Monday, October 12, 2009

going into hiding (and the final cut for the read-a-thon pile)

Ha. Making it sound like I lead a life of intrigue there, huh? ;)  But no. I haven't stolen the secret plans for the doomsday machine or testified in a mob trial or anything remotely exciting like that. No, I've just gotten ridiculously behind on schoolwork and housework and giftwork and... I know, I know, could I possibly be any more boring?!! Anyway, it was with much pain and gnashing of teeth that I hit that "mark all as read" button this morning, knowing I just couldn't catch up before I start this self-imposed blogging ban. And likely I'll have to hit it again when I come back. *sigh* So if you all don't mind...just don't post anything for a while, okay? I just don't like missing out on what you all are up to! Oh, okay, okay, I guess that is an unreasonable request, but you can't blame a person for trying, can you?

Anyway, before I dive into that nine page to-do list I've made for myself for the week, I thought I should let you all know which books you chose for me to keep in my read-a-thon pile. There were a couple that didn't make the pile that I was really hoping would. But then, the chances of actually getting them read bordered on zilch anyway.

The ones in bold are the ones that made the cut:

1. Follow the rules. (Rules by Cynthia Lord)--I really like this first line, too...Melody was the only one who chose it though.

2. Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he stayed up all night, was seated at the breakfast table. (The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)--I have DesLily to thank for adding this one to the pile. And look, Pat, it is your favorite Sherlock Holmes!)

3. On a morning in mid-April, 1687, the brigantine Dolphin left the open sea, sailed briskly across the Sound to the wide mouth of the Connecticut River and into Saybrook harbour. (The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare)--I have to admit that this is not a sentence I would have picked in a million years (though I've wanted to read this book for about that long), but lots of you chose it. Louise and Megan and Eva.

4. What a lot of hairy faced men there are around nowadays.(The Twits by Roald Dahl)--So glad this one made the cut--I figured if I noticed the boys heads starting to sizzle and steam from too much TV and Nintendo, I could always take a break from what I'm reading and start reading this one aloud to them. Actually, I somehow knew Rich would pick it, but so did Megan and Suey and Eva and Annie.

5. I am telling you this just the way it went with all the details I remember as they were, and including the parts I'm not sure about. (Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff)--Chosen by Chris and Melody and Stephanie. (Hey Megan--this one's earned you a point when I eventually get around to another blame game post!)

6. The surname of the family was Cox, the father a very successful trial lawyer, but the target was the mother. (Cross Country by James Patterson)

7. The slaaf stumbled along the shore of Willow Lake. (A Circle of Souls by Preetham Grandhi)--Chosen by Annie, who never ceases to surprise me. :)

8. "Mrs. Locke?" (Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez)--Was sort of hoping this one would get picked...this graphic novel looks to be scary enough to keep me up in those wee hours.

9. After a hard day, your steps become heavy. (Mijeong by Byun Byung-Jun)--Okay, Shanra, I'm curious...did you know what book you were picking here? I know you didn't like this book all that much.

10. My first anime convention...did not start out smooth. (Dramacon: Ultimate Edition by Svetlana Chmakova)--I need to get this book read by the end of October, since it's for our family challenge, so thanks Chris and Annie.

11. Dear friend, I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn't try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have. (The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky)--So many votes for this one! (Some influenced by their love of the book, I do believe.) Megan and Darren *crossing fingers that I spelled your name correctly* and Suey and Chris and Annie and Melody.

12. Midsummer: The long days begin in bright, rising mist and never end. (Go With Me by Castle Freeman Jr.)--Thanks to Shanra and Eva. This is a short little book of suspense, and I tend to like that late at night.

13. The promised me nine years of safety but only gave me three. (Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess)--This may be the most intriguing line of all to me. And I'm definitely not alone. This was a pick for Louise and Darren and Amanda and Suey and Shanra and Chris and Annie and Amanda and Melody and Stephanie.

14. This is how things look: Shady Pines Apartments, four shabby buildings tucked off the road near the highway. (Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott)--Thanks Kara...I'm glad this one made the cut.

15. Anyone who writes a book of science about great, flesh-eating beasts should be required up front to disclose their bias. (Where the Wild Things Were by William Stolzenburg)--Had a number of non-fiction in the original stack, and I'm happy that a few made it into the final pile. (Actually if my week goes as planned--which it seldom does--I'll have this read before the read-a-thon, because aside from just being really interested, it's for school.) This one caught the attention of  Eva and Melody and Stephanie.

