A #24in48 Readathon Recap.

This past weekend, the lovely Rachel hosted a #24in48 reading marathon. The rules are simple: read your heart out over the course of the weekend. That’s it. That’s the rule. And the best thing about it (well, aside from all the reading) is that the rule is elastic. For instance, I include reading on Friday night because I view the “48” as the weekend, and my weekend starts on Friday after work. Also: mommying. Need to work that in there.

I did fairly well – I hit 18 hours. No, it’s not 24, and no, I didn’t get 6 books read like I did last time. I did learn a lot though. It was my first readathon with the new (hott) boyfriend around, and without my girls at the house this weekend, that means I was tag-teamed to help entertain the Xman quite a bit. I did warn Jeff that there was a readathon; next time I will have to be a bit firmer about blocking off time for Reading Only. But I still get Reading Ninja points for how I snuck so much in there. Here’s how it broke down:

Insomnia, by Stephen King. This is a re-read for me, and, surprisingly, it was an audiobook! I KNOW!! Audiobooks aren’t my thing. I have a hard time keeping track of what’s being said and so for new books, that can be an issue. Since this was a re-read (a re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-read might be closer to the truth, in fact), it worked wonderfully. It helped me knock out most of a book, and I advanced quite a bit on my Stephen King Re-Read project. I was able to listen to a good chunk in one ear Saturday morning when the three of us when for a four-mile hike at the park, and then off-and-on throughout the weekend as I completed housework and cleaned out part of my closet. (The closet is big and the project is everlasting. I’m beginning to suspect my closet is equivalent to the inside of Mary Poppins carpetbag.) Anyway, the book is still fantastic, the narrator was good, and the delivery actually worked really well for me. Good choice.

The Truth According To Us, by Annie Barrows. Kim bought this in hardcover because the author co-wrote one of our favorite of favorites, Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Or, as everyone really calls it, Potato Peel Pie. Seriously, I had to stop and think of the full title. I may not even be right. So I have this gigantic hardcover that I’m supposed to finish before Kim gets here in August and demands her book back. Problem was, I had a hard time getting into it. I dipped into the first few pages a few times during afternoons – I figured once I got hooked into the story, I wouldn’t care about working out my biceps holding the book up over my face before bed every night. Except…the story never caught me. I kept going, kept going, sure that Annie would find her rhythm. And the letters the main character wrote – those were good. Those were Potato Peel Pie. The problem was, traditional narrative kept popping up. And that was a huge mess. There was no rhythm at all, the book felt like it couldn’t decide which structure it wanted to follow, the narrative voices were disconnected – probably because the narration switched between characters, and not in a way that worked. It was disjointed and, frankly, needed a much better editor. What a disappointment. Still, it went down easy once I committed, and I knocked it out before my car maintenance appointment was even over. And now the beast is back on the shelf and a much lighter book resides on my nightstand. Thank god. 2 of 5 stars.

Ana of California, by Andi Teran. I was so skeptical about this book. A modern, Latina retelling of Anne of Green Gables?? How ambitious! And how liable to fail. You can’t retell Anne. It’s classic. It’s untouchable. And it’s not even out of fashion or out of place with wonky situations you can’t relate to. Leave it alone! …Except the buzz was good. So good and so everywhere. And the book went straight to paperback. And it was only $10. So I took a giant chance and grabbed it and started reading and…holy sheep, people! The writing is enchanting, the characters relatable, and the story stands on its own. There are enough nods to Anne that I can see why it has to be billed as a retelling: Ana’s an orphan, she goes to live with a single brother and sister on a farm, her new best friend lives close by, a boy calls her Curls, her hair is the bane of her existence, there’s a hair-fixing disaster… I get it. But it’s different enough that it’s Ana, not Anne, and that means everything to me. I can’t wait to finish it, but so far this is a 4 1/2, 5 star read. Which is why I was reading pages at the kitchen table, in the car, for hours at the pool, before bed and before work. I’m even skipping naps, people. My love for the story is serious. (Although Anne is still light years better. Ahem.)

I may not have hit the mark for 24 hours this weekend, but I did get a massive amount of reading done, and so much of it was filled with good writing and better stories. I can’t wait for the next #24in48!

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