The spring 24 hour #readathon is here!

I’m finally able to participate in the 24 Hour Readathon again! Huzzah! The last time I was able to participate was in Fall 2011, practically the stone age in internet time. This will be my seventh time participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon!

New to the readathon? Never fear! I wrote up some tips in previous years that still apply today:

First, pick lots of short books. Or pick one really long one and read that all day. People have done both and even though there’s kind of an unspoken competition to see who can read the most books during the ‘thon, whatever works for you is the best way to do things. I would suggest, however, not mixing long and short books. I did that one year and felt really off-kilter after every book, because I’d get into a groove with the short books and then the long book would slow things down again and it was just a mess.

Second, take breaks! I say this every ‘thon, and I really mean it. After you finish a book (or however many chapters if you’re reading a long book), get up and dance around the room for about a minute. Then drink half a glass of water, eat a snack, and check the official ‘thon blog (you could win prizes!). Do a mini-challenge or leave a comment somewhere! And then continue onwards in the ‘thon.

The trick to taking breaks is to NOT take too long of a break. Generally I think 15-30 minutes is a good amount for a break; it’s long enough to catch up on some ‘thon stuff and refuel, but not long enough to get sucked into staring at the computer screen for hours on end.

Third, don’t be afraid to dump books, add new books, or stop reading books altogether. You’re not a failure if you do any of those things, and no-one’s going to point and laugh at you if you fall asleep four hours before the ‘thon ends.

I’m planning on taking it easy, myself, as a) I do not want to wake up at 5am (not even to read books) and b) my mom’s back from a trip to the east coast and I’ll want to hang out with her tomorrow, too. I will also c) be cheerleading! So hopefully I can avoid my traditional readathon eye-strain headache, eh? And then…

Podcasts for book lovers, part 2: Non-Fiction

I have a huge commute nowadays (~5 hours round trip and I am totally for serious about that) which is mostly a really boring bus ride when it isn’t punctuated by flashers or foul stenches. Thus I have been listening to a LOT of podcasts!

What are podcasts? They’re kind of like what old radio shows used to be: people talking into a microphone about all kinds of topics. There are comedy podcasts, drama podcasts, personal diary-type podcasts, news podcasts, music podcasts, and more! Being a book blogger, I tend to listen to lots of book and blog-related podcasts.

Don’t know where to start? Lucky for you I’ve created a series of posts for podcasts recommendations!

This is part 2 of a 3 part series! Here is Part 1 (Fiction) if you missed it.

Non-Fiction aka shows that talk about books

Books on the Nightstand is one of the longest-running book podcasts; they talk about all sorts of different genres, but they seems to lean more towards literary fiction. There’s a great community built around the show, too! books on the nightstand
At Books on the Nightstand, we strive to bring you great book recommendations, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the world of books, bookstores and publishing. We do this through our weekly podcast and frequent blog posts. Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman are friends and colleagues who work in the publishing industry. That means that we talk about books all day long to other people who love to talk about books. But sometimes, those conversations have to end before we’re ready to stop talking. Thus, this blog. And then…

Podcasts for book lovers, part 1: Fiction

I have a huge commute nowadays (~5 hours round trip and I am totally for serious about that) which is mostly a really boring bus ride when it isn’t punctuated by flashers or foul stenches. Thus I have been listening to a LOT of podcasts!

What are podcasts? They’re kind of like what old radio shows used to be: people talking into a microphone about all kinds of topics. There are comedy podcasts, drama podcasts, personal diary-type podcasts, news podcasts, music podcasts, and more! Being a book blogger, I tend to listen to lots of book and blog-related podcasts.

Don’t know where to start? Lucky for you I’ve created a series of posts for podcasts recommendations!

First up:

Fiction

welcome to night valeWelcome to Night Vale which blew up the internet last fall and it was totally worth it.

WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.

Turn on your radio and hide.

Written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Narrated by Cecil Baldwin. Music by Disparition. Logo by Rob Wilson

Listen if you like: horror, paranormal/urban fantasy, magical realism, scifi/fantasy, REALLY GOOD WRITING! Also, music!
valentin & the widow
Valentin and the Widow which is more like an audiobook in serial form.

The story of widowed English aristocrat Eleanora Rosewood, her Russian valet Sacha Valentin, and their quest to take down the covert evil organisation known as Dominion.

Eleanora Rosewood is a headstrong young woman in the 1920s with a progressive view of world affairs. When her husband is killed in a tragic accident, she learns that he was involved in a secret society bent on perpetuating the oppression of the weak and the poor by any means necessary.

Sacha Valentin is a burly Russian sailor who is as chivalrous in his regard for others as he is cavalier in his regard for himself. Living in self-imposed exile from his motherland, he is lured back to face the temptations of the world of men when he is recruited to Lady Rosewood’s cause.

