Read-a-Thon End of Event Meme

Well, the Read-a-Thon is long over, and troops are groggy, but I think I can muster enough brainpower to at least wrap this thing up!

End of event meme

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

The start of Hour 21, since our mini-challenge had a few access problems that were extremely mind-boggling when we were already both sleep deprived!

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

I think comics in general are a good way to mix up the medium and refresh your brain–one of the comics I (Mia) read this year was Ryan Andrews’ short story “This Was Our Pact” and the energy and beauty of it was a great pick-me-up.

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

This was the first year that I noticed some repetition among the mini-challenges, so I guess the best way to combat that is to really drum up interest so that lots of people feel inspired to submit really creative challenges and the organizers can choose from the best of the best.

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

It was probably this way in previous years and I just didn’t notice, but I used Twitter for Read-a-Thon stuff the first time this year and while I sometimes let myself get too distracted by social media, it was a great way to feel connected to the other readers participating.

5. How many books did you read?

I only finished one whole book, but I also read two short story comics and bits of…three others? So six.

6. What were the names of the books you read?

I finished The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, read “This Was Our Pact” by Ryan Andrews and and “You Can Do It, Dong Gu!” by Nam Dong Yoon, listened to disc 4 of the audiobook of The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, read a chapter of VC Andrews’ Rain, and got 45% of the way through The Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson.

7. Which book did you enjoy most?

They were all good! The Scorpio Races audiobook is in particular really well-read, although you have to be careful not to fall asleep while listening to it! And then there was…

8. Which did you enjoy least?

Rain. We only read a chapter, but it was such an agonizing chapter. There were the usual entertaining bizarrities, like people emoting 100% through their eyeballs, but seriously, that entire chapter could have been condensed into, like, a paragraph. So much unnecessary stuff. It did give birth to a new bad simile, though, so there’s that.

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

I wasn’t, so I won’t!

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

I am totally planning to participate in the next Read-a-Thon (which’ll be, what, my fifth? sixth? I can’t remember), although I’ll be cheesed if it falls on the same weekend as Alternative Press Expo again this year! Jessica and I will probably host another mini-challenge, and also try to read without getting too distracted by each other or the internet. In other words, same stuff, different day.


Read-a-Thon Mini Challenge Hour 21: Mad Libs!


Hey, everybody! Welcome to the Hour 21 Mini-Challenge! We–Mia and Jessica–are happy to host you guys as we continue on our collective reading journey! We’re so close to the end I can taste it. How about some Read-a-Thon style mad libs to keep your brain awake?

Here’s what you’re gonna do:
1) pick a paragraph (not too long) from the book you’re reading
2) remove some/most of the nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs, and either
3a) get a friend (in person, over the phone, over the internet–whatever!) to fill in the words for you mad-libs style or
3b) fill them in yourself from the spoiler-texted word list below
4) post your hilarious paragraph on your blog and link us to it or leave it in a comment here!

Easy, right? Here’s an example: I started with this paragraph from Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell:

It was the habit of Mr. Norrell and Jonathan Strange to spend the hour before dinner in Mr. Norrell’s library and it was in this room that they received his lordship. Childermass was also present, ready to act as clerk, counselor, messenger or servant just as circumstances should require.

I asked Mia for three people, a measure of time, noun, type of room, verb, and four jobs. After plugging everything in, I got:

It was the habit of Mike Tyson and Ada Lovelace to spend the fortnight before watermelon in Mike Tyson’s kitchen and it was in this room that they slipped his lordship. Stuart Little was also present, ready to act as fishmonger, busboy, investment banker or chauffeur just as circumstances should require.

It made us both giggle like mad, and we hope it’ll do the same for you!

Here’s a list of some words if you don’t want to or can’t bother someone (feel free to adapt as necessary, e.g. making nouns plural or changing verb tense):





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We’ll run the challenge until hour 24 and winners will receive a book of their choice (worth up to $10) from the Book Depository. Go ahead and get libbing!

Read-a-Thon Hour 18 Mini-Challenge: Cover Me

Just got back from eating pizza (awesome deep-dish pizza with feta and olives and yeahhhh)–my brain’s starting to get a little fuzzy so hows about a mini-challenge I’ll spend way too much time on?!

