Zi71bFS9nQHnivtvUJquhejTHIQ The Story Factory Reading Zone: October 2011

Monday, 24 October 2011

Musing Mondays #9

Hosted by Should Be Reading

This week’s musing asks…
Do you listen to audiobooks? Why, or why not?

This is something that I've been thinking about a lot lately. I've never really been a fan of audio books, because I think the voice used to read can affect my view of a book (too much in my opinion). However, recently I've begun to consider using them when I'm travelling. My only problem with that is that I could easily been stranded half way through a story, and I hate to 'read' two books at once. Maybe a physical book and an audio used similtaneously?

Sunday, 23 October 2011

End of Event Meme

Which hour was most daunting for you?
I didn't really have a daunting hour this time since I had to do other things as well. I guess the hardest hour was the one just before I went to bed. 

Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
I'm really hooked on 'The Eternal Quest' by Julian Branston. It has quite a slow start (so its probably a first book), but its getting quite funny now and that really woke me up.

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
I'd have liked it if some of the mini-challenges latest a bit longer, so that I could do them even though I'd had to get some shut-eye (some of my favourites were on when I was asleep)

What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
I liked the idea of listing books we'd read

How many books did you read?
Just one finished this time (and another half way through), but I'm quite pleased with the pace I read at. 

What were the names of the books you read?
'Radio Shangri-La' and 'The Eternal Quest'

Which book did you enjoy most?
So far probably Radio Shangri-La, but I have a feeling The Eternal Quest is going to get better. 

Which did you enjoy least?
See above

If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
I wasn't a cheerleader, but I did enjoy visiting other people's blogs independently. I think my advice from this would be that its better to visit a few and make meaningful comments than simply post a few cheers that could be inappropriate. 

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
Definatly. Hopefully I won't have other commitments next time. I'll be a reader, with some unofficial cheering as I was this year. 

Dewey's 24 hour readathon- End of Hour 24

So this is the end! I wish it could have carried on at least a little bit longer (and that I'd been able to stay up overnight and read more this morning), but it was great fun anyway.
This post will be my final but one, since I still have to do the end of event meme.

Here's what's been happening here in the last 4 hours:
Current reading: Now up to page 127 'The Eternal Quest' by Julian Branston
Reviews posted: 0
Break activities: Going to church
Snacks/drinks: Glass of water, cup of tea
Blogs visited: 3
Blogs posted on: 1

Dewey's 24 hour readathon- End of Hour 19

Unfortunatly, due to unexpected commitments this morning, I felt that I had to get a normal nights sleep. So, there's only been a small amount of reading overnight. And, again because of the new commitment, there will only be a little bit more before 1pm. But there will be some reading!

Here's what's been happening here in the last 10 hours:
Current reading: Now up to page 104 'The Eternal Quest' by Julian Branston
Reviews posted: 0
Break activities: Watching TV, sleeping, breakfast, catching up on post reading
Snacks/drinks: Large glass of mink, Breakfast (2 poached eggs on toast), cup of tea, orange juice
Blogs visited: 24
Blogs posted on: 1

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Dewey's 24 hour readathon- End of Hour 9

This will be my last post before the morning. Its 10pm here and I'll probably go to bed within the next hour. Hoping to manage a few more posts tomorrow though.

Here's what's been happening here in the last hour:
Current reading: Now up to page 73 'The Eternal Quest' by Julian Branston
Reviews posted: 0
Break activity in the last hour: Mini-challenge
Snacks/drinks: None
Blogs visited: 4
Blogs posted on: 1

Have a good next few hours and I'll see you in the morning

Book Sentence Challenge

I really enjoyed doing this one, got my brain awakened once more and my imagination stirred up. It was harder than I thought it would be however.
Here's my result (with apologies for the photo quality):

 One day just imagine heaven under the Tuscan Sun

Dewey's 24 hour readathon- End of Hour 8

Still tired, but gave myself an adrenaline rush by doing a Wii Dance Workout.

Here's what's been happening here in the last hour:
Current reading: Now up to page 60 'The Eternal Quest' by Julian Branston
Reviews posted: 0
Break activity in the last hour: Wii Dance Workout
Snacks/drinks: Glass of water
Blogs visited:6
Blogs posted on: 1

Dewey's 24 hour readathon- End of Hour 7

Getting pretty tired now, guess I better get myself moving more in the next hour.

