Dewey 24 Hour Readathon!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

*********  UPDATED HOUR 24 ********
I can't believe this is my 13th readathon (see links below). Over the years I've started planning around the event each April and October. Today my husband is on toddler duty for part of the day, but we have a kid's birthday party this afternoon, so we'll see how this goes. 

Here's a link for more info about the DeweyRead-a-thonToday you can find me posting on Litsy and Instagram as @avidreader25 as well as here. 


**UPDATE** My day has not been as full of reading as I had hoped, but that's ok. My kiddo and I attended her best friend's birthday party (see below) and had a BLAST! The party theme was reading, so that was pretty perfect. We've also run some errands and played outside quite a bit. I'm hoping to read a little more after she goes to bed.

Reading Stats:
Pages Read: 458

Currently Reading: --- Gave up and called it a night at hour 18. 

Books Finished: 3, Bones: The Dragonslayer, Shadow of a Bull, and The Rose Tattoo 

Snacks Eaten: Lots of coffee, blueberry muffin, soy flat white, dill pickles, string cheese, birthday cake, and popcorn





Mini-Challenges Completed: 9
Introduction Quiz
Vague Recollections 
Book and a Snack 
Introduction Quiz:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Indianapolis

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams because it's set in New Orleans and I'm visiting that city for the first time in a week! If you have NOLA recommendations, let me know in the comments!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Dark chocolate covered pretzels and pickles (but not together). 
 
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I'm a magazine editor by day. I have a giant pup, a 2-year-old, and an awesome husband. I also review live theatre about once a week at Stage Write and am a total Shakespeare nerd. I also LOVE to travel and have been Reading the States for a few years. 

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? Understand that my toddler is definitely going to make my reading numbers dip, but that's ok.

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now? The Rose Tattoo
2. How many books have you read so far? 2
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half ofthe Read-a-thon? Bone 5
4. Have you had many interruptions? YES! A kid's birthday party, a huge gardening project, and other errands. 
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How little reading I've been able to do. LOL

End of Event Meme1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Hour 16, I was trying so hard to read the last 10 pages of my book and I just kept falling asleep. 
2. Tell us ALLLLL the books you read! Shadow of a Bull, Bone: The Dragonslayer, and The Rose Tattoo. 
3. Which books would you recommend to other Read-a-thoners? I love the Bone series for readathons. 
4. What’s a really rad thing we could do during the next Read-a-thonthat would make you smile? I have to say that changing the mini challenges to be open the whole time and easy to find on one page was an AWESOME change! 
5. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? Absolutely!


PAST READATHON POSTS:
April and October 2011 / April and October 2012 / April and October 2013 April 2014 / April and October 2015 /April and October 2016  /  April and October 2017

Photos by me.

Circe

Monday, April 16, 2018

Circe
by Madeline Miller
★★★★★

Circe is a witch on a remote island when Odysseus meets her on his journey home in Homer's Odyssey. In Miller’s reimagining she’s a complicated woman with heartaches and hopes of her own. She’s no longer a footnote in someone else’s story.

We meet Circe as a child in the halls of her Titan father. She never fits into his world of petty jealousy and swift anger. It's not until she's exiled to an island that she begins to figure out who she is. I loved the descriptions of the world where she lives. Whether she's digging in her garden or riding in her father's chariot above the earth, the descriptions bring each scene to life so vividly.

It’s a story of loneliness and longing. The beautiful language draws you in immediately. If you know any Greek mythology the characters will be familiar, but Miller gives them new depth. Just as she did in The Song of Achilles, she brings that ancient world alive and I couldn’t put it down.

BOTTOM LINE: Circe is such a wonderfully complex character. She is full of flaws and selfishness along side guilt and empathy. In this book there are no clear villains and heroes, just characters full of life and contradictions. I can’t wait to return to her world again one day.

“It is not fair,” I said. “It cannot be.”
“Those are two different things,” my grandmother said.

“In a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.”

“Within him was an ocean’s worth of grief, which could only be stoppered a moment, never emptied.”

“It is youth’s gift not to feel its debts.”

“Those who fight against prophecy only draw it more tightly around their throats.”

Ulysses: Final Post

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Finally finished! It was a tough ride. There were sections I loved and others I really struggled with. Joyce is undeniably talented, the chapter where he walks the reader through the entire history of the English language proves that. But his style isn’t my favorite and I frequently felt lost in his ramblings. I’m glad I read it and I’m also glad it’s done! Once again, please check out Adam's awesome episode break down here. 

The supplemental material in my book explains some of the background on the censorship of the book and includes a letter from Joyce to his Random House publisher. It also includes the monumental 1933 decision to stop people from banning the book in America. The ruling changed the way censorship was approached in our country.

I absolutely loved some of the comments from Judge M. Woolsey, the man who made the decision. To me, his summary of the book captures so many of my feelings perfectly.
 -----------------------------
“Ulysses is not an easy book to read or to understand. But there has been much written about it, and in order properly to approach the consideration of it it is advisable to read a number of other books which have now become it’s satellites. The study of Ulysses is, therefore, a heavy task. The reputation of Ulysses in the literary world, however, warranted my taking such time as was necessary to enable me to satisfy myself as to the intent with which the book was written.

It is brilliant and dull, intelligible and obscure by turns. In many places it seems to me to be disgusting, but although it contains, as I have mentioned above, many words usually considered dirty, I have not found anything that I consider to be dirt for dirt’s sake.

Joyce has attempted — it seems to me, with astonishing success — to show how the screen of consciousness with its ever-shifting kaleidoscopic impressions carries, as it were on a plastic palimpsest, not only what is in the focus of each man’s observation of the actual things about him, but also in a penumbral zone residua of past impressions, some recent and some drawn up by association from the domain of the subconscious. He shows how each of these impressions affects the life and behavior of the character which he is describing.”
-----------------------------


The very final episode of the book is a crazy onslaught of thoughts from Bloom’s wife Molly’s point of view. She flits from thing to the next with no real pattern. She is just thinking, so her thoughts are unfiltered. It’s oddly refreshing even if it’s hard to follow. How many of us have had the same thing happen as we randomly think about our day? I could immediately relate.

Joyce’s honesty his characters really struck me in the final few chapters. He writes about Bloom’s flaws and fetishes in detail, something that just wasn’t done before. Yet by the close of the book you feel a bit hopeful about his marriage. There was something powerful about that. No matter how gross or strange Bloom was, he might have found his equal in his wife Molly.

BOTTOM LINE: Reading Ulysses was an experience. I struggled with it. I was blown away by the lovely language at times and at others I was completely weirded out. I can’t really compare it to anything else and that alone makes it a unique book. I am so glad I read it and I also don’t think I will ever read it again!

“Still you learn something. See ourselves as others see us.”

“Life, love, voyage round your own little world.”