Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon: 10 Years in 10 Books

It’s Readathon Day, the happiest day of the year! Having just come off a vacation where I read far less than I planned to, I am excited to sit down and read and read and read. But first, I’m doing the readathon challenge of naming an awesome book published in each year of the Readathon. Buckle up, kids, you’ve heard me scream about most of these before and you might be tired of them but that won’t stop me.

2007 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

THIS WAS BITTERSWEET REALLY. Do you remember this? The end of an era? I stayed up all night reading it, and I was so annoying to my sisters that one of them decamped to a different room and the other one said SHUT UP SHUT UP when I gasped over deaths. My wrath over Rita Skeeter’s hit piece on Dumbledore remains as bright and vivid today as it was on that summer eve. Fuck that lady.

2008 – Sea of Poppies, Amitav Ghosh

Historical fiction done absolutely right. In the event, I wasn’t wild about the third and final book in this series, but Sea of Poppies is a marvelous, wandering, playful novel that I absolutely loved. Its sequel River of Smoke is also very excellent, and if there hadn’t been some VERY wobbly consent in the third one, maybe I’d have liked that one too. But Sea of Poppies, man. This is good stuff.

2009 – White Is for Witching, Helen Oyeyemi

The house is both haunted and xenophobic. To this day I barely have a clue what Helen Oyeyemi is talking about w/r/t the plots of her fiction, and it doesn’t even matter. White Is for Witching is spooky and beautiful and who cares about the rest.

2010 – Delusions of Gender, Cordelia Fine

As my lovely friend Ana always says, I’d like to shove copies of Delusions of Gender into anyone’s hands I possibly can. This book debunks neuroscientific nonsense about gender in a crapload of different ways, and it taught me to be both a more critical consumer of neuroscience and a better, more well-informed feminist.

bonus: 2010 was also the year NK Jemisin published The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. I try not to be whatever about this, but I am a massive NK Jemisin hipster and I really did like her before it was cool. I read