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Review Policy

March 15, 2012

I am particularly interested in books in the following categories:

  • Extremely well-written YA  fiction (no vampire romance or dystopia, please!)
  • Diverse writers and characters  portraying a range of authentic experiences
  • Historical fiction
  • Foodie lit or foodie memoir
  • Historical mystery or forensic-based mystery

If I request a specific title, I will do my best to review it in a timely manner. I will review books outside of the above criteria at my discretion.

Thank you so much for keeping me Surrounded By Books

– Elizabeth

Books Read in May 2017

June 6, 2017

Yes, I know it’s June 6th. I wanted to give you some space after all my Book Expo blither.

A strong reading month. Even if I was abysmal at blogging and reviewing. Asterisks for Hub Challenge books.

  1. *Dream on, Amber by Emma Shevah  (charming!)
  2. Caraval by Stephanie Garber (wanted to love but hated it)
  3. *The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash (Great fun!)
  4. Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante by Susan Elia MacNeal
  5. The Queen’s Accomplice by Susan Elia MacNeal
  6. *Girl Mans Up by M.E. Girard
  7. Geekerella by Ashley Poston
  8. *Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine by Ibtisam Barakat. Lovely and I’m glad I read this memoir.
  9. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman (odd but good YA)
  10. The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman
  11. *This Song is (Not) for You by Laura Nowlin. Fictional band, also thoughtful characterization.
  12. First Wave (Billy Boyle #2) by James R. Benn. Reread.
  13. Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson. will give this to a few teens in my library and will probably see it on summer reading lists.
  14. Devil’s Advocate by John Mabery. X-Files YA from Scully’s perspective. I gave up on this but circled back and trudged through. Feh.
  15. *Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Graphic Novels

  1. *Filmish by Edward Ross (more masters’ theses should be explained in graphic novel form!)
  2. *Plutona by Jeff Lemire (WTF even was this?)
  3. Space Battle Lunchtime: Lights, Camera, Snacktion! by Natalie Riess. Fun, and I want the sequel now!
  4. Giant Days #4 by John Allison
  5. *Paper Girls Vol 1 by Brian K. Vaughn

Audiobooks

Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older, gorgeous audiobook production. read by Anika Noni Rose.

For a total of 20 books!

Which brings my total for the year to 85 books. And $89 in the kitty for EveryLibrary.

9 more for the Hub Challenge. I’m almost done with the requisite 25 books, with just under a month to go.

When the Moon Was Ours may still be in my top spot for the year, but Balcony on the Moon comes close. In both cases, it’s for the lovely, lyrical prose. I can see others who read one liking the other.

Book Haul from BEA 2017

June 2, 2017

This is a lot of books. Let’s see just how many.

I’ve got them in four lists, and four piles… Split into Teens and Older and Teens and Younger, and then subdivided into books I’m excited about, and books that I was curious about enough to grab (the books that happened to me.) We’ll see, as I read, if the categories hold.

Teen and Older: Eager to Read

  1. Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel José Older. I have two copies. Because he signed one! And I want to keep it safe and lovely forever. Also, he let me take a picture with him today. Swoon! Ahem.
  2. The Devouring by James R. Benn. The latest Billy Boyle. Alas, the author was not in attendance at BEA, or you’d have two pictures of me grinning like a big goofball next to favorite authors. But! I have the book!
  3. Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers Who Helped Win World War II by Liza Mundy.
  4. Null States by Malka Older (guess whose sister she is? Talented family! Need to track down Infomocracy as this is a sequel)
  5. Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds (Miles!!! Morales!!! by Jason Reynolds!!!!)
  6. Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi
  7. Dear Martin by Nic Stone (will probably make me cry)
  8. The Usual Santas, a Soho Christmas anthology. Includes stories by James Benn and other goodies.
  9. The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin
  10. Sourdough by Robin Sloan. Sentient sourdough plays matchmaker.
  11. Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely. Future Wild West.
  12. Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen. Diverse fantasy.
  13. The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee
  14. Whichwood by Tahreh Mafi
  15. Slider by Pete Hautman
  16. The New Brooklyn by Kay S. Hymowitz
  17. Soonish by Kelly and Jack Weinersmith
  18. The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente
  19. Invictus by Ryan Graudin
  20. Real American by Julie Lythcott-Haims (will make me cry, I’m sure)
  21. As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti (a mythical town where everyone gets one wish)
  22. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
  23. Warcross by Marie Lu
  24. Calling My Name by Liara Tamani
  25. Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright
  26. Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller (a prequel! Neat!)
  27. Radium Girls by Kate Moore (nonfiction)
  28. Glow by Megan E. Bryant (historical fiction)
  29. The Library at the Edge of the World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy. (Yeah, it’s for the title.)
  30. The Little Old Lady Who Struck Lucky Again by Catharina Ingleman-Sundberg (which reminds me to read the prequel, The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules, which I have on my Kindle awaiting review. Whoops!)

