Tag Archives: 48HBC

48 Hour Book Challenge: The End Results!

I am now done the Forty-Eight Hour Book Challenge! I have accomplished:

  • 860 minutes reading
  • 355 minutes blogging
  • 90 minutes networking

Sum total: 21 hours, 45 minutes, 3334 pages, and 14 books! I read,:

And here’s a visual or two:

This is my first year, and I think I’ll definitely try it again next year! I hope to be organized enough to donate to a charity per either hours or books read, too. I decided to sign up at the last minute Friday night, and to use just the books I already had at home.

It’s an eclectic mix of books, and only about a third of it is things that I’ve deliberately chosen. All of the library books I have out right now are adult, not kids or YA (which is very unusual for me, considering which department I run!) but I’ve just come off the heavy duty reading of being part of a local book award committee. After six months of a near-steady diet of new Canadian middle school fiction and nonfiction, the lack of restriction is a giddy thing (but don’t get me wrong, there were some fantastic books!). Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to read books that have been waiting for me at home, and library books I’ve had out for a while before bringing home everything else that’s been piling up on my mental to-read list, so that factored into what I had on hand. I also had a pile of YA ARCs that are going to end up in the teen prize bag at my library this summer, so those also got added to the mix, and were a big chunk of what I read. Next year, I think I’ll try to assemble a stack of books I’ve been dying to read but haven’t go to yet, and see what that does to my numbers.

I’ve known for a long time that I read ridiculously fast. *shrug* It’s not speed-reading, just my natural pace. I think it’s some fluke of genetics, because I always have. And it used to annoy me as a kid, because I couldn’t understand why people wouldn’t believe that I’d finished that book already. I don’t think my retention is quite as high as some people who read slower, but I have a pretty lousy head for straight memorization and recall on random facts in general. It does mean I re-read books I love multiple times, which a lot of people don’t quite get.

And apparently, comparing my blogging time to my reading time, I write slow. It’s not my typing speed, either. This challenge has been good for me in forcing me to sit down and blog. I find it’s really (really) easy to slide into a habit of thinking, oh, I’ll write about that later, because the reading is the easy part. Now to just make sure I blog about those last five books… but not tonight!

48HBC: The Home Stretch…. and we’re done!

I got a late start this morning, but was aiming for another four or five book dent in my pile! I slept in–I have no illusions about winning, since I am not giving up sleep. (I needed catch-up time this weeekend if I’m going to make it through next week.) I do admit to standing in the middle of the kitchen, making coffee and waiting for toast with a book in my hand, however.

11:45 -1:00 Blogging (15 min) and networking (60 min). I needed to spend some time wandering about online and checking out everyone else’s blogs, and let my brain digest the books I read last night.

1:00 – 1:35 The Blue Helmet by William Bell (oh so good! nuanced look at the inherent concept of violence)

2:00 – 3:15 Blogging (some breaks for food and fiddling with my itunes playlist beforehand).

3:15 – 4:10 Sister Wife (also amazing! child brides, fictional story loosely based on Bountiful, BC)

4:25 – 4:45, 5:45 – 6:50 Daughter of Flames by Zoe Marriott (solid fantasy with a kick-ass girl leader to save the day)

7:00 – 7:15 Networking break!

7:15 – 7:45 Five Minutes More by Darlene Ryan (relentlessly painful look at a girl whose father has just died.)

7:45 – 8:15, 8:45-10:15, The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan (Totally targeted at the Supernatural crowd, but a surprisingly good brothers-who-fight-demons story)

Annnnd I’m done! Summary post to follow when I have caught my breathe.

Wart by Anna Myers

Book nine of the 48-hour Book Challenge binge!

wart_small You could say that it started when Stewar’s cousin declared that he needed to be popular, but would have to ditch his long-time friends Ham and Rachel to do it. But things really started to change when Stewart and Ham’s art teacher showed up hiding in the supply closet, and had to take some time off. Because that’s when Wanda Gibbs, the subsitute came to town. And now she’s a) stuck Stewart with the nickname Wart, b) is dating his dad, and c) is probably a witch who turns her own son Ozgood into a frog periodically to punish him. She’s helped him get a spot on the basketball team, but is brainwashing his little sister. Thanks to her intervention, the most popular girl in the school is interested in him, but now she’s probably going to marry his dad. What’s a guy to do?

It took me a bit to get into this one, but it was a pretty funny, solid middle school read, all things considered. The plot plays off the is-she-or-isn’t-she-a-witch uncertainty quite well right up until the end, Stewart’s geeky friends are awesome in their right–Ham is kind of clueless skinny kid who’s alwasy eating, and Rachel is the sort of girl who collects esoteric bits of trivia and has an elaborate training system worked out to win a local pet show. And his little sister Georgia will throw temper tantrums on demand for Stewart–until Wanda shows up. Then there’s Wanda’s son Ozgood, who plays big band music lous enough to shake the walls, and says things like “I am undone” when he’s upset. An oddball cast and amusing plot–it’s too bad the cover looks like a do-or-die sports story.

