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Posts from the ‘Challenge’ Category

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon: Results

dewey2-2015This weekend I decided in the spur of the moment to take part in Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon. The readathon took place Saturday from 8am EST to 8am EST on Sunday. 1950 readers participated in the event across various platforms including Facebook, twitter, instagram, book tube, and various blogging platforms sites.

It was my first every readathon and I clearly had no idea what I was doing. I have to admit that my first thought when I heard about it was that it was rather silly. I mean I read a lot already, did I really need to try to set aside a day for reading. I was wrong because it was so much more than just a bunch of people sitting alone in their houses reading. The day was filled with mini challenges and fun activities and conversation via various social media sites.

Of course I did it all wrong since I didn’t prepare at all. I picked the wrong book(s) to read, I didn’t protect my time, and I didn’t plan out food/snacks. Here’s what my day looked like:

8-9am: Started reading. Book selected – House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. Trust me – this was the wrong book to pick.
9am-10: Found out my 5-year old needed cleats for soccer practice. Went to store in a panic to buy cleats. Zero reading
10-11am: Got my daughter ready for soccer. Zero reading
11-12pm: Soccer practice. I took a book with me but ran into other parents and spent the hour talking to them and watching soccer practice. 5 year olds playing soccer is amusing to watch. Zero reading.
12-1pm: Had lunch. Zero reading
1-3pm: Cleaned the house because family were coming over for dinner later. Zero reading
3-4pm: Reading! I actually was able to read for the whole hour while my daughter played downstairs
4-5pm: Set the table, played with my daughter. Zero reading
5-8pm: Dinner. Family came over. Zero reading.
8-3am: Reading! For the first time all day I had time to sit for more than an hour and read. I finished House of Leaves (our joint review to follow later this week). I started Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford.
3-7:30am: Sleeping. I’m past the age where all-nighters are appealing or possible. I normally go to sleep around 10 – 11pm so 3am was an accomplishment.
7:30-8am. Read more of Love in a Cold Climate.
Total tally: I read 1.5 books for a total of 660 pages. House of Leaves was 705 pages but I had already read 100 pages before I started. Some of those last pages were an “index” and images. I managed an extra 55 pages of my second book.

As you can see, I did a terrible job of reserving time to read. I happen to be a very fast reader so I was able to read quite a few pages despite not reading for the majority of the day. House of Leaves was probably the worst book to pick in terms of cleaning up my TBR. I did really enjoy it (Book Worm and I differed on this as you will see this week) but it’s a hard book to breeze through with all the formatting styles — having to get up and look at passages in the mirror and work my way through the crazy maze like sections.

Overall it was really fun because of all the extras. I did check in to social media (twitter, Facebook, goodreads) throughout the day to see how others were doing and to participate in a few of the mini challenges. I saw a few of you, our lovely readers and fellow bloggers, posting answers too!

The hosts of the event did a great job, as did all the volunteers. They have organized a second one for October 22, 2016 and this time around, I’d like to prepare in advance. Maybe some of you will also join us? I’ve debated whether or not we (Book Worm and I) should volunteer to host a mini challenge for the next one.

We want to hear from you. Did you participate in this readathon? How did you do? Would you want to participate in the future?

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon


This year will be my first attempt at Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. I didn’t plan ahead and didn’t block out time so we shall see how it goes – probably not too well. With a 5 year old at home and family coming over to my house tonight, there’s virtually no way I can be a fully committed participant but I do hope to check it out and get ideas for the next one.

The readathon is a biannual event where book lovers around the world come together to read for 24-hours (or as close to it as possible). There are mini challenges, prizes, and a lot of events on social media. The event starts in 30 mins. You can still sign up if you are interested.

You’ll probably be thankful to hear that I won’t be updating this blog with new posts for my personal progress. I will update on twitter and in the goodreads group. So you can follow my updates there. I will post an update at the end of the day on my experience participating and my level of success (which will probably be fairly unimpressive).

Will you be participating? Tell us your plans for the readathon including the five opening questions:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
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?




March Madness Challenge Update: Early Winners

bkmadness_bracket_lgThe tournament is over so we have our first two winners. Keep reading to find out who won the first two prizes and who is in the lead for our grand prize. Read more

March Madness Challenge

bkmadness_bracket_lgIn what has been on of the crazier March Madness tournaments in a long time, it’s time to announce our leaderboard and current standings. Keep reading to find out who is in the lead and which books made it through to the final game.  Read more

Winter Scavenger Hunt Update

scavenger hunt list
It has been a really fun challenge and lots of you have participated. Book Worm and I have enjoyed seeing all of your photos and creativity. Phase one of the challenge ended but the competition runs through the end of this year with additional prizes. Keep reading to find out who one our first prize and to learn more about future prize announcements. Read more

Last few hours to sign up!


Last chance to sign up for our book bracket challenge (full rules here)! I’ve created a pool over at CBS for anyone who wants to play along. You can find that here. Password is: book madness. Brackets lock around noon today so make your picks this morning or you will be shut out. Please note that only about half of our participants have created CBS brackets (some have emailed their spreadsheets directly to me) so the list of participants over at CBS represents about half of the entries.

