Saturday, October 09, 2010

My Brain on Books VII

<-- click the pic to learn about the Read-a-thon

I am reading for RIF today. I don't have a sponsor but I'm putting this plug at the top in hopes some who stop by will check out their site and see all the great things they do to foster love of reading in kids.

This post will be organized like a blog inside a blog with recent updates stacked atop previous ones.
I will post a notice at Twitter whenever I update this post. Or at least whenever I remember to. Be sure to scroll to bottom of this post. You won't be sorry.

Read with joy.

4:44 AM This is my wrap-up update. Will return to the audio of The Help as soon as I click publish. Am on disc 2 and have discovered I LOVE audio book now. Didn't care so much for being read to 10 years ago when I could still read faster than people talk. Don't know how much this enjoyment now is due to being able to rest my eyes, the comparison to the frustrating last hours of reading The Lacuna as my speed dropped from 50 to 30 pages an hour or, the superb quality of this audio reading. It has the quality of a stage play.

Finished one book today but had started it over a week ago. Read from page 417 to 762 of The Lacuna.

Read another 100 pages plus spread over a number of novels and NF while in a grazing mood. See NF list below.

Listened to 2 discs of The Help audio edition.

Succumbed to a 2hr nap attack and spent approximately an hour in snack prep overall. But was either reading, surfing other blogs, or prepping mini-challenges the other 21 hours.

1:45 AM
Susan of Scraps of Life has a mini challenge closing in fifteen minutes now which challenges us to read NF and blog about it. Since my last update featured just that I entered it. It's the only mini-challenge I've entered this time and probably will be the only as my heart is more in the stories than the activities this time.

OK my books are shelved and I'm getting ready to start The Help audio book I'll probably crochet as I listen to ensure I stay awake.

12 - 1 AM
Still browsing among my TBR as the clock shifts days. Five hours to go. My eyes are still discontent so I doubt I'm going to be able to do any more sustained reading.

Just for fun I'm going to list some of the NF I've been dipping into as I return them to there places. The fiction is already dealt with and the browsing of them only amounted to reading blurbs, covers and maybe the first page or two. All but one of the 17 novels were library books and my browsing of them was an attempt to decide which ones I will hang on to and which I'll send back to the library this week as I haven't the space to keep books I'm unlikely to be reading in the time allotted anyway. See, a couple weeks ago I accidentally set myself up to be flooded by my library requests as I forgot to reset the activation dates after ordering a slew so they all came inside a week when I'd intended for them to be doled out a few per week over 2 to 3 months.

Though I've decided to send back most of the novels (whether recent arrivals or not) I will go ahead and hang on to all the NF for now as most of them have specific uses for NaNo prep and or reading challenge fulfillment.

They are:

Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft by Janet Burroway
The Weekend Novelist by Robert J. Ray
New Media ed. Albert Rolls -- essays on web based multimedia systems. There's a whole section on blogging!
Anatomy of Spirit by Caroline Myss

3 by Barbara Ehrenreich:
--Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War
--Bait and Switch: the (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream
--This Land is Their Land

The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy by Raj Patel
Math of Mystics: From the Fibonacci Sequence to Luna's Labyrinth to the Golden section and other Secrets of sacred Geometry byRenna Shesso
Proust Was a Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer
Ecology of a Cracker Childhood by Janisse Ray
Resurrecting Eve: Women of Faith Challenge the Fundamentalist Agenda by Roberta Mary Pughe and Paula Anema Schl
Sweet Swan of Avon: Did a Woman Write Shakespeare? by Robin P. Williams
Frida Kahlo: The Paintings by hayden Herrera (A companion to Frida: A biography of Frida Kahlo, the basis for the Miramax film--which I watched last week because Frida and husband Diego Rivera were prominent characters in Kingsolver's The Lacuna)

And since I spent significant browsing time with them here are two of my own books I'm about to reshelve:

Jung and Tarot: An archetypal Journey by Sallie Nichols
Thinking Shakespeare: A how-to guide for student actors, directors, and anyone else who wants to feel more comfortable with the Bard

I'm hoping that the nap plus several hours of browsing in multiple books has put enough of a lacuna of time between turning the last page of The Lacuna and submitting to a new story. Since I can't trust my eyes though I am going to begin the audio edition of The Help by Kathryn Stockett as soon as I finish shelving the books. I'll probably stay with it for the duration.

Four hours to go as I click publish on this update.

11:22 PM
I confess. I could not continue. At 8:30 I succumbed to a nap attack from which Ed roused me at 10:30 with a tall cup of coffee which I have been sipping as I browsed among the piles of books on the bed which I must now squirrel away in their niches and nooks as Ed will be crawling in on his side in the next hour.

6:44 PM
Finally! Have just turned the last page of The Lacuna. Obviously my pace slowed nearly to the rate of mudflow on a 2% slope. There was an hour's break to fix and eat a late lunch between 3:30 and 4:30 but most of the rest of the minutes between 2 and 6:40 I was either reading or pausing to put in eye drops followed by 30 seconds of lowered eyelids--little, lightless lacunae scooped out of the light.

I know. I did say I meant to switch to the audio edition of The Help if eyestrain ensued but I just had no heart for switching stories. I should have known better than to expect such of myself seeing how I can hardly bear to change channels mid commercial let alone mid movie or mid episode.

I may even have trouble switching over even now that the story is over. I feel the need to put some lacunae of time between those last pages and any new story. Maybe I can manage some NF and see if I feel different in an hour or two.

To tell the truth though I'd just as soon sit here and ruminate on The Lacuna. It is the type of story that needs ruminating. A lot of cud to grind and digest. If forced to choose between this story and The Poisonwood Bible as Kingsolver's best I'm not sure I could make the call lest it was by flipping a coin. Contemplating the two books I'm left wondering how long before someone nominates her for the Nobel Prize.

