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Tag Archives: read-a-thon

As I did last year, I’m signing up for a few seasonal reading events…which I highly recommend you join in!

RIP Readers in Peril

First, let me announce that I am, once again, taking part in Stainless Steel Droppings’ Readers Imbibing Peril (R.I.P.) event.

For those of you who don’t know (and I’m guessing you all do, so this disclaimer is redundant), I’m a mood reader. And a seasonal reader. I seem to enjoy classics in the Winter, so if you were reading my blog in the months of January to April, you’d think I only read classics. But, if you read me in the Fall, you’ll find Adventures in Borkdom to be a straight-up horror blog. That’s because of the R.I.P. event.

The R.I.P. event is all about reading and viewing horror in the months of September and October. Last year, I took part and loved it. Just like last year, I’m going to commit to the highest of participation levels: Peril the First (read four or more books of the horror genre), Peril of the Short Story (read short stories of the horror genre), and Peril on the Screen (watch horror movies and television). I do all of these things in October anyways, so my participation shouldn’t be difficult at all. Here are my reading and viewing plans:

Perfume by Patrick SuskindTo Read in September and October:

World War Z by Max Brooks (Zombie Apocalypse Lit.)Hell House by Richard Matheson

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind (Serial Killer Lit.)

The Passage by Justin Cronin (Vampire Apocalypse Lit.)

Hell House by Richard Matheson (Haunted House Lit.)

Drawing Blood by Poppy Z. Brite (Vampire Lit.)

20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill (Paranormal Lit./Short Stories)

The Living Dead Zombie Anthology Neil Gaiman George R.R. Martin Joe Hill The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum (True Crime Horror Lit.)

Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates (Serial Killer Lit.)

The Living Dead (Zombie Apocalypse Lit./Short Stories)

For Peril on the Screen, here is a list of movies and television I’ll probably view in October:

American Horror Story on FX

Supernatural on CW

The Walking Dead on AMC

• Any and all new horror television premiering this FallTwo Thousand Maniacs Cult Horror movie

• Cult classic horror movies on TCM

• Another viewing of The Blair Witch Project (I know it’s not scary for some, but it gets me every time!)

• Maybe another viewing of Kubric’s The Shining or my all-time favorite The Omen

• Maybe a new horror movie in the theater, if any upcoming ones are supposed to be good (cross my fingers!)

Hopefully, I’ll be able to read and watch all of that horror! To help me meet my goals, I need to announce another sign-up that shouldn’t be surprising to anyone! It’s an easy guess. Just think of the one event I was all hyped up about twice last year, and pushed my friends to take part.

You should have guessed the Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon! Of course I’ve signed up again! It’s simply what I do.

So, I’m thinking that I’ll be reading a huge chunk of these books on Saturday, October 13. It doesn’t matter if I already had plans for that Saturday (I don’t think I did, but who knows!). Consider them cancelled. Because readathons are what I do! Don’t worry SJ and other friends, I’m not going to peer pressure you into this one. If you tried it, liked it, and would like to do it again, I know you’ll sign up. If not, at least you tried it. But, for those of you who haven’t participated in Dewey’s Readathon, I HIGHLY recommend it! So, it’s October 13. Mark it on your calendar!

I’m excited for all the horror (the horror! the horror!) coming up! Won’t you join me in the chills?

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As many of you know, I took a little break from blogging. Surprisingly, in that time away, I picked up a few new followers. Well, I’m back now, new friends and old, and I’ve changed my look, as you might have noticed. I love it!

Here’s some interesting (at least to me) background info on the look: I was directly inspired by the art print, “Someday, You’re Gonna” by Jordan Crane, which hangs in my kitchen. I wish I could commission Crane to do the artwork for my header, but what can I do? Use silly pictures of myself and the covers of a few of my favorite books, I guess.

Someday, You're Gonna by Jordan Crane

Anyways, back to the topic at hand. Since I have some new followers, and I’m returning after a long absence with a new drive, I thought I’d share some of my favorite posts that best reflect who I am as a blogger, and what you can expect to see here at Adventures in Borkdom. Many thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for providing the inspiration with today’s perfectly timed Top Ten Tuesday prompt!

