Tag Archives: reading

Month of the Read-A-Thon

After hanging with the fam bam, the afternoon happened to devolve into reading instead of writing and I stumbled upon a couple of Read-A-Thons.

I’ve gotten through about 2 hours of reading on two books within this 24-hour span so I figured why not take part in this challenge? Since I stumbled upon this first one so late into the one day it’s running I’m doing it for fun and will parlay any progress made into the second challenge.

24 Hour Dewey Readathon

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Los Angeles, CA
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Take this Bread by Sara Miles
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Homemade tortilla chips with salsa and a little mix of shredded cheese on the side.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I often think about sleeping when I’m reading and vice versa.
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? This is my first one. I’m striving to finish my current book tonight so that I can start this one. Twenty-four pages to go.

For more, start here: http://24hourreadathon.com/2013/10/12/hour-1-i-like-big-books/

Wonderfully Wicked RAT2

Follow this hashtag on twitter: #wwreadathon

The second event is the Wonderfully Wicked Read-A-Thon which goes from October 11 through October 20.

I’ve officially joined that and will try to finish the new book by then. Feel free to connect with me on GoodReads for updates. Let me know what you’re reading this month.


Writing progress

I am psyched about my progress this week. Regarding my goal to write more letters, this week I wrote two. Technically they were brief thank you notes but it still felt good to write handwritten notes! I was partially inspired by reading a Jane Austin fanfic called Other Side of Pride and Prejudice.

I also updated my website.

On the reading front I did get a little scattered. I am already reading two books– one paperback and one ePub– but I wanted to mix it up a little so I placed a hold on a graphic novel and immediately went to the library to check it out. In my rush to get the book in front of my eyeballs I didn’t check the library’s hours before I left. When I got there I saw that it’s open four days a week and today was not one of them. Whoops.

End of an era

I believe that 2013 will be a brand new world for me.
2012 can be summed up in a few words:

But a few words doesn’t do it justice.

I don’t really do resolutions, but I will throw a few of my goals down.
1) 2012 was the year of reading. In 2013 I plan to write more, including real letters to people.
2) Laugh out loud more often.
3) Read more (27 books is the goal for 2013).
4) Take more photos. Speaking of more photos…

Flickr Freebie – Pro account giveaway!

Woot, everyone gets 3 free months of Flickr Pro! Just go to the link below to activate it (You’ll have to sign in).
Flickr’s Giving Away 3 Free Months of Flickr Pro via Photojojo’s site on Tumblr.

What’s your most achievable goal? Happy New Year!

Goodreads Challenge update + mini-review: Start with Why

Goodreads Challenge (25/25)

Goodreads Challenge complete

Done and done. Today I reached my goal of reading 25 books in 2012.

The final book was Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (book #6). I am glad to have completed it over a month early, but it did cut into my NaNoWriMo start time. To keep my sanity through November I’ve decided to sit this year’s writing challenge out, however I won’t be completely absent from that world. I plan to lurk on the various NaNo sites and forums and watch my fellow writers zoom toward their goals. Who knows? I may even stop by a local write in.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo or NaBloPoMo?

Mini-review: Start with Why

Start with WhyStart with Why by Simon Sinek

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Start with Why” by Simon Sinek is an analysis of how visionary leaders are able to cultivate success and others are not. they do this by simply communicating the concept of why they believe what they do which draws others who believe the same thing to their cause. I enjoyed the first 65 pages or so, but then book seemed to start over and repeat the same thing (using the same examples). I would recommend this book for those who want to experience the concept in the author’s TED talk in a different way, but I tend to agree with Loy Machedo’s review.

View all my reviews

And now for some good news

With news of pretty drastic negative events happening around the world and some other stressful things going on in my world this week here is an update on three good things.

1. Physically good: I’ve been running once a week for a couple of months now, doing 3 – 3.5 miles until last week, when I increased the frequency to twice a week. Two days ago, I noticed my pants feeling loose again. That is both good and bad. Good because I’m losing body fat where it doesn’t really need to be, but bad because I don’t care for shopping for new pants as I apparently have a non-standard bottom (more butt than hips), so it can be depressing leaving a store with a new pair that is only a good-enough fit.

