Posts Tagged ‘48 Hour Book Challenge’

48-Hour Book Challenge: Finish Line

June 10, 2012 @ 7:50 pm | Filed under:

My 48 hours is up. Thanks to my three-year-old who took a good long nap today, not to mention my very amiable husband, I got some long stretches of reading time and managed to clock a total of 16 hours 15 minutes. I logged a little under 2 hours of blogging/commenting/social media time: 1 hour 50 minutes.

Total: 18 hours 5 minutes. I passed my goal!

Books read:

The Year of Learning Dangerously by Quinn Cummings (final 67 pages)
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Welcome to Lizard Motel by Barbara Feinberg
Wise Child by Monica Furlong
Juniper by Monica Furlong (first 140 pages; I hope to finish it tonight)
Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading by Lizzie Skurnick, chapter 1.

To various children:

Brambly Hedge: Winter Story by Jill Barklem
It’s a Tiger! by David La Rochelle
Take Two!: A Celebration of Twins (a poetry collection by J. Patrick Lewis & Jane Yolen—my three youngest are fascinated by this tome; each one of them came to me with the book at a different point in the afternoon).

I’ll aim for a more detailed summation later, but right now there are bedtime things to do around here. And Rose just came to me in search of something new to read. Music to my ears. 🙂

MotherReader’s finish line roundup is here. Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by to cheer me on, and congratulations to all the other participants. Big thanks to Pam Coughlan for organizing all the fun!


June 10, 2012 @ 8:57 am | Filed under: , ,

“After breakfast,” she went on, “you must have a look at Daisy and the rest of the garden. Then we’d better do some lessons.”

“In magic?” I asked. I was both curious and scared.

Juniper laughed.

“I thought we’d begin with reading, writing, astronomy, fairy stories—that kind of thing. Later on we’ll do a bit of Latin.”

“Girls don’t learn Latin,” I told her. “It unfits them for marriage.” (I was quoting my Uncle Gregor’s views on the education of girls.) “And I never heard of a school that taught fairy tales.”

“All learned people learn Latin,” she said. “It’s bound to come in useful. Fairy tales, on the other hand, are about real life.”

—from Wise Child by Monica Furlong

I first read Wise Child in 1993—I remember because my boss at Random House was Monica Furlong’s editor on Robin’s Country, and everyone there said ‘Oh you’ve got to read her other books, they’re wonderful,’ and they were right. That was before I had children, before I’d ever heard of homeschooling, much less considered doing it. So I’m amused, now, to find that what I’ve been doing all along is really Juniper’s version of education. Minus the good cow, Daisy.

(Also wonderful: Juniper, a prequel to Wise Child.)

48 Hour Book Challenge: 2nd Check-in

June 10, 2012 @ 7:24 am | Filed under:

It’s Sunday morning. I woke early and snuck in a half hour of Wise Child time before I dragged out of bed. That brings me up to:

10 hours 15 minutes of reading time

1 hour 20 minutes of social media/blogging time

Books read:

The Year of Learning Dangerously by Quinn Cummings (the final 67 pages)

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (entirely because of a conversation on my FB page yesterday—I had a sudden need to reread it; first time in years)

Welcome to Lizard Motel by Barbara Feinberg (also mentioned in that FB discussion by my friend Kathy Ceceri; I’d bought it months ago—also based on her recommendation—and her mention of it yesterday reminded me to pull it off the shelf)

Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading by Lizzie Skurnick, chapter 1. (A reread for Girl Detective’s Summer of Shelf Discovery reading project. Now I get to pick one of the books mentioned in the chapter—or another book with a heroine who made a big impression on me as a kid. Wrinkle in Time is there, if I want to indulge myself with a favorite. But I’m thinking I should visit something new. Would you believe I’ve never read Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself?)

Plus a good-sized chunk of Brambly Hedge to Rilla at bedtime. That totally counts, right? Oh, and a new picture book, It’s a Tiger!, which arrived from Chronicle for review yesterday, and I squealed because ART BY JEREMY TANKARD (you know we adore him) and the book is hilarious and it’s a safe bet I’ll be called upon to read it at least seventeen times this week.