16. When he was thirty-six, Gregory Volfovich Chudnovsky began to build a supercomputer in his apartment from mail-order parts. (Panic in Level 4 by Richard Preston)--Another non-fiction. Somehow I just knew I could count on Jean to pick this one. Because it's the kind of thing that happens routinely in her home. Only her sons would have done this at the age of six, not thirty-six. ;)

17. Once upon a time, a scattered group of girls undertook the passage from girlhood to womanhood in a city built around a bay. (Promiscuities: The Secret Struggle for Womanhood by Naomi Wolf)--More non-fiction. Picked by Louise and Amanda and Annie and Melody.

18. That's a great idea! (Plenty Enough Suck to Go Around by Cheryl Wagner)

19. I opened the door and froze. (Define "Normal" by Julie Anne Peters)--A fairly short YA that sounds like perfect read-a-thon material. Chosen by Vivienne and Suey and Chris and Annie.

20. Here we go! (Freak Show by James St. James)

21. I was born in this house, and grew up here. (The Book of Chameleons by Jose Eduardo Agualusa)--If I'm going to read this one, it will have to be early in the day...the print is on the smaller side, which is a definite sleep inducer for me. Chosen by Amanda and Melody.

22. I once believed that life was a gift. (Green Angel by Alice Hoffman)--Looks like a good choice for's very short and it has a few beautiful drawings. Picked by Amanda and Chris and Annie and Amanda and Melody.

23. An owl called, its shuddering hoots repeating mournfully in the distance. (Gossamer by Lois Lowry)--Can't believe I haven't read this one yet. Thanks to Vivienne and Eva, maybe this read-a-thon will be my chance.

24. The forecourt of the Chinese Theater smelled of rain-wet stone and car-exhaust, but a faint aroma like pears and cumin seemed to cling to his shirt-collar as he stepped around the clustered tourists, who all appeared to be blinking up at the copper towers above the forecourt wall or smiling into cameras as they knelt to press their hands into the puddled hand-prints in the cement paving blocks. (A Soul in a Bottle by Tim Powers) Well, with an opening sentence like that, I'm not all that surprised that it didn't get chosen. Still, I can't wait to read this book one day!

25. How shall I begin this tale so you will get some sense of what manner of creature I am? (Nightmares & Fairy Tales: Once Upon a Time... by Serena Valentino) So thankful to Suey and Chris and Rich and Annie Amanda and Melody and Stephanie for choosing this one...a short, eerie graphic novel. Sounds perfect, doesn't it?

26. A Midwestern town. (Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge)--I have a feeling this is another perfect fall read-a-thon choice. And thanks to Stephanie, I may get to find out.

27. Like many fathers, mine could occasionally be prevailed on for a spot of "airplane." (Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel)

28. Science, reason, and rationality have, by nearly any recent measure, suffered serious diminishment in the public sphere. (Science Under Siege: Defending Science, Exposing Pseudoscience edited by Kendrick Frazier) Pouting a bit that this one didn't make the cut. This is a book of essays, and I thought they might be nice to slip into between other reading. Oh well.

29. Anyone living in the United States in the early 1990s and paying even a whisper of attention to the nightly news or a daily paper could be forgiven for having been scared out of his skin. (Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner) Probably won't get to this one, yet I'm still glad it's an option thanks to Shanra.

30. No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. (The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson) Kind of surprise this one wasn't picked...I really love that sentence!

31. This is my story about what happened to me last year when Mum got ill and Dad and I had to go and stay at Aunt Nan's and I had my weird dream. (Mirrormask by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean)--Like we even need to question that this is a good choice, huh? ;) It made the finals thanks to Amanda and Jean and Suey.

32. "Here they come," said Cecy, lying there flat in the High Attic dust. (The Homecoming by Ray Bradbury and Dave McKean) Another I just know will be perfect. :D Thank for picking it, Louise.

33. It was so weird. (Black Hole by Charles Burns) This one is high on "want to read now" list, so maybe this one will actually get read during read-a-thon. Picked by Jean and Annie.

34. "I'm off to school, Ma." (The Book of Ballads by Charles Vess) This poor book never makes the cut. :(

35. "Say what you will about our mutual ex-husband." (Fables: The Mean Seasons by Bill Willingham) Chosen with no shenanigans involved *crossing fingers behind back* by friends who love me, Eva and Chris.