Teens and Older: Why Not?

  1. Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green (a graphic memoir about an eating disorder. Hoping this will be useful to help library patrons.)
  2. Under Water by Casey Barrett. Former Olympic Swimmer writes murder mystery with former-Olympian-turned-PI. Hmm
  3. All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry. Possibly too dystopian for me
  4. Madonna in a Fur Coat by Sabhattin Ali
  5. A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan (multigenerational fantasy)
  6. From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty (also wrote Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, which I didn’t love)
  7. Be True to Me by Adele Griffin. YA set in the 70’s
  8. Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo (I have a specific library patron in mind who made me curious to read this)
  9. The Witches of New York by Ami McKay (re the title)
  10. Berserker by Emmy Laybourne (Nordic fantasy YA)
  11. Supernormal: The Untold Story of Resilience by Meg Jay. (Nonfiction, self-help)
  12. Koh-i-Noor by William Dalrymple and Anita Anand (nonfiction)
  13. The Prague Sonata by Bradford Morrow (suspense I bet Dad will like)
  14. World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech by Franklin Foer. (The nice book marketer promised this was solution-oriented, otherwise it’s nightmare fodder)
  15. See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt. (Historical fiction about Lizzie Borden.)
  16. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (novel in verse)
  17. The Book of Pearl by Timothée de Fombelle (not sure if this could skew younger)
  18. Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller. Start of a series.
  19. Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict
  20. World of Tomorrow by Brendan Mathews
  21. Blood and Ink by Stephen Davies (the teen daughter of a librarian in Timbuktu meets a soldier from a sect of Al-Qaeda. Really not sure about this one.)
  22. The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin (historical fiction on early Hollywood)
  23. Unforgivable Love by Sophfronia Scott. Compared to Dangerous Liaisons and set in the South. Not sure about this one.
  24. Echo After Echo by Amy Rose Capetta. I literally have no memory of this book. I think it jumped into my bag.

Teen and Younger: Eager To Read

  1. The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore
  2. Auma’s Long Run by  Eucabeth A. Odhiambo
  3. The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill (looks utterly charming)
  4. Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag
  5. Greetings from Witness Protection by Jake Burt
  6. The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris.
  7. Wonderling by Mira Bartok
  8. The Not So Secret Society- Daley/Crafts/Clark/Bruni (graphic novel)
  9. Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race by Chris Grabenstein (part of a series that also looks generally promising)
  10. They Didn’t Teach This in Worm School by Simone Lia (looks good for the Wimpy Kid crowd)
  11. The Giant Pumpkin Suite by Melanie Heuiser Hill (just for the title)

Teens and Younger: Why Not?

  1. The Whisper in the Stone by Kamila Benko. Start of a series.
  2. Brave Red, Smart Frog by Emily Jenkins
  3. Laugh Out Loud by James Patterson (yes, that James Patterson.)
  4. Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend. Start of a series

Oh wow, that is a lot of books in two days.

I also scooped up some mysteries and nonfiction for Dad, the new Zadie Smith for Mom, and a couple books I think Aunt Ruthanne will like. (Prairies are involved)IMG_1064.JPG

I tried to pile the younger and older Enthusiastic books on top of one another, but the book tower got wobbly.

41 books, total, are in the Enthusiastic pile, and 28 books made it home with me under dubious circumstances. (Not counting the books that are going to be gifts to others.)

69 books! Good grief!

Please ignore the books you can see behind these stacks, lurking in the shadows. Please do not ask what year’s Book Expo brought them into my life. Please do not ask me where I am going to put these 69 lovely new books, or the other titles I requested in the heady frenzy of the Book Speed Dating. And again, do not ask me about the library books I have out.

Also, Lisa: I am not buried under books.

Whee!

Book Expo: My Own Weight in Books

June 2, 2017

Another wonderful day at the Book Expo! Cavorting about, seeing old friends (books, publishers, and people) and making new friends. Seeking some books out joyfully, having others basically happen to me. Filling sturdy tote bags with books. Although I kept an eye out for librarian friends from social media spheres and far-flung places, I wound up having a great day where I encountered many people from my own library system.

