My sister and husband are living with a broken air conditioner right now, and with temperatures poised to be in the 90s and up, and the inside of their home tending to be hotter than outdoors, I’m going to be hosting them for much of the next few days. I like them very much, and so I’d like to be a good host, which probably means spending time with them, as opposed to ignoring them while I read books, so while I’ll officially sign on tomorrow morning when I get up, I don’t anticipate getting many hours of reading done.
For the past couple of years, MotherReader’s 48 hour book challenge has signified the start of summer for me. Now that I’m back in academia instead of K-12, I actually feel as though a third of my summer has passed me by. This is the start of the rest of the summer, this time. It runs from 7 am Friday to 7 am Monday, and you choose a 48 hour block within that window of time to do your reading. I’ll be running 7 am Saturday to 7 am Monday. What will I be reading?
By Richard Peck: Are You in the House Alone?, Father Figure, Ghosts I Have Been, Remembering the Good Times
By Patricia McCormack: Cut, Sold
By Jacqueline Wilson: The Illustrated Mum
By Robin McKinley: The Blue Sword, The Hero and the Crown
By Gail Carson Levine: The Two Princesses of Bamarre
By Azar Nafisi: Reading Lolita in Tehran
By Holly Black: Ironside
By Christopher Golden: The Ferryman
By Herbie Brennan: Faerie Wars
By Meg Rosoff: How I Live Now
By Susan Beth Pfeffer: Life As We Knew It
By Catherine Gilbert Murdock: Dairy Queen, The Off-Season
By Sarah Miller: Miss Spitfire: Reaching Hellen Keller
By Laurie Halse Anderson: Fever 1793
By Shannon Hale: Book of a Thousand Days
By Kirby Larson: Hattie Big Sky
By Russell Freedman: The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marion Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
By Maya Angelou: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Do I expect to read all 24 of those in that time? No, but it’s always good to have some extra books lying around in case you’re not in the right headspace for one of the ones you pick up.
Will you be joining me in the challenge?
Total Time Spent Reading: 9 hrs 14 min
Total Pages: 1120
Books Completed: Death’s Daughter, French Kiss, Stop Pretending, The Queen of Cool, Accidental Love.
Time Spent Reading It: 1 hr 31 min
Another cute, fun read. (Aside from Stop Pretending, which had me sniffling a good bit, that’s what I was really going for this weekend.) Marisa, a girl with a penchant for fighting, accidentally switches cell phones with Rene, a nerdy boy from another school. When they meet to switch back, she realizes she kinda likes him. This was a very sweet book. I kind of like this type of romance better than French Kiss – sweet, youngish, with all of the problems externally generated. (I’d much rather have parental disapproval be an obstacle in a romance than the fact that both of the love interests are incredibly moody, for example.)
Total Time Spent Reading: 9 hrs 14 min
Even though I technically have another hour and a half in my 48 hours, that’s probably going to do it for me. I’ll be back with an official summary later this evening.
I was all, “But that’s not reading!”
But you know, this is a FUN thing, so if I need to do something else to keep it fun and not work, so be it.
There’s less than 4 hours left in my time, so I don’t think I’m going to make it to the 12 hour mark, but that’s okay. I still did a lot more reading than is typical of me on a weekend. (Though I hope the amount that is “typical reading” for me changes once it’s properly summer.)
Time Spent Reading It: 1 hr 15 min
I really enjoyed this book. It surprised me in many ways. I’d never read anything by Cecil Castellucci before, but I know a bit about her (I almost interviewed her once, then decided I couldn’t take the time to do the interview justice) and expected her main characters to be kind of hipstery thrift shoppers with cool glasses and entertainingly affected speech patterns. You know, the kind of people I like to have as friends. Instead, I found out that the Queen of Cool was ACTUALLY, you know, cool, like, popular-kid cool. At first I was disappointed, but as I read on, it was really refreshing. There are tons of teen books about not fitting in, not being part of the popular crowd, being a nerd and a loser (and let’s face it, the book-reading population probably skews heavily towards the less “glamorous” kids – I know I was horribly unglamorous as a middle and high schooler except for the few times I tried really hard, when I was fabulous) but you don’t get many books from the popular girl’s perspective. It’s always nice to be reminded that, oh yeah, popular kids are people too. And then, it’s also nice to read about all the stuff “cool” kids do that you didn’t and not feel like you were actually missing anything at all by being unpopular, because you gave your friends silly awards and did absurd fashion shows from your childhood dress-up box with the boys who were your friends and invented silly games and generally made your own fun. A good, fast, fun read. I recommend it.