Okay, so that's still a mighty large pile for a gal who will be lucky to crank out three books in 24 hours, huh? Thanks so much for playing! And hey, if you feel like playing again, Annie's got hers posted for picking now, too.

See you all in a few (or more) days...I'll miss you!


Jean said...

I hope the 9-page list of things to do has very large printing on it, Debi, or we may never hear from you again!

Vivienne said...

I love the book list. I want to read them all. I hope you everything done over the next few days. I can actually promise not to post a thing after tomorrow for a whole week as I am off on holiday. I shall be lying by the pool in a sunny climate for a whole week, so see you soon.

Renay said...

You're always so busy! Good luck catching up on your lists!

Anonymous said...

I promise you, if I'd recognised the line I wouldn't have included it. ^-~ You have to admit it's a pretty opening line, though.

*pounces on line 13* Oooooh. Sounds like heavy reading. (Not quite the fairies I was expecting, though.)

Sweetie, try to be happy poor Book of Ballads never makes the cut? *hugs* What you want to do (in an ideal world) is hunt down all the versions of the songs in the book and listen to them as you read. And, of course, take your time for them. ^-~

Try to enjoy your book blogging ban! *hugs* Good luck with the to-do list!

Amanda said...

You know, I've even read several of those books and didn't recognize the first lines...

If you decide to sneak online during this ban break, you should come look at the Death and Baby Death Book Hour Interview for the week. I only say this because it's honestly our best yet. :D

See you at Readathon time!

Chris said...

Oh Debi I'm going to miss you so much :( But I promise to stalk you via email still ;) As for the books for the readathon, The Perks of Being a Wallflower!!! I totally need to put that on my read-a-thon list! I think I'm taking Tender Morsels off because a lot of people are saying that it's not a good "quick read" so I may replace it with that one. And we can read Green Angel together!! Doesn't that look like the perfect readathon book?

Megan said...

Oh gosh! I'm gonna get a point! Can it really be?? Make Lemonade will definitely make a great Read-a-thon book - if I had remembered that first line I definitely would have picked it, too. It's a good thing other people picked it! =)

I picked number 3 because I had a sneaking suspicion that it might be The Witch of Blackbird Pond. I read it in middle school (pretty good recall, huh?), and it's great, and I wouldn't mind revisiting it now that I think about it....

Hope you have a productive blogging break! I'll be sure not to post anything. ;-) Okay, maybe that's not true, but I'm sure I won't post *too* much. LOL!

Eva said...

OMG that science book w/ the awesome title has inspired TOTAL booklust in me.

I'm so proud of you for hitting all read when you needed to Debi! :) And I hope that somewhere on that nine-page list is 'take time to relax'! We'll be here when you get back. :)

Melody said...

Aww...I'll miss you, Debi! Good luck with the lists and please take good care of yourself! *Hugs*

DesLily said...

I would be horrible at trivia..not even knowing the first sentence to my favorite Holmes book LOL ..and I have it! lol.. oh well..

Of all the first sentences I don't remember seeing:

Still drowsy from sleep Lilith moaned as she laid there, her body feeling achy and stiff, gradually as she began to wake up, her senses became aware that the air was fresh and crisp.

I wonder why? .. hehe i had to torment you! It was too easy not to! lol

Staci said...

wow, what a great list of books to start with. It's just fun to create even if you only get to a few of them!

Care said...

Guess I took a bit a hiatus before you did - I missed the voting!! I've been a bit unplugged lately and have read 4 books in the past week! yea me. Blog at ya later, C

kreed said...

have fun! I'll miss you!

Stephanie said...

I loved Witch of Blackbird Pond when I read it in Jr. High. I really should reread it again. How funny that I picked Make Lemonade!! I just grabbed it at the library today myself!!

You have some great books to look forward to! I'm so jealous of all you readers. Damn. One of these days I'll get a chance!!!

This Midwesterner is looking forward to Dark Harvest! Sounds great!

Trish said...

We seem to keep missing each other. As soon as I get back from a blogging break, you take your leave (although since I haven't read your read-a-thon post yet I'm a little more behind than I wanted to admit).

Have a wonderful week. Get some of those things crossed off. And don't guilt. And you'll definitely want to make all as read when you get back--I believe in a clean reader going into the read-a-thon!!


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