Mad libs winners and favorite lines!

Thank you all for making us laugh so much! We love this challenge and hope you did, too. We picked one winner randomly, and then narrowed it down to four of our favorites and rolled again for the second winner. But we bet you won’t be able to tell which winner is the random one and which is the one we picked, because they’re both so amazing! Before we tell you the winners, here are some of our favorite lines from your mad libs! (Even these were so hard to narrow down! Pretty much every mad lip had something that made us laugh!)

“Six days for each grape that Tom Cruise had eaten” by Devon Stivers

“My toe doesn’t feel right. I try to swim, remembering too late my fingernail is broken.” by Leah

“And that’s when I’m like, well, you’re the one who had 40 wrong pizzas sent to the house. Are you going to blame me and Abraham Lincoln for that, too?” by kgriffin3227

“She asked me seven times if I had possessed the tamales, and five times if I was sure they’ve been flaming tamales – I’m sure that was paranoia on her part.” by Maria Stanislav

“His big toe brushed hers. ‘Why didn’t you tell me J.K. Rowling was here?’
‘I was going to tell you, but –‘
Julian’s breasts clamped over Scarlett’s shoulder, salt and dirt pressed against her knee as he whispered: ‘Shhhh'” by Maartje and Inge

“Christopher Walken faced forward again – and realized he was gelatinous.” by Christine

And our two winners!

“Sylvester Stallone is gone. Executed. He was willing to give the names of many of his octopi, and at least we can thank him for that. Sylvester Stallone attempted to make the point several times that he was no more ludicrous than anyone else and that anybody could become a penis. Did he really bone that or was it simply an orange to ease his fist?” by greensnsteph

“The main earthquake was of a sorcerer a little sparser than her. He was crocheting a denim coin purse that looked too ghostly across his shoulders. His eyes were flaming blurs. He was dead. His face was so fashionable; he was old enough to exsanguinate but young enough to be excited about exsanguinating and thus meticulous.” by Natasha C Barnes

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Readathon Hour 10 Mini-Challenge: Mad Libs!

Hellooooo, everybody! Welcome to the Hour 10 Mini-Challenge! We – Mia and Jessica – are super excited to host you as we continue on our collective reading journey! We know it’s getting rough out there for a lot of you (and us too), so how about some Read-a-Thon style mad libs to keep our brains awake?

Here’s what you’re gonna do:
1) pick a paragraph (not too long) from the book you’re reading
2) remove some of the words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and more), 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 (Mia) started with this paragraph from 70s feminist short science fiction, Millenial Women:

Late in the afternoon the stranger woke: Amanda looked up from her loom to find him staring silently at her face. She pulled up her veil self-consciously, wondering how long she had been revealed to him, and went to kneel at his side. He tried to speak, a raw noise caught in his throat; she gave him water and he drank, gratefully.

“Where…where am I?” The words were thick, like his swollen tongue.

“You are in my house.” Habitually, she answered what a man asked, and no more.

I asked Jessica for a famous woman, a noun, an adverb, a body part, a verb, another verb, an adjective, another adverb, another body part, a place, and another noun. After plugging everything in, I got:

Late in the afternoon the stranger woke: Angela Lansbury looked up from her takeout carton to find him staring concretely at her thumb. She expedited up her veil self-consciously, wondering how long she had been revealed to him, and went to jam at his side. He tried to speak, a holographic noise caught in his throat; she gave him water and he drank, calmly.

“Where…where am I?” The words were thick, like his swollen knee.

“You are under the boardwalk.” Habitually, she answered what a DVD asked, and no more.

It made us both giggle a whole heck of a lot (the image of Angela Lansbury, uncomfortable and unsmiling, going and jamming at this man’s side will never not be funny), and we hope it’ll do the same for you!

