think. Thanks to Jean at Howling Frog for hosting!