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Robert Cormier – The Chocolate War

October 20, 2014

79. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (1974)

Length: 192 pages
Genre: Young Adult, General Fiction

Started: 14 September 2014
Finished: 17 September 2014

Where did it come from? The friends of the library booksale.
Why do I have it? I feel like it got mentioned on LibraryThing at some point, but it got pulled off the TBR shelf for Banned Books Week this year.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 13 January 2007.

Do I dare disturb
the universe? Not unless
you want to get beat.

Read the full summary and review

Fall Read-a-thon ’14: The Big, Fancy, Frequently-Updated Post!

October 18, 2014

Read-a-thon, hooray! I have been totally absent from my blog lately – this month has been super-busy at work and I just have not had the time or energy to be writing reviews. I’ve got a backlog of six at least. And today I’ll be ignoring my stack of exams that need grading and all of next week’s classes that need prepping, and just taking the chance to read, hooray!

I’ll be sticking with my one-post format that has worked so well for previous read-a-thons. (Now 95% less feed-reader-filling!) I’ll update it hourly (give or take), and keep my running totals at the bottom. Let’s get this nerdfest on the road!
________________________

Hour Zero – 7:55 am

Good morning, all! I am writing this at the last minute, because I totally forgot to prep this post yesterday. I did a bunch of other prep yesterday, though – I’ve got a huge stack of graphic novels, no library books that are due today, meals in the fridge, and snacks on hand! I still need to go make some breakfast, though – I woke up hungry! So it’s probably going to be an audiobook to start with, and then I’m going to dive into Isla and the Happily Ever After first.

And my answers to the Hour Zero meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Eastern US
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I usually make a stack, and then wind up totally ignoring it and pulling whatever catches my eye off my shelves. I do have an Unwritten and a Fables volume in my graphic novel stack, though, so that’ll be fun.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? I finally remembered to buy gummies. I always wind up craving gummy snacks during the readathon, and never have them on hand, but this year I’ve got gummy fruit slices.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! My superpower is that I’m not that allergic to mosquitos.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? This is my tenth time around (!!!), so I’ve probably done it all at some point. Although I might switch to audiobook and bake at some point today – there’s banana bread calling my name.
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Hour One: 8-9 am

Time spent reading this hour: 0:33
Time spent listening this hour: 0:15
Pages read this hour: 65
What book(s): Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins on paper, and Gregor and the Marks of Secret by Suzanne Collins on audio
Thoughts: Breakfast accomplished! (Tea and yogurt and granola and raspberries, yum.) I’m really liking Isla and the Happily…. It’s a perfect read-a-thon book – light and fun and fast. I was worried initially that the whole “Boy Crush doesn’t understand that Boy Best Friend is just Best Friend” was going to become a Thing for the rest of the book, which would have been disappointingly weak, but that got addressed by page 60, so yay!
_________________________

Hour Two: 9-10 am

Time spent reading this hour: 0:47
Pages read this hour: 97
What book(s): Isla and the Happily Ever After
Thoughts: I’m enjoying the heck this book. Sweet and light and romantic and just really good. Plus it’s a boarding school book! Time to go make myself some more tea, and then dive back in.
_________________________

Hour Three: 10-11 am

Time spent reading this hour: 0:00
Time spent listening this hour: 0:50
Pages read this hour: 0
What book(s): Gregor and the Marks of Secret
Thoughts: Whoops. While waiting for my tea to brew, I got distracted organizing my kitchen, and by the time I looked up, my tea was cool and it was almost the hour mark (but my spice cabinet looks awesome!). I also finally got out of my jammies and into real clothes – and my contacts in well before noon. Back to Isla!
_________________________

Hour Four: 11 am – 12 pm

Time spent reading this hour: 0:51
Pages read this hour: 103
What book(s): Isla and the Happily Ever After
Thoughts: Still really liking it. There’s some dramatic license taken with the way college acceptance letters are timed that’s bugging me, but mostly because it happens All The Time in teen lit and TV etc, and it’s not a hard thing to get right. But other than that: really good! I’m coming up on the end of the book, so I’m going to finish it, then go eat lunch.
_________________________

Hour Five: 12-1 pm

Time spent reading this hour: 0:33
Time spent listening this hour: 0:10
Pages read this hour: 79
What book(s): Finished Isla… and kept listining to Gregor…
Thoughts: First book down! It was an excellent choice for Readathon. Now I’m off to heat up lunch (a leftover calzone from earlier this week) and maybe pick up a graphic novel next.
_________________________

