#Readathon October 21 2017

Hour 11

Wait. Hour 11? Already? I’ve barely read anything. Instead I’ve done a Costco run and gone out for Korean food.

Hour 0 – Opening Meme

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

The San Francisco Bay Area.

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

When Dimple Met Rishi

But there are just so very many books I’ve borrowed!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Treats from Singapore like love letters and kueh lapis

But also the 4yo and I made some strawberry cereal bars (just marshmallows, cream cheese, cheerios and freeze dried strawberries) and they are tasty!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! 

I always sign up for readathons despite knowing that I’ve got a lot to do on that day. My parents are visiting from Singapore so we will probably be out and about today. I will try as much as possible to read and be online (mostly on Litsy and Instagram).

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?

Not sure! I’ll try to cheer on more people if I can!

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Getting ready to readathon!

 

This will be my seventh readathon! I’ve been readathoning since 2014, when I threw all caution to the wind and decided to just go for it, despite having two very little kids then. They’re still little-ish now, having just turned 4 and 6! This weekend is also going to be a busy one as my father-in-law, who has been visiting us for the past month, will be flying back to Singapore on Sunday morning. So we will probably be taking him out to a nice meal and perhaps some last minute shopping.


But anyway, I am, as usual, way over-prepared in terms of books. This year I made sure to request a solid pile of comics way before the event. So I have some great choices here.

And I’ve also downloaded a few e-books from Overdrive onto my trusty old Nexus.


The kids have a pile of library books too.

And snacks! We still have cake! And brownies! And veggie straws and lots of fruits. Also, cheese – Brie, Gouda, Madrigal (a recent discovery). I think I am set.

How about you?

 

Ready for the Readathon

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Oh boy, the weekend! It’s almost here! And I’ve completely neglected to update this blog to actually mention the READATHON. Of course I’ve talked about it to no end on Litsy (because I am always on Litsy nowadays!). But I better write a little bit here too, because, well, this is my blog after all!

library e-books

So here is my lot of books! I cannot wait to read them!

 

Giant Days Vol 1 and 2 – John Allison, Lissa Treiman (Illustrator), Whitney Cogar (Colors)

Rat Queens, Vol. 3: Demons – Kurtis J. Wiebe, Tamra Bonvillain (Illustrator), Tess Fowler (Illustrator)
Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom – Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray , Phil Noto (Illustrator)

Bollywood Affair – Dev Sonali

Re Jane – Patricia Park

Shadowshaper – Daniel Jose Older

Love is the Drug – Alaya Dawn Johnson

The Between – Tananarive Due

Salvation of a Saint – Keigo Higashino

Woohoo!

Readathon – books read

april2016readathon

As usual I was over-ambitious when it came to making my TBR stack for the Readathon. After all, that’s what readathons are about right? Making TBR lists? 😛

That’s only part of it! If you’ve never readathon-ed before, you’re missing out! There’s great company – book bloggers, bookstagrammers, twitter-ers – wherever you turn. And it’s nice to know that somewhere out there, somewhere across the country, across the world, someone is reading at the same time as you! This April readathon though, I didn’t manage to do as much as I was hoping. My kids’ birthday party was on the same day, so with a party there’s prep before, cleanup after, and so much noise and things during. It was a wonderful party! So that meant I tried to do as much reading as I could before (I woke up at 430 for a 5am start time), and some after. But after the party was cleanup and opening presents and trying to get my younger boy to nap.

I didn’t get to do much online as I wanted to. Last year I cheered officially on Instagram, and it was fun getting to know lots of new-to-me Instagrammers (my social media of choice these days). I didn’t get to do much of that this year, but did manage to say hi to those I already know. I was a very casual readathoner this time, but that still worked out fine for me. I had fun! It was a long and tiring day for this introvert but hey, it was a good day!

So here’s what I did read!