I’ve got just about 12 hours left in my 48-hour window. Will I finish Wise Child? Will I veer off on another rabbit trail? (Lizard Motel added at least four titles to my TBR list.) Will I wind up playing trains on the back patio all afternoon? It’s anyone’s guess.

Why I Read So Slowly

June 9, 2012 @ 11:02 am | Filed under: ,

10:15 a.m. The Saturday-morning breakfast rush is past and I’m ready to dive back into the Book Challenge. My 48 hours are ticking away rapidly. I pick up Wise Child, a book I’ve been hankering to reread and which happens, serendipitously, to be the June selection for the Wisteria & Sunshine reading circle—a fact I discovered just minutes ago. I’d been rooting for it.

10:16. Literally one minute later. In comes Huck.

“Mommy, listen!” Hiccup. “You hear it?” Hiccup. “Me got ’cups.”

“You’ve got hiccups?” I echo, putting down my book.

“Yes!”  Hiccup. “Hurry, come!” Hiccup.

“Come where?”

“To the kitchen.” Hiccup. “Me hungry.”  Hiccup. “Hurry before another ’cup comes.” Hiccup.

He’s hungry. He has spent the last two hours eating.

He points at the package of animal crackers on the counter. “Me need some.” Hiccup.

My book beckons. This’ll buy me five minutes, at least. I dole out a generous handful. I’m back in my room before he’s polished off the first elephant.

10:19. Yes, really. Wonderboy appears in the doorway bearing a huge grin and a new book. My book, in fact. It’s the unbound preview of Fox and Crow Are Not Friends that my editor sent a few days ago. I am always an easy mark for a child’s read-to-me request. When the book in question is one I wrote? Fuhgeddaboudit. I pat the bed beside me. My boy clambers up. Huck joins us midway through Fox and Crow’s first fight, wiping lion crumbs off his face.

10:29. We’ve finished the book. I can’t help but note the discrepancy between the time it takes to read an early reader (ten minutes) and the months I spent laboring over it. But the kids laughed at all the right bits, so my efforts have been amply repaid. The boys migrate toward the foot of the bed; Huck begins wrestling an invisible opponent—perhaps the ghosts of the menagerie he has so recently devoured. I reach for Wise Child once more.

10:29 and 30 seconds. Enter Rose and Beanie. Beanie is brandishing a fat Heroes of Olympus book, groaning in melodramatic anticipation of finishing it shortly and then having to wait until October for the next in the series. Rose warns her against continuing. She’ll regret it, cliffhanging all summer. Beanie points out this is her second time reading the book. She’s been in the delicious agony of suspense for months already.

Huck has noticed that his sisters are somehow failing to focus all their attention on his antics. He steps up his game: he’ll be the lion now, up on all fours, crushing my foot beneath his terrible lion-paw knees, lunging forward to butt heads with Rose. Er, so maybe he’s a goat. My quiet reading haven has become an arena, where the roar of the crowd comes in guffaws, and the defeated lion-goat flops limply on his back in an unnervingly realistic faux death. Even Scott, passing through to deliver clean towels to the bathroom, is impressed by Huck’s convincing corpse impersonation. He stops to admire and prod—and pounces, roaring, on the lion-goat’s exposed underbelly. The girls and Wonderboy are shrieking with laughter. Wise Child falls off the bed.

10:47 a.m. The vanquished lion-goat resumes boy form and trundles off, possibly in search of a bear or zebra to eat. Feigning death works up an appetite. The other kids drift out. Nope, Beanie’s back; she’s curling up beside me, her book open.

“Mom, want to see yet more evidence of why Rick Riordan is a genius?”

Of course I do. (The Lost Hero, p. 6, where Leo Valdez makes the coach’s megaphone say “The cow says moo,” if you’re curious. Well played, Mr. Riordan.)

10:56. Beanie returns her attention to the book. Here’s my moment. I retrieve Wise Child from under the bed and brush off a dust bunny. Where was I?

