Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Brain on Books X

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

I am reading for Script Frenzy and NaNoWriMo today as I am currently participating in my 4rth Script Frenzy and have done NaNo 8 times. 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 and writing and story in kids. If you would like to sponsor me the link above takes you to the page that tells you how. My Script Frenzy username is joywrite

This post will be organized like a blog inside a blog with recent updates stacked atop previous ones.
I may be posting some updates on Twitter and the Joystory fb fanpage. But this is where I do anything more than a line or two.  Also mini-challenges.   Be sure to scroll to bottom of this post for advice on how to ward off those scary nap attacks. You won't be sorry.

5am -- I back for a brief sign-off but I'm not going to do my official wrap up  until I wake up.  I don't want to risk catching a third wind that could carry me another six hours.  No joke.  It has happened more than once with these 24hr thons and it seems that going back to the hub as the last hour winds down plays a role in getting me all wound up again so I need to avoid that.

I spent the last half hour reading Vonnegut's short story "The Euphio Question" about the invention of a euphoria machine.

3:50am (Sunday, April 22)  About to enter the last hour

Have had a productive several hours.  Have been reading tree books but no single one for very long.  Seem to have the attention span of a butterfly.  Tho all have been NF and dense prose and smallish font.  They are:

The Mobius Strip of Ifs by Mathias B. Freese.  Review copy.  A slim volume of collected essays.  Freese is a retired Freudian Psychotherapist so as you can imagine he is big on self-reflection.  As am I.  I've read the first six essays.  2 thru 6 in the last hour or so.  About 20 pages. They have all had the flavor of personal memoir blended with stand-up comedy.  At leas that is how my internal ears are hearing his words.  They seem to drip with self-depreciating humor, and an acerbic sarcasm and acidic irony directed against the cultural conditioning of the individual.

Creative Mythology by Joseph Campbell.  Volume 4 of his Masks of God series. Have owned for 19 years.  I read the first 8 pages.  Again.  For the 4rth? 5th? #? time.  I've started this book repeatedly over the last two decades and never managed to finish it.  This partly due to how densely packed with information every paragraph is.  Unpacking it is like unpacking a steamer trunk's worth of stuff out of a wallet.  Nearly every sentence requires contemplation.  I'm not complaining mind you.  I love this kind of reading as much as I do speeding through a light entertainment novel.  They each have their place.

And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life by Charles Shields.  A review copy.  I read about five pages when I encountered another mention of a story he was writing or got published and it is part of my adventure in reading this biography to stop and try to find a copy of the writing to read before I proceed.  Just before opening this post to update I located the two short stories just mentioned in my ebook collection of his works.  So my plan is to spend the last hour reading those stories.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.  Since it is an ebook I'm not sure how many pages.  i'm guessing under a dozen tho.  I'm finding the premise of this book exciting and the implications profound.  It is about the recent discoveries of the root of habit formation and their purpose and how to interrupt the unconscious patterns of unwanted habits and consciously create healthy ones.

11pm -- It is finally cooling down indoors.  I've got a second wind I think will carry me through til 5am and beyond like a greased bowling ball on a waxed floor.  It is after all the hours I am used to being awake.

I spent more time on mini-challenges today than on reading but I did read.

I finished the first story, Ex-mas Feast, in Say You're One of Them and am deep into the much longer second story, Fattening for Gabon.  This is an ebook.

I read around 100 pages in The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen.  Love, love, loving it!  But it not an ebook and my eyes can only take short sessions.

After doing the Reading in Translation mini-challenge I spent half an hour or more trying to wade through the first page of 100 Years of Solitude in Spanish.  My googling for cover images for the challenge also garnered me a free pdf of the very book I said I would most want to read in its original language.  Now I can.  If I can scrape 35 years of accumulated rust off my high school Spanish.

I read several pages in The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.  Also an ebook.  I want to spend more time with it.

I am leaning toward wanting to read for most of the remaining hours so we'll see how it goes.

9:30pm -- 

Soporific is not so terrific

I went through a bad patch between 3 and 7.  I did not succumb to sleep but to fight it I could not sit still for long at a time.  The heat was a factor as was getting only five hours of sleep before starting.

I did get some reading done though.  I just had to take frequent breaks to move about, get drinks and snacks.  Take Focus and Vitamin B.

I sat outside on the porch for another good part of an hour before 8pm when I finally lost the light for reading without bringing a lamp outside which would attract things I don't want to attract.  It's cooling down quickly outside since the sun went down but inside the house it is still 85 degrees.

The woman across the street working on the floorboards of her truck has finally called it quits for the day.  For hours there was the interminable clang bang boom of metal on metal like Quasimodo ringing the bell in the church tower.  I wanted to scream.  But I can probably thank her for keeping me awake.

I participated in so many mini-challenges between 6:30am and 3pm I've lost track.  I can think of at least six but I sure there were two or three more.  That meant less reading but it was what I was drawn to do this time.  Unlike many who participate in the thons I seldom have duties or commitment that keep from staging my own private read-a-thon any day of the week.  So I wanted to participate in the parts that I can't do any time I want.

Sheila at Book Journey has asked a question in a spontaneous read-a-thon giveaway: what is your favorite part of the read-a-thon? 

I decided to think about it while I did an update before leaving my comment.

Anyone who knows me well might think it was the reading and I automatically voiced that thought in my head but it didn't fit.  One of the things Sheila listed was 'community' and another was 'mini-challenges' and yet another was 'cheering' but none of them quite name it for me tho they all have their charms.