When I adjourned to the Librarians Lounge for lunch, Sharon, the regional manager greeted me with a big smile and a hug, and made sure to introduce me to Shirley, another of my fellows. And then Shirley and I discovered we had the Daily News and several friends in common, though she and my dad never overlapped. Because the world is small, the librarian world even more so.

As I was leaving, today, I encountered Lisa, a former classmate who now covers library news for Library Journal. Library school was part of a career change for her as well. We grinned at each other: we’ve got our dream jobs.

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Here is Hilary, coveting Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman book, which we couldn’t snag because the line was bananas.

Taking a moment to sing Hilary’s praises. The Book Expo is our tradition, and we make a great team. I rely on her sense of direction, and offer my willingness to talk to new people, and my eye for new authors and books that might not be on her radar. Plus, we’ve been able to divide and conquer  the sprawling show floor and competing fascinating sessions. (Especially important when the Book Expo is squished into two days. How I miss the extra full afternoon on the show floor of the past Wednesday through Friday BEA experience.) Hilary was especially good to me today, stopping by Soho to scoop up a paper copy of The Devouring by James R. Benn, the next Billy Boyle, as well as going to the Middle Grade panel while I was at a panel about Graphic Nonfiction. And just generally being great company. Hurrah for Hilary! Plus, she has an unerring instinct for booths handing out cookies and other treats.

 

Taking a moment, also, to miss Rayna, who couldn’t make it this year. The way the three of us complement each other makes the Book Expo much less overwhelming.

And, overwhelming it is. Excitingly so. I’ve been waking up early, as though it’s Christmas morning. (It kind of is.) And so, a sleep-deprivation haze joins the giddy overwhelming feeling of knowing just how many books are out there, unknown and unread and waiting for me. (We will not discuss the number of library books I have checked out, or the unread books I own, sitting patiently on my shelves.) To be honest, I had a bit of trouble getting launched this morning, still reeling a bit from yesterday’s wonderfulness. I wasn’t quite ready to fully embrace the Librarians Book Buzz: hearing about, and watching slides of different wonderful books, only some of which were readily available to get my hands on today. I tiptoed in, and then scurried back out to rejoin Hilary for more unstructured browsing. I’m kind of mad at myself for missing two sessions of the Librarians’ Book Buzz. Hoping there’s a full list of titles compiled somewhere.

The first full panel I attended today was excellent, both from a personal and work-related point of view: Nonfiction Graphic Novels, curated and presented by booksellers. The focus of the titles curated was on graphic nonfiction that highlights and honors the experience of diverse voices, particularly immigrants and refugees. They covered choices for adults, for teens, and even for young kids, along with excellent suggestions for book-talks and displays. After I digest my notes, I’ll be typing them up here, and I asked one of the presenters for a copy of the slides, to make sure I didn’t miss any title recommendations.

I love the idea of using graphic presentations (graphic novel panels, or well-illustrated picture books) to make stories inviting, and accessible. I also love the idea of pairing graphic novels and traditional text books along lines of theme and appeal, to invite readers of all ages to bridge the artificial gap between prose books and graphic novels. I feel like I learned a lot, and have a lot to think about for future collection development and displays, and hopefully conversations with colleagues and with teens.

That one hour of presentation makes me feel at least somewhat secure that I used the Book Expo as an opportunity for education, not just cavorting madly and voraciously among the books. And I’m looking forward to browsing Tweets and blogs to catch up on panels I missed because I was elsewhere.

Most of my afternoon was taken up with a great big festival of book gluttony: the Book Speed Dating afternoon. Attendees file into one of the larger conference rooms, and were seated at assigned tables, each heaped with tantalizing stacks of books, a slightly different array at each table. Marketers from different publishers then sat with us, and presented a selection of titles. About 1-2 minutes per title, for a selection of 5 or 6 books. And then, came the next title.

I told myself going in, that I would only lay hands on books I was absolutely sure I was going to read. I told myself that yesterday, too. I reminded myself that there are books I’ve passed on, unread, from past Book Expos, no matter how enticing they seemed at the time.

I went in with an empty bag (and yes, a completely full backpack from the rest of the day’s endeavors.) I left with the bag crammed with books, and books wedged into the other bag. I left my business card in the hands of four reps, asking for titles they had made me covet. I can try to save face by saying some of my book haul will be gifts for friends and family. I can say that I fully intend to read most of these. Books happened to me! Those marketing reps, on the show floor, and in this speed dating panel are very, very good at what they do.