Valentin & The Widow is serialised as a free weekly audio drama narrated by the author. You can also buy ebook novella editions of the adventures at Amazon and Smashwords for just $2.99 each.

Listen if you like: mysteries, historical fiction, unusual women characters.

Podcastle which is actually a company that makes audiobook/podcasts of various authors’ short stories.

PodCastle is the world’s first fantasy audio magazine. Each week we bring you short stories across the spectrum of fantasy from leading authors and new discoveries. Like our sister podcasts, Escape Pod and Pseudopod, PodCastle is entirely free to listen and share.

Listen if you like: fantasy, short stories.

Do you listen to any fiction podcasts? Which ones would you recommend?

The Graveyard of Lost Posts

This post USED to be a kick-ass review of The Ruby in the Smoke, until my computer crashed and I LOST IT ALL.

Everything!

GONE.

Jon Stewart annoyed gif

This is not the first this has happened to me, and it’s why I specifically set up my various word doc programs to auto-save every three minutes. Somehow, my magnificent post slipped through the cracks and disappeared into the ether. LE SIGH.

So now I have to rewrite it somehow UGH. Since I can’t remember anything I wrote five minutes after I write it, it’s like starting from scratch all over again and I HATES IT MY PRECIOUS I HATES IT

Have you ever lost a post before? And how do you get the energy to rewrite it? Usually I just whine for about three days and then I’ve gotten over it enough to just forge ahead. What about you?

3 books I want to read sooner than later

The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner. Queen of Attolia

Revenge
When Eugenides, the Thief of Eddis, stole Hamiathes’s Gift, the Queen of Attolia lost more than a mythical relic. She lost face. Everyone knew that Eugenides had outwitted and escaped her. To restore her reputation and reassert her power, the Queen of Attolia will go to any length and accept any help that is offered…she will risk her country to execute the perfect revenge.

…but
Eugenides can steal anything. And he taunts the Queen of Attolia, moving through her strongholds seemingly at will. So Attolia waits, secure in the knowledge that the Thief will slip, that he will haunt her palace one too many times.

…at what price?
When Eugenides finds his small mountain country at war with Attolia, he must steal a man, he must steal a queen, he must steal peace. But his greatest triumph, and his greatest loss, comes in capturing something that the Queen of Attolia thought she had sacrificed long ago…

This is the second book of the Queen’s Thief series and, apparently, it’s way better than the first book. All the people who commented on my review of The Thief said so! So I should probably get on that (she says three years later). You know what, though? I want to reread The Thief, too! I have a feeling I might like it more now than I did the first time I read it. Hopefully I still have my copy somewhere…

Akata WitchAkata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor.

Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a “free agent,” with latent magical power. Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be enough to help them when they are asked to catch a career criminal who knows magic too?

I want to read this because of Jenny, basically (also she technically only felt so-so about it). She ALWAYS makes me want to read a million books, and then I never do and I feel terrible. However! Whenever I DO read a book she’s (mostly) liked, I tend to like them, too, and thus this book is in this post.

The Tar-Aiym KrangThe Tar-Aiym Krang by Alan Dean Foster.

Moth was a beautiful planet, the only one with wings — two great golden clouds suspended in space around it.

Here was a wide-open world for any venture a man might scheme. The planet attracted unwary travelers, hardened space-sailors, and merchant buccaneers — a teeming, constantly shifting horde that provided a comfortable income for certain quick-witted fellows like Flinx and his pet flying snake Pip. With his odd talents, the pickings were easy enough so that Flinx did not have to be dishonest … most of the time.

In fact, it hardly seemed dishonest at all to steal a starmap from a dead body that didn’t really need it anymore. But Flinx wasn’t quite smart enough. He should have wondered why the body was dead in the first place…

I have written TWICE now about reading the actual, proper first book in the Pip and Flinx series and I’m determined to actually do it this time. I think it’ll help that I’ll still have the characters/setting/whatever pretty fresh in my mind, right? Hm.

I also want to read some Indiana Jones books, but I got rid of the ones I had before and the Young Indiana Jones books I DO have aren’t exactly what I’m looking for. Have any of y’all read an Indiana Jones book? And can recommend me one, maybe?

Okay! So what’s a book YOU want to read sooner rather than later?

Chitchat (Sept. 14): Reading slumps aka I am surrounded by books I don’t want to read

I had a really weird day yesterday, so today I’m just going to relax and read this book and watch Doctor Who and stuff! image

In library news, I need to get another card somewhere. I went to my preferred library the other day and couldn’t find anything to read! (Except for some Patricia C. Wrede books, anyway.) And since interlibrary loan costs $2 a book, it’s time for me to get a library card in a slightly bigger system. Le sigh. And then…