Category Archives: Read-a-thon

My One-Book Readathon

“Fear was the scariest of emotions and it nestled there, growing ever stronger and sprouting shoots, a seed in the fertile soil of doubt.”

Usually, my participation in Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon is theme-based and full of books. This time, however, I had my first one-book readathon. I simply spent the day reading Jacqueline Winspear’s latest book in her Maisie Dobbs series, The Consequences of Fear. It was a great way to spend my day, and after a very busy week, I enjoyed my rainy day readathon reading!

From the publisher:

October 1941. While on a delivery, young Freddie Hackett, a message runner for a government office, witnesses an argument that ends in murder. Crouching in the doorway of a bombed-out house, Freddie waits until the coast is clear. But when he arrives at the delivery address, he’s shocked to come face to face with the killer.

Dismissed by the police when he attempts to report the crime, Freddie goes in search of a woman he once met when delivering a message: Maisie Dobbs. While Maisie believes the boy and wants to help, she must maintain extreme caution: she’s working secretly for the Special Operations Executive, assessing candidates for crucial work with the French resistance. Her two worlds collide when she spots the killer in a place she least expects. She soon realizes she’s been pulled into the orbit of a man who has his own reasons to kill—reasons that go back to the last war.

One of the things I enjoy so much about Jacqueline Winspear’s series is that each book is equally compelling and fun to read. I might be able to pick out a favorite, but mostly the series is just really consistent and even. This latest volume didn’t disappoint and kept me reading on and on.

Another thing I enjoy about this series is the growth and changes in the main characters over time. The characters have become my friends, and I care about them. I also love Maisie’s insights and intuitions. She’s a trained professional psychologist, and combined with her empathy and life experience, she’s a compassionate investigator, and her insatiable curiosity and questioning mind leads her to solve the most baffling cases.

“Truth walks towards us on the paths of our questions.” [Dr. Maurice Blanche]”
~ quote from Maisie Dobbs, the first book in the series

Although I stayed up late last night to finish the book, today I am feeling a satisfied tired — the aftermath of a successful readathon!  And I am already looking forward to another Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon in the Fall.

Readathon: April 2021

It’s been such a busy week here so I’m really happy that today is Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon. It is wonderful to be spending some time reading again!

The week was happy-busy. Our daughter, now vaccinated, came to visit for the first time since last year. She is an avid gardener, so while she was here, we visited three garden centers for inspiration and specific plants, dug a new flower bed in front of the bicycle/gardening shed my husband has built, and ordered a load of garden blend soil. She was a wonderful help with these Spring gardening projects, and since the sun shone all week, we were able to get those projects mostly finished. Byron and I were sad when she left for home, but look forward to a return visit from her next month.

Today, after such a sunshiny week, it is raining. Perfect readathon weather! My readathon plans are minimal this time. Nothing fancy…no special snacks or anything. Just reading and more reading. I have a number of books I’d like to finish today. I’m in the middle of Jacqueline Winspear‘s latest book, The Consequences of Fear. I’ve borrowed a few books from the library, and my Kindle is loaded, so I’ve got plenty to keep me busy.

I’ll keep a list on this post of the books I finish, so check back later to see what I’m up to.

Read-a-thon Time

It’s time again for Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon. This annual Fall challenge is something I’ve enjoyed for many years. However, this year has been a strange one, and October has been a challenging one for us, so I’m not going to be able to spend the kind of time I usually give to this day of reading. But I am reading and listening as much as I can, and am enjoying the time I can devote to reading today.

In line with my focus on more cultural diversity in my reading choices, I checked out from the library a number of books about different winter holidays. I’ll list them here, as I finish reading them today.

From the publisher: When young David and Mama and Papa are celebrating Hanukkah one frosty winter evening in Brooklyn, Papa sees a parakeet sitting on the window ledge. He lets the parakeet in and everyone is delighted to find that it speaks Yiddish. They name it Dreidel and it becomes part of their family. 

