Monday, April 30, 2018

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon Wrap Up


Wow!  What a blast!  So much happening in a short 24 hours!  Let me recap.

Last weekend hundreds of readers got together and read books, graphic novels, e-books, short stories, and even listened to audio books.  Here's the kicker. We tried to do this for 24 hours straight!  I myself, entered the readathon, along with my sister Judy from the good old USofA.  I woke up at 6:45AM, put the coffee on and cracked open a book at exactly 7:00 AM. I didn't do too bad initially.  I showed you my TBR schedule in my last post and followed it for about 4 hours.  LOL.  After that, even though there weren't many interruptions, there were still interruptions, and time used to check out social media and to enter the mini challenges, and to keep in touch with my reading partner.  Crazy!  I didn't read as much as I would have liked, but I was able to read almost continually until 2:30 AM when I was nodding off more than I was reading.

Here is my final twitter post before I gave up the ghost .. so to speak...

I am beginning to fade. It sucks getting old. I have been reading for 16 hours straight (more or less). I am going to try to hang in til 18. I am getting a little bleary eyed. Everyone else has bailed on me... (see picture).

Screenshot-2018-4-30 Steven Karalash ( stevenkaralash) • Instagram photos and videos

My furry friend was purring and snoring and was doing a great job of keeping me awake and alert (not!).  At 2:30, I climbed into bed, fully satisfied about what I had accomplished.  The people who put this readathon on every year should be commended for such amazing work they do.  It can't be easy to do this without any problems year after year.  To the organizers of Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon, I say "THANK YOU"!

The date for the next readathon has already been posted.  It will be held on October 20, 2018.  Did I have enough of reading for 24 hours straight?  Am I put off  that everyone bailed on me?  Hah!  Everyone chipped in and helped me, and that is why I was able to do what I did this weekend.  My family is awesome and they support my weird ideas, so a  big thank you goes out to them as well!

One other note of mention is that we were attempting to read 1000000 pages during this readathon.  I'm sure there are still some stragglers that need to enter their submissions, but this is where it stands as of now:

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It seems we are a bit shy of our target, but it's a great showing of what can actually happen in a 24 hour period.  I was able to contribute 2 books with a combined total of 395 pages read.  Not too shabby.

As this readathon overlaps my Spring Into Horror readathon that I am still participating in, I will go into more detail on the books I finished when I publish my wrap up for that readathon.  Thank you for reading and following my blog and please ...  Stay tuned!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon TBR List


It is only a few small days away from one of the most exciting reading events in history. Dewey's 24 hour readathon starts at 7:00AM April 28th in my neck of the woods, and ends at 6:55AM April 29th. Here is an explanation of the event I clipped from the website, as it explains everything better than I would be able to.

"For 24 hours, we read books, post to our blogs, Twitters, Instagrams, Litsy, Facebook, Goodreads and MORE about our reading, and visit other readers’ homes online. We also participate in mini-challenges throughout the day. It happens twice a year, in April and in October."

This will be my second attempt at the whole 24 hour readathon, so hopefully I am a little wiser and know a little bit about pacing myself. I also have some family members cheering me on. My sister out in the USofA has entered the readathon, and my son (who hasn't entered but is cheering me on anyways) will be joining me for most of my reading time. This year the goal is to read a million pages in 24 hours. Very neat. Interested to see if it can be done! There is still plenty of time if you would like to join this event. You won't be sorry if you do. Go here to sign up and find out more about the event.


I have finally decided what I will be reading. As I am also participating in the #SpringHorror readathon that overlaps the 24 hour readathon, I decided to take a break from horror for 24 hours. Not because I am tired of it, but because in the wee hours of the morning, when all is dark and I am the only one wandering the house, my imagination doesn't need any help making me a little jumpy. Remember, coffee will be my friend these 24 hours, and my thoughts may not be clear. So I decided to continue my reading into the the fantastic land of Xanth. It is fun reading ... easy reading. Perfect for the readathon. My TBR list looks something like this...

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These are books 4, 5, and 6 in the Xanth series by Piers Anthony. I will continue my journey for 24 hours in the Magical Land of Xanth and 24 hours will fly by. One change I am adding from the last readathon I did, is that I am scheduling regular breaks in my reading schedule. Let's face it, I am not as young as I used to be, and when I am up passed my bedtime, I need to give my tired eyes a rest. So, here is my unveiling of my TBR 24 Hour Reading Schedule!

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I know, I know. It doesn't look like much but I will tell you, when I start to read and stroke off the pages I read, and the hours are counting down, this little preparation of mine helps me immensely! And it just looks cool. As you can see, I have included a couple of breaks in the normal hours of the day, just so my family members will know I am still alive and kicking. Then, in the home stretch, the 30 minute breaks placed strategically where last time, I was struggling to stay awake. All in all, it will be fun to attempt, and I am truly looking forward to it this weekend. Please follow along as I will be sending my updates via: Twitter and the occasional Instagram.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

They Feed by Jason Parent


As I posted in a previous blog, I am currently reading books for the Spring Into Horror Readathon. I had a few books picked and then I saw a post from a readathon member that a publisher (Sinister Grin Press) is releasing a book for all attendees of this readathon. It looked pretty good and the synopsis was intriguing, so I asked for a copy to read during the readathon. I was not disappointed.

"The night uncovers all we wish not to see.

