Posted by: Sally Ingraham | December 1, 2009

Read. Read. Read-A-Thon!!

Readathon My first Read-A-Thon is swiftly approaching! Our host, Bethany of Dreadlock Girl, posted more info and suggestions for prep and book choices recently. She recommended finding short books that were light – chic lit or YA – and stocking up on lots of snacks and fun beverages.

I have a rather late work shift the night before (Midnight Madness Sale…) so I don’t plan to get up excessively early on Saturday – maybe 7ish. Then, since it’s how these things go, I’ll be reading for as close to 24 hours as possible, blogging a little, and cheering on my fellow participants. Sounds fun, right? It does to me, anyway!

I have a good amount of books hanging around my house that I plan to pick from, but just for good measure I went to the library this morning and picked out a couple more. Looking at my tentative pile now, I think I missed the memo about ‘light reading’…!


The short story stack should be easy enough, and I’m pretty sure the Persephone titles will be quick and fun (YES, I got my first Persephone books – Flush, and Cheerful Weather for the Wedding!!!) I don’t expect much trouble fromThe Next Queen of Heaven either.

As for the others… Well, Bethany did say the most important thing is to read books that you really want to read, and I definitely want to read all of them – I may not get through them all during the Read-A-Thon though!

by Eva Figes is about a day in the life of Claude Monet – it’s supposed to be luminous and richly descriptive (also “unhurried” which may be not quite what I’m looking for at the moment…!)

I may not even touch Cat’s Cradle, but I figured I would toss it in there just in case. 🙂

I’ve never heard of Mary Wesley, author of Second Fiddle, but this quote by the Washington Post Book World – “Charm being in short supply in modern fiction, it’s no wonder that the witty novels of Mary Wesley have been greeted with delight” as well as the promise of a cast of “eccentric minor characters” caused me to shrug and try it.

A Coin in Nine Hands, a book about an attempt assassination of Mussolini, with a series of secondary stories set in Rome, “city of life and imagination”, written by the French author Marguerite Yourcenar – “one of the great figures of modern French letters”… I’m intrigued.

More Bolaño so soon? The Skating Rink is the only book of his that my library owns, so I might as well. And it’s about a murder! In a seaside town!

I was delighted to find another book by Denis Johnson – Nobody Move -since I enjoyed his novel Fiskadoro so much earlier this year. An outrageous thriller about a cat-and-mouse game over $2.3 million, set in Bakersfield, CA. Could be good.

And finally, dare I try Toni Morrison, via A Mercy? I’ve never read anything by her, although she is constantly shuffling about my list of authors to explore. I put down half a dozen other books about slavery, but this one just seemed to grab me. I’ll have to find out why.

So that’s my stack. We’ll see what I get through. Considering the slow and methodical way my reading has been going this year – I’ve been averaging about 3 a month – I am super excited about a STACK, and the idea that I will actually get to read a bunch of books on Saturday is fabulous.

Wish me luck (and tell me what you think of my selection…!) 🙂


  1. You have some great choices on your list, and not just for a readathon! I especially think the Vonnegut is a good choice as it’s a very quick and fluid read (easy to polish off in a few hours). And that’s a great Morrison to start with as it’s actually very accessible, and again, another good choice for the readathon because it’s pretty straightforward and easily finished in an hour or two (but extremely moving nonetheless!). I’ve read and reviewed both on my site, so if you’re interested you can read more of my thoughts there!

    Good luck and I’m sure you’ll have tons of fun!

  2. Thanks for the boost to my confidence Steph! I didn’t want to mar my first experience with Morrison by picking a weaker book, or feeling like I rushed it. Glad I made a good choice!

  3. Don’t be surprised if the Julia Strachey takes longer than you think it should. I agree with Steph the Vonnegut will go fast.

    Have fun.

  4. Have fun, Sarah! Your stack looks great. I had signed up for this readathon but just recently something came up so I had to opt out. 😦 I’ll be checking out your progress the day after.. enjoy!

  5. Thomas – Oh yes, now I remember your review of the Strachey book. We’ll see how it goes! 🙂

    Claire – I saw on Bethany’s blog that you had changed your plans… Sad. There will be other read-a-thons, of course. Hope you have a great day, regardless of what you’re up to. 😉

  6. Tempting stack, Sarah! And given other things you read, I don’t think you have reason to worry about ANY of Toni Morrison’s books, although I haven’t read A Mercy yet myself. But I think her style is gorgeous. Good luck!

  7. Emily – Yay, I’m excited. I don’t know why I have never tried her before!

  8. ANOTHER Read-a-Thon??? Where have I been?

    This will be a great opportunity for me to catch up on my reading. The Savage Detectives is definitely going on my list. I can’t wait to hear how The Skating Rink turned out.

  9. EL Fay – And I can’t wait to see what you think of The Savage Detectives! Glad you’re joining. 🙂

  10. Good luck for the r.r.readathon! Great choices there!

  11. Thanks! You too. 🙂

  12. I think that having a lot of short books is a plus. I picked out mostly YA and graphic novels for this year…should make for some enjoyable reading. Happy read-a-thoning!

  13. Mary Wesley is wonderful, her books are funny, sympathetic and suprisingly shocking all at once.
    And I’m glad to see some rumpole stories in your pile.

  14. You have a wonderful pile, although I definitely wouldn’t call “A Mercy” light. 🙂 I’ve had “Nobody Move” on my TBR list for a while, so I hope you like it. Good luck with all your books!

  15. Ronnica – I meant to get some graphic novels but didn’t get on the ball. Oh well. Thanks!

    Adevotedreader – I LOVED the Mary Wesley book. I want to read everything else she’s written now. 🙂

    J. S. Payton – Yeah, I’m a little nervous about “A Mercy” but I’m going to dive into it next…!

  16. […] brought this book home from my library in December, as part of my stack of books for the Dec. 5th read-a-thon. I never got to it, but I found that I couldn’t forget about it […]

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