Well, I should wrap up this update and move on. I've been drawing it out as I dither over my choices so I could announce here my plans for the next hour but I can't settle. I think what appeals most is to graze among my various TBR. One of my favorite things to do is handle a large number of books in a short time, dipping in for small tastes of various dishes in the feast on the smorgasbord.

Yeah. That's what I'll do. It's probably the only thing that could keep me awake long enough for the next second wind to sweep over me. This is the first time out of my seven read-a-thons that I've begun to doubt my ability to reach the finish line this early. But only once did I not actually make it and even then I lasted until the last 30 minutes giving in only because hallucinating began to replace the author's actual words.

This time though the fact I've been awake 21 hours already combined with having recently fought a nasty bug may prove too big a hurdle.

Ummm. I think what I need to do RIGHT NOW is get up and move before I talk myself into giving up. It's a good thing I've got this bed covered in books so that it'll take 30 minutes minimum to clear it off....

1:11 PM
Well. Did not progress as far as I anticipated when writing the 10:10 AM update. Shortly after that I was hit with my first wave of the drowse. Not too surprising since I've been awake since 10:30 PM Friday night.

So I decided to check out the hub and see if any mini-challenges appealed. Two did. Both requiring pictures. But I fussed too long setting up the shots and composing my comments and post update etc and I missed the deadlines so I quit without submitting and headed to the kitchen for a snack and to reheat my coffee and a few minutes of chit-chat with my husband.

Then back to The Lacuna for an hour. Am now on page 595. So under 200 pages. My pace has slowed some from the 50 to 55 pages an hour of the first four hours this morning so I don't have an estimate at this time. And if my eyes don't improve after this brief respite I may have to give in to the audio book alternative even tho setting this book aside at this point would be torturous.

10:10 AM
I just spent twenty minutes on a comment on the hub blog and am anxious to get back to reading so I'm going to paste what I said there here. In answer to Trish's question as to where we're reading and how often we shift locations or positions:

Other than necessary nature calls I've left my spot on the bed propped by pillows only once since 5am and that was the only time I took the book with me--to stand beside the coffee maker in the kitchen reading until there was enough in the pot to fill my 16oz covered cup. That was at 7am.

I'm hoping I'll be able to sit outside this afternoon but there is a chance of rain so...

Meanwhile I sit here with a board across my thighs that holds a book easel which by turns holds the 762 page book or my netbook. Maybe once I finish this chunkster and can pick up something slimmer, it will make sense to shift positions or locations more often tho I also need to consider light source as the only one that matches or beats the LED lamp I'm using in or around this house is Mother Nature's own.

I'm estimating 4 more hours with Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna if I keep this pace and my eyes hold out. if my eyes rebel though I will switch to the audio of Stockette's The Help and maybe crochet bookmarks while I listen.
I'm on page 555 of The Lacuna. Counting only the actual minutes read I seem to be reading at a pace of 50 pages an hour which is how I got my estimate above.

7:07 AM
After approximately 90 minutes of reading I've reached page 485 of The Lacuna. Am going to take the book to the kitchen with me now and continue reading while a pot of coffee percolates (or whatever they call what it does in a coffee maker). I was trying to hold out until someone else in this household was up so I wouldn't be making just for me but I'm in dire need NOW and it shouldn't be long before my in-laws get up. Ed will be longer I hope as he didn't get to bed until after 2AM.

I think when I get back here with my coffee I'm going to put my earplugs in. I think I'd have made another twenty pages in those 90 minutes were it not for the logs being sawed in here.

5:05 AM
OK readers let's go!

I'm starting my day with Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna which I'm determined to finish this weekend as it is a library book which was due last Monday. I am on page 417 of the 762 page large print edition.

One of the factors in it taking me so long to read this book which I started two weeks ago was the temptation of Netflix streaming. I have made a firm commitment to leave Netflix alone for the next 24hrs though.

But one of the factors making Netflix so tempting was the tendency of my eyes to fatigue more easy than usual since the onset of the cold a couple weeks ago. But I have two options to get me over that. One is to switch to Kathryn Stockett's The Help on audio. 15 CDs at 77 minutes each for the most part.

I generally don't like to have two fiction stories going at the same time but I'll make an exception today if need be.

The other option is to open one of the e-books I have on my netbook and enlarge the font to my satisfaction.

And then of course there is the surfing other reader's blogs and mini-challenges...

So that's my plan. And I'm off. Harrison Shepherd here I come.

4:44 AM
This is set to autopost at 4:44 AM. Hope to add update above this line by 5:05

C'mon now!

7 tell me a story:

A Buckeye Girl Reads 10/09/2010 5:26 AM  

Good luck finishing the Lacuna. That was a DNF for me..just wasn't in the right mood.

Just wanted to say have lots of fun with the readathon!

Col (Col Reads) 10/09/2010 6:40 AM  

Apple, peach and pumpkin pie,
You can’t read everything,
But why not try?
Happy Readathon!
Go Team Simile!!!

Marg 10/09/2010 1:07 PM  

I have a few library books that I should be reading during readathon too!

Enjoy your read and have fun!


Amanda Roper 10/09/2010 1:28 PM  

Hope your reading is marvelous! I'm cheering for you!

samantha.1020 10/09/2010 6:52 PM  

You are doing great! Keep those eyes open for a little bit can do it :) Great job!

Cass 10/09/2010 8:25 PM  

A book in hand,
is really quite grand!
It's all you need
to go on and read!

Kate @Midnight Book Girl 10/10/2010 1:16 AM  

North to South
and East to West
Readathon Readers
Are the Best!
Sea to Sea
and Coast to Coast,
Readathon Readers
have Read the Most!

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