Three bags full of books happened to me today.

I think I’m shorter than I was on Monday.

And we are still not discussing the library books I have checked out. (Being a librarian means no overdue fines. Talk about power!)

Still to come: a full list of the book haul, possibly with commentary.

There are many, many many books.

Also, on the way out, this happened.

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Daniel José Older was sweet enough to take a picture with me. Here we are, grinning our faces off, at the end of a wonderful day.

 

Book Expo: Living the Dream

June 1, 2017

My first Book Expo was in 2010. In January of 2012, I started library school, completing my degree in 2015, and starting my first job as a librarian, after having written a book about libraries. All of this recap is basically to say:

The Book Expo was a large part of the reason I went to library school.

And , this year, I am attending as a real, live, actual, practical, public librarian.

I got my badge yesterday. And then I had to take a few minutes to look at it.

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LIBRARIAN.

That’s me!

Now I get to be one of the cool people kicking back in the Librarians Lounge on the show floor, swapping stories about summer reading, arts and crafts, kids in the branch, and collection development.

I’ve been coming to the Book Expo (when it comes to me, missed it in Chicago) since 2010. I love it for the chance to learn about (and get my hands on) new books by favorite authors, and I love it even more for books I hadn’t had on my radar.The Night Circus,  Jackaby and The Scorpion Rules were Book Expo treasures from years past.  I love the chance to see authors I know, whose work I love. It’s such fun to chat with them and realize they’re lovely people too. It’s a chance to connect with out-of-town librarian friends (Hi Kaite from Kansas City.)

I remember thinking, even at my first Book Expo, that the librarians were especially fun to talk to. Welcoming, smart, funny. Great book recommendations, and it was fun to hear about the work they did in the public libraries all over the country. Good people. Wanting to join those conversations more fully, to be part of that group and that work, was a really big part of my decision to go to library school, and my initial dreams about working in a public library.

Today, as at every Book Expo, I got to meet wonderful authors, see some old friends, come home with at least 20 books I didn’t expect, alongside books I’ve been pining for.  More on that as I sift through the three bags of books I hauled home. And the gleeful knowledge that I get to do it again tomorrow.

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Hilary and I are old hands at the Book Expo. Sometimes, she writes on hers, though

I came with high expectations, and high anticipation, buoyed both by past book and author memories, curious about the conversations I’d have and the authors, book marketers and librarians I would talk to. Today wasn’t perfect: there have been some changes in the way Book Expo is organized, that are maddening, confusing, and made me grumpy and prone to ranting. I really don’t like conflicting information, or feeling like things aren’t well organized spatially or logistically, and there were a few moments with author tickets, uncertainty about programming and conflicting information. Feh!

On balance, there was more to love than to dislike.

Today, I got to hang out and eat lunch in the Librarian’s Lounge, one of any number of Librarians, talking about summer reading, kids in the branch, arts and crafts, and collection development, as well as new book finds. Librarian colleagues from my local system, as well as librarians from everywhere from upstate New York to San Diego. I got to say “I’m a public librarian. I work with teens.”

I even got to tell one of my favorite authors,  Daniel José Older, that I am a public librarian, and talk about the sense of neighborhood in his books and in my branch. Mostly coherently. He was very gracious.

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Just to make today even better, I also ran into two former colleagues from my stint as a business books publicist, one of whom has also made a career transition into the public library sphere, and even works in the same system. I spotted a teacher from the college where I’d been an academic librarian, who took a selfie with me and promised to say hi to the librarians there. And it turned out that lunch in the Librarians Lounge was catered by Rowman and Littlefield, the publishers who published my book. So I got to chat with a rep from their office, and hand off one of my new librarian business cards for him to pass along to the book editor with a note from me: “I got my dream job! Thank you!”

And just as I was getting ready to leave, the last person I saw was a former library colleague from my current branch, much missed but much celebrated for the promotion that let her move on. So I got to hug her on the way out.

How’s that for a narrative arc?

I’m surrounded by books and good people. In work, and in life.

 

Placeholder Post

May 21, 2017

Yes, it’s been ages since I wrote a post. A roundup, a review, anything.

I’m still here.

I’m still reading (and reading and reading) and thinking about things I read.

I’ve just been… recently rather bad at the writing thing, I find.

Blog posts, emails (sorry to those I owe emails to, it’s been ages and we need to catch up.)

Making a note: I had a conversation with a new acquaintance who asked me “I would love to hear more about your philosophy of reading.” So I need to give that a good think. Might blog about it once I figure out what I’m thinking.