I started off with an unplanned read, Andre the Giant by Box Brown, which I read on Scribd.

andrethegiant

Now, Scribd and I have had an up and down relationship of late. Last month (?) their new plan went into effect – no more unlimited reads, but just 3 books and 1 audiobook credit a month. And I went into retreat mode and didn’t use Scribd much, trying to figure out what is worth a credit! That’s silly though. It accumulates but only up to 9 a month or so? I can never figure it out, but I have been trying to use it more often now. At least until August when my yearly subscription expires.

But back to Andre the Giant. All I knew about him was his appearance on Princess Bride, the movie, as Fezzik. Please tell me that you’ve seen The Princess Bride movie! Otherwise, stop reading this and go watch it already!!!!

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And that was pretty much all I knew about Andre the Giant. I hadn’t a clue that he had been a professional wrestler before that, and this was in the days before WWF or WWE or whatever they are calling that nowadays (you can tell that I am not a fan). So for this not-fan of wrestling, it was a surprisingly good read! Brown made wrestling and its gimmicks (or not) easy for non-fans to understand, and revealed quite a few things I would never have known about wrestling and wrestlers. And of course about Andre the Giant. Who was French! And who suffered so much, both emotionally and physically, from his condition. Alcohol helped a lot, as did his generous and relatively good nature. So whether you’re a fan of wrestling or not, whether you’ve seen the Princess Bride (and why haven’t you??), this comic makes for a great read. It’s got a lot of heart.

 Rat Queens Vol 2 : The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth 


Don’t you love it when a series just gets better? The second volume is better than the first! It really is! Maybe it’s because the writers bring in a lot more backstory. Like Violet’s story with her family. More about Dee. And even a bit about Hannah. But can I say, I really wanted more about Betty too!

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Resistance #1 – Carla Jablonski, Leland Purvis

I feel too old for this book.

And as a parent of two young boys, I wondered, would this be something I would want them to read when they’re older? It may be a good introduction to WWII and the French resistance but I felt that the story was a bit too simplistic and a bit predictable.

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The Cosmopolites: the coming of the global citizen – Atossa Araxia Abrahamian

A fascinating and quite short (128 pages) work of non-fiction. Largely about the sales of citizenship of impoverished nations like the Comoro Islands (huh, where? Exactly). It makes you think about the concept of ‘citizenship’ or nations and countries. And the bizarre notion that there are millions of people in the world (the UNHCR estimates it at 10 million) who are stateless. This could be because of shifting borders, unfair citizenship laws (in some states, women cannot transfer nationality to their children), war, discrimination and so on. A fascinating read.

 

 

April 2016 Readathon Update Post

 

april2016readathon

Happy Readathon Day everyone!

I’m going to plonking all my Readathon updates right here on this post, hopefully every few hours or so – so please check back later for more! I’ll also be on Instagram and less occasionally Twitter.

Ready, get set, go!

End of Event Survey

Which hour was most daunting for you?

I kind of took it really easy this year especially with events happening at the house so nothing was especially daunting!

Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

Rat Queens and all the comics!!

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season?

Twitter cheerleading was great thanks to Team Raven. I wished I had more time to go around Instagram and cheer on other readathoners whom I don’t already follow. Maybe next time!

What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

You guys and everyone who hosted and cheered and made things work! 

How many books did you read?

3.5

What were the names of the books you read?

Andre the Giant

Rat Queens Vol 2

Resistance #1

Cosmopolites 
Which book did you enjoy most?

Rat Queens!

Which did you enjoy least?

Resistance

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

Of course! It’s an addiction!

It really depends but I would like to cheer more. I know you guys are trying to figure that out right now and it’s not easy with the number of participants! 
 Hour 12 update

I’m exhausted! As I mentioned ester my kids’ birthday party is today! And about an hour ago everyone left so it is quiet now in the house and after all that cleaning up i get to sit down and read. It was only a few families that we are close to but still getting food ready, making sure everyone is eating and playing and happy, chatting with people etc is tiring for an introvert like me. Luckily the kids played great together and they all helped put the toys away. Hooray!