A troubled man enters a dusky park before sunset. A young woman follows, hidden in shadow. Both have returned to the park to take back something the past has stolen from them, to make right six long years of suffering, and to find justice or perhaps redemption—or maybe they’ll settle for some old-fashioned revenge.

But something evil is alive and awake in those woods, creatures that care nothing for human motivations. They’re driven by their own insatiable need: a ravenous, bottomless hunger.

The campgrounds are full tonight, and the creatures are starving. Before the night is over, they will feed."

I have never read anything from Mr. Parent before, so I had no idea what to expect once I began my reading journey into They Feed. Early on, in the first chapter, the author grabbed my attention and then never let go, forcing me to witness his evil entity grow, as little by little, more information was released to us, about the unknown happenings in the woods. The release of small bits of information works well for the reader. It helps us feel what the poor souls in the book are feeling, who are up against a horror they know nothing about.

The story is reminiscent of a throwback to the days of the "creature feature" But this one is much more horrifying than the days of old. Mr. Parent strings a story together with just enough character development to make you care for the victims, and the heroes, although, that is also unclear. Throughout the story, the characters are not clearly labeled as hero or villain, and this changes throughout as well. Confusion ensues, which is also what the characters in the story are feeling. The author writes to allow the reader total immersion into the plot. You are kept at a loss as to who, if anyone, will survive this long night of survival, and this keeps you turning pages until the very shocking end.

This book was well written, delivers exactly what it promises and then some. The gory scenes are grisly and descriptive, and more than once I found myself saying "did I just read that?" to myself. A perfect read while camping in late autumn, when the evenings are long, cold and dark. I recommend this book for anyone who wants a great read, which will have you staring at the shadows in the woods, wondering what exactly is out there, making that the dark.


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creepy owls out of 5!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon April 2018


It is done!  I officially enrolled myself into the Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon.  This is not my first attempt at reading for a length of 24 hours for this read-a-thon.  Last year, April 2017, I was also a participant, and my son was eager to do it with me.  I lasted 19 hours straight, and then I was done.  He could have easily finished, but because I was asleep, he decided to call it quits as well.  But in those 19 hours we had a ton of fun!  This is such a well done readathon, so many cheerleaders, lots of mini challenges, and a great time to connect with so many interesting people.  It goes by so quickly!

This year I am lucky to have my sister join me in my quest to read for 24 hours.  I am in Canada, and she is in the US, but we start at the same time.  This is the first time she will have participated in any kind of readathon so I am excited for her as well.  She will be updating on Facebook, so you can wish her luck if you wish.  Personally, I will be placing my updates hourly on Twitter through Goodreads and other occasional updates on Instagram.

I have not yet made up a TBR list for the day, but because it is running in conjunction with the #SpringHorror RAT, I will also need to adjust that list.  My only dilemma is if I continue to read horror throughout the 24 hour RAT, or read something a little more light and fun.  I do have some time to think about it.

The main issue here is that I am a sloooow reader.  I read slow, but I do immerse myself into every book and take on the qualities of each character.  I have always done this as a young lad, and reading has taken me to some very interesting lands and places of the imagination I have never dreamed of.  But I digress... I read approximately 36 pages an hour.  If I take a ten minute break (to check out the mini challenges and what other folks are reading and posting) I will read less than that. Plus an approximate total of two hours to eat and other sustaining stuff, I estimate the 24 hours will be whittled down to (10 minutes x 24 hours) + (120 minutes to eat meals) = 6 hours - 24 hours = 18 hours of actual reading time.  18 x 30 pages = approximately 540 pages of reading.  That is 2 good books.  And I am absolutely ok with that!  Believe me when I say you want to take time to immerse yourself into social online fun of this readathon.  It isn't a race.  It is time to test your reading stamina and see if you can still stay awake for 24 hours straight.

There is also time for you to join as well if you would like to be involved at all.  You don't have to be a reader.  You can host a mini challenge or sign up for cheerleader duties.  If you are so inclined, please click here to find out more about this twice a year readathon, including its roots and why it still continues today.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill


This was my first outing with author Joe Hill.  I read this as part of the Spring Into Horror Readathon 2018. I know he has at least two more books authored out there, but this is the one I chose as my very first read.  Heart Shaped Box is the title.  I really wanted to like this book and the author.  And I did... for the most part.  Let me explain.

The author was able to create a great creepy story that kept me wanting to keep turning the pages until the story seemed to run out of steam.  The antagonist the author created (Craddock) is as evil and unpredictable as any of the famous historical baddies ever invented.  He is the glue that keeps this book hauntingly interesting.  That along with the in depth character development, makes you actually care about what might happen to these unlucky and witless souls who didn't bargain for what they were actually getting when they bought a haunted dead guys suit on Amazon.

The story escalates pretty quickly, and through introduction and back story of some earlier mentioned characters, the plot starts to assemble the puzzle pieces of this weird and disturbing tale.  The characters are set up against a number of inventive road blocks which make for a very interesting read.

But without spoiling anything for you readers out there, the story fizzles out at a very key point in the story.  I found myself waiting and hoping for ... something!  But the something never came.  Unfortunately this is what ruined it for me.  Others may find this suitable but this was the deal breaker for me.  I am still interested in reading the other books Joe has written as I found his writing fresh, exciting, graphic, unsettling, yet easy to read.  A great idea, well written, but for me, didn't take me where I was hoping I would go.

3 Screenshot at 2018-04-07 21-39-31Screenshot at 2018-04-07 21-39-31Screenshot at 2018-04-07 21-39-31Creepy Owls out of 5