1. Book Reviews

While I have been slacking in this area, a good chunk of Adventures in Borkdom is devoted to book reviews. When I put in the work, you can expect regular reviews on books of varying genres (I am a mood reader and like to read it all!) and I attempt to make these reviews as unbiased and professional as possible (when I might be biased, I make note of it in the review). I even created a rubric (feel free to use in your own reviews!) to make my methods of judgment transparent. Here are some examples of the positive review: Bleak House and The Waste Lands, the “meh” review: A Discovery of Witches, and the negative review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

When I don’t feel like putting in the work, you can expect posts full of mini-reviews: July Mini-Reviews

If you’re looking for more reviews, I post them up in the “Reviews” page at the top of the blog. *Coming Soon: Reviews organized by genre!*

2. Inspired Adventures

This is a new feature I started yesterday. It will appear twice a week (unless life gets in the way), and will center around a book I recently read, and an adventure or activity that I took part in that was directly inspired by the book. For example, after reading Hatchet, I took a hike in the mountains, and considered what aspects of the area would affect my survival if I were stranded there, à la Hatchet. Here is that post: Inspired Adventures: Hatchet and a Hike.

Upcoming Inspired Adventures include: Anne of Green Gables and Raspberry Cordial; The Return of the King and LARPing; and When You Are Engulfed in Flames and Quitting Smoking.

Check back on Thursday for this week’s second Inspired Adventure!

3. Bookish Featurettes

I enjoy writing posts on books that explore the various aspects of novels and reading in general. This is where I can really analyze certain literary/bookish areas without the limitations of a book review.

Some examples include:

4. Classic Authors: They’re Just Like Us!

These posts are biographical and discuss traits of a classic author that are surprisingly similar to either “us”, the everyday reader, or to the traits of modern-day popular authors. These ones are fun to read if you’re interested in a certain author, but don’t feel like getting bogged down by a long biography. I try to just give you the good stuff!

Examples:

Charles Dickens

Ernest Hemingway

J.R.R. Tolkien (posted over at Snobbery)

5. Fun Top Tens

Occasionally, I compile Top Ten lists that are connected to my reading preferences. I try to make these fun and somewhat informative. Typically, these directly derive from topics originating from the good folks at The Broke and the Bookish (like this post!).

A few of my favorites include:

Playing Hooky With Literary Characters

If Classics Were Set to Punk Rock

Oh Boy! It’s My Day to be a Girl! Here Are My Top Ten Book Boyfriends

The rest of my Top Tens can be found at the top of the blog in the page labeled “The Best”

6. Participation in Reading Challenges

This year, I signed up for a bunch of challenges. Not all of them have stuck (or, at least, I’m not attending to them right now), but I have seen a few of them through.

Two of these are

the horror- centric, annual Readers in Peril (RIP) Challenge, hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings

and

Charles Dickens Month, hosted by Fig and Thistle

7. Writings on Current Blogging Issues and/or My Views on Blogging

I don’t often dabble in blogging politics, but on occasion, I’ll come across an issue that I think needs addressing. Here’s a sample of what it looks like when I do:

When Blogging Gets You Down: A Letter to Bloggers (Big and Small)

I have also created a blogging manifesto, which pretty much spells out my views on blogging, and still holds true today: My Blogging Manifesto

8. “Best of” Lists

This shall be an annual event, and since I am only just approaching my one-year anniversary, I only have examples for 2011. Yet, you can expect to see daily posts, during the last week of 2012, that list my favorite books of 2012, broken down into genres. Here are two examples from last year:

Top Ten Books Read in 2011

Top Adult Contemporary and Young Adult Fiction Read in 2011

The rest of my “Best of” lists can be found at the top of my blog in the page labeled “The Best”

9. Readathons

I am a nut for readathons, particularly the big ones. This year, I took part in both of Dewey’s annual 24-hour readathons (held in October and April). I also held personal, impromptu readathons, which I chronicled on the blog.

Here are two posts reflecting my readathon participation:

October Read-a-Thon: And so it begins!

Post-It Readathon

10. The Person away from the Book

Finally, you will get to know the person that is separate from the books I read. Sometimes I write about what’s going on in my life:

She Was a Day Tripper…

Valentine’s Day?