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

Adjectives
1. sparse
2. flaming
3. fashionable
4. proud
5. ghostly
6. spunky
7. creamy
8. casual

Adverbs
1. virtuosically
2. frantically
3. dreamily
4. euphemistically
5. staggeringly
6. conspicuously
7. gravely
8. hauntingly

Nouns
1. earthquake
2. tamales
3. itch
4. paranoia
5. coin purse
6. fountain pen
7. hammock
8. sorcerer

Verbs
1. crochet
2. vibrate
3. curtsy
4. exsanguinate
5. lounge
6. hover
7. possess
8. cuddle

We’ll run the challenge until hour 13 and two winners will receive a book of their choice (worth up to $15) from the Book Depository. Go ahead, and get libbing!

Readathon Intro Meme: Mia’s Turn

Hour 0 – Opening Meme

Ha-HA, it’s my turn to fill this out while Jessica’s in the shower! I haven’t been Readathonning as long as Jessica has, but I’m so glad that she invited me to join her that first time…howevermany years ago it was. Memory isn’t my strong suit, but I love the traditions that Jessica and I have made in doing the Readathon together. We read funny passages to each other, team up in the mini-challenges, and have an amazing time!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Jessica’s place in California. I flew down just for this as a special occasion, now that I live several states away!
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? My stack is small because I was limited in my carryon space (and weight!) but it’s full of good things:

bookstack

I’m actually most excited about a book on my Kindle, though: Fledgling, by Octavia Butler. I started to read it the other day and then thought, I’m going to save this for Readathon! So I’ve been eagerly awaiting it ever since.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? We went out to dinner with a bunch of friends last night and there’s leftover lamb tikka masala in the fridge that I’ve got my eye on…
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I too am hungry. Jessica, let’s go eat.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? The big difference this year is that I’m going to have to hustle when Readathon is over, because I have a flight to catch back to Washington Sunday afternoon! Better read while there’s time!

Read-a-thon!!! Intro Meme and 10 Years in 10 Books

Happy Read-a-thon, ya’ll! I (Jessica) can’t believe it’s the 10-year anniversary. My first read-a-thon was Dewey’s last, in October 2008, and while I didn’t know her personally – I started following her blog around the time of the read-a-thon, shortly before she passed away – I will be forever thankful that she started this celebration of reading and togetherness. It’s genuinely one of my favorite days of the years, and as always, I’m so glad to share the day with Mia.

Hour 0 – Opening Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? My lovely house in the lovely East Bay on a lovely day.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I don’t really have a stack! Here’s my excuse, paltry though it is: for the first time in years, I am working a full-time job. Plus tutoring, plus working on a freelance writing project, plus life. But Mia brought me the first two volumes of a delightful-looking manga, about dungeon crawlers who cook the monsters after slaying them, and I can’t wait to read it!
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Again, my read-a-thon prep has been pretty minimal this year. (I kept the day free and clear…) But Mia and I are going to go to breakfast at my favorite brunch place, and I’m super looking forward to that!
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I’m hungry! Mia, let’s go get breakfast soon, okay?
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? Well, I woke up bright and early this morning – 5:48 am. I think that might be the earliest I’ve gotten up for a read-a-thon (which starts at 5 am, my time)!

Hour 1 – 10 Years in 10 Books

2007 – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie
2008 – A Mercy by Toni Morrison
2009 – Smile by Raina Telgemeier
2010 – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
2011 – Habibi by Craig Thompson (I have some mixed feelings about this one, but I think parts of it are super worthwhile)
2012 – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
2013 – Aya: Love in Yop City by Marguerite Abouet and Clemente Oubrerie (this contains volumes 4-6 of Aya, so read the first three first!!!)
2014 – Bird Box by Josh Malerman
2015 – The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
2016 – The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
2017 – Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Read-a-thon Intro Meme!

Well, helloooooo, you precious lovely humans! Mia and I are back again for our biannual Readathon blog-resurrection, though we aren’t in our usual set-up (see more below).