Anyway I am on my third book (just comics so far today)!


Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now?

Resistance Book 1 – Carla Jablonski and Leland Purvis

2. How many books have you read so far?

This is my third book

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

Mr Splitfoot!

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

Well I just hosted a birthday party for my kids at home. That lasted several hours, as well as prep beforehand and cleanup after! I just couldn’t do any reading, updating or checking my phone at that time. But that’s ok. Everyone had a good time and no one cried except for my 2yo when he fell off his chair! (He’s fine). 

How did I deal with it? Well I’m trying to make up for it by reading more now!

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

Surprises? Not really but I just want to say I like what’s going on on Instagram! Lots of fun photos and updates from those readers and book bloggers and bookstagrammers I follow!

Hour 3 update

This is the first time I was actually up before the start time of 5am! And I’ve already read one comic and one short story (from Ken Liu’s excellent Paper Menagerie) and just had breakfast. 



Oops meant to post this earlier but the kids were up and I made them French toast for breakfast. And then the wordpress app on my phone seems to think that this post does not exist! So no photos of my breakfast on this post for now. But you can check it out on Instagram (ps breakfast brownie)

Books read:

andrethegiant

Andre the Giant: Life and Legend – Box Brown

I only know Andre the Giant from the Princess Bride movie and hadn’t a clue that he’s a wrestling star (from BEFORE WWE and even fought Hulk Hogan). So this was a very unusual read for me. It was funny and also sad and moving. In case you don’t know Andre the Giant he was very large (2.24m or 7 ft 4 in) due to a acromegaly, a very rare syndrome in which the body keeps producing excess growth hormones.

Hour 0 – Opening Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
The San Francisco Bay Area where it’s now 5am.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? 
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Hard to choose… Rat Queens? Captain Marvel? All the comics????
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? 
 Birthday cake! It’s a raspberry chocolate cream. Can’t wait.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! 
This is my fifth readathon! I’ve been readathon-ing since April 2014 since my younger son was one year old. And last year won my first readathon prize – a Book of the Month three-month subscription! Woot!
And the usual stuff: I’m from Singapore, live in California, am a stay-home-mum and have a serious chocolate addiction.
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?
Well this is going to be an unusual readathon for me as it’s also my kids’ joint birthday party! My older boy turned 5 last month, and my younger is turning 3 on Sunday so we are having some friends over for lunch and cake and a Lego free-for-all (i.e. we bought a big box of random lego and we’ll let the kids have at it!). I will be trying my very best to readathon but it may be tricky running away to hide and read when I have guests in the house!

 

Readathon reads: Bitch Planet; The Collector

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Woah….

Woah.

This was bad-ass. I kinda feel weird typing that because that is not really something I would say out loud these days, little-kids-in-the-house-repeating-every-little-thing days, that’s how my life is. But yeah, Bitch Planet was over-the-top, in-your-face, loud and brash, and oh, those colours that just spring out at you, even when reading an e-copy of the comic.

But what exactly is Bitch Planet? It’s an off-world prison for women, it is exploitative entertainment, it made me think of Running Man, a 1980s movie based on a Stephen King/Richard Bachman book about felons given a chance to gun for freedom in some sort of game show. But you know, with women. And with ridiculous reasons for them being ‘non-compliant’ and thus thrown in prison. Oh and these are women of different shapes and sizes. It has great diversity in its cast of characters.

In an interview with NPR, creator Kelly Sue DeConnick said:

The book is completely absurd, and that’s the thing that my co-creator and I, Valentine De Landro, are trying to play with — some of the tropes from women-in-prison movies and exploitation and blaxploitation films from the ’70s that we loved but are, as we like to say, deeply problematic.

It’s fun, it’s loud, it’s also violent and not something you want to leave open when you’ve got little kids around. This is Bitch Planet!