2. Mentally good: I’m about a quarter of the way through my Goodreads challenge of reading 36 books this year. I thought it would be a challenge and it is. I am right on pace if I hope to keep a steady progress, but it also stresses me out a little. I am glad for digital checkouts from the library, but the timing of arrivals can be a little nutty.

A few weeks ago I signed up for several books I wanted to read. Many of them required me to go onto a download waiting list. I read through the books I had downloaded already but at some point most of the other books on my list became available at the same time. I had a limited period to download all of them before they were unavailable again. Next I had a two-week period to read them after downloading before they expired.

If I didn’t have these books in audiobook format then I doubt I would have been able to finish them all. I am on a deadline to finish the last two books in the group by Tuesday, or else it’s back to the waiting list for me with that title. This precision download/reading process provides the majority of this challenge. I’m adding a new widget to my sidebar if you wish to track my progress at a glance.

3. Literally good: Good Magazine is a pretty cool resource that I stumbled across in the last month. A few gems from that site are below.
– an app that will identify currency for the blind
a walking primer for Los Angelenos. This happens TODAY!
tips to reduce food waste

They’re doing an Good LA community launch party next month, a nice event to check out for locals.

Next week I’ll be volunteering at the LA Marathon. If you’re running that one, best efforts to you and I’ll see you there!

rediscovered obsessions (part 1/5): reading

This is part 1 of a 5 part series. Without further ado, here is one of my newly rediscovered obsessions.

This week I signed up for the Goodreads 2011 reading challenge. I haven’t done a reading challenge since elementary school. My goal is to read 36 books this year. That may seem like a lot or just a few depending on who’s reading this, but three books a month is very doable for me. I finished my first book tonight so 1 down, 35 more to go.

I’ve discovered the joys of my local library once again. And I don’t even have to physically go there. With my local public library card I can reserve or download books I want to read (via Adobe e-book reading software) or listen to (via Overdrive Media Console) and not worry about rushing to return books before the library closes, or deal with late fees. And a bonus: no paper cuts.

There are a few downsides. I had to download new software to listen to the audio books and to read the e-books on my computer, and my computer’s not the fastest thing in the world. Also, because of Digital Rights Management (DRM) issues, the books I download will expire at some point. I had some trouble getting the audio book software to work on my computer at first due to a DRM security incompatibility with my player. To resolve that, I ran a five-second web search and found a good solution to my apparently common error message. One that didn’t involve me potentially messing up any system files. Finally, the available title selection is more limited than, say, amazon.com. But hey, it’s a free library resource.

If you have a library card and want to try this service, just check your local county’s public library website. Los Angelenos, here’s the direct link to the audiobook and e-book library search.

What it takes to be financially fit: baby steps

I finished Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover this weekend. In the book, he demonstrates the simple (but not so easy) Total Money Makeover (TMM) plan of getting out of debt and becoming financially fit by using baby steps. It's an inspiring read, except most of the time I felt like I was reading a not-so-subtle ad pitch for his other books, audio cds, etc. It had the feel of the type of ad in the back of a magazine that screams lines like "Find the cure for exhaustion on page 45! Take years off your life by doing this tiny step on page 98!" I didn't actually get to the first financial baby step until page 95 of the 223 page book. At the beginning of the book he's even written a section as if the reader is standing in a bookstore wavering on whether to spend money this book.Use filler copy much? My time is valuable. Let's cut to the chase, shall we?

I admit that I've never listened to his radio show, so perhaps this book is geared toward his avid followers and I just happened to have picked it up from my local library on a family member's recommendation, hence the emotional disconnect. Though anyone can and should follow this very valid advice he offers, I don't feel that I fit his target demographic (and no, a target demographic cannot be everyone). I get the impression that while he believes he's writing to everyone, he's really targeting married couples with kids who can afford the luxury of a stay-at-home spouse and who have somehow managed to get themselves tens of thousands of dollars of negative debt. Basically, people who now live like he used to live. That's not me. This probably puts me ahead of the game in some ways, but that's not my point here. My point is that I didn't relate to most of the anecdotes in the book, though he does have solid financial advice.

Overall I liked it, and I will focus on a couple of baby steps in 2010: save up a 3-6 month emergency fund and put 15% of my income toward retirement. I'd recommend it to anyone who's interested in learning about the TMM plan, but if there were a condensed version of the actual TMM steps without all the testimonials and shameless self/cross promotion then I would recommend that version a whole lot more.

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