Hour Six: 1-2 pm

Time spent reading this hour: 0:18
Time spent listening this hour: 0:39
Pages read this hour: 19
What book(s): Read a bit of Dr. Mütter’s Marvels, which I’d started earlier this week, over lunch. Then switched back to Gregor… while I cleaned up.
Thoughts: Lunch accomplished, and a pot of chai tea concentrate is on the stove, making the house smell wonderful. It’s still only barely cool enough here in the evenings to be drinking chai, but that hasn’t stopped me yet… and making it myself means I can use decaf tea.
_________________________

Hour Seven: 2-3 pm

Time spent reading this hour: 0:19
Time spent listening this hour: 0:28
Pages read this hour: 52 (mas o menos; they’re not numbered.)
What book(s): The Unwritten, Vol. 9: The Unwritten Fables, and also more of Gregor and the Marks of Secret
Thoughts: Eeeee! Crossover of two of my favoritest comics! Plus I’ve got a big mug of chai, so now everything is awesome.
_________________________

Hour Eight: 3-4 pm

Time spent reading this hour: 0:29
Time spent listening this hour: 0:16
Pages read this hour: 92
What book(s): Finished The Unwritten.
Thoughts: Getting a little bit dozy – I didn’t get enough sleep last night, and this is my sleepy time of the afternoon anyways. Going to push through and start another novel, anyways. Probably Rose Under Fire? I read Code Name Verity during the last readathon, so it seems appropriate.
_________________________

Hour Nine: 4-5 pm

Time spent reading this hour: 0:26
Time spent listening this hour: 0:13
Pages read this hour: 39
What book(s): Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
Thoughts: So far, so good! The day’s going by fast, though – it always does.
_________________________

Hour Ten: 5-6 pm

Time spent reading this hour: 0:52
Pages read this hour: 81
What book(s): Rose Under Fire
Thoughts: I don’t know that I’m liking this quite as much as I did Code Name Verity – I mean, it’s quite good, but I’d never read a WWII resistance fighter story or about female pilots, while I have absolutely read concentration camp stories before, so it’s not quite so much a revelation. Still good, though.
_________________________

Hour Eleven: 6-7 pm

Time spent reading this hour: 0:34
Pages read this hour: 54
What book(s): Rose Under Fire
Thoughts: I took the first part of the hour off to respond to some of the more urgent e-mails I’ve gotten today – not so many, for a change! And mostly easily dealt with. Time to heat up some dinner (southern chicken stew with cheddar biscuits!) and then go back to reading!
_________________________

Hour Twelve: 7-8 pm

Time spent reading this hour: 0:45
Time spent listening this hour: 0:05
Pages read this hour: 61
What book(s): Rose Under Fire
Thoughts: Halfway done! Or, knowing my usual (non)ability to stay up late, three-quarters done! I think I’ve still got more than an hour to go on the current book, but probably not two full hours. It’s good, but a tough read emotionally – it’s killing me that she keeps mentioning Nick, not knowing that he has already married someone else.

And my mid-event meme answers:
1. What are you reading right now? Rose Under Fire
2. How many books have you read so far? Finished one book and one graphic novel.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? I’ve got a fat volume of Fables; I don’t know what novel I’ll pull off my TBR shelf next.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Nope. Just me getting distracted doing other things, but with the audiobook on, it still counts!
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? It got darker faster than I was expecting; it is mid-October, I suppose, but I didn’t realize it was already 19:00 until I looked up and it was twilight.
_________________________

Hour Thirteen: 8-9 pm

Time spent reading this hour: 0:48
Pages read this hour: 82
What book(s): Rose Under Fire
Thoughts: As suspected, I’m not done with this book yet, but close. Back to it!
_________________________

Hour Fourteen: 9-10 pm

Time spent reading this hour: 0:40
Pages read this hour: 76
What book(s): Finished Rose Under Fire and started Illyria by Elizabeth Hand
Thoughts: Not sure about this new book yet. I picked it because it was short, and because it’s been on my TBR pile for a long time, and I thought it would be a quick finish. But it starts out with cousins (who, genetically, are essentially half-siblings, as their fathers are identical twins) getting all sexy-times. I’m not far enough into it yet to tell for sure, but I suspect we’re supposed to find it romantic and forbidden fruit and what not, which: yick.
_________________________

Hour Fifteen: 10-11 pm

Time spent reading this hour: 0:00
Time spent listening this hour: 0:43
Pages read this hour: 0
What book(s): Gregor and the Marks of Secret
Thoughts: I wasn’t feeling like going back to my paper book so I switched to listening to my audiobook and playing video games (Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7) instead.
_________________________

Hour Sixteen: 11 pm – 12 am

Time spent reading this hour: 0:00
Time spent listening this hour: 0:51
Pages read this hour: 0
What book(s): Gregor and the Marks of Secret
Thoughts: Same as last hour. Oddly not tired yet.
_________________________