The grand prize requires that you read books you pick from your bracket but one prize involves predictions only with no reading.

When you are picking your brackets, please note that Basketball teams are paired with books in the following way:

South (non-fiction)
1. Between the World and Me = Kansas
2. The Boys in the Boat = Villanova
3. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale = Miami
4. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks = California
5. H is for Hawk = Maryland
6. Into Thin Air = Arizona
7. The Warmth of Other Suns = Iowa
8. The Hot Zone = Colorado
9. The Year of Magical Thinking = UConn
10. The Snow Leopard = Temple
11. See you Made an Effort = Wichita St
12. In Other Words = South Dakota State
13. Dark Money = Hawai’i
14. = Charles Bukowski = Buffalo
15. Archive Fever = UNC Asheville
16. The Great Spring = Austin Peay

East (fiction non-U.S.)
1.  The Noise of Time = North Carolina
2.  Half of a Yellow Sun = Xavier
3. Rebecca = West Virginia
4. Room = Kentucky
5. A God in Ruins = Indiana
6. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki = Notre Dame
7. I Capture the Castle = Wisconsin
8. The High Mountains of Portugal = USC
9. The Illegal = Providence
10. Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend = Pittsburgh
11. Snow = Michigan
12. The Heather Blazing = Chattanooga
13. Shylock is my Name = Stony Brook
14. Bone and Bread = Stephen F. Austin
15. Minister without Portfolio = Weber State
16. What Lies Between us = FGCU 

West (science fiction/fantasy)
1. The Martian = Oregon 
2. The Lions of Al-Rassan = Oklahoma
3. Neverwhere = Texas A&M
4. The Fifth Season = Duke
5. Station Elevan = Baylor
6. Never Let me Go = Texas
7. The Dispossessed = Oregon State
8. Hild = Saint Joseph’s 
9. The Bazaar of Bad Dreams = Cincinnati
10. Ancillary Sword = VCU
11. The Library at Mount Char = Northern Iowa
12. New World Fairy Tales = Yale
13. All the Birds = UNC Wilmington
14. Uprooted =  Green Bay
15. The Beautiful Bureaucrat = Cal St Bakersfield
16. The Traitor Baru Comorant = Holy Cross

Midwest (Fiction U.S.) ranks
1. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena = Virginia
2. Epitaph = Michigan State
3. Night Film = Utah
4. City on Fire = Iowa State
5. All the Light We Cannot See = Purdue
6. Lonesome Dove = Seton Hall
7. The Queen of the Night = Dayton
8. We Are Water = Texas Tech
9. Did you Ever have a Family? = Butler
10. Turner House = Syracuse
11. Euphoria = Gonzaga
12. Fates and Furies = Little Rock
13. Infinite Jest = Iona
14. The Edge of Lost = Fresno State
15. The Sellout = Middle Tennessee
16. Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist = Hampton

March Book Madness Challenge: Final Reminder and Prizes!


The list of basketball teams have been released so now we know which books and teams are matched together. It is the perfect time to join our challenge! See the challenge page for more details. Find out what prizes we will be offering and scroll to the bottom to see how teams and books are paired up. Read more

Our March Book Madness Brackets are Here!


Our brackets are ready so it’s time to sign up for our March Madness reading challenge! Many thanks to all the early participants who nominated books and to those who voted on the books. Over 70 people voted on all 64 books and, based on those votes, we tabulated rankings for each category. Keep reading to see how the nominated books were ranked and to see a copy of our official challenge bracket. Read more

Book Survey: Final chance to help us out!


Starting March 1 we will be posting our Book March Madness brackets for anyone who wants to participate in our challenge but we need your help! This will be our last request and we’re hoping all our wonderful readers can pitch in and help us. Plus you’ll get a chance to win a $15 gift card!

A few of our challenge participants (the first 20 who signed up) nominated three books each. We’ve compiled a list of 64 books to correspond to each of the 64 teams who will make it into the NCAA basketball tournament. We need your help rating these books. The survey takes 10-15 minutes (less time if you are familiar with most of the books).

Help us out and you not only can win $15 gift card (entry for the raffle is at the end of the survey) but you can also help out some of our participants. And, if you choose to join the challenge, you get to play a role in ensuring the books you are most interesting in reading, get ranked highly. You may even find a few books to add to your TBR!

Thanks in advance! We love all our readers and know you’ll come through for us! You can find the survey here: March Madness Book Survey

Want to join our challenge? We’ll be posting the brackets for the game on March first and official play starts on the same day as the NCAA basketball tournament. Read more here.

We need your help!


We are creating a list of books for our March Madness reading challenge. You can read more about that here.

Fellow bloggers and readers: Please help us out by rating our challenge books. The survey takes about 10 minutes and you’ll be entered to win a $15 Amazon gift card. Books on the list were nominated by our challenge participants. You can still sign up to participate in the challenge which will begin on the same day as the NCAA basketball tournament.

We would be forever grateful if you could complete the survey and share with other readers so we can generate a fair ranking of all our books. These books will then be put into our reading brackets and you can all join us in making predictions.

You can find the survey here: March Madness Book survey.