A Slice of Crappy Life

and sometimes I feature the other interests and hobbies in my life:

Gaming:

TV

Movies

Cooking

———***——–

All of this, and writings I can’t foresee, will be featured here at Adventures in Borkdom. Obviously, if you want to know a bit more about me, the writer, check out my “About” page .

Thanks again for reading my blog and taking an interest in what I care about. I hope you enjoy what I put out there.


I am participating in Dewey’s Readathon again! On this post, you will find my reading updates. These will be posted every three hours (5, 8, and 11 a.m.; 2, 5, 8, and 11 p.m; and 2 and 5 a.m.). Please feel free to check back here on my progress! Also, I’d love to interact with you…so please leave comments or send me a tweet @borkadventures!

Update #6: 11:00 p.m.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Reading: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

On Page: 78

Hours Read: 18

Pages Read: 818

Books Read: 2

Mood: I’m so tired now! My eyes are droopy. I might pass out holding my book.

Reading Reflections: I want to keep going. I really do love the Guide, I’m just so tired!

Update #5: 8:00 p.m.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Reading: Ready Player One

On Page: 313

Hours Read: 15

Pages Read: 681

Books Read: 1

Mood: I’m still going strong! I’m making a pot of coffee now, and I think I’ll start drinking wine around 3:00 a.m. to bring myself down for eventual bedtime. That’s my new strategy. It’s so weird how quickly the day goes by when you’re readathoning. I can’t believe it’s already 8:00 p.m. when it feels like it was just a.m. and I was checking in here with the first update.

Reading Reflections: I’m still not done, but I am still loving it, and I will definitely be finished with it by my next update. Then, I shall be reading Lamb!

Update #4: 5:00 p.m.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Reading: Ready Player One

On Page: 203

Hours Read: 12

Pages Read: 571

Books Read: 1

Mood: I’m not sleepy anymore, thanks to the Red Bull! But, for some odd reason, I’m craving a cheeseburger! I had a healthy dinner planned, but all I want is a cheeseburger! So, I shall have it! I think my husband is getting it for me right now.

Reading Reflections: This book is taking up so much readathon time, but that is fine! Because it is so worth it to spend the whole time with a good book than reading a bunch of mediocre books. However, I do believe that all of my planned books are probably excellent. I might not get to the Wilder book, but I’m pretty sure I’ll get to Lamb and Hitchhiker’s Guide. <crossing fingers>

Update #3: 2:00 p.m. 

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Reading: Ready Player One

On Page: 90

Hours Read: 9

Pages Read: 458

Books Read: 1

Mood: I am not so energized. I have been considering a nap. But, I’m resisting. I’m drinking a red bull instead. I know it’s a teenager drink, but it’s my Comic-Con beverage of choice, and it seemed to go so well with this book that I bought one. Hopefully, it will boost me up!

Reading Reflections: So, seriously, this book seems to have been written for me. Or, probably every other person alive in the ’80s with some sort of geek leaning. Even Patrick Rothfuss said (on the back of the book) “I felt like it was written for me.” So, apparently Cline should’ve dedicated his book to all of us.

I am loving this book so much! I am going slow (and probably even slower now that I’m getting sleepy) because I am just soaking everything up. I love all of the references, I love the descriptions of OASIS, and I love how I feel like I’m on an adventure. This is a blast.

Update #2: 11:00 a.m.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Reading: Ready Player One

On Page: 4

Hours Read: 6

Pages Read: 372

Books Read: 1

Mood: Still very energized! I am working on a snack right now–celery, broccoli, and garlic hummus, along with my second Arnold Palmer (so refreshing!). I have also switched my wardrobe into “geeky-work mode”–reading glasses(my eyes started getting fuzzy around hour 2), my “STEPHEN KING RULES” shirt, and my Lost Boys-Frog brothers red headband. This shit just got real!

Jesse (the husband) has been delightfully distracting, which I think has actually helped with keeping me up. He is now banished to a day outside, so I probably won’t be distracted again until the wee hours when he gets home from his self-imposed Dude-Day hangout. He’s a good guy.

Reading Reflections: The Secret Garden was absolutely wonderful, and I wish I had read it on Monday when I was in such a self-doubting mood. It would definitely serve as a panacea to any funk like the one I suffered from this week! I took copious notes, so I should have no problem writing a review on it this week.