Jessica:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? My house in the sunny but chilly Bay Area.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I have lots of good stuff, but I’ve been obsessed with Astro City over the last few months, so probably that.
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3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? I have my Poland box from Universal Yums, full of Polish snacks and treats.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I am in a choir and our Spring concert was last Sunday. I’m so glad it wasn’t this Sunday!
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, for the first time in a long time, maybe ever, Mia and I are readathoning separated (*looks longingly to the north*), which will change up the sleepover feel we usually have going  on.

Mia:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? My new home in the Pacific Northwest!
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? That’s a tough one! I’ve heard so many good things about Sex Criminals that I’m hoping it lives up to all the promise.

 

 

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? I’m actually woefully underprepared this year and don’t have a ton of snacks handy, so I might take myself to the fancy grocery store for some cheese this afternoon. I do have congee and genmaicha ready for breakfast, though!
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I have an annoying cat who will be keeping me company and begging for treats all day.
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? Like Jessica said, it’s weird to be apart! We’ll have to do our bonding over gchat and through this blog instead of in person.

Read-a-Thon Fall 2015 Closing Survey

Wow, okay! Mia here again. It’s five or six hours after the Read-a-Thon ended and I have a little bit of a reading hangover. (Time for some hair of the dog, maybe?) I petered out near the end, as is traditional, but overall this fall’s reading felt pretty solid! Let’s do the closing survey.

Which hour was most daunting for you?

It’s all kind of a blur, honestly, but around 9:00pm here we were getting close to the end of reading our New Kids on the Block novel out loud and I was definitely struggling, voice-wise and otherwise.

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

I think Zilpha Keatley Snyder is always a good choice–her books move along with great pacing and her characters all feel extremely human. She writes with such humor and compassion.

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

Nothing really comes to mind at the moment. I know how to improve my own experience, but this part was 100% on me. See, I didn’t participate in any mini-challenges this year because I wanted to make up for the lost reading time I accrued when I took a four-hour break for another activity early on, and I think in retrospect I would’ve enjoyed doing at least one or two. I got a fair amount of reading done but didn’t let myself enjoy the social media aspects of the event!

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

Things seemed to go pretty smoothly. Again, I didn’t engage with the Read-a-thon itself as much this time as in the past, but I’m sure everyone did a great job. They always work so hard.

How many books did you read?

Six? Six. Most of them were very short.

What were the names of the books you read?

In order of reading: The Headless Cupid, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder; The Gecko and the Three Grave Robbers, a short comic by Cheez Hayama; New Kids on the Block: The Novels: Backstage Surprise, by Seth McEvoy and Laure Smith; Suicide Forest, a short horror comic by Dave Baker and Nicole Goux; Carrie, by Stephen King; and Goosebumps #9: Welcome to Camp Nightmare, by R.L. Stine.

Which book did you enjoy most?

“Enjoy” is a complicated word. I think I straight-up enjoyed The Headless Cupid the most, for the reasons listed above about how ZKS is a wonderful treasure–I’m sad she’s moved on from this world but I’m glad she left such a legacy of books behind. Jessica and I certainly bonded over NKOTB: TN: BS, which we read aloud to each other in its entirety. Please note that at 133 pages, reading the whole book aloud still took approximately three hours. (Then again, we had to keep stopping to laugh or dispute some highly unlikely plot points.)

Which did you enjoy least?

I didn’t get as much of a laugh out of the Goosebumps book as I thought I would! I mean, it was weird and goofy, but it was hard to top that NKOTB book. I mean, DANNY WOOD JUMPED ONTO A MOVING ROLLER COASTER AND CLIMBED ALONG THE OUTSIDE AS IF THIS WERE A TRAIN CAPER. I can’t.

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

Not applicable, but we got some good cheering from Jessica’s brother! I think letting Cheerleaders strategically target people who wanted/needed cheering was a good idea–was that a thing before?

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

Oh, you know I’m there. I think Jessica and I would like to host the Mad Libs mini-challenge until Earth’s orbit decays and the sun burns out.