From the publisher: During Diwali, Hindus, Sikhs and Jains celebrate the legends and stories that describe the triumph of good over evil and justice over oppression. Critically acclaimed author Rina Singh explores her Indian roots as she tells the Diwali stories, which remind us that eventually light will prevail over darkness.

From the publisher:  It is the first night of Hanukkah. Hershel of Ostropol is walking down the road. Tired and hungry, he is looking forward to reaching the next village. He is sure that bright candles, merry songs, and platters of potato latkes will be waiting for him. But when he reaches the village, Hershel discovers that the villagers aren’t celebrating Hanukkah. They’re too scared of the goblins that haunt the old synagogue at the top of the hill. Hershel wants to help the village people. “If I can’t outwit a few goblins,” Hershel tells the rabbit, “then my name isn’t Hershel of Ostropol.”

From the publisher:  From its beginnings as a farming celebration marking the end of winter to its current role as a global party featuring good food, lots of gifts and public parades, Chinese New Year is a snapshot of Chinese culture.

From the publisher: In an African village live seven brothers who make life miserable with their constant fighting. When their father dies, he leaves an unusual will: by sundown, the brothers must make gold out of seven spools of thread or they will be turned out as beggars.

From the publisher: Celebrate the holiday of Chanukah with eight original short stories by Jewish storyteller Scott Hilton Davis. Enjoy a fun-filled journey to Oykvetchnik, the tiny shtetl town in Eastern Europe where people complain a lot (except during Chanukah when they seem to be a little more charitable).

Evening Update:  I had a very nice time reading today, although it wasn’t a lot of time. I enjoyed each of my holiday choices. The book by Isaac Bashevis Singer was a treasure. I listened to the audiobook of Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik, and loved it. What a wonderful storyteller! All of them are books I would recommend for sharing with family during the holidays.

So another Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon comes to an end for me (no, I don’t stay up all night reading anymore).  I look forward to the next one, in April.

Happy reading, my friends! And happy holidays coming up soon!


Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon, April 2020, End of Day

And that’s a wrap!

This has been lovely day, full of books and reading friends. Another Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon has come to an end for me. For those of you who are still reading, and perhaps going the full 24 hours, I wish you happy reading! Tomorrow, I’ll reflect further and share my thoughts on my reading for this event.

Thank you, Andi and Heather, and everyone who worked so hard to make this such a wonderful event and experience, again! It was so amazing, during this time of social distancing, to get together with so many people who love reading.

Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon, April 2020, Afternoon Edition

Quiet Time in the Favorite Chair, by Gina Brown

What a delightful morning of reading and listening! And now, after a break for lunch (homemade split pea soup with homemade bread), and a short walk because the sun finally came out after our rainy morning, I’m back for an afternoon of reading and listening. This is turning out to be a wonderful, calm, comforting read-a-thon for me.

I hope you are all enjoying your reading for this springtime read-a-thon, too!

1:00 pm, Pacific Daylight Time:

This afternoon, I am in the middle of reading The White Robin, by Miss Read. I’ve been slowly reading and savoring over the last few years, the Fairacre series, reading the books in order and not wanting it to ever end. When I do finish with Fairacre, I will move on to her Thrush Green series, but I mourn the day I finish all of her books. Of course, I can always start again and re-read them all!


UPDATE: 4:15 pm, Pacific Daylight Time

This afternoon, I am still reading (and enjoying) The White Robin, by Miss Read. The morning rain finally stopped and the sun came out, so I just had to spend a little time outside. I took some flower photos from around the yard to share with you. And then it’s back to my book, to finish before dinnertime!


UPDATE: 7:00 pm, Pacific Daylight Time

I finished reading The White Robin, and loved it as much as Miss Read’s other books in the Fairacre series. Dinner and getting settled into the evening have taken up some of my reading time, but I’ve started my next book: No One is Too Small to Make a Difference, by Greta Thunberg. This is a library book that I checked out just before the quarantine started. I saved it to read for today’s read-a-thon!


UPDATE: 9:15 pm, Pacific Daylight Time

I am just finishing the book by Greta Thunberg, my last book for this April read-a-thon.  I’m so impressed with Greta! Friends, we need to listen to her! Right now!

Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon, April 2020, morning edition


5:00 am, Pacific Daylight Time:

And so we begin another Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon! Good morning, everyone! I hope this is a delightful day for you, full of books and fun! I have quite a list of books to read, much more than time will allow, but I’m looking forward to reading and sharing thoughts with you throughout the day.

I will create a morning blog post and an afternoon post, adding to each as I finish a read. Then I’ll post an evening update to wrap up my day. So please check back here every so often for those updates. Also, I am too darn old to stay up all night reading, (it’s just not going to happen!) so I’ll say goodnight at a “reasonable” time for this elder and leave the all-night reading to friends with more stamina than I.

So without further ado, I begin with breakfast and a book to finish:  Molly’s Millions, by VIctoria Connelly.


UPDATE:  6:20 am, Pacific Daylight Time:

First book finished:  Molly’s Millions, by Victoria Connelly

It was mid-March when the self-isolation for this pandemic began. Almost immediately, a favorite author of mine, one that I follow on both Goodreads and Facebook, made one of her books a free download as a way of reaching out to her readers during this crisis. I was very touched by her kindness and downloaded the book with much appreciation. I started it earlier this week and just finished it for the read-a-thon.

That author is Victoria Connelly. I’ve read quite a few of her books and enjoyed each one. The book she gave us to read during our self-isolation was called Molly’s Millions, and it was a fun and imaginative story, a perfect comfort read during a pandemic!

A summary from the publisher:

Hard-up florist Molly Bailey has just won a fortune in the National Lottery. And she wants to get rid of it – fast! Tom Mackenzie is on the verge of losing his job. He needs one hell of a story if he hopes to secure his future in journalism. And his luck may have just come in. With a strong belief that sharing her good fortune is the only way forward, Molly unwittingly becomes the most sought-after person in the country as she distributes her wealth to the masses. With only her terrier pup, Fizz, and her trusty Beetle for company, Molly embarks on the journey of her life. But with Tom hot on her heels, will she succeed before her family and the media catch up with her? And, with Tom leading the pack, would that really be such a bad thing?

Thank you so much, Victoria Connelly, for the gift of an enjoyable and cheerful read!


UPDATE: 7:20 am, Pacific Daylight Time:

Second book finished:  On the Horizon, by Lois Lowry

Lois Lowry is one of my all-time favorite authors! On the Horizon is her newest book, just recently published. It’s a sad and beautiful book about two tragedies of World War II: the  attack on Pearl Harbor and the bombing of Hiroshima. This is a book we all need to read, young and old, to understand the human toll of war!

from the publisher:

Lois Lowry looks back at history through a personal lens as she draws from her own memories as a child in Hawaii and Japan, as well as from historical research, in this stunning work in verse for young readers.

On the Horizon tells the story of people whose lives were lost or forever altered by the twin tragedies of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima.  Based on the lives of soldiers at Pearl Harbor and civilians in Hiroshima, On the Horizon contemplates humanity and war through verse that sings with pain, truth, and the importance of bridging cultural divides. This masterful work emphasizes empathy and understanding in search of commonality and friendship, vital lessons for students as well as citizens of today’s world. Kenard Pak’s stunning illustrations depict real-life people, places, and events, making for an incredibly vivid return to our collective past.In turns haunting, heartbreaking, and uplifting, On the Horizon will remind readers of the horrors and heroism in our past, as well as offer hope for our future.

Click here to read an interview with Lois Lowry about this book.


UPDATE: 7:30 am, Pacific Daylight Time:

Something else I am reading today:


UPDATE: 9:00 am, Pacific Daylight Time:

Third book finished:  Escaping the Giant Wave, by Peg Kehret

My favorite of Peg Kehret’s books is her autobiographical story, Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio. She had polio as a child, and Small Steps is her story about that experience. She also writes terrific adventures for kids, and Escaping the Giant Wave is one of those! But it was more than just a thriller/adventure. It was also a very honest story about bullying. Definitely worth reading!

from the publisher:

The Worst Vacation Ever!