From the measly four pages that I’ve read of Ready Player One I can tell that I am going to love it! I only wish I had Wil Wheaton reading it to me (he is the reader of the audiobook). That would be absolutely perfect–whoever came up with that idea was a genius.

Update #1: 8:00 a.m.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Reading: The Secret Garden

On Page: 217

Hours Read: 3

Pages Read: 217

Mood: Wonderful! I am eating my breakfast now–asparagus frittata and toast with an Arnold Palmer. This book has me in a lovely, magical mood. I am inspired to start working in my garden again!

Reading Reflections: Burnett is a delightful writer–her characters are true and alive, and the scenery is magical. Plus, I finally learned what “wuthering” means (as in Wuthering Heights)–“the hollow, shuddering sort of roar which rushed around and around the house”. Am a little over half-done, so I should be finished by the time I check in here again!

5:00 a.m. (Start):

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Reading: The Secret Garden

On Page: 0

Hours Read: 0

Pages Read: 0

Mood: We’re too excited to sleep!

Man! I woke up 30 minutes earlier than I had to. And I was wide awake.

But, here we go! I’ve got my cup of coffee, loads of fruit on the coffee table, post-its and pens at my side, ready to roll! I’m pretty groggy, but so very excited! I’ve been wanting to read The Secret Garden ever since I saw the Hallmark movie when I was a kid (the one that starred Bastian from The Neverending Story as the weird nature boy). I know I’m going to love it!

I will update twitter regularly, so feel free to follow me @borkadventures, or check back here to see my twitter feed in the right margin. I will also try to complete some of the mini-challenges today and will check in here on this post with updates on my reading (every 3 hours). Wish me luck! And good luck to all of the other participants–(Go Kyle, Jillian, Jessica, SJ, and Priya!)


Hour 1 – Good morning! (Or afternoon! Or evening!)

Introductory Questionnaire

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
I am reading in San Diego, California!
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
All of them–I’m reading a bunch of books I’ve always wanted to read but never have. Perhaps, Ready Player One, just because I have sought it out all year!
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Roseberry Dark Chocolate from Dagoba
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
Along with reading, I enjoy Muay Thai kickboxing. It’s so different from anything I’ve ever done in my entire life.
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 participated in the last readathon, and I didn’t know many people back in October. Now, a bunch of my new friends are participating, so this time, I will be more social during the readathon!

I’ll probably be about as tweaked out as Jessie come 3:00 a.m. tomorrow night. But, I’m so excited!

Amidst all of my brooding and cleaning and task-completing (and Angel-watching), I have been quietly anticipating this weekend’s readathon. I can’t wait!

I had such a good time in the fall when I participated in Dewey’s Readathon that I’ve been counting the months until the next one. Even my family and friends have been checking in on it–“When’s your next readathon?” It’s here friends and family! Tomorrow!

For me, the readathon is a major event. It’s a pretty big deal. Preparing for this month’s readathon has been a major part of this week’s tasks. I have to make sure that I’m prepared for a wonderful experience. Here are the (lucky) seven necessities for my perfect readathon experience:

1. Pre-selected Books of Different Genres

2. Ready and/or Easily Prepared Food and Beverages

3. Comfy Clothes

4. Ambience

5. Writing Tools

6. A Strategy for Success

7. Check-ins with My Reading Pals

1. The Books

This week, I set about obtaining all of my books for tomorrow. I am going to set aside the seven (seven!) books I am currently reading to start anew tomorrow. My plan is to read five books, all new to me, that are highly recommended by five of my blogging buddies.

Here are the five books I will read tomorrow, with the recommending blogger listed and how the book was obtained.

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff by Christopher Moore

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore (Suzy of Insatiable Booksluts); checked out from the library

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (SJ of Snobbery); owned for years.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Amy of Lucy’s Football, Insatiable Booksluts, and The Loser’s Table); purchased from Amazon

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Kyle of A Reader’s Pensieve); checked out from the library

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (Jillian of A Room of One’s Own); purchased from the bookstore at the Huntington Library

2. Food and Beverages

Last time, I really didn’t care about eating healthy. I was bad! I ordered a pizza for the weekend, and that’s about all that I consumed. I’m currently trying to eat better, and I’m not going to use a readathon as an excuse to eat junk. Here’s my food for Saturday:

Arnold Palmer and books• Coffee for the morning and evening (around 7 or 8 p.m.)

