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Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon – The Final Post

Yeah, so i’m kind of fooling with my timing on this post (since the read-a-thon is technically done and over). Unfortunately, I didn’t come anywhere close to hitting my goal because my 1hr nap that I decided to take at 10pm, turned into 8hours of sleep (which based on the icky throat that is now surfacing might have been a good idea). In fact, even though I had gotten 8 hours of sleep that night – I still spent a good portion of Sunday napping and reading some more.

Over the course of the 14hours that I did read, I finished up 4 books that I had in progress pre-readathon, as well as 2 complete books and 1 full audiobook (and listened to about 3 hours of another one).

Books Finished (In progress when Read-a-thon started)
Ada’s Algorithm: How Lord Byron’s Daughter Ada Lovelace Launched the Digital Age – James Essinger – have to say wasn’t too impressed with this in general – it wasn’t really a biography, but at the same time, wasn’t really a non-fiction computer book either.
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City – Matthew Desmond – this was the April group read for Doing Dewey – this was a very stark read, but highly recommended.
This Love of Mine – Miranda Liasson – cute contemporary romance with reunited love/teenage love come true/relationship of convenience
The Ghosts of Belfast – Stuart Neville – yeah…i’m kind of wishing that I had left this book on Mt TBR where its been hiding for at least 3 years…pretty much the only reason I stuck it out was because I was slotted into a challenge (yeah, I might be a bit of a masochist).

Books Finished (complete reads)
Playing with Pleasure – Erika Wilde – custom corset maker and hot Dom – yes please! (need I say more).
Wrong Place, Right Time – Elle Casey – single mom and single dad finding love with a touch of suspense/danger (although I did find Jenny to be a tad annoying at times)

Audiobooks
Colonist’s Wife – Kylie Scott – solid sci-fi romance that has just been released in a duo audiobook with another of Ms Scott’s backlist.
Heart’s A Mess – Kylie Scott – cute workplace/bar romance – but really short (I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had been a bit longer).

While I didn’t read as much as I had planned – looking back, I got a fair amount completed – I just set myself really high standards. I can’t wait until the October Read-a-thon to try again!

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Read-A-Thon

 

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Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon – Hours 9-12

Halfway there! 12 hours down and 12 to go (although I do find the need to take a bit of a snooze…so I probably will…but I suck at taking naps – I sleep, not nap – anything less than 2hrs is just not going to do it for me!). I was definitely more productive during this four hour block than the last one – finishing up 3 books, including 1 audiobook and starting another one. Although in true Dee fashion, I opted to borrow something new via Kindle Unlimited than tackle one of the many books I borrowed from the library or that I already had on my kindle…haha!

Surprisingly, I also hit my goal of 11000 steps for the day – normally on weekends (not just readathon ones) – I’m a bum and struggle to get 3000, so I’m trying to be extra aware to hit my goals during the day. The errands I ran during this block helped me to finish up for the day (now I don’t feel guilty about doing nothing for the rest of the readathon).

Books Finished:
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City – Matthew Desmond – started pg207 (134pgs)
Wrong Place, Right Time – Elle Casey (358pgs)
Colonist’s Wife and Heart’s a Mess – Kylie Scott – 1hr, 23min to finish it up

Audiobook Started:
Rookie Move – Sarina Bowen – 33min listened

As we get into the time of night when people start wanting to head to bed – I wish everyone luck with your reading adventures! See y’all at midnight!

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2017 in Read-A-Thon

 

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Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon – Hours 5-8

What do you do when its nearly 90 degrees out and readathon day? you queue up an audiobook and take a nice long week (quite coincidently to the local library). That is how I spent a good portion of the last four hours – I left not long after I posted my first update and it was close to 2hours later when I got home (and it added nearly 5000 steps to my daily goal of 11000) – I also finished up this four hour period by taking both of my devils (aka the German Shepherds for a walk – if you ever want to hear something pathetic, you should hear them when one gets left behind, so I can walk the other). Because of this, I didn’t manage to finish any books during this time period – although I’m getting close on a couple of them (both my current audio and one of the non-fiction books that I had in process before we started).

Books In Progress:
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City – Matthew Desmond
The Spring at Moss Hill – Carla Neggers
Wrong Place, Right Time – Elle Casey

Audiobook in Progress:
Colonist’s Wife and Heart’s a Mess – Kylie Scott – listened to another 2hours 4min (finishing up the first book in the duo and started the second one – does that count as finishing up a book?)

