January #24in48 Readathon Wrap-Up

#24in48 was amazing!

Here’s my original stack:

    1. Midnight Taxi Tango
    2. The Rogue not Taken
    3. All the Bright Places
    4. The Night Wanderer
    5. I Thought It Was Just Me
    6. Feminism Unfinished (finished)
    7. Career of Evil
    8. Beastly Bones
    9. The Round House
    10. Fences

On my e-reader I also have:

    1. Giant Days: Vol. 
    2. Giant Days: Issue 5
    3. Giant Days: Issue 6
    4. Lumberjanes: Issue 9
    5. Lumberjanes: Issue 10
    6. The Color Purple
    7. Cure for Dreaming

Final tally: 16 hours; 3 books, 1 graphic novel, and 2 comic book issues.

My favorite part was checking in on Twitter with my fellow readers. I don’t have access to a group of book lovers to talk to very often, so this was a welcome change. The hashtag really worked well. I just kept a tab running on Tweetdeck and checked-in every couple of hours.

I did need a better way to track my time. I was constantly forgetting to start/stop my timer. I’m going to figure out a better way to measure time read for the next #24in48 readathon on July 23-24th. This time I have plenty of time to plan. *marks calendar*

*Updated* #24in48 Hour 12 Check-In

The Readathon is going strong. We are 12 hours in. 

I got one hour of reading in this morning before life (read: mother and siblings) got started. I made some progress on Midnight Taxi Tango by Daniel Jose Older. It is completely creepy in the best way. Also, full of badass heroines, beyond the one on the cover, and lots of diversity. 

Cover of Midnight Taxi Tango

Reading Midnight Taxi Tango in bed

 
I’m now out and about running errands, but in managed to slip away for 15 and finish two issues of my favorite comic Lumberjanes.  

cover of Issue 10 of Lumberjanes

Issue 10 of Lumberjanes


You can find my reading in my little nook with book stack and snacks nearby. 

  
Carry on readathoners! 36 more hours to go.

 

#24in48 Readathon

I’m participating in my first Readathon this weekend. 

I’ve been in a slump for about two weeks; which is really disappointing, because I started my reading year very strongly. I heard about #24in48 from BookRiot’s Liberty Hardy and thought it was so cool.

The goal is to read for a total of 24 hours during a 48 hour period, 12 a.m. on Saturday to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday. I’m so freaking excited. This challenge allows me to sleep, which is critical. It’s also helpful that Monday is a holiday and I don’t work. 

I’m hoping to use it to finish a few books I’ve started, but not finished and a few that are due back at the library shortly. Plus, it gives me even more reason to ignore the world and that’s something I definitely need to do for myself this weekend. 

The stack of books I am reading for the readathon

Here’s my stack for #24in48

  
My stack (from top to bottom):

  1. Midnight Taxi Tango
  2. The Rogue not Taken
  3. All the Bright Places
  4. The Night Wanderer
  5. I Thought It Was Just Me
  6. Feminism Unfinished
  7. Career of Evil
  8. Beastly Bones
  9. The Round House 
  10. Fences

On my ereader I also have:

The first five are comics and I plan to use them like palette cleansers and reading during meal breaks.

  1. Giant Days: Vol. 
  2. Giant Days: Issue 5
  3. Giant Days: Issue 6
  4. Lumberjanes: Issue 9
  5. Lumberjanes: Issue 10
  6. The Color Purple
  7. Cure for Dreaming

See y’all on Monday!

Why This Raccoon Is a Big Deal

*Spoiler* in the full video he figures it out and manages to eat the cotton candy, a.k.a. candy floss internationally (learned something new), on the third try.

I almost cried real tears the first time I watched the original video clip. I couldn’t believe how moved I was by this, but after thinking about it it really boils down to this.

  1. This raccoon was given a good thing – cotton candy.
  2. The treat disappears suddenly; he isn’t even able it enjoy it.
  3. The raccoon has no idea what happened to this great thing he had.

As a young adult who is frequently getting kicked around by life, I. Get. It. That look of total despair as he searched for a treat that we all know has just dissolved into the water. That is real life. That is adulthood. Sometimes, *cough* often, things just go wrong in life and we have no idea why.

But just as often, we figure it out after 1 or 2 more tries and we get to actually eat our treats.

Here’s to figuring it out in 2016!

 

Early 2016 Reading Preview

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I am five days in 2016 and have already finished two fantastic novels: Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta and Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy.  I’ve already been so sad that I cry into a book and so frustrated that I’ve thrown a book.