Here's what's been happening here in the last hour:
Current reading: Now up to page 36 'The Eternal Quest' by Julian Branston
Reviews posted: 0
Break activity in the last hour: Doing the washing up *yawn*
Snacks/drinks: None
Blogs visited: 4
Blogs posted on: 0 (did I say I was getting tired)

Dewey's 24 hour readathon- End of Hour 6

I'm not sure I'm all here anymore, but at least finishing my first book has made me keen to carry on reading

Here's what's been happening here in the last hour:
Current reading: Finished Radio Shangri-La, starting 'The Eternal Quest' by Julian Branston
Reviews posted: 1
Break activity in the last hour: Closing all the curtains
Snacks/drinks: Fizzy water
Blogs visited: 4
Blogs posted on: 0 (sorry)

Radio Shangri-La by Lisa Napoli (A Review)

A great insight into the kingdom of Bhutan, a place that (like most westerners in the book) I knew little of. Lisa Napoli writes about people and situations in a way which really allows you to imagine them for yourself. I finished this book understanding more about what it means to be happy in various places and how this perception is changing in Bhutan. More importantly, I left the text wishing that I could find it for myself.

Dewey's 24 hour readathon- End of Hour 5

A slow reading hour, as I spent much of it cooking and then eating my dinner

Here's what's been happening here in the last hour:
Current reading: Up to p236 in Radio Shangri-La
Reviews posted: 0
Break activity in the last hour: Cooking and eating dinner
Snacks/drinks: Venison, cauliflower and a slice of bread to mop up the gravy, followed by a small cheese and watercress muffin
Blogs visited: 6
Blogs posted on: 1

Dewey's 24 hour readathon- End of Hour 4

I'm beginning to flag a little as the light levels go down, wondering whether or not to shut out the fresh air or let the coldness help keep me awake for a while longer. Whatever I decide, I'm determined that it won't stop me reading during the next hour.

Here's what's been happening here in the last hour:
Current reading: Up to p233 in Radio Shangri-La
Reviews posted: 0
Break activity in the last hour: Starting to cook dinner (put on the brocolli)
Snacks/drinks: None
Blogs visited: 6
Blogs posted on: 0 (ooops)

Dewey's 24 hour readathon- End of Hour 3

It's 4pm here now and about the sort of time I start to think about what I'm going to cook for dinner. I have some venison I bought from the farmer's market yesterday as a special treat, but have yet to work out how I'm going to cook it. I also have to decide whether to have kale or cauliflower (a strange-looking green type from a local farm shop) with it. Oh well, hope this musing doesn't get in the way of my reading during the next hour.

Here's what's been happening here in the last hour:
Current reading: Up to p203 in Radio Shangri-La
Reviews posted: 0
Break activity in the last hour: Lots of little bits and bobs
Snacks/drinks: None
Blogs visited: 4
Blogs posted on: 1

Dewey's 24 hour readathon- End of Hour 2

Another hour gone really quickly and some sad news as well: I'd been hoping to stay up overnight, but have just got news of an unexpected commitment I have to make tomorrow morning. That means that I'll only be able to read up to a late night and then a very tiny bit tomorrow morning after getting up usual time, else I'll be too tired. Oh well, maybe I won't beat last year's reading total, but I'll still power on as much as I can.

Here's what's been happening here in the last hour:
Current reading: Up to p167 in Radio Shangri-La
Reviews posted: 0

Break activity in the last hour: Practising my tenor horn
Snacks/drinks: A glass of water

Blogs visited: 4
Blogs posted on: 2

Dewey's 24 hour readathon- End of Hour 1

Has it really been an hour already?! Time's going so fast so far, I hope my reading can keep up.

Here's what's been happening here in the last hour:
Current reading: Up to p145 in Radio Shangri-La
Reviews posted: 0
Break activity in the last hour: Making homemade soap
Snacks/drinks: None
Blogs visited: 3
Blogs posted on: 1

Dewey's 24 hour readathon- A Bit About Me

Welcome to my little corner of Dewey's 24-hour readathon. I'm hoping  to be with yourr for most of the 24 hours, although I'm bound to take a nap now and again. I'd love it if you'd say hi and, if you're participating as well, please leave a link to your latest post annd I'll do my best to drop by.

Now, time for the first meme, on the theme of introducing ourselves:

1)Where are you reading from today?

