Sunday, October 22, 2017

Read-A-Thon - Closing Survey

This was a fun Read-A-Thon. I co-hosted for the first time ever. It was a bit of a trying experience. I had to learn to put aside my need to read all the things so I could properly man the twitter feed. I hope I didn't overdo it. Had a lot of fun hosting the mini-challenge. I got introduced to some new books that I need to look up. Here's my final survey:

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
I'm torn between Hours 6-8 (when I co-hosted) and Hours 22-23 when I nearly fell asleep.

2. Tell us ALLLLL the books you read!
Ha ha ha ha! Ha ha! Ha. I read one book. Soonish. The rest of the time I read the web comic Schlock Mercenary. 

3. Which books would you recommend to other Read-a-thoners?
Calvin & Hobbes, all the way.

4. What’s a really rad thing we could do during the next Read-a-thon that would make you smile?
I dunno, I was smiling quite a bit already with this one.

5. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? Would you be interested in volunteering to help organize and prep?
I've already signed up! See you in April.

Dewey's Read-A-Thon Mini-Challenge - You're Wearing That?

Image result for bookish outfits

I'll be the first to admit, I'm not that crazy about clothes. Does it fit? Yes. Is it comfortable? Yes. Then I'll buy it (give or take). Though I do often have a weakness for funny or bookish t-shirts and dark denim jeans. Other than that, I really don't care about clothes, especially fancy dresses.

With one exception.

Image result for elvenborn

In the book Elvenborn, Lady Lydiell shows up to a dinner wearing a dress that, at first glance looks like a simple sparkly, silver dress. Upon closer inspection, however, the dress is show to be made of chain mail with tiny plates hosting tiny diamonds. It was so well crafted another character wonders if it could turn a blade. The only fancy/pretty dress I will ever truly want.

In terms of more practical clothing, I love the armor from Jay Posey's Outriders. That stuff is so responsive and lightweight the main character feels it's like a second skin. At the same time, it's stronger than most futuristic bullets, can survive in low atmosphere, has food(ish) & water available, and has the ability to sense the coloration of its environment and adjust its camouflage accordingly! Tell me that wouldn't be cool to wear!

This gets me thinking: have you ever read about an outfit that you would want for yourself? Not just an accessory (i.e. an invisibility cloak) but a full outfit. 

Image result for what should i wear

In the comments section, let me know the clothing, the book it's from and why you want it. This is a free-for-all, no restrictions on genre, magical or not, etc. The description and reason for wanting it that I like the most wins a $15 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes & Nobles (winner's choice). Please also make sure you leave a way to get a hold of you. A twitter handle or an email address (i.e. username   @   domain   .   com). I'll even give you 3 hours to enter!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Read-A-Thon | Mid-Event Survey

Fun fact, I still have not finished my first book for the Read-A-Thon! I spent 3 hours Co-Hosting and keeping up with everyone on Twitter and lost precious reading time.

The interesting thing? Since I logged out of the @readathon account, I've actually been pretty zen. I'm not energetic, but I'm not tired. I think I'm pleasantly relaxed. This is good for me because it means I'm less likely to burn out and more likely to stay awake the full 24 hours. 

Mid-Event Survey:

1. What are you reading right now?
Soonish by Kelly and Zach Weinersmith.

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?
Finishing a book!

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Well, to be fair, I kinda signed on to be a co-host, so all I could really do was go with the flow. ^_^

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
I had fun co-hosting. Not sure I did well, and I'll only do it again if really needed, but I had some fun.

10 Years in 10 Books | Dewey Read-A-Thon Challenge

So, basically, the challenge is to submit one book recommendation from each year the Read-A-Thon was running (2007-2017). This is gonna be a challenge because I've only been keeping track of my reading for the past few years! Wish me luck!

2007 - Chimichanga by Eric Powell
2008 - Hellboy: The All Seeing Eye by Mark Morris
2009 - I Kill Giants by  Joe Kelly, J.M. Ken Niimura
2010 - How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
2011 - The Tower's Alchemist by Alesha Escobar
2012 - WBI: Witches Bureau of Investigation by Richard Capwell
2013 - The Science of Monsters by Matt Kaplan
2014 - The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley
2015 - RunLoveKill by  Jonathan Tsuei, Eric Canete, Leonardo Olea 
2016 - Outriders by Jay Posey
2017 - Under the Pendulum Sun by  Jeannette Ng

I can verify that, to me, all these books were highly entertaining and engaging!