In preparation for a jam-packed reading year, I’ve gathered a few books from early 2016 that I am anticipating very highly.

This COVER! Midnight Taxi Tango (TODAY! Jan. 5) is the second Bone Street Rumba novel. The first, Half-Resurrection Blues, was one of my favorite books of 2015. I was never interested urban fantasy until I heard Daniel Jose Older on the Reading Lives podcast. He was brilliant, so I decided to try his book. I’ve since read his YA novel, Shadowshaper, also excellent. I’ve been counting down to today since February 2015. I will be tearing into this one over the weekend.

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl (Feb. 26) is one of Bustle’s most anticipated fiction books of 2016.  It feels like a natural follow-up to Dumplin’. Thank you Chicago Public Library for the motivation of non-renewable due dates! I want to continue with reading books with body-positive themes. 13 Ways… is a collection of connected short stories about Lizzie and her experiences with weight, body image, and self-worth.

A Steep and Thorny Way (Mar. 8) was recommended to me by Goodreads after I finished Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman. I realized I like Westerns. A Steep and Thorny Way was written just for me it seems. Hanalee is a mixed race woman living with her mother and step-father in 1920s Oregon. Shenanigans ensue which cause Hanalee to consult her dead father, a “haint” a.k.a. ghost that roams the streets at night. I am so fudrucking excited about this book.

It’s gonna be a phenomenal reading year (quarter)!

Poverty and Privilege

Yesterday, I read a Washington Post article, A Lonely Road, about a young, black, mother, who lives in poverty and the struggles she — and others in similar situations — face as she searches for employment.

This paragraph stood out to me particularly:

“The others in Scott’s life were largely out of touch. One of Scott’s siblings had just gotten out of prison; another was in the military. Scott’s old boyfriend — Za’Niyah’s father — was who knows where, out of contact for a year and probably for good. Scott, who long ago lost contact with her mother, spent many years in the foster system and several more with her grandmother, sharing the home Immediately after I read this paragraph, I realized that I was something I would have never considered myself — privileged. with 15 others.”

“A Lonely Road,” is a beautifully written long form article that made me hyper-aware of my own privilege as a child of educated, employed, middle class, parents. I have a vast network of employed family and friends, many of whom would be willing and are assisting me in various ways. I realized my situation would be much more similar to this woman’s were it not for that network. I’m very grateful.

Reading about the early feminism movement 

In my ample free time, i.e. time I should have been doing graduate school work, I’ve been reading Jill Lepore’s The Secret History of Wonder Woman. It’s fascinating non-fiction about William Marston, the creator of Wonder Woman, the women of his life (all of them were feminists and birth control advocates) and their influence on what later became the Wonder Woman comic strip.

They were all amazing women — all white, all middle and upper class. Continue reading

Literary Event of 2015 and it’s Only February

Harper (the publishing company, subset of HarperCollins) is publishing a SECOND novel written by Harper Lee in July of 2015. The story released last week from AP says that the novel was found recently by Lee’s lawyer and is scheduled for release on July 14. The publisher first print run is 2 million copies. To put that in perspective, the best selling novel of 2014, The Fault in Our Stars, sold 1 million copies and it’s sales were certainly influenced by the movie.

That’s it. The author of one of the most well-read novels in American literature, notorious recluse, suddenly, and out of the clear blue sky is publishing a second novel.

Excuse me while I go find a paper bag to breathe through until July.

The cover of Harper Lee's new novel Go Set a Watchman scheduled for release on July 14 2015.

The cover of Harper Lee’s new novel Go Set a Watchman scheduled for release on July 14 2015.

 

Weak Ties and London

I came across the term weak ties in Smarter Than You Think by Clive Thompson. Weak ties are people within your network, social or physical real, who are not your close friends. Thompson says,”In a world of status updates, tangential, seemingly minor ties become part of your social fabric. And they can bring in some extremely useful information.”

Reading about this made me think about my trip to London this past summer. It was wonderful, btw, and I can’t wait for an opportunity to return, but a huge part of that is due in no small part to my connection with an associate who was studying abroad in London at the same time.

I posted on Facebook that I planned to make an impromptu trip to London at the end of my own study abroad trip to Ireland. My “weak tie,” a former teammate from undergrad saw the post and responded, saying that he would be in London at the same time I was planning to go there. It was to most serendipitous thing!