Total Time Spent Reading: 7 hrs 43 min
I haven’t been keeping up with my blogging/networking, but I think all told it comes to less than an hour. Maybe closer to half an hour, even.
Next up: Accidental Love by Gary Soto
And a little time reading.
Two mini-reviews for you:
Book: French Kiss by Sarra Manning (Diary of a Crush: Book 1)
Time Spent Reading It: 2 hrs 7 min
It’s a cute, quick read. It falls squarely in the category of romance, which means there’s not much of a plot besides the romance part. That made me a bit sad, because romance on its own just isn’t that interesting to me. I’m much more in favor of adventure with a little romance. This was just a sixteen year old British young woman bopping around France with a bunch of 19 year olds and having a bizarre, intense attraction to a moody art boy. If you’re looking for a sweet romance, it’s a good read. It treads carefully in the department of sex, having the main character emphasize how she knows she’s not ready for it while she’s in the midst of all of these university-aged other kids who are hooking up all the time. I think it’s a very good perspective.
After Death’s Daughter and French Kiss, I was ready for something more serious…
Book: Stop Pretending by Sonya Sones
Time Spent Reading It: 29 min
Boy, howdy, did this one take me in a new direction. This is a verse novel about a twelve-year-old girl whose older sister has a breakdown. It’s based on Sonya Sones’s actual experience when her sister had a breakdown. It made me cry a lot. Mental illness is an important issue to me, and reading about it always kinda pokes me in a vulnerable spot and is a bit like pushing down on a bruise – it doesn’t hurt when you’re not touching it, it’s easy to forget it’s there, but then when you do touch it, boy is it intense. I was so happy to read in the note Sonya Sones wrote at the end of the book that her sister is married and a librarian and stuff. It was such a nice thing to know, that her sister wasn’t forever stuck in a mental hospital unable to connect with anyone or do anything besides just be crazy. (I know it’s not PC to call folks crazy but when you’re on the inside looking out, it’s easier to call it like you see it.)
Total Time Spent Reading: 6 hrs 28 min
Next Up: The Queen of Cool by Cecil Castellucci
Non-48HBC activities have included sleeping, eating, and trying to find a crochet pattern to make as a present for a friend. (In the end, I found something in my stash of already-made items to give her, yay.) Maybe watching Pushing Daisies, too?
I’m just updating as I complete each book.
So, let’s begin the update itself.
Book: Death’s Daughter by Amber Benson
Time Spent: 3 hrs 52 min
Total Time Spent on Challenge: 3 hrs 52 min
Death’s Daughter is a fun, quick read. (Less than 400 pages.) It’s Amber Benson’s solo debut. It’s supernatural chick-lit, which I’m not sure if that’s an actual genre, but if it isn’t, it should be. (I know it’s a subgenre of romance novels.) It read like a less-graphic Mary Janice Davidson novel. It provoked me to think a lot about the whole … is it a genre? trope? thing… with 20-something apparently-shallow ladies finding out that no, they’re actually very competent individuals. For a fun read, it brought in some good weighty themes like family (the inevitably of being part of them, and the ways in which that’s both pleasant and un) and women’s sexuality. A good time all around. Expect a more detailed review later.
French Kiss by Sarra Manning (Diary of a Crush: Book 1)
I’ll be starting at 8:15 pm local time tonight and continuing until 8:15 pm local time Sunday. I will be taking breaks for eating, sleeping, and perhaps a bit of socializing, but I brought no grading home (yes, there’s still a little to do) and have no intention of spending any portion of the weekend cleaning.
Stay tuned for my book reviews. I’m going to experiment with writing reviews short enough to tweet, but I will probably post longer ones here, as well.
First up: Death’s Daughter by Amber Benson.
See you on the other side!