Read-a-thon, Hour 0

All right. I have eaten my Cheerios (mmmmmm), I have a giant water bottle, I have a Snuggie and a comfy couch. I am ready for the Read-a-thon!

My plan for the day: Read from eight to noon, spend the next four or five hours at my meeting/get-together, read from five (or earlier!) until I pass out, which will probably be well before eight tomorrow. Confession: the longest I’ve ever stayed up in one go is 23 hours and 45 minutes, at which point I passed out from sheer exhaustion. I’ve been up since six-thirty today, so if I can make it to six I will be proud of myself! I’ll try to update the blog every two hours or so (or when I make it to the end of a book, or when I have to get up and pee anyway [see: giant water bottle]), and I’ll probably be Twittering slightly more often than that.

Oh, and a reminder: I’m shilling for Donors Choose this month, because they are AWESOME, so please check them out via the links in those posts and consider donating. You will make a lot of students and teachers ridiculously happy.

And now some pictures, because I know the internet likes pictures!

The Pile of Possibility. I’m starting with the top book for sure, but who knows what else I’ll get to! (Also note that it is the water bottle that is giant [1.5L], not the books that are tiny!)

The Chair of Chillin’. This is where I’ll be starting the Read-a-thon. Please ignore the evil cat; she likes it better that way. 🙂

The Couch of Comfy-ness. I can’t start here, because I’ll fall asleep, but I will be rockin’ the Snuggie here later.

More Donors Choose

Hey guys, remember how I was totally giving money to charity this month based on how many books I’ve read? Yeah, totally still doing that and totally still hoping you’ll help out, too! I donated $10 yesterday to the Tomato Nation campaign (I’ve only read 5 books so far this month? Sadness!), specifically this project, and I feel awesome. How about you? 🙂

If you don’t want to hedge your bets on how many books I’ll read, please consider giving me an eight-days-late birthday present and donating to that project or to one of these zillion projects that Tomato Nation is sponsoring. It will make you feel awesome, I promise!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky (27 September — 1 October)

How did I manage not to read this book any time in the last ten years? Jeez, self. Get with it.

This is another book without a discernible plot, and another book without a discernible plot that I liked. Something is wrong with me. I need to go read some Grisham or Patterson or something (no! false!). This book is also a freakin’ epistolary novel, which would normally irk me but good but this book did not! Chbosky is a genius or something.

Um. Right. Topic: this book is about a kid called Charlie, who is entering high school and is a little worried about getting through freshman year okay. Charlie’s got some issues (a few more than the usual), but he’s working hard to make them okay and make some new friends. He totally nails that last part and starts hanging out with some senior kids who are really cool (but not the popular kind of cool) and help Charlie figure out who he is and what he wants from life.

I liked it. Charlie’s life is nothing like mine, but his emotions associated with going to school and doing well and “participating” and making friends are totally dead on to mine. When things went wrong in his life, especially where girls were involved, I was totally rooting for him all the way. Even when some really odd things happened (um, picking up guys in the park, anyone?), I was still totally on board with Charlie’s life being normal, which I think says something. 🙂

This is also one of them “banned books” the parents are talking about (still) these days, and I totally understand why. There’s sex, and pregnancy, and dudes liking dudes, and recreational drug use by a fourteen-year-old, and people going to college at Sarah Lawrence. No good can come of these things! And yet all of these things are good in some way or another throughout the novel, so whatever, book banners. I don’t know what high school you went to, but it was probably just like this one.

Rating: 8/10
(My Year of Reading Dangerously Challenge)

(Also, this is the first book read for my personal Donors Choose Challenge! $2 for literacy!)

See also:
Thoughts of Joy
things mean a lot
books i done read

Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

Donors Choose

A post not about books! Shock! Awe! But really, it’s sort of about books, so keep reading! There’s even a part where you can coerce me to read more!

So there’s this organization, called Donors Choose, right? And all year long they collect donations tiny and gigantic to fund projects requested by teachers at schools all around the country. Some teachers request copy paper, so they can print things. Others request pencils, so their students can write things. Some request really fun books, so their students can read really fun things. You know.

And each October, Donors Choose hold a contest for blogs/social media to get the word out about the cause and, obviously, get people to donate. I heard about this a while back from Tomato Nation, and in the past few years TN readers (and Sarah Bunting, the genius behind this site) have raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for all these different projects. Whoo!

You may have guessed by now that I would love it if you would go to Donors Choose via TN’s giving page and donate a dollar or two dollars or this week’s Starbucks budget or whatever to your favorite project, especially if it involves books because books are awesome but even if it involves history which is boring. Because how are the kids going to know how boring history really is if they don’t have the resources to learn about it? (Sorry, Amy, but only like 20 percent of my history education was ever actually interesting. Feel free to leave a comment about how awesome it really is!)

Right. Anyway. This thing lasts all month, but there’s nothing wrong with getting your donations in early (and often)! Also, if you check out the Tomato Nation site, there are all these contests and stuff going on and maybe your $5 donation will turn into a really cool prize!

Now for the interesting part: I’m going to do a bit of a readathon throughout the month in honor of Donors Choose and I personally am going to donate $2 to a project for every book I read between now and 31 October. If you want to do the same, just drop a note in the comments or in my e-mail so I know to stalk you later. 🙂 You can donate as I read, or take your whole sum and drop it on a project on the 31st, so long as you do it through Tomato Nation and so long as you tell me so I can feel good about myself. A note for the budget-conscious: I read about 8-10 books per month on average, my highest total was 15 over the summer. I don’t think I’ll be breaking that, but of course I will try. (And I won’t cheat with Golden Books.)

Books read:
1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

Also, you know, tell your friends. TN raised something like $110,000 last October, but their goal this year is $210,000… that’s going to take a lot of people to accomplish. Spread the word!