More words to come.

April 2017 Reading Roundup

May 3, 2017

A veritable shower of April books. I’m pleased for a number of reasons. I’m pleased that the Hub Challenge is helping prod me into reading outside of my comfort zone. I read and enjoyed my first manga. Books that satisfy the Hub Challenge are marked with an asterisk.

And of course, this past weekend was Dewey’s Readathon. I’m still basking in the bookish revelry and catching up on digesting what I read and browsing others’ blogs. I polished off a tidy number of books over the weekend. Those books are marked with a double star ** because I decided that Readathon books count double $2 for EveryLibrary

Let’s see the numbers.

Print Books (Electronic and Paper)

  1. Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney C. Stevens (from the e-galley vaults on my Kindle. I owe this a review)
  2. *Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear…and Why by Sady Doyle. I owe this one a longer book review and possibly a re-read.
  3. *Exit. Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
  4. *Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland (wanted to like this one more than I did.)
  5. A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers. (From the Kindle to-review vaults)
  6. *Romeo And/Or Juliet: A Chooseable Path Adventure by Ryan North. I’m calling this done, and read, even though it’s a “choose-your-own-adventure” with branching storylines.
  7. A Season of Daring Greatly by Ellen Emerson White (another from the e-galley vaults)
  8. *Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldovsky
  9. Conviction by Julia Dahl. Still a really good mystery series, strong in terms of character and suspenseful plot. Would happily read more.
  10. *The Haters by Jesse Andrews.
  11. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. I read this for a friend’s Dystopian Book Club. And it was the most cheerful dystopia I’d ever encountered. Charming and fun.
  12. **Fallout (Lois Lane #1) by Gwenda Bond. Another that’s been on my shelf for ages. I’d give this to teens, even non-comic lovers.
  13. ***When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Maria McLemore. So good! Possibly my favorite book of the year!!!
  14. ***Salt to the Sea– Ruta Sepetys. So sad it makes me grouchy that this was the book I ended the month on. Bah.

Audiobooks

Thud by Terry Pratchett

**Snuff by Terry Pratchett

I have now run out of the library’s stock of Sam Vimes audiobooks read by Stephen Briggs. This is distressing.

Graphic Novels

*Orange Vol 1 by Ichigo Takano

Orange Vol 2 by Ichigo Takano

I really liked Orange. I’d read more manga like this. Once I figure out what “like this” means in terms of manga.

The grand total of books read in April is 18! With a $4 bonus for the Readathon books.

So the total for the year so far is: 65 books and $69 in the lunchbox for EveryLibrary.

Also… it looks like I read basically zero poetry for National Poetry Month. I nibbled at odds and ends of poetry, but nothing finished enough to include in the roundup.

I did, however, knock out 8 more for the Hub Challenge. I’m up to 15 out of the goal of 25 with just a bit over a month to go. I’ve read outside of my default choices and genres, which pleases me.

And I’m pretty sure I’ve read the best book of the year: When the Moon Was Ours. But, who knows. the year is still young.

Cover image, When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

 

 

#Readathon Masterpost

April 29, 2017
tags:

logo for Dewey's 24 Hour ReadathonIt’s Hour 4 already, and the first time I’m blogging. I got on a bus at just before the Readathon start time, clutching my coffee and my book and heading to my parents’ house.

I decided that, for every book I finish during this Readathon, it’ll be $2 for EveryLibrary.

So far, I’ve finished Thud! by Terry Pratchett on audiobook (technically, at 7ish AM, before the Readathon started. I’m going to count it.

Two hours of reading and scrolling through Twitter later, I was hugging my parents, catching up with them a bit, showing off my reading stash, and getting settled into a comfy chair to read more.

Book Cover, When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemoreIt’s a testament to how gorgeous my current read is that I haven’t been on the blog before just now. I’m currently reading When The Moon Was Ours, by Anna-Marie McLemore. The imagery and the turns of phrase are gorgeous. Lovely, wishing it was illustrated, fairy tale gorgeous, and also language that I want to read aloud. I started it on Monday, got a couple chapters in, and decided to save it and savor it today. Lovely, lovely book. And now I’m at the point where I’m torn between sitting absolutely still and zooming through the 45 minutes my Kindle tells me I have left, and forcing myself to pull back, because I think once I finish reading this, it’s so lovely that anything I read afterward will come as a shock.

Finished this book in Hour 7. And yes, it was absolutely lovely all the way through.

Might need to take a break for a while.

So have some bits from the blogosphere.

