Which hour was most daunting for you? Hour 21 - that's when I crawled into bed hoping to stay awake for a while and read. I didn't last long.
Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, and 11/22/63 by Stephen King
Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Be prepared for plan B if there happens to be technical snafu's. It seemed like you were prepared, so when there were issues, looks like you all went around them quickly. Bravo for that.
What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I thought it all went well. Loved the hourly challenges.
How many books did you read? Two
What were the names of the books you read? Palisades Park by Alan Brennert and The Space Between by Diana Gabaldon
Which book did you enjoy most? Palisades Park by Alan Brennert
Which did you enjoy least? The Space Between by Diana Gabaldon
If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? N/A
How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I will definitely do it again and would be happy to host or cheerlead.
Our challenge his hour was to turn to page 35 of our current read and use the 3rd sentence on that page to be the beginning sentence in a new story/poem/etc. that we create ourselves. Here is what I came up with:
I am reading The Space Between by Diana Gabaldon. Page 35(ish – on an e-reader), 3rd sentence is:
“Oui?” Sister Eustacia took the note with the same care with which it was proffered.
Here’s my writing:
“Oui?” Sister Eustacia took the note with the same care with which it was proffered. “I see we are passing notes again instead of completing your French lesson. Well, Mr. Jacob, let’s just see what was so important that you had to cause a disturbance within the entire classroom.” Sister Eustacia walks to the front of the classroom, stopping at the very front. As every eye looks her way, she proceeds to unfold the note and without looking at it herself, holds the paper above her head for everyone to see.
The entire room begins to laugh, giving Sister Eustacia the feeling that the joke is on her. Upon further review, the sister realizes that the paper is completely blank. “What is the meaning of this, Mr. Jacob?”
“Absolutely nothing! Renee asked for a piece of paper to finish her lesson and I was just passing her a blank piece. Ne pas sauter aux conclusions trop rapidement. You might not want to jump to conclusions too quickly, Sister Eustacia!”
Here's my answers: Mid-Event Survey 1. What are you reading right now? Palisades Park by Alan Brennert
2. How many books have you read so far? Just one but I am about to finish it up.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? The Space Between by Diana Gabaldon. It's her newest novella and only 100 pages!
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Oddly no. It just worked out that I got to have the day alone and I am a reading fool!
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Not too much but I did manage to spill half my lunch on the floor. I got the little floor vacuum out and read while I vacuumed it up! Multitasking at its finest.
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How well it is managed. Not really surprised by it, mostly in awe.
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? I can't really think of anything unless you could automatically have a beer and pizza sent to us a meal times. I'm sure that's an amazing task considering you have hundreds (HUNDREDS) participating in this great event.
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Nothing different, but I might consider joining as a cheerleader next time.
9. Are you getting tired yet? Sadly, I was tired before I started. I ended up only sleeping for about 2 1/2 hour last night because.....I was up reading late. (palm plant onto forehead)
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? Have an alarm set at the top of each hour to remind yourself to take a break, check the website, recharge, reload then...go read.
For this challenge we are sporting pictures of the edition of a book we are currently reading. Just so happens this book that I am reading Something More: Excavating Your Authentic Self by Sarah Ban Breathnach is a first edition.
Here's a recipe right out of Jan Karon's wonderful Mitford series: From Jan Karon's Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader Esther's Orange-Marmalade Layer Cake (Yields: 1 cake, 10 to 12 servings)
Ingredients for the Cake: 3 cups cake flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup (2 sticks) softened unsalted butter 2 cups granulated sugar 3 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten lightly 1 tablespoon grated orange zest 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
Ingredients for the Orange Syrup: 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Ingredients for the Filling: 1 cup orange marmalade
Ingredients for the Frosting: 3/4 cup well-chilled heavy cream 3 tablespoons sugar 3/4 cup well-chilled sour cream
To Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans, line with parchment or waxed paper, and butter and flour the paper, shaking out the excess.
In a bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter until combined, add the sugar, a little at a time, and beat the mixture until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, orange zest, and vanilla. Beat in 1/3 of the dry ingredients alternately with 1/2 of the buttermilk until combined well. Add half the remaining dry ingredients and the remaining buttermilk and beat until combined well. Finally, beat in the remaining dry ingredients until mixture is smooth.
Evenly divide the batter between the pans, smooth the surface, rap each pan on the counter to expel any air pockets or bubbles, then transfer to the oven. Bake for 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to racks and cool in the pans for 20 minutes.
To Make the Orange Syrup: Meanwhile, make the orange syrup: In a bowl, stir together the orange juice and sugar until sugar is dissolved. With a toothpick or wooden skewer, poke holes at 1/2-inch intervals in the cake layers and spoon the syrup over each layer, allowing the syrup to be completely absorbed before adding the remaining. Let layers cool completely.
To Make the Filling: In a small saucepan set over moderate heat, heat the marmalade until just melted. Let cool 5 minutes.
To Make the Frosting: In a bowl, whisk the heavy cream with the sugar until it forms firm peaks. Add the sour cream, a little at a time, and whisk until of spreading consistency.
To Assemble the Cake: Arrange one of the layers on a cake plate, carefully peel off the waxed paper, then spread 2/3 of the marmalade over the top, smoothing it into an even layer. Invert the remaining layer onto the top of the first layer, peel off the waxed paper and spoon the remaining marmalade onto the center of it, leaving a 1 1/4-inch border around the edge. Frost the sides and top of the border with the frosting, leaving the marmalade on top of the cake exposed. Or if you prefer, frost the entire cake, adding the marmalade as a garnish on top. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
Well, I didn't get as much read this past hour thanks to a bulimic cat yakking on a throw (or is that throw-up) rug, the carnage that is/was 1/2 of my left overs from Cheesecake Factory, and my husband "the cowboy" texting me pictures of blooming cacti and pregnant, frolicking deer. Now that we have that bit of bizarre-ness behind us...let's recap what we accomplished last hour:
Currently reading: Palisades Park by Alan Brennert (still...)
The challenge for hour 6 (yes six! I've lasted this long...let's keep going) is "The best of your reading year". Picking 3 categories, list three of the best books of the reading year: The Best Non-Fiction: The Astronaut's Wives Club by Lily Koppel The Best Historic Fiction: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon The Best YA Fiction: Fool's Gold by Philippa Gregory
Here are my stats for this past hour:
Currently reading: Palisades Park by Alan Brennert
The Read-a-Thon has begun: Checking in with a kick-off post: 1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Helotes, TX right outside San Antonio 2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? The Space Between by Diana Gabaldon 3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Dr. Pepper twizzlers. 4) Tell us a little something about yourself! Married to the best cowboy in the world. Project Manager, crafty scrappers, avid reader, grungy gardener and Cowgirl extraordinaire. 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 am new to this and looking forward to the challenges!