For the Cover Me challenge I decided to pick my own winners for the categories provided by Stacy. Here goes!

1. Best Title


2. Best Dressed


3. Cutest Couple


4. Most Delicious Cover

Perfect Scoop

5. Cutest Animal


6. Cutest Kid


7. Best to Avoid in a Dark Alley


(Seriously, what is even GOING ON with that triffid. WHAT.)

8. Best Tattoo


9. Best Cover

Drumroll, please!


Photo on 4-27-13 at 11.08 AM

Yeah, you knew it was coming. Thanks for adding so much beauty to this world, LJ Smith and LJ Smith’s cover artist. You gladden my heart.

Read-a-Thon Hour 7 Mini-Challenge: Best/Worst Covers

Oh man, you guys. Okay. So the Hour 7 Mini-Challenge directs us to find the best and worst covers of one of the books in our pile, and BOY HOWDY do I have a cover journey to take you guys on. See, just for kicks I brought along L.J. Smith’s The Forbidden Game trilogy, because it’s terrible and hilarious, and the cover of the version I have is wham-bam-boom the best/worst:

Photo on 4-27-13 at 11.08 AM

Trust me, it’s about as terrible and hilarious as a cover can get.

But it turns out that most of the other editions are JUST AS BAD:


The newer editions are boring as all get out. Right? And the older individual covers (since it’s technically a three-parter, I just have one glorious volume) are, well…



What even. I love them so much. This is how you can tell I’m of the hipster generation, because I look at these covers and think, “They’re hideous, I must have them.

Jessica: My books can’t compete with the horror and glory of L.J. Smith, but there are some decent options to be found.

In the far left is the cover I have for Invisible Cities. It’s alright, but pretty boring. In the middle is my favorite after a quick Google search. Still simple, but I like the reflection of the ‘cities’ at the top, and I like the painterly texture. Both reflect the dreamy qualities of the book. To the right is my least favorite. What is even going on? Way to take all the romance and dreaminess out of the book and make it seem like a book about… cartography.

To the left is the cover I have for Oryx and Crake and I think it’s also my favorite. The illustration is weird, but that’s fitting, and it wraps around the book, which I almost always find appealing. I also appreciate the plain white cutouts for the author, title and quotes. To the right is… well. Do I even need to say why I think it’s the worst?

Read-a-Thon Hour 5 Mini-Challenge: Selfie!

It’s hour 5 already and I don’t feel like I’ve gotten a whole lot of reading done. But you know what Jessica and I have gotten?

Photo on 4-27-13 at 9.39 AM

Croissants! I also have an almond one and an orange-cranberry scone, and Jessica has a chocolate one and a ham-and-cheese thing, so we’ve both got enough bread products to last us until the end of the world! Or lunchtime, whichever comes first.

Read on, fellow ‘Thoners, read on.

Read-a-Thon Spring 2013 Introductory Questionnaire!

Hey, dorks and sporks! Jessica and I are getting started a little late for the April 2013 Read-a-Thon, but we’re here! And we’re ready to introduce ourselves, which we’ve gotten so good at doing. I’ll go first:

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1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Jessica’s place in the Bay Area, where it is appropriately overcast and gloomy for lots of indoors reading!
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
I’m excited to listen to a bit more of the Scorpio Races audiobook–both the readers are excellent! Also Rain. Always Rain. Hatereading it gives me power.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
I don’t think Jessica or I have planned snacks because we like to live on the edge. I AM hungry for breakfast, though.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I’m Mia and a couple weeks ago I got to meet Lucy Knisley at a signing in Berkeley!
(Thanks to Jessica for the picture!)
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?
I might actually stay up until the very end, because Jessica and I are hosting a mini-challenge at hour 21 and it has to run until the beginning of hour 24! So that’ll be fun.

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1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
My house, in the beautiful East Area of the Bay.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Hmm, that’s a tough one – I’m looking forward to all of them! Maybe The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, since Mia has been talking it up so much.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Yeah, I don’t think we have any real food plans. But we do have mandarins!
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I love water. It is my favorite drink.
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?
I have three comic books in my line-up, which means a higher book count. Yay for quick reads!