I'm currently reading 'Radio Shangri-La by Lisa Napoli. I'm about half way through at the moment.

2)Three random facts about me…

  1. I'm going to be selling at my first ever craft stall next Saturday
  2. I have a young pigeon in my garden at the moment that keeps bumping into things
  3. My favourite author is Jasper Fforde
3)How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?

I don't really have a specific TBR pile for this readathon, so I'll be working my way through as  many books as possible in my huge TBR pile (about 3 bookcases worth)

4)Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?

Just to read for as long as I can and as many books as I can.

5)If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time?
I'm not a veteran yet, but I did take part last time. I found that it was important to take a little bit of time out of reading ever hour, whether it was to talk to otherr participants, have a meal/snack, do some chores or simply have a short nap. 

Good luck everyone.
Let the reading begin!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Book Beginnings- 21st October 2011

Hosted by A Few More Pages

Radio Shangri-La by Lisa Napoli
The approach to the most sacred monastery in the Kingdom of Bhutan is steep and winding and, especially as you near the top, treacherous. You are sure with one false step you'll plummet off the edge. 

Friday 56 #14 Radio Shangri-La

Hosted by Freda's Voice

Radio Shangri-La by Lisa Napoli
"Oh, that wouldn't be enough for us," she said.

Weekend Report #1- 21st October 2011

Woo hoo, it's so exciting to have found a meme that I feel I can join in with right at the beginning of its creation!

Hosted by Christian Bookshelf Reviews

The rules to participate are simple:

1. Create a post about what you've accomplished the previous week (i.e. books read, reviews posted, awards received, current giveaways, etc.)

2. Add the URL to your post to the linky on Christian Bookshelf Reviews

This week I have:

My blog stats:
  • 104 people visited my blog
  • The book people were most interested in was 'Bedknob and Broomstick'
  • Most visitors were logging in from the US

Help Me Decide What to Read for Dewey's Readathon

Quick, quick! Time is running out before th Dewey Readathon and I still don't know what I want to read!
This will be my second time and I'm so looking forward to it, but I just can't choose whether I should read one of the 2 series I'm collecting (Discworld and Christian Jacq books) or whether I should carry on going through my TBR pile as usual. Part of me would like to make it special, but then part of me wants to get through the backlog of books that I haven't touched yet.

So, I wondered whether you- my readers- could  help (yes I realise its a lazy approach, but hopefully it will work). If you'd like to help me out then please fill in the poll below. To say thankyou if you leave your e-mail address then I'll enter you into a giveaway to win one of the winning books.
Poll will end 1pm tomorrow (Saturday) UK time, when the readathon starts.

Thanks in advance.

Girl With the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier (A Review)

This book tells a delightfully light and enticing story. I felt part of its world, wrapped up in the goings on. The evolving view of life through a painter's eyes was particularly wonderful. I definatly recommend this book to others- go on, give it a go!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (A Review)

To be honest I'm still not sure what to make of this book. I read it fast and yet still remember it, which is surely a good sign. I found it hard to put down and definatly was intrigued enough to read more. And yet, I'm not sure I can actually say that I enjoyed it. I think the reason for this is probably just how different it is from what I'm used to. Details that would usually make a book adult in content were presented matter-of-factly, as were the parts dealing with souls.  I felt as if I was given a small glimpse into a different view of the world which I was never truly helped to understand. Maybe if I read more Japanese books in the future then this one will get easier to understand?!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Book Beginnings- 14th October 2011

Hosted by A Few More Pages

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
"So you're all set for money, then?" the boy named Crow asks in his characteristic sluggish voice. The kind of voice you have when you've just woken up and your mouth still feels heavy and dull. 

Friday 56 #13 Kafka on the Shore

Hosted by Freda's Voice

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
 Come to think of it, I haven't had any dreams in a long time.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The Alchemist (A Review)

Reading this book is like going on a spiritual journey. It makes you reconsider the world and  how you should live within it. It makes you take another look at the approach you take to travel through your life. Alongside this philosophical discovery runs a simple yet mesmerising plot about a young shepherd boy undertaking his own journey. Delightful and magical, a true pleasure to read.

From the back:
This is the story of Santiago, an Andulsian shepherd boy who dreams of travelling the world in search of a treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the exotic markets of Tangiers and then intgo the Egyptian desert, where a fateful encounter with the alchemust awaits him.