I received a

collector

The Collector – Sergio Toppi

This is the second graphic novel by Italian Sergio Toppi that I’ve read. The first was Sharaz-De, which I had borrowed as a hardcover from the library. The Collector was an e-book read from Scribd. But I feel like his comics should be read in print form, as it brings out his illustrations better than in an e-book, especially if you’re considering reading Sharaz-De – and please do, as it is one of the most beautiful books ever!

So we have The Collector, and as his name goes, he roams the world searching for powerful, often magical objects to collect. His story takes us to the mountains of Tibet, to Afghanistan, to the United States. And everywhere he goes he pretty much encounters life-threatening situations. He manages to wriggle his way out of it through a combination of trickery, firepower and magic. It’s all rather entertaining, although of course there’s the why is this crazy guy stealing things from the indigenous people notion. It’s rather colonial, rather un-PC. But well, Toppi’s artwork is gorgeous as always. I don’t know enough about art (I’m a stick-figure artist) to be able to describe it properly, but I just want to gaze at his drawings, especially those of his characters, I like how each character, even if they appear in just one panel and never have anything to say, has a strikingly different face and features. How I wish I could draw like that!

I would however have to recommend Sharaz-De over The Collector, as I think Sharaz-De showcases Toppi’s style a lot better.

 

October 2015 Readathon Master Update Post

dewey

Happy Readathon Day everyone!

I’m going to plonking all my Readathon updates right here on this post, hopefully every few hours or so – so please check back later for more! I’ll also be on Instagram in case you are too. Oh and this year is the first time I’m cheering! I’ll be doing that on Instagram.
Hour 16 update

Phew. The kids are finally in bed – it’s just after 8pm here. I haven’t managed to do much reading today. A comic (Bitch Planet Vol 1), a YA book (Kira-kira) and am halfway through another comic (The Collector). But hopefully now I can get more reading done. I have been doing a bit of cheering here and there on Instagram. Hopefully I can do another round later but I would really like to read now that things are quieter. 
Hour 10 update

   

So I’ve been reading picture books to the kids. There’s been a lot of Thomas stories, some Blues Clues, a lovely little book Bee-Bim-Bop! that I just bought this morning at the library book sale (see Hour 7 update).

  
But have also managed to make my way through half of Kira-kira. Hooray!

Hour 7 update

So I haven’t been reading anything for the last two hours!!! Instead I was at the library book sale buying some books!



Then it was lunch at our favourite Vietnamese restaurant.


But now we are back home and I’m about to start on my second book! Kira-kira by Cynthia Kadohata.

Hour 1

Mini challenge by Unabridged Chick

Dig through your shelves and share with us a book cover you’d like to escape into! Doesn’t matter if the subject, plot, or genre isn’t typically your thing; in this case, we’re totally judging the book by its cover!

Leave a link to your Cover Escape (posted to your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram) so we can all oooh-and-aaah over your selection.


 

This is my pick. A book cover of high-rise flats probably isn’t most people’s idea of “escape” but it makes me think of home, of Singapore, where this book is set, and which is indeed full of high-rise apartment buildings like these. I haven’t been back to Singapore for two years so I’m looking forward to our trip there soon!


 

Currently reading: Bitch Planet!

Eating and drinking: smoked salmon and cream cheese on homemade baguette. The star-sprinkled butter cake my son and I made yesterday. And tea lots of tea.

Hour 0 – Opening Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
The San Francisco Bay Area.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? 
 Bitch Planet!
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? 
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Pumpkin cheesecake! Or is it the pumpkin mochi ice-cream?
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! 
I’m a stay-home mum to my two boys aged 2 and 4. And so I do very exciting things like break up arguments (“that’s my car!” “No it’s mine!”), attempt potty training with the younger one, chase after them, clean up after them, immerse myself in the world of picture books and the like. Also, I’m originally from Singapore and have been living in the US for the past six years.
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?
Well this is the first time I’ve signed up to cheer! I’m not sure what to expect from that, but maybe I’ll meet some new book-loving Instagrammers in the process!