Thirteen-year-old Kyle thought spending a vacation on the Oregon coast with his family would be great. Kyle’s perfect vacation becomes a nightmare while he’s babysitting his sister, BeeBee. An earthquake hits the coast and starts a fire in their hotel. Can Kyle and BeeBee outwit and outrun nature’s fury to save themselves from tsunami terror?


UPDATE: 10:00 am, Pacific Daylight Time:

Fourth book finished:  Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, by Michael Pollen

Sixty-four excellent, common sense rules on how to be a healthy eater. Excellent advice here, and I would like to incorporate more of these ideas into my daily life. I wouldn’t have this constant struggle and worry about weight if I simply followed more of these rules!




UPDATE: 11:00 am, Pacific Daylight

Currently listening to:  The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, by J. R. R. Tolkien, narrated by Sir Derek Jacobi!


Read-a-thon Coming!

Once again, I’ve signed up for Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon, which takes place on Saturday, April 25th. When I was working and still had a young person at home, I didn’t think I could take that kind of time on a Saturday, so I didn’t participate in the Read-a-thon then. After I retired, I had no excuse, and so I started signing up for them, October and April, and I’ve loved each one I’ve participated in since then! They really kick-start my reading, and that’s definitely what I need right now.

The photo above is one that, if I remember correctly, Dewey used on her blog. Is that memory correct, friends, or do I just associate it with her somehow?

Anyway, I am really looking forward to Saturday! See you at the Read-a-thon!

Reading on the porch…

2019 October Read-a-thon: Wrap Up

…painting by Sally Rosenbaum

What a lovely day spent immersed in books about gardens, garderners, and planthunters! And this afternoon, I also spent time outside working in my own garden, planting bulbs, raking leaves, and preparing the garden for winter.

Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon is a very special event, and I’m so glad I was able to participate again this Fall! I’ve loved my themed reading for the last two read-a-thons so I’ll be tempted to do that same kind of thing for the Spring event.

Thank you to all of you who organized and made this event happen again! I’m sure Dewey would have been thrilled with the level of participation and with how wonderfully it is organized and managed. She left us too soon, but left a beautiful legacy.

Books Read:

One of my winter barrels…

2019 October Read-a-thon: Afternoon


This afternoon I have been reading Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life, by Marta McDowell. It’s such a pleasure to read, well researched, completely entertaining, and full of wonderful artwork and photos. I’m not rushing through it, although I’m making good progress. This may be the last book I read for today’s Read-a-thon, but that’s okay. I’m thoroughly enjoying myself and my reading about gardens and gardening project!

The Vegetable Garden in summer at Hill Top, Cumbria, home of Beatrix Potter. A wooden beehive sits in the bee bole, exactly as it did in Beatrix’s time, and tools are arranged among the vegetables in homage to Mr McGregor.

2019 October Read-a-Thon: Argentinian Adventures

My Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon continues! It’s a beautiful day outside, and the colors of leaves and fall-blooming flowers are just gorgeous throughout the neighborhood. So after lunch, I put on my earphones and went for a walk while listening to one of my chosen books. But now I am back inside and just finished reading a short book about a planthunter in Argentina

Argentinian Adventures: A Planthunter in Argentina, by John Lonsdale, is a series of essays about three of his planthunting trips to Argentina.

…from the author:

Argentina is a fascinating and endlessly varied country. This book accounts of three visits, the first of which was a three-month tour of the north of the country, collecting plants for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. This first visit encouraged me to undertake two further visits while still employed by Kew Gardens. Because of these botanical connections, there is a wealth of references to the fabulous flora of the region. Flora can’t exist in isolation to fauna, and animal life is discussed whenever it is chanced upon. Several exciting episodes imposed themselves into what became increasingly eventful journeys.

I love reading about planthunters! It’s such an interesting combination of plant information, culture, and travel. I enjoy looking up the plants they find, names in Latin, of course. And I do enjoy the travel and cultural parts of these experiences. This was a fun one for me because I was familiar with northern Argentina and many of the places he talked about, although not the remote areas.  Here are some of the plants he mentioned in these essays.