Challenges:

Give the Gift of Reading: Entomology of a Bookworm is asking commenters for bookish charities, and the prize will be $25 donated to your chosen charity. I love this. And of course, I picked EveryLibrary.

Meetup: Write a paragraph in which the main character from your current read and the main character from the book you’ve finished meet up. Oooh, I love this idea so much it might get its own post… after I finish reading When the Moon Was Ours. I need to think over how Sam and Sybil Vimes would do encountering Sam and Miel. That’s going to get to be its own, longer post, I think.

Hour 5: Still midway through When the Moon Was Ours and now it is time to read while eating one of my favorite sandwiches ever: The Jockey Creek Sandwich from Byrnes’ Deli.

How to make a Jockey Creek:

  • 1 hard roll
  • smoked turkey
  • Russian Dressing
  • Muenster Cheese.

I love this sandwich so, and get one every time I’m out here. But I never think to buy Russian Dressing or Muenster Cheese when I’m home, to make my own. That’s silly of me!

Hour 10:

Finished When the Moon Was Ours this afternoon, around hour 6ish, and it was so good that it gave me a good-book hangover. I needed a break! So I browsed in two books I had with me just for that purpose: The Bowery Boys’ book about New York City History, and an anthology of food writing edited by Mark Kurlansky (which my mother spotted, and then also started reading the second I put it down. The Readathon is a family affair.)

After a walk in the sunshine with my Dad, it was time for another book, and one of my favorite Readathon snack combinations: cucumbers and cheddar cheese slices. I’ve started reading Fallout, the first in Gwenda Bond’s series imagining Lois Lane as a modern high school student. I’m loving it, but also putting it down a bunch… because the plot about high school cyber-bullying and possibly also mind-control is almost too tense for me to read too much in one go!

Yes, I’m being lazy and reposting Tweets. Easier than trying to port over the pictures themselves, as I’m on a parental computer and Mom won’t let me install a different web browser. Minor difficulty.

The Hour 10 post from Dana, about mood reading and the TBR tower speaks to my very essence as a reader and a book lover.

I go into each readathon with a stack of possibilities. I am such a mood reader that I know I won’t stick with a specific TBR list but if I have several to choose from, I will find one that suit my mood.

Same here! And if I can’t click with a book I pick up, especially after finishing one I love, I get grumpy as heck. So it’s good to have a towering tower of options. Which I do. (We won’t talk about the library books I left at home.)

Thus far, my whims are working according to my past experience.

I need fast, engrossing reads to have the best fun in the Readathon, which means: genre novels, or novels with really lovely imagery. And I’ve learned from past experience to keep something good and short on hand, for browsing and sort of mental-palate cleansing. The Bowery Boys book, with short, funny takes on New York History is doing the trick nicely.

I don’t have one set genre for a good readathon. I skew towards YA a bit, as well as genre fiction, more for the faster, engrossing pace.

Hour 15: Finished my third book of the day, which was also the first one I read start-to-finish in one sitting: Fallout, by Gwenda Bond. It’s the first in a series that imagines Lois Lane as a high school student in Metropolis, trading online messages with an enigmatic friend known only as SmallvilleGuy. It’s set in the present day, and there are also references to online gaming and mind control. Good fun! Would recommend to teens, and would read subsequent books in the series.

Kind of wish I hadn’t finished a book right around the 10-11 PM hour, because now I’m all undecided, both with the third-book-choice slump that’s traditional to the readathon, and wondering if the lateness of the hour means I should try to sleep. Not that sleepy, though I don’t necessarily want a book so good I’ll be awake for hours yet.

Hanging out with parents and reading has been the best part. We talk about books, I’ve posed readathon challenge questions to them. We read bits of our books and Twitter aloud to each other. They’ve gone to bed. I remained undecided until 11, then took the Bowery Boys book to bed. Read until about midnight, and then called it a night. Woke up around 4, as usual, and listened to a bit of audiobook, before falling asleep til 8:30.

A successful Readathon, sociable with parents and with the Internet:

I finished 3 books (one start-to-finish and two others I’d started previously.) So that’s $6 extra set aside for EveryLibrary.

And a mental note that I need to write the April Reading Roundup post, since it’ll be May tomorrow, as well as the start of a busy week.

I participated in a whole bunch of challenges: I took pictures of my snacks, I took pictures of my book stacks, I took pictures of Dad making pasta. I saved one thoughtful challenge to play with later in the week.

I’ve got a couple more hours of weekend to read my book, and to browse blogs.

Hooray for the Readathon!