Kade says have fun reading for the next four hours and talk to you then 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2017 in Read-A-Thon

 

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Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon – Hours 1-4

Wow, those first 4 hours just flew by – I can’t believe that I am already 1/6 of the way done with this Readathon! i’ll admit that I had all these grandiose plans for this morning – to include getting up and going for an 8 mile run before the Readathon started….but when the alarm went off at 5am, that just wasn’t in the books. So I ended up waking up only about 20min before we started – so I have listened to more of an audiobook that I have read so far this am. Mostly because I was putzing around in the kitchen, making breakfast and then making a snack around 10:30.

My initial goal of this readathon was to finish up several of the books that I had in progress prior to starting. So in this first period – I finished 2 of those up (and only have like 4 to go…). I also started (and finished) another short challenge book for SRC.

Books Finished:
This Love of Mine – Miranda Liasson – started at 75% (68pgs total)
Ada’s hm – James Essinger – started at pg148 (95pgs)
Playing with Pleasure – Erika Wilde – 278pgs

Audiobook Listening:
Colonist’s Wife and Heart’s a Mess – Kylie Scott – 1hr 55min listening during the first 4 hours

See you guys in 4 hours for my next update! Have fun reading!

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2017 in Read-A-Thon

 

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Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon – The Beginning!

Whoo-hoo! I can’t tell you how excited I am that its time for Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon again! This is my third time participating as a reader and the fourth or fifth as an observer/cheer support team. Last October when I participated, I read for about 22 of the 24hours (took a short nap in the afternoon and about a 15min doze around 6:45). Based on the October Read-a-thon, my goal is to read 2600 pages (I read just over 2500 last time) and listened to about 4hours worth of audiobooks. I know for sure that there will be significantly more audiobook listening this time round because of my goal to walk at least 20min every 2 hours and I have a 3hr bike trainer ride that I need to knock out (I figure doing that around 5am when I want to sleep will be a great way to keep me awake) and finish out the Readathon in a hot and sweaty style 🙂

I’ve been making my pre-readathon trips to the library for the last week or so. I have 2 methods of finding books to read – ones that are from series I am currently reading and need to request/reserve (even from inter-library loan) and those that just look interesting while i’m browsing the shelves. I also have my kindle loaded and borrowed the max number of audiobooks I could from Hoopla to listen to through the course of the day.

Here is a sample of some of my readathon library books:

What about you guys – are you participating in Readathon? If yes, what does your bookpile look like?

I’ll be back in 4hours to give you my first update – have fun reading!

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2017 in Read-A-Thon

 

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Review – Angel of Death Row – Andrea D. Lyon

Angel of Death Row
Author: Andrea D. Lyon
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Description:
Nineteen times, death penalty defense lawyer Andrea D. Lyon has represented a client found guilty of capital murder. Nineteen times, she has argued for that individual’s life to be spared. Nineteen times, she has succeeded. Dubbed the “Angel of Death Row” by the Chicago Tribune, Lyon was the first woman to serve as lead attorney in a death penalty case. Throughout her career, she has defended those accused of heinous acts and argued that, no matter their guilt or innocence, they deserved a chance at redemption.

Now, for the first time, Lyon shares her story, from her early work as a Legal Aid attorney to her founding of the Center for Justice in Capital Cases. Full of courtroom drama, tragedy, and redemption, Angel of Death Row is a remarkable inside look at what drives Lyon to defend those who seem indefensible—and to win.

There was Annette who was suspected of murdering her own daughter. There was Patrick, the convicted murderer who thirsted for knowledge and shared his love of books with Lyon when she visited him in jail. There was Lonnie, whose mental illness made him nearly impossible to save until the daughter who remembered his better self spoke on his behalf. There was Deirdre, who shared Lyon’s cautious optimism that her wrongful conviction would finally be overturned, allowing her to see her grandchildren born while she was in prison. And there was Madison Hobley, the man whose name made international headlines when he was wrongfully charged with the murder of his family and sentenced to death.

These clients trusted Lyon with their stories—and their lives. Driven by an overwhelming sense of justice, fairness, and morality, she fought for them in the courtroom and in the raucous streets, staying by their sides as they struggled through real tragedy and triumphed in startling ways. Angel of Death Row is the compelling memoir of Lyon’s unusual journey and groundbreaking career.

Review:
Its always interesting to see where my Goodreads challenge reading takes me, since I know that the Angel of Death Row is likely not a book I would have picked up, if I wasn’t looking for a non-fiction book with a specific theme. These theme (in homage to the pioneering women in Hidden Figures), a non-fiction book about a women who was first to do something significant (which Ms Lyon most definitely did). I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical going in – I mean, when I think about Death Penalty cases – visions of people like Jodi Arias come to mind or the scene from The Green Mile (where they are using the electric chair) and my thought pattern was how can she defend people who seem indefensible (yes, I know that everyone deserves the best defense they can afford by our constitution), but its still hard for me…but that wasn’t what I got.