• Green tea and lemonade (Arnold Palmers)

• Water (must stay hydrated for such strenuous activity!)

• Asparagus Frittata and toast for breakfast

• Mangoes and watermelon for snacks

• Soup and roast beef sandwich for lunch

• Dagoba dark chocolate bar for my sweet tooth : )

• Curried pork over basmati rice and peas (made in the Crock Pot the night before) for dinner

• I might cave to an ice cream craving around hour 20 if need be : )

3. Comfy Clothes

Yes, I do have a reading wardrobe! I have special cozy sweaters, yoga pants, and fluffy socks for the occasion. Plus, I have my secret reading weapon–my blue robe, with large pockets perfect for holding pens and post-its. I kinda wish I had a super-cool tee-shirt to wear under it, like maybe one with a dodisharkicorn on it or some reading statement like this:

One of the many awesome tees from the shop at Insatiable Booksluts

I guess that I’ll make do with my “Book Wyrm” tee.

4. Ambience

I love my husband so very, very much. He is so supportive of me and my hobbies, which are so very different from his. With that said, he’d better find something to do tomorrow night because I need my quiet time!

He works during the day tomorrow, and then he’s, of course, welcome to join me in reading. Stranger things have happened. We will have to discuss a plan. I will probably owe him a camping trip or a visit to the archery range or something for this. Maybe I could do a movie night where all we do is watch Jean-Claude Van Damme movies or Mythbusters. We have a system for these sorts of situations, so I will indulge him in some way for his sacrifice tomorrow.

5. Writing Tools

Writing ToolsTo be successful, I shall need:

• An internet connection

• My computer

• My IPad

• Pilot G-2 gel pens

• A steady supply of post-its (if you don’t want to forget what you thought of a readathoned-book, I highly suggest jotting down notes on post-its as you read tomorrow!)

6. A Strategy for Success

Like last time, my goal for the readathon is to read for the full 24 hours. I had a pretty good strategy last time, so I’m going to follow it almost to a T.

• Tonight: Draft my Readathon Update post and my Readathon Mini-Challenge post.

• 4:30 a.m. Wake up and get prepared. Drink some coffee and check in with my readathon buddies.

• 5:00 a.m. Get started reading right away. My first book will be The Secret Garden, a children’s book that should be easy on my groggy eyes and mind.

• Every hour: update my reading progress on Goodreads. This will automatically update to Twitter.

• Every three hours:

– Compose an update post here on the blog. This will contain reflections on my mood, the book I’m reading, the total number of pages read, and the total number of hours read.

– Check in on the Readathon mini-challenges to see if there are any I’d like to take part in. If so, I will complete the challenges on the Mini-Challenges post.

– Prepare a meal, snack, or drink.

• Read according to my perceived stamina. Here is the probable order of my reading choices based upon my stamina from the last readathon:

1. The Secret Garden (light and easy for when I’m groggy)

2. Ready Player One (I’m always at the top of my game from 8 until noon)

3. Lamb (Around book three, I might be dragging a bit, so humor will help me wake up)

4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide (Same as 3, plus it is supposed to be a quick, fun read)

5. Little House in the Big Woods (An easy children’s book, which should be perfect when my mind is mush in the wee hours. I will have the brain of a child around 2 in the morning!)

7. Check-Ins with My Reading Pals

I know of at least three of my buddies who are also participating in the Readathon–Jillian, Kyle, and Jessica. If you’re reading this and participating, please let me know because I’d love to add you to my list of people to interact with tomorrow!

I like to think of the readathon as a big sleepover for book dorks. Remember when you were a kid and you went to sleepovers? Remember how hard you and your friend(s) tried to stay up all night? That’s what I expect to be doing with my reading buddies tomorrow. We’ll all be comfy, we’ll all have snacks and goodies, and we’ll all be reading together (did you ever have sleepovers like this? I did!). Let’s support each other and just have a good time! There aren’t many opportunities like this as grown-ups. We get married, have kids, get caught up in being adults, and lose sight of how much fun it is to just stay up all night hanging out with friends. Granted, I’m a very nostalgic, immature adult, but I think this is a good thing! Let’s have fun!