It is hard to express in words what I think I understand now.  It is the feeling I get as I comprehend the numbers of like-minded bibliophiles as I surf the blogs and lurk on twitter.  I know you are thinking that is what goes by the name of community in the blogosphere.  But community isn't quite the right word for what I'm think of.  Because just realizing they exist in such numbers around the globe gives me the assurance I have a hard time coming by that I'm not so weird after all.

It isn't important whether or not they come together into a community a couple of times a year it is the knowing that they are there and that if/when I am in their presence whether physically or virtually I know I do not have to apologize, justify or hide my passion for story.

But maybe that is the definition of community.

I think my reluctance to call it community is that my definition of 'community' doesn't include my own reticence for participating in the chatter--comments, twitter, fb.  The fact that I remain, still, after so many years of blogging, a lurker makes me feel I am not qualified to wear the badge 'member of a community'.  I don't pull my weight.  I insist on remaining on the fringe like a bag lady who talks to herself and replies to the hum of the electric wires overhead, who appears to watch with longing the easy camaraderie of a group gathered for a meal inside a restaurant she is passing by but refuses to make eye contact through the window and scurries away the moment she feels noticed.

How then could I call my favorite thing about the thons 'community'?

2:55pm -- Book Appetite mini-challenge @ Sheila's Bookjourney - plan a menu for a book club meeting for a book you are reading today based on the food in the book.
Book: The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen
Menu: Lamb and bitter greens; roast beef and mashed potatoes; sausage and beans; corned beef sandwiches and macaroons; tea
can you guess where we are?

1:22pm -- I just spent a little over an hour sitting out on the porch reading The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen.  This was another first, another milestone, for living in our new place.  It is one of the very few days since we moved in that the weather encouraged it.  Today is the first day this year I've started to feel too warm both indoors and outdoors.

I would have liked to stay out longer but the noise was getting to me.  Kids screaming, weed eaters whupping grass, car speakers booming, dogs barking, trucks clanking over the speed bump.  It was also getting too warm and too bright or rather I was having to shift my chair too often to chase the light that was just right--not to dim and not too bright.  So I came back in for now.

11:55am -- Book Sentences Create a complete sentence with the titles of books by stacking the books and taking a picture.  Use at least three books:

10am -- Turn to a Page mini challenge.  from p32 of your current read find a phrase to complete this sentence:
"I would rather read than flatten Neil Lewis any day!"

from The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen

8:30am -- Reading in Translation Mini Challenge

1. If you could read any book that’s been translated into English in its ORIGINAL language, what would it be?

2. Include the original book’s cover if possible; if you want, also post the English cover for comparison.
There are so many covers for this classic it would take lengthy research to pin down the original.  So I chose my favorite of the covers in the original Spanish (above)

and the cover my copy had the first time I read it (below)

OK well, after posting these I thot to check out wikipedia and found they have the original cover in their article on the book.  But I'm still going with these.  You can see the original by clicking on the tile link in step 1 above.

3. Optional imaginary bonus points: post a sentence from the book in its original language.
The first sentence in Spanish.
Muchos años después, frente al pelotón de fusilamiento, el coronel Aureliano Buendía había de
recordar aquella tarde remota en que su padre lo llevó a conocer el hielo.

7:50am -- Book Puzzle Mini-Challenge - Make a photo montage depicting the title of a book.

I'll drop hints as the day progresses if no one guesses

6:30AM --  Introductory Questionaire:

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

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen which I started a week ago but have only gotten to read in snatches.  Hope to finish it.  The rest of my choices will be made on impulse from my shelves full of tree books and my harddrive stocked with ebooks and audio books.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
The crisp Brayburn apple.  See yesterday's post for pics of my thon food.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
This is my tenth Dewey Thon.  But the first one in our new place in which I now have a room of my own.  See yesterday's post for pics.

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'l move about more.  Drink more water.  Rest eyes more by listening to audio books.  Not wait til my eyes are burning to put the artificial tears in.  And do more mini-challenges and cheers, tweets and updates here--in other words be more social.  Last time I got really wrapped up in the reading.  Which is what I wanted then.  This time I hope to be more balanced.

We shall see tho.  I've got so many wrap worthy reads waiting..

5AM -- The beginning.  Got my coffee, computer, ebooks, tree books, audio books, pre dawn quiet and my cat.  I'm stoked.

I'm starting out with the first story in Uwem Akpan's Say You're One of Them.  The first story is a re-read for me as I read it when Oprah was giving away an ecopy of it when the book was one of her book club picks.  But I haven't read any of the other's yet.  I'm reading it in ebook with larger than my usual 14pt font as my eyes don't much like to focus for the first hour or so I'm awake

Fighting pose

4 tell me a story:

Sheila (Bookjourney) 4/21/2012 2:47 PM  

Reading on the porch! Nice! Our day here is miserable and rainy which is good for me because it keeps me inside... reading;)

Ellie 4/22/2012 1:40 AM  

Keep up the good work! I've got The Land of Decoration to read, good to hear it's a good one.

melissa @ 1lbr 4/22/2012 12:29 PM  

Gosh, i have no clue on your book puzzle :). I guess it's a really good one! Thanks for playing along.

Kimberly @ Midnight Book Girl 4/22/2012 12:34 PM  

Nice sentences! Thanks for participating in the challenge.

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