10:57. I sigh, push the book away, reach for my laptop. This time I can’t read because, it turns out, I have a pressing need to write. I open WordPress, click “Add New Post.” Why I Read So…

At least Beanie can concentrate on her book.

P.S. In the 48 minutes it took me to jot this down, I’ve intervened in two kid squabbles, devoured half a leftover Thai peanut noodle salad, enjoyed Jane’s photos of the Colorado River on my cellphone, admired no less than eleven identical LOST signs for a fake credit card Rilla is desperately seeking, and listened to half a dozen extracts from Let’s Do Nothing, whose art Rilla correctly identified as the work of Bink and Gollie illustrator Tony Fucile based on one character’s facial expression—an observation that so intrigued me I had to confirm it on the Google. This is why reading isn’t the only thing I do slowly.

P.P.S. Wonderboy says he’s hungry.

48-Hour Book Challenge: First Check-in

June 9, 2012 @ 8:12 am | Filed under:

After I signed in at the starting line around 7:15 last night, but I didn’t actually start reading until after 8pm. (Too busy tracking Jane’s flight to Texas. Happy to say she arrived safe, sound, and on schedule, and is delighting me this morning with photos of the Colorado River.) 13 hours later, I’ve clocked 2 hrs and 20 minutes of reading time, and I finished The Year of Learning Dangerously. About which more later. I was already on p. 144 when I started, so I only have 67 pages to put toward my Challenge tally—unless I count double all the pages I immediately reread, this time out loud to Scott to explain why I kept guffawing. Quinn Cummings is one of the funniest writers on the planet.

The Challenge allows you to count a certain amount of social media and blogging time toward your total. I’ve accrued about ten minutes on Twitter, and this post is another five.

This year, the Challenge is doubling as a fundraiser for RIF. (Details here.) Like many participants, I’ve pledged a dollar an hour. Better step up my reading pace if I want to help out my favorite literacy organization!

Now I’m off to visit the blogs of a few other participants—cheering each other on is part of the fun—and then it’s back to the books. Ah, bliss.

The 48-Hour Book Challenge Is This Weekend

June 6, 2012 @ 6:07 am | Filed under:

Seventh Annual 48 Hour Book Challenge | MotherReader.

Every year, I pine to take part in this community reading binge. I’ve done my bit as a cheerleader on the sidelines, but “I have six kids” and “I’m going to do NOTHING BUT READ for two solid days” tend to be mutually exclusive assertions.

June 8th, the start date, is rather an eventful day for my gang—we’re seeing Jane off on her Texas adventure that day HOLY COW THAT IS TWO DAYS AWAY HOW DID THAT HAPPEN???—but the rest of the weekend may allow for some bookbingeing. Perhaps I’ll aim for the 12-hour level. Poring over Brambly Hedge with Rilla counts, right?

There will be fun, booksy prizes, as always, and this year organizer Pam Coughlan (aka MotherReader) has added a worthy cause:

New this year, we’ll be making ourselves a real readathon with a dedicated beneficiary. For the last few years we’ve been able to connect the 48HBC to charitable causes, while not officially being a fundraiser readathon. I would like to do so now with a pledge to Book People Unite and collect money for Reading is Fundamental. All participants should sponsor themselves with a pledge for the number of hours spent in the 48HBC and donate that amount directly through Reading is Fundamental This donation is on your honor and at your financial comfort level. You many also look for additional sponsors in your online and “real” life, which if nothing else, promotes the ideas of us book people, you know, uniting. While there are many great libraries and literary causes that need help in these difficult times, I think the timing of the Book People Unite is perfect for us to join forces for the greater good.

How about you—planning on participating? Occurs to me this would be a fun way to kick off Girl Detective’s aforementioned Summer of Shelf Discovery.