Meanwhile, my buddies who aren’t participating in the readathon, I might check in with you too! And maybe you should consider signing up! It’s still not too late, and you don’t have to go for the full 24 hours!


Wow, this week went by slowly!

It’s finally the weekend, and it couldn’t have come any slower. This was one of those weeks where it went by so slowly that I almost feel that it should be next week by now.

But, the week is over now, and I have a lot of bookish things on my radar that I wanted to share.

Currently, I am still reading The Waste Lands by Stephen King. While it’s hard to put down when I’m reading it, in the last couple of days, I haven’t been able to squeeze in time to read! So, I’m hoping that I can get some reading done this weekend, although it’s unlikely that it will happen because I’m gearing up for…

Mad Men! The two-hour season premiere airs tomorrow and I can’t wait! I will be writing about all things Mad Men tomorrow, and will probably re-watch most of season 4 on Netflix all day before the premiere. I am in love with this show–I consider it to be the most consistent, well-developed series on television to date. I can’t wait to see what’s going on with my favorite characters in this new season! How many of you are as excited as I am?!

Also, I mentioned it earlier this week, but now it’s official–Dewey’s Readathon is back! Sign-ups are here! I have officially signed up to read for 24 hours on April 21st, and I hope you will too. I know my buddy Kyle at A Reader’s Pensieve is doing it, but I’m urging the rest of you to set aside the day to do it as well! And, YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO FOR THE FULL 24 HOURS! (I’m looking at you SJ) Just sign up and read for however long you can go! It’s about all of us setting aside a bit of time to read as a community. We can update our reading progress on our blogs or over on Twitter and root each other on. I enjoyed reading alongside Jillian, of A Room of One’s Own, during the last readathon–we checked in with other through the wee hours, and at the witching hour of 3:00 a.m., when you’re reading a super-creepy book like The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, it’s really nice to know someone else is out there still reading as well.  It’s just a very cozy feeling, knowing that you’re reading alongside (virtually) with the rest of your community. Just consider it, please?!

Another bookish event on my radar is Suvudu’s Cage Match 2012 event. Basically, characters from some of the best science fiction and fantasy titles are pitted against each other in a fight to the finish. Participants for this event have included Tyrion Lannister, Zaphod Beeblebrox, The Wicked Witch, Lady Jessica, Bast, and Mr. Wednesday (to name only a few). Check out the round 3 bracket here. The event is almost over (I found out about it on Wednesday, but it’s been going on all month!), but I’m enjoying reading the recaps of the past matches. So far, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Anomander Rake, Moiraine Damodred, Kelsier, Mr. Wednesday, Granny Weatherwax, Kylar Stern, and Erevis Cale are still in it. I’m only familiar with Zaphod and Wednesday, but the cool thing about this event is that it provides me with exposure to characters whom I might want to read about in their respective sci-fi and fantasy titles. Plus, it’s just a lot of fun for fans. I recommend you all check it out!

Finally, I signed up a few weeks ago, but the event has officially started, so I’ll announce now that I am going to take part in The Sarah Addison Allen Challenge hosted by Quirky Girls Read. For those of you who don’t know who Allen is, she writes lovely magical realism novels that always take place in North Carolina and always have something to do with delicious food. When I was in a reading rut last year, I picked up a copy of Allen’s Garden Spells simply for the lovely book cover, and I was surprised to find that I loved it. Her imagery and tone is like drinking an ice-cold Arnold Palmer on a hot summer day. So, for this challenge, I will read all four of Allen’s books in April, and, on the weekend, I will cook or bake something inspired by the story I read. For example, for The Girl Who Chased the Moon, I will bake Hummingbird Cake, as that’s one of the main character’s specialties. I believe that Allen even provides a recipe on her website. It’s gonna be delicious!

This will be my last week of teaching before a month-long Spring Break. So, if I’m not consistent in posting this week, just know that I’ll be a constant presence in April! I can’t wait!


Free air conditioning--all year long!