Rabbit Stew and A Penny or Two by Maggie Smith-Bendell (A Review)

I really felt as if I was getting an insight into what it meant (and still means) to be a Romani by reading this book. Maggie's approach feels very much like someone talking to you about their life history, with the ocassional repetitions and asides that this is bound to bring. It speaks of a life full of joy and freedom as well as the hardships. It tells of prejudices and acceptance, as well as the attempt to keep a sense of identity amidst a changing world. This book will help you to see Romanis and travellers in general in a new and more sympathetic light- I throughly recommend it to all.

From the back cover:
Born in a Somerset pea-field in 1941, the second of eight children in a Romani family, Maggie Smith-Bendell has lived throughb the years of greatest change in the travelling community's long history. As a child, Maggie rode and slept in a horse-drawn wagon, picked hops and flowers, and sat beside her father's campfire on ancient verges, poor but free to roam. As the twentieth century progressed, common land was fenced off and traditional Gypsy ways disappeared. Eventually Maggie married a house-dweller and tried to settle for bricks and mortar, but she never lost the restless spirit, the deep love of the land and the gift of storytelling that were her Romani inheritance.

Wonderful Wednesdays

Hosted by Tiny Library

Wonderful Wednesdays is a meme about spotlighting and recommending some of our most loved books, even if we haven't read them recently.  Each week will have a different genre or theme.

This weeks theme is historical fiction.

This one was an easy one for me because I definatly have a favourite historical fiction author. His name is Christian Jacq and, although I haven't had a chance to read any for a while, I've been collecting his books for a few years now.

What I like about Christian Jacq's writing is that the people and context feels real. Its different from our own society, but not so different that we can't understand it. And where things do differ he often explains them through a person's feelings, thereby making them easier to understand. Plus, because he's an egyptologist, you feel thathe knows what he is writing about- these books come across as historically accurate (something that I feel is important).

Ancient Egypt is also a time period that really intrigues me. I find it interesting the way life seems to have revolved around the gods- yet there were many variations of belief living side by side. I also like discovering the complex roles between men and women, egyptians and non-egyptians.

I don't really havee any favourite Christian Jacq books (I've yet to find one I don't like). If you're interested then I recommend you start with one set in the reign of someone you know I little about- The Rameses series is probably the most likely candidate I'd have thought.

I'd love to hear what your favourite hisorical fiction is- especially if its Ancient History. Do leave a comment and, you never know, you might see yuor suggestion reviewed here in the future.

WWW Wednesdays #8

Hosted by Should Be Reading

• What are you currently reading?

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father's dark prophecy. The ageing Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his simple life suddenly turned upside down. Their parallel odysseys are enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerising dramas. Cats converrse with people; fish tumble out of the sky; a forest harbours soldiers aparently un-aged since WWII. There is a savage killing, but the identit of both victim and killer is a riddle.
• What did you recently finish reading?

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (review coming soon)

This is the story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who dreams of travelling the world in search of a treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the exotic markets of Tangiers and then into the Egyptian desert, where afateful encounter with the alchemist awaits him.
• What do you think you’ll read next?
The Girl With The Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (A short review)

From the blurb:
Fat Charlie Nancy's normal life ended the moment his father dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage. Charlie didn't know his dad was a god. And he never knew he had a brother.

An imaginative and entertaining read. I loved the way Neil Gaiman wove traditional tales into this story. A light, but very good, read.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Winner of the 100 Follower's Giveaway!

Wow, there were 67 entries for this giveaway!
Thanks guys, you're support means a lot!

And congratulations to the winner:
#45 Diana
An e-mail is winging its way to you as I write. I look forward to receiving your details so that I can send your surprise goodie bag to you.

Look out for more giveaways soon, and do let me know if you have any suggestions for improvements.

Crossing a Book Flashmob in Nottingham

This bookcrosser!   

What do you get when you cross around one thousand books, 3 authors, 2 blankets, a hotel, some crazy hats and a video link with a room full of bookaholics? A bookcrossing unconvention of course!

What? You've never heard of a bookcrossing unconvention? Well, let me take you on a journey into the Nottingham of Ballycumber. (And if you have heard, why not read on anyway- you never know, you might discover something new).