Inferno by Robin Stevenson

Book eight of the 48-hour Book Challenge binge! I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while, but award committee reading and library books with other people on the hold list have taken precedence. (And thank you again, Robin, for getting me an ARC!)

inferno-small Dante doesn’t really have any friends at her new high school. Last year, she didn’t need to–she had her best friend Beth, who, though no-one else knew, became her girlfriend. that was when Dante was still Emily, before she changed her name legally. She tells her mocking English teacher that she picked her new name because high school is hell. That goes over about as well as you would expect. Though it’s not the real reason, Dante has a lot to deal with right now. Her mom is fussing about her attitutde and that she’s cut off all her hair, and has signed her up for a social skills group for teenage girls. Beth has cut off all contact. Her English teacher is a bully, and her school is full of brain-dead stereotypes. But then a strange girl shows up at school, and mutely slips her a note reading “WOOF, WOOF. YOU ARE NOT A DOG. WHY ARE YOU GOING TO OBEDIENCE SCHOOL?” Dante is fascinated by both the girl, Parker, and the note. She quickly becomes drawn into Parker and her friends’ anti-authoritarian hijinxs. But as time goes on, Dante begins to see that Parker’s boyfriend is abusive, and may be willing to go much further to change the world than anyone else suspects.

I think this is probably the strongest of Robin Stevenson’s books that I’ve read so far–she’s really cut down on the number of themes and subplots in this one, which makes for a much stronger story overall. Fortuitously, it’s also got the coolest cover–although I’m not taking A Thousand Shades of Blue into consideration since I haven’t read it yet. It’s nice to see a book with a gay teenager protagonist where her orientation is essential to who she is and to the plot, but it’s not a coming-out story. The tension and the stakes mount as the story progressses, and the characters are all unique, believable individuals. It left me wanting more of Dante’s story at the end, but not in an unfinished way–which is a good thing.

Girl from Mars by Tamara Bach

Book seven of the 48-hour Book Challenge binge!

girl-from-marsMiriam is tired of her boring life, her boring town, and the inbetween-ness of being fifteen. She wants something to happen–and that’s just what she gets with the new girl, Laura. Miriam is oddly fascinated with Laura, but it’s not until Laura kisses her while they’re both stoned that she realizes why.

This is a hard book to blurb, because not a lot really happens–everything unfolds in a cloud of ennui and a series of slow, deliberate steps where small things take on huge emotional and symbolic weight. It’s like CanLit, but German! I am going to assume it’s a good translation (by Shelley Tanaka), because the text definitely has its own distinctive voice and town. I also appreciated that it was definitely set in Germany, and not translated into some generic North American setting. Way more casual smoking than I’m used to seeing–maybe it’s a European thing? I would have liked more closure at the ending (yes, I was disappointed when I didn’t find out why Laura’s obssessed with gumball machines) but I think that’s more indicative of my tastes as a reader than any inherent flaw in the story. This book isn’t going to appeal to a wide audience because it reads like high literary fiction to me, but I think that when it finds the right readers, they’re going to love it fiercely.

48HBC: And we’re into the second half…

11:00 pm, after food and a hot shower, and I think I can make it through at least one more book tonight. If not two.

11:15 pm-12:10 am, Inferno by Robin Stevenson

12:10 am -1:10 am, Wart by Anna Myers

1:10 am – 1:15 am, blogging

Total thus far: nine books, 13 hours and twenty minutes. How many books and hours can I cram into tomorrow? We shall see!

48HBC: The Almost Half-way Update

Official Start Time: 10:15 pm, Friday, June 5, 2009.


10:15-11:15 pm: Castration Celebration by Jake Wizner

11:15-11:30 Blogging time

11:30-12:30 Sea Change by Aimee Friedman

10:00 -11:30, Death in the Air by Shane Peacock

11:30 – 12:15, The War of Jenkins’ Ear by Michael Morpurgo

12:15 – 1:00, 1:30-2:10, Frost by Nicole Luiken

2:10 – 4:30, Massive blogging catch-up time

4:30 – 5:15, Networking break!

5:15 – 6:05, Yesterday’s Magic by Pamela F. Service

6:40 – 7:15, Girl from Mars by Tamara Bach

7:15 – 8:45, Massive blogging catch-up time

8:45-9:00, Networking break!

(9:00: break to bring in the plants because of the FROST WARNING. Gah.)

Books so far: Seven. Not as great as I’d hoped, BUT THE NIGHT IS STILL YOUNG!
Pages so far: 1579
Reading time: 420 min.
Blogging time: 225 min.
Total words blogged: Approximately 3,500. Because I am a crazy person. Also, I should switch to the desktop instead of the laptop because my wrists and mousing hand are sore.
Total time: 11 hours, 5 min.