Hour Seventeen: 12-1 am

Time spent reading this hour: 0:00
Time spent listening this hour: 0:51
Pages read this hour: 0
What book(s): Gregor and the Marks of Secret
Thoughts: Okay, finished a level right at the hour mark. I could stay up but I think it will be better for the upcoming week if I head to bed – with maybe a little more audiobook listening along the way. Night, all!
_________________________

Total time spent reading: 7:57
Total time spent listening: 5:21
Total # of pages read: 900
Total # of books finished: 3 (Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins, The Unwritten, Vol. 9: The Unwritten Fables by Mike Carey et al., Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein)
Total # of books read but not finished: 3 (Gregor and the Marks of Secret by Suzanne Collins, Dr. Mütter’s Marvels by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, Illyria by Elizabeth Hand)

© 2014 Fyrefly’s Book Blog. All Rights Reserved. If you’re reading this on a site other than Fyrefly’s Book Blog or its RSS feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is being used without permission.

Marissa Meyer – Cress

October 6, 2014

78. Cress by Marissa Meyer (2014)
The Lunar Chronicles, Book 3

Read my review of book:
1. Cinder
2. Scarlet

Length: 552 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Started: 07 September 2014
Finished: 13 September 2014

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? Cinder hooked me.

“Coming down to Earth”
is often the end of a
romance, not the start.

Read the full summary and review

Lois Lowry – Son

October 3, 2014

77. Son by Lois Lowry (2012)
The Giver Quartet, Book 4

Read my review of book:
1. The Giver

Read By: Bernadette Dunne
Length: 8h 11min (400 pages)

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction (although shading strongly into Fantasy)

Started: 02 September 2014
Finished: 07 September 2014

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? It got mentioned at our book club when we were reading the Giver, and even though Messenger annoyed me to no end, I’m a completist (and apparently a bit of a masochist), so I thought I’d give it a try.

I’m not leaving this
dystopia without my
C-section baby!

Read the full summary and review

September 2014 Monthly Wrap-Up: Books and Review

October 1, 2014

Ye Grande Olde TBR(e) Challenge Update

I started September with 240 unread books sitting around my house. And I ended with … *drumroll* …242! This month got the better of me, y’all. I barely had the mental energy to read anything, let alone get any reviews written. I don’t even know if October’s going to be any better. Busy, busy life!

…anyways, let’s take a look at the breakdown:

Neutral books – Read, but don’t affect the TBR pile

Audiobooks
Son by Lois Lowry (review coming soon)
Read But Not Owned (Books)
Cress by Marissa Meyer (review coming soon)
Read But Not Owned (Graphic Novels)
Black is for Beginnings by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Ex Machina, Vol. 3: Fact v. Fiction by Brian K. Vaughan
Ex Machina, Vol. 4: March to War by Brian K. Vaughan (reviews coming soon)
Re-Reads
Talkimg to Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (review coming soon)

Changes to the TBR pile

Read from my TBR pile (huzzah!)
Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (review coming soon)
Added to my TBR pile (all-around shame!)
- Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble by Marilyn Johnson - Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
- The Falcon Throne by Karen Miller - Heiroglyph: Stories & Visions for a Better Future ed. by Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer
Added to my eTBR pile (non-storage-space-related shame!)
- Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas * Pursuant to the discussion on this post, I’ve decided to create an eTBR pile for e-books for which I actually pay money. I’m not adding them into my total TBR numbers, but I have to fess up about them somewhere. Keeps me honest.

© 2014 Fyrefly’s Book Blog. All Rights Reserved. If you’re reading this on a site other than Fyrefly’s Book Blog or its RSS feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is being used without permission.

Charles Frazier – Thirteen Moons

September 24, 2014

76. Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier (2006)

Length: 432 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

Started: 20 August 2014
Finished: 05 September 2014

Where did it come from? Bookmooch.
Why do I have it? I was a big fan of Cold Mountain, so when Frazier came out with his second book, I was on board.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 29 November 2007. (Yeah, so, apparently not that on board, since it sat on my TBR pile for seven years until my book club picked it for its monthly book. Oops.)

Fighting for the old
ways in a changing world is
a losing battle.

Read the full summary and review

John Scalzi – Fuzzy Nation

September 22, 2014

74. Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi (2011)

Read By: Wil Wheaton
Length: 7h 18m (301 pages)

Genre: Science Fiction

Started: 28 August 2014
Finished: 31 August 2014

Where did it come from? Audible.
Why do I have it? More Scalzi that I hadn’t read, and narrated by Wil Wheaton is always a plus.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 24 August 2014.

Why should we only
protect an alien world
if they are sentient?

Read the full summary and review

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