Bagging up a storm

Waiting at the launch pad

I wondered whether all the struggling with traffic jams and boxes full of books would be worth it as I made my way through the secret door into the hotel. Two lift journies and a key collection later, I was in the foyer of the area that was to host my 2nd bookcrossing unconvention. I was greeted by a host of volunteers who were busy bagging up goodies ready for the launch that night. After handing the contributions that I had brought, I returned to my room to drop off my luggage and taking a quick reading break.

Back at the bar promptly at 6pm, I found myself amongst many friends both old and new to me. Some were taking an early dinner, others were greeting long-lost bookcrossers. After deciding that I was too excited to even think about food yet, I made my way into the main convention room where tables were already laid out for the evenings activities. It was great to have time to chat to people whose usernames were familiar, but whose faces were not.

It was great fun to explore our carefully constructed goodie bags, full of surprises and thoughtful presents. A handmade bookmark which included paper from an old book, earrings and a ballcumber badge were among the gifts. There was also a raffle ticket which could be used to indicate a desired prize from the raffle table.

The ever-popular raffle table. Can you spot my prize?

In order to make us mix even more the committee had the brilliant idea of mixing us up for a literary quiz in two halves. Despite not winning (or really coming anywhere close) it was great fun. And it really worked to get us chatting to some new people. Hello to my team-mates if you're reading this *waves*.

Searching for the bookcrossing 2011 mastermind

Eve Makis began the author talks
A sleep later and we were back for the author talks. Eve Makis let us have a fantastic sneak-preview of her latest work, as well as telling us about how began writing and sharing an extract from one of her books.

Stephen Booth rather scared some of us by suggesting that all of us are potential murderers. He also told a story about how he once mistaken for the Yorkshire Ripper. His talk was enthralling and, somehow, pursuaded me buy one of his books so that I could try reading the crime genre for myself (something I've never been tempted to do before).
Stephen Booth suggests that we are all potential murderers
Who let the raven in?

After lunch (I thoroughly recommend The Divine Coffee House btw) Catherine Cooper took us into her raven's world. A place that combines ancient history with talking animals, it seemed magical and yet down-to-earth at  the same time- the perfect children's story. Her talk was dynamic and made good use of the props that she had brought with her. I would have loved to talk to her but, unfortunatly, I got waylaid by the bookswap games that started almost immediately afterwards.

So, how does swapping books become a game?
Well, first you choose your book and wrap it up (or take something off the book buffet and cram it into a borrowed plastic bag if you prefer). Then, you sit in a circle alonsgide several other book-lovers armed with their own wrapped books. Going round the circle you take turns to steal or reveal a book.
Revealing happens the first time a book is desired when the book is unwrapped and the person who brought it explains why they brought it along, why they liked it, or simply reads the blurb. This book then goes to the person who asked for it.
Stealing means taking an unwrapped book from another player. Each book can only be stolen 3 times before it belongs to the person who has it in their hands.
Once you have been round the circle once, the game continues with only those players not holding an unwrapped book taking a turn. The games ends when all the book have been unwraped.
This is a great way to try out books that you wouldn't have considered otherwise!

Saturday evening brought several presentations, including a link-up to the bookcrossing boss over in the US. We went out for meals together, each of us signing up for one of several suggested venues. Our group sang happy birthday to Nu-Knees (using her bookcrossing name becoming a slight tongue-twister in the song). There was also the prize giving during which I somehow won loads of bookcrossing labels and other release goodies. I was really chuffed as this was by far the most popular prize on the table!

The all-you-can-read book buffet
As well as these goodies and those in the supply bag most of us went home with a whole lot of books from the book-buffet. This is where books that had been finished with were left for others to pick up and give a new home. Despite this there were still plenty left for our Sunday release walk!

After what seemed like an eternity of bagging up books (to stop them getting wet/spoilt), we were let loose into Nottingham town centre. The inhabitants must have wondered what had hit them when, at the sound of a whistle, a whole bunch of us put on hats and freeze-framed reading a book. The flash-mob's purpose was revealed to some as we laid our labelled books on the steps of the town hall.

Preparing books for their journey of discovery
We then proceeded to make our way across round the town whilst similtaneously doing a treasure hunt and dropping off bookcrossing books. It was a wonderful experience to see our route flooded with books and to have people stop us to explain what was going on. I hope that many of those who saw our offerings picked them up and are enjoying reading them as I speak.

I hope that next year will be just as great as this one- they have a hard act to follow though! Good luck to them and I hope to see you there!
The Bookcrossing bunch
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...