It’s another cold, wet, blustery day here in San Diego! One of the perks of being in San Diego is that there really isn’t any reason to have a high energy bill. The weather typically is moderate, so no need for AC in the summer and no need for heat in the winter. However, on days and nights like this, with a house full of wide door jambs and such, it’s not too different from camping. You can feel the wind blowing in right through the cracks of the walls! That makes for a chilly house (but great on a hot, windy summer day)! So, I’m all bundled up in the house in my robe, scarf, long johns, wool socks and sweater. We San Diegans can be wusses about temperature changes, I know! But, it would be ridiculous to try to heat up this old, drafty house with no insulation whatsoever. So, we bundle up!

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

So, the fanfare may commence…I finished The Wise Man’s Fear relatively early (9:00 p.m.) last night! It was so good! If you missed them, I wrote readathon posts on Friday and Saturday, each with reading updates and reflection (and silly videos). Today, I will write my review (to post tomorrow) and begin reading The Waste Lands in continuance of The Dark Tower Reading Challenge (and The Stephen King project). I also need to read a classic for March still, and while I was planning on reading The Forsyte Saga for this month, it’s a hefty book and March is almost over! So, I’m going to push that off until I have a lot of free reading time (Spring Break in April or summer vacation in August). Instead, I think my classic will be A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. My sister has urged me to read it, and the little bits I’ve skimmed while flipping through have shown it to be a very interesting book. So, I’m excited to start that up this week! I hope it counts for some of my challenges…

What else has been going on? Well, I’ve been having an internal debate on whether or not I should accept books for review. I’ve been getting approaches by authors about reading and reviewing their books, and I am skeptical to say the least. I don’t like being given something to read. It’s like someone throwing themself at you. I’m all about the chase. I want to find the perfect book for right now, and read it on my own time. Plus, I’m a horrible snob when it comes to what I read. It sounds pretentious, but I don’t read bad books. I just don’t. Or, if I do, I’m doing it on purpose. I can be in the mood for fluffy crap, but, even then, I seek it out. I seek my crap carefully. Plus, there’s the whole problem with my dislike of contemporary fiction. It’s a struggle for me to even read the Pulitzer winners for the Insatiable Booksluts’ Award-Winning Challenge, and those are award-winners!

So, after careful consideration, and the seeking out of advice from two book bloggers I greatly admire, and finally, after reading this article from the Los Angeles Review of Books, I have decided that I am not accepting books for review at this time. I will place this in my Contact page to avoid further consideration. I’ve just got too many good books of my own choosing to read, and I read enough sucky writing from my students–I don’t need to read potentially sucky books in my free time! So, if you’re looking for reviews of the newest upcoming novels, Adventures in Borkdom isn’t the place! Sorry!

Some really good news…Dewey’s Readathon is returning in April! I participated in my first Dewey back in October, and I had a blast! I read for the full 24 hours, ripped through 4.5 books, and participated in the challenges! If you’re looking for a good time, I urge you to sign up when the official linky becomes available (I’ll let you know when it does)! It could be a like a big fun sleepover, where we are all reading together and blogging and tweeting and rooting each other on! It could be so fun!!! It’ll take place April 21st, the third Saturday in April. Please, friends, set aside the date and sign up! IT COULD BE SO MUCH FUN!!!

Finally, I’ll be tuning in to tonight’s season finale of The Walking Dead! I was very happy when Shane died in the last episode (though, I wish it had been Carl who shot him. He could’ve done that when he was creeping around and saw Shane pointing a gun at his Dad. That would’ve been a huge turning point for Carl’s character! Of course, I’m assuming Carl was there to see the scene between Shane and Rick.), and I’m hoping to see some of Hershel’s red-shirt kids bite the big one tonight. And, if they’re not going to give T-Dog any sort of purpose, he could die too. If we played a drinking game where we drank everytime T-Dog appeared in an episode, we would be negative-drunk. He needs a purpose if he’s going to take up a valuable space on our survivor squad–there are too many stronger characters who could take his place! I’m crossing my fingers that one of those awesome characters will appear in tonight’s finale and set up an awesome new season in the Fall!

A rare sighting of T-Dog...

So, that’s what I’m up to. How ’bout you?