Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April Reading Wrap-Up

April was a very productive month for reading. I've had a lot of spare time due to a chronic knee problem that will require surgery soon. I have had issues with my left knee cap for most of my life, starting with a traumatic dislocation when I was 12 years old. One of the ligaments that is supposed to hold my knee cap in place, the lateral patellar retinaculum, is no longer doing that, which is making my left leg unstable and wont to do unnatural things. I won't go into detail here, but let's just say that over the past several weeks, I have confirmed I am not squeamish. I've been on crutches and off work, neither of which I am happy about, but I'm trying to make the best of the situation.

Like Sherlock Holmes, my mind rebels at stagnation. Unlike my knee, my library card still works, so I have been reading a great deal in an effort to stave off boredom.  (Huge props to my mom, who has been awesome about picking up and dropping off library books for me.)

This month I read:
  1. Prodigy by Marie Lu
  2. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
  3. The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielson
  4. The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielson
  5. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
  6. Code Name Verity by Elizabeh Wein
  7. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
  8. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
  9. Forever by Maggie  Stiefvater
  10. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  11. Doctor Who: Devil in the Smoke by Justin Richards
  12. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
  13. A Test of Wills by Charles Todd
  14. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  15. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
I went on a bit of a YA binge. I have missed a lot of good young adult books in the past couple of years, so I'm getting caught up now. Out of all of these, I think the Infernal Devices trilogy (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess) by Cassandra Clare and Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein were my favorites.

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-A-Thon Wrap Up

I started the 24 Hour Read-A-Thon as a cheerleader during Hour 2 and passed out as a reader during Hour 21. I read from Hour 13 to Hour 21, with a couple of half hour breaks mixed in with hourly five minute breaks. I ended up reading a total of 398 pages. (Really, Ruth? You couldn't have fallen asleep after breaking 400?!)

I participated in the following mini-challenges:
The Introductory Questionnaire
Book Spine Poetry hosted by Scuffed Slippers and Wormy Books
Self Portrait hosted by The Estella Society
Book Sentence Challenge hosted by Midnight Book Girl and Fake Steph
The Mid-Event Survey
Clear the Cobwebs and Recharge Yoga Challenge (which I won!) hosted by Elizabeth-Michelle

I had company during the read-a-thon.
End of Event Survey
Which hour was most daunting for you?
I fell asleep halfway through Hour 21 (around 5:30am my time), glasses still on, my arm thrown over my book. I had started yawning about an hour before.
Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
I went with a young adult theme for this read-a-thon. I think fast paced, action-packed reads like The Hunger Games series, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, or Graceling by Kristin Cashore make good read-a-thon selections.
Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? 
I think everything went well. I would like to see more cheerleaders during the next read-a-thon. I had a lot of fun cheering and I'd like to see a little more emphasis on that.
What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? 
Instagram. So fun to see what others were reading, snacking on, or seeing from their reading spots (A lot of us enjoyed great weather and outdoor reading) in real time. 
How many books did you read? 
What were the names of the books you read?
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.
Which book did you enjoy most? 
See above. City of Bones was definitely a page turner for me.
Which did you enjoy least?
Not applicable.
If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? 
Don't forget about Twitter in the wee hours. I stopped blogging and switched over to Twitter as the night went on. It might be nice to have both the blogger's blog URL and Twitter handle available on the Cheerleader Team pages.
How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? 
I'll be back in October! I'm planning to do a mix of cheering and reading again then, since that worked so well for me during this read-a-thon.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

24 Hour Read-A-Thon Halfway Point

We're now at the halfway point of the 24 Hour Read-A-Thon, which doesn't seem quite possible. The day has flown! I've been cheering other readers on and participating in the mini challenges. I'll dedicate a separate post to collecting those. If you're on Instagram (The first person to figure out what my Instagram username is from gets my undying affection) or Twitter, you've probably seen most of them already but I think I'd like to archive them here, too.

I'll be switching over to reading next hour, 8 PM my time. 

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?
I feel great. I’ve been cheering since hour 2; switching to reading next hour.

2) What have you finished reading?
Nothing, yet. Cheering has been my top priority. Hoping to finish one book tonight.

3) What is your favorite read so far?
See above.

4) What about your favorite snacks?
Kit-Kats. I am still super thankful for my cough drops, too. 

5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love!
So many! Just a few of the more than 2 dozen (!) additions to my feed reader:

24 Hour Read-a-Thon: Introductory Post

My read-a-thon morning didn't quite start out as planned, since I slept through my alarm. I ended up starting about an hour and a half late. I think reading late last night and the cold I've had for the past couple of days both contributed. Hoping to make it through today!

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

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?  
City of Bones, since I just finished The Infernal Devices Series. I'm also excited for The Fault in Our Stars, since I've heard so many good things.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Kit-Kats! Although, I'll also be hitting the cough drops hard today, too.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I'm a Doctor Who fanatic and lover of all things British. I tend to be a niche reader and right now I'm most at home with the young adult genre.  