As soon as I started reading Angel of Death Row, I felt drawn to Ms Lyon – it was interesting seeing how when she made up her mind on her career pathway that nothing derailed her and seeing how she knowingly made choices that would set her career on the trajectory to become the first female to try a death penalty case in the US. Added to that, her experience as the only female on Task Force Homicide which was part of the Public Defender’s Office (which by the way, why do we never see anything more than the slovenly public defender on TV who is quickly replaced by a high-powered shark of a lawyer, who swoops in to save the day) – made her career progression all the more intriguing – I haven’t read a lot of biographies about individuals in the legal field (lawyers or judges) – so I can’t say what I expected a typical career to look like, but this isn’t what I expect (yeah, I know, totally vague there)…

It’s hard to go into the different cases that were mentioned in Andrea’s book – several of them are mentioned in the books description – but in so much more color/detail – at times, I felt like I was sitting in a kitchen with Ms Lyon while she interviewed a witness or trudging the streets with her while she tried to find that one person who would be able to exonerate her client. But her career wasn’t all roses, she had her ups and downs and in the writing of her book, she didn’t shy away from talking about those issues – including the impact that such a career has on a personal life.

I believe that Angel of Death Row should be a required reading book for law students, especially those who are maybe considering defending or prosecuting individuals charged with homicide. There is something that everyone could learn from reading it. I’ll be interested to see what derivative recommendations I get based on my reading of the Angel of Death Row.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2017 in Book Review, Review

 

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Audiobook Review – The Marriage Games – C.D. Reiss

The Marriage Games
Author: C.D. Reiss
Series: #1 in the The Games Duet
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Narrators: Elena Wolfe, Sebastian York
Run Time: 9hrs, 15min
Audiobook Producer: Flip City Media Inc.
Narration Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Description:
THIRTY DAYS
That’s all Adam Steinbeck demands of his wife.
Thirty days in a remote cottage, doing everything he demands. After that, he’ll sign her divorce papers and give her complete ownership of their company.
THIRTY DAYS
That’s how long he has to rediscover the man he once was. The Dominant Master he hid when he fell in love with her five years ago.
THIRTY DAYS
She wants the business they built badly enough to go to the cottage for a month. Cut off ties to the world and do his bidding. She can submit to him with her body, but her heart will never yield.
She thinks this is his pathetic attempt to repair their marriage.
She’s wrong.

Review:
The Marriage Games is the second of the two books in my Armchair Audies listens that I had previously read prior to the nominees being announced. I discovered C.D. Reiss last year when her Coda series was nominated for another Audie – so I was excited to see her with another nomination this year. But I will its hard to describe the initial disappointment I felt when I read The Marriage Games earlier in the year – reading it, I just didn’t feel the emotion that I felt like I should have – I just felt really detached from the whole storyline – which is a complete opposite experience to how I felt when I listened to it more recently.

Anyways, since I had already read The Marriage Games, I was able to invest myself more fully into my enjoyment of the audiobook – since I knew what was going to happen (although as normal, I did discover that there were things I had missed in my initial reading of it – which considering how long it took me to read it initially, is surprising). Since I was able to focus more on the audio than the story – let me tell you how much I LOVED the narration by Elena Wolfe and Sebastian York! I know like knees going weak, making me want to drool in sexiness type narration! (and I don’t say that often).

I love how audiobooks with dual narrators has developed over time – I have listened to all different combinations – predominantly one narrator with highlights of an other, narrators that alternate POV’s, but still narrate opposite gender if they appear in that specific POV and then there is a true duet, like the Marriage Games, where Elena and Sebastian were fully integrated so that Elena did all the female narration and Sebastian all the male – it was like listening to an actual conversation where there were multiple men and women speaking in a holistic way. I actually enjoyed my listen of the Marriage Games so much, that I went ahead and bought the second book in the duet (Separation Games) to listen to as soon as I was done – which I hadn’t felt inclined to do after I finished reading it a few months previously.

The Marriage Games was definitely a case where 2 brilliant narrators took a slightly less than impressive book (at least to me) and elevated it to knee-weakening level. While my rating for the Marriage Games stayed at 3.5 stars, the audiobook narration was easily 4.5 stars. Elena Wolfe and Sebastian York is a narrator duet that I would love to see more of.

 

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