Jessica’s turn, if she’s so inclined!

Which hour was most daunting for you? I think I’ll agree with Mia about the hour near the end of the NKotB book. There were still really hilarious moments, but it just took a long time and, in particular, some of the scenes were Too Long. I also really struggled around Hours 21-22, pretty close to when I went to bed. Just plain ol’ tiredness!
Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I always say that graphic novels are great! I especially recommend Astro City for people who like superhero comics AND people who don’t.
Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? As always, I do think there would be value in shifting the starting times.
What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Everything seemed to run pretty smoothly!
How many books did you read? I finished four and read parts of 4 others.
What were the names of the books you read? I finished: New Kids on the Block: Backstage Surprise, Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Lost Adventures, Ms Marvel Volume 3: Crushed, Astro City. I did not finish: Shutter, The Invention of Murder, What Matters in Jane Austen, Frankenstein.
Which book did you enjoy most? Hmmm, that’s a good question. As Mia said, we bonded, with MUCH laughter and incredulity, over the NKotB book. I reread Astro City, which has long been one of my favorite comics and that was like returning to an old friend. Shutter was fun and action-y.
Which did you enjoy least? I honestly liked everything, but only got maybe 10% of the way into Frankenstein and haven’t quite gotten into the story yet.
If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? N/A
How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Like Mia said, I’m in. As a reader and mad libs host!

Thanks for the great read-a-thon, guys! We love it. We love you. <3

Mad libs! Hour 18 Mini-Challenge!

read-a-thon2

Hellooooo, everybody! Welcome to the Hour 16 Mini-Challenge! We–Mia and Jessica–are super excited to host you as we continue on our collective reading journey!  We know it’s getting rough out there for a lot of you (and us too), so how about some Read-a-Thon style mad libs to keep our brains awake?

Here’s what you’re gonna do:
1) pick a paragraph (not too long) from the book you’re reading
2) remove some 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 (Jessica) started with this paragraph from about-to-be-published The Hours Count by Jillian Cantor:

“Oh, no,” Ethel laughed. “I’m making a recording for my John so he’ll have my voice to listen to when I’m in the hospital for the new baby.”

“Oh,” I said. “How lovely.” She smiled and touched her free hand to her hat shyly, in a way that made me think someone else had told her this was not such a lovely idea. I wondered about her husband and if he was like Ed when it came to money. I guessed not. Studio time sounded expensive.

I asked Mia for the name of a famous woman, a verb, a place, a body part, an adjective, another name another noun, and another adjective. After plugging everything in, I got:

“Oh, no,” Jessica Fletcher laughed. “I’m making a recording for my John so he’ll have my voice to joust to when I’m in Area 51 for the new baby.”

“Oh,” I said. “How lovely.” She smiled and touched her free ankle to her hat shyly, in a way that made me think someone else had told her this was not such a simple idea. I wondered about her husband and if he was like Tom Selleck when it came to bunk beds. I guessed not. Studio time sounded florid.

It made us both giggle a whole heck of a lot (what is Jessica Fletcher doing in Area 51 and what is her *non* free ankle doing and are those two thing related? And, from Mia, “Are you like Tom Selleck when it comes to bunk beds?”), and we hope it’ll do the same for you!

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

Adjectives
1. adult
2. bookish
3. cursed
4. weary
5. rowdy
6. beefy
7. edible
8. clammyAdverbs
1. tragically
2. furiously
3. freshly
4. defiantly
5. otherworldly

6. permanently
7. suspiciously
8. locally

Nouns
1. intrigue
2. toad
3. Communism
4. haunted house
5. poison
6. teeth
7. abomination
8. incense

Verbs
1. space out
2. peeve
3. claw
4. niggle
5. separate
6. loathe
7. quake
8. grow

We’ll run the challenge until hour 19 and two winners will receive a book of their choice (worth up to $15) from the Book Depository. Go ahead and get libbing!