48-Hour Book Challenge Ends

June 8, 2009 @ 7:39 am | Filed under:

For me, the 48 hours officially ended at 7 this morning. Practically speaking, that meant it ended about 11:45 last night when I fell asleep halfway through Genesis by Bernard Beckett. I found a couple of nice chunks of reading time yesterday, bringing my total up to 8 hours and 13 minutes, plus about an hour of networking time. Finished Catching Fire: wow. More on everything later but wanted to squeak this in under the deadline and now I must dive into my busy day. Visit MotherReader for the roundup!

Total reading time: 8 hrs 13 min
Networking/blog time: 1 hr 10 min
TOTAL: 9 hrs 23 min

Books read:

Sweethearts by Sara Zarr (read 2nd half during Challenge)
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Genesis by Bernard Beckett (first half)


Fun, fun, fun. I knew going into this that I wouldn’t be able to drop everything all weekend long and read—couldn’t have even if we hadn’t had a birthday in the family yesterday. But when that unexpected bout of early-morning reading-in-bed presented itself on Saturday morning, I decided to join the Challenge just for fun. And it was fun. I really enjoyed checking in with other participants via Twitter, Facebook, and blogs.

I squeezed in more reading time than I get in a normal weekend by: ignoring my garden (hello, army of weeds), reading during baby naps instead of cleaning, shopping, or Harvest Mooning, ignoring my Google Reader (except for Challenge-participant blogs), and (at one point) standing in the kitchen glued to Catching Fire while Jane’s birthday cake was baking. (Note: this means I left all the baking dishes for Scott to deal with. He gets major props.) I also made no attempt to inch forward on the quilt blocks I’m making for my virtual quilting bee. (But I’m getting there, ladies, I promise.)

The irony, of course, is that I’d have probably been glued to Catching Fire during every available moment this weekend anyway, Challenge or no. That’s what happened with Hunger Games, for sure. I’ll be writing more about them in days to come—but I don’t want to say too much about Catching Fire yet, since it doesn’t pub until September. No spoilers here. I’ll say this much right now: I think it’s even better than the first one.

Hearty congratulations to all the other Challenge participants, especially those who managed to clock upwards of 20 hours of reading time!

48-Hour Book Challenge Update

June 6, 2009 @ 7:36 pm | Filed under:

Well, the arrival of the Catching Fire ARC played right into my hankering to jump into the Challenge. Instead of gardening, running errands, and cleaning house during the baby’s naps today, I read. Clocked a little more than 4 hours of reading time since 7 a.m. You know how in every runners’ marathon there’s a weathered, smiling, sunvisored gal trailing way behind the pack, fast-walking instead of jogging, knowing she’s going to come in last but just doggone happy to be there? That’s me.

Total reading time so far: 4 hrs 17 min

Books read:
Sweethearts by Sara Zarr (had already begun)
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (about halfway through)

The 48-Hour Book Challenge

June 5, 2009 @ 3:22 pm | Filed under:

It starts today. I soooo want to participate. But, um, hello, Huck! And Rilla and Wonderboy. Sure, my three older girls would be totally into the idea of a super-duper reading marathon for the weekend, but my little ones have other ideas. Besides, we’ve got a birthday to celebrate on Sunday. Happy 14th, Jane my love! Would you mind babysitting all day so I can read?

So, okay, not my season of life. Maybe next year. (:::laughs uproariously:::)

But lots of people are participating and it’s not too late for you to join in the fun yourself. Hop over to MotherReader and read all about it. I’ll be here on the sidelines, cheering away. Woot woot woot!

UPDATED SATURDAY MORNING: Well, now I don’t know. The kids got up and watched cartoons, and Scott took the baby out to his bouncy chair (oh man, remind me to post the video of Huck in his bouncy chair—he WORKS that thing), and I got to lie in bed reading until, gasp, 9 a.m. So maybe I’ll join the Challenge after all—although it’s entirely possible that this blissful two hours will wind up being my entire tally for the weekend. Even as I type this, Beanie is firing up the Wii and Jane is grinning at me, because the girls have just announced they’d rather watch me play Harvest Moon than watch cartoons. I have a very strange family—most wonderful wonderful, out of all hooping.