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? 
This is my second read-a-thon, and instead of reading straight through, I'll be spending more time visiting blogs and on social media cheering other readers on. That was so helpful to me last time that I wanted to return the favor.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Ready for the Read-a-Thon

24 Hour Read-a-ThonI signed up to be a cheerleader for this spring's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon, after having done one of these as a reader back in 2009. I thought I would cheer other people on this time around, since I know how helpful and encouraging it is. But, of course, I started seeing people on Twitter talking about stocking up on books and, well, a couple days ago I decided to participate as both a cheerleader and reader. I caved to the bookish peer pressure. 

While I will be reading quite a bit (Saturdays when I don't read for at least an hour are rare these days), my primary focus will be cheering tomorrow. If you signed up to participate with a Tumblr blog or on Twitter, you'll likely see me commenting at some point during the day. I'm on Team Owl, which is mainly Tumblr/social media focused. (Yes, there is a Bookish Ruth Tumblr blog.)

I'm finishing up Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare this evening and will likely dive into City of Bones first thing tomorrow. I have been reading (and loving!) a lot of YA lit lately, so I'm continuing with a young adult theme for this Read-A-Thon:

Since I won't be focusing solely on reading, I'll be more than happy if I finish one of these tomorrow.

Are you participating in the Read-A-Thon tomorrow? If so, what are you planning to read?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Sunday Salon: Finding My Bearings

The Sunday Salon.com

I've always thought blogging was a lot like riding a bike. Once you've learned how to do it, you never really forget. For the most part, after two years of being away from book blogging, I would say the bicycle analogy rings true. That's not to say transitioning back into the blogging world this week hasn't had a few bumps along the way.

Blogger and Twitter are both different than they were two years ago, which is only to be expected. I got used to Blogger fairly quickly. While Twitter seems pretty intuitive, I still find myself looking for the "Like" button occasionally. (That could be more an indication of my perhaps unhealthy familiarity with Facebook than a fish-out-of-water feeling with Twitter, though.) When I logged in to Google Reader I was greeted with, "Surprise! We're not going to exist anymore!" which left me scrambling for a RSS reader. I settled on Feedly and have been playing around with that a bit this week. Last but not least, I re-claimed my blog at Technorati since my old domain name expired. (Blog owners: If you have any older links to my blog, could you please make sure they are now directing to http://www.BookishRuth.NET ? Visitors: The Bookish Ruth RSS feed address has also changed. Please click here to make sure you're subscribed to the new feed. Thank you and sorry for the inconvenience!)

I suspect I'll be doing a lot of blog "house-keeping" over the next few weeks as I continue to get settled in to blogging again. It's lovely to be back, though. I'm enjoying every second of working on the blog. It's also wonderful to get caught up with my favorite bloggers -- I've missed you all!

I have a relaxing afternoon of reading ahead of me. I'm hoping to finish A Test of Wills by Charles Todd either tonight or tomorrow. Tomorrow is more likely, since Anna Karenina on DVD beckons tonight. I have two appointments tomorrow afternoon that will probably garner me a lot of waiting room reading time.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Library Loot: April 17 to 23

Library Loot
Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

Divergent by Veronica Roth
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

I have been making an effort to catch up with the young adult genre lately, thanks to a particularly tempting display of YA dystopia at the library where I volunteer. Divergent, of course, was high on my list and I lucked out this week when I was able to check out both Divergent and Insurgent at the same time.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful.

Since I read Divergent in just under 48 hours (I was trying, perhaps unsuccessfully, to pace myself and savor it), I was very glad to have Insurgent on hand so I could jump right into Book 2.

A Test of Wills by Charles Todd
Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge returns home suffering from shellshock and the emotional strains of World War I, but he soon goes back to work and must solve a murder case involving the killing of a retired military officer, a crime in which the main suspect is a highly decorated war hero.

I've been wanting to read the Ian Rutledge series for years. With the recent release of Proof of Guilt, the fifteenth book in the series, I decided it was time to get started.

Did you pick up any new books this week?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hello Again: Bookish Ruth Relaunch

It has been nearly two years since I last posted here and although lots of things have changed in that time (I turned 30, started a new job, and began volunteering at a local library, just to name a few), there is one thing that has not changed: I am still head over heels in love with reading. I am still Bookish Ruth. (And, yes, still a rabid Doctor Who fan, if the image to the left didn't serve as enough of a clue.)

At the start of 2013 I set a goal for myself: Read more books than last year, with a realistic goal of at least 75 books. In 2012, I read 46 books. It's April 17th and I've just started book number 33 for the year.

I've missed blogging over the past two years. I never announced that I was leaving because I knew for certain I would be back. Saying goodbye, even for awhile, felt wrong; too final. So, today, I'm happy to announce the official re-launch of Bookish Ruth.net. I can't wait to catch up with the book blogging world and I'm greatly looking forward to sharing my thoughts here again.