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon - Hour 0 Opening Meme

Yes! We're getting ready to start! This'll be my 7th Read-A-Thon! I'm so excited and I haven't even had my coffee yet!!!!!

As is traditional, the Read-A-Thon begins with an opening list of questions. Here they are, with my answers:

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

Michigan! I'm using Read-A-Thon as an excuse not to go outside on a game day.

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

Soonish by Kelly and Zach Weinersmith. It JUST got published this week. I made sure to pre-order it.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Chocolate Belvita Crackers with coffee. I LOVE chocolate and coffee!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I'm 31 years old!

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'll be co-hosting today! From 1-4 EST I'M CO-HOSTING! Hold on a sec, I need to keep from hyperventilating!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-A-Thon

Holy wah! Holy wah! Holy wah! It's that time again! Read-A-Thon is here!!! I love this holiday more than Christmas! These events are the two times a year that I am at my most social. Seriously, follow my Twitter account (@Silelda) and you'll see my feed just explode with updates and conversations. Or you can just follow @readathon or #readathon! 

In a twist to my usual routine, I will actually be co-hosting the Read-A-Thon! I've never done this before, so I hope you'll all be patient with me. I'll be posting hourly updates from Noon to 3 PM on the Read-A-Thon's website and manning their Twitter account during that time. And answering questions, etc. as they come up. Fingers crossed I have a relatively easy shift. 

Other than that, my schedule looks pretty standard. Wake up at 7 to prep and cook breakfast. Sometimes Fluxxdog offers to cook breakfast (or get it from Taco Bell) but that rarely works out, so I'll just plan on making it myself to be safe. I'm going to set a time for myself to get up and move every couple of hours. As much fun as it is to just sit and read, movement is important! And I've got an audio book on YouTube to finish in case I need to walk around more than I expected or have other chores to do.

I'm not sure what books I'll be reading. I'll probably only be able to really go through one or two throughout the day. However, at 3 AM I will be switching to Schlock Mercenary, a daily webcomic that is almost two decades old that I've been meaning to catch up on. Yeah. Wish me luck! 

As far as snacks and meals go, I'm not guaranteed to eat a the times I have listed below, and I don't even have any snacks prepared yet! I'll probably spend all day Friday cooking and shopping for all the snacks to get me through Read-A-Thon. I'm gonna try to be smart about my snacking and not just down a bunch of sugary stuff. That'll sour my stomach and make me go to sleep which I will NOT stand for! I WILL stay up the full 24 hours!

Anyways, this is my Read-A-Thon plan. There should still be time to sign up, if you're interested!

Schedule Outline

7 AM - Wake up & breakfast
8 AM - Start with [book name]
11:30 AM - Lunch
1-4 PM - Hosting the website & Twitter feed
4:01 PM - Back to reading!
6 PM - Dinner
12 AM - Snack
2 AM - Shower
3 AM - Switch to Schlock Mercenary
4 AM - Snack

Proposed Reading List
Verax by Pratap Chatterjee and Khalil
Rescue Road by Peter Zheutlin
Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Rubber Soldiers | Gary Neeleman and Rose Neeleman

*Image and book provided via NetGalley for an honest review.


This book looks at the essential role Brazil played in World War II by providing the rubber that was needed for the war effort.


The first half of this book was riveting. I had no clue that Brazil was so essential to the war effort. I had no idea how many lives were lost getting that rubber to the United States. Heck, I didn't even know German U-Boats were active in the South Atlantic. It was very educational, and heart-wrenching, relaying the stories of the Rubber Soldiers and the conditions under which they worked. 

The second half of the book however, was almost nothing but the very bureaucracy filled letters that passed between the Brazilian and US governments. These letters are not good for general readers. They were written with politicians and, maybe, reporters in mind. I had to skim through several pages of technical and political lingo just to get to the authors' summaries that were significantly more effective at exposition than the letters. I get that the letters were needed, but they really dragged down the book for me, a non-historian. 

It really upsets me because this book has a very important and under-represented story to tell and point to make. And the first half of the book does that so very well! The problem comes when the authors rely on verbatim copies of the letters and telegraphs. My eyes glazed over quickly and I had to force myself to continue reading. I really feel like the authors were only including the letters to pad the page count. The letters may have been better off being included as an appendix with the authors writing up summaries in the main book. They are talented authors but these letters just kill the book for me.

If you're a history buff or have a very strong interest in the subject, you'll probably enjoy the entire book. If you're a casual reader, like me, whose curiosity was piqued, you'll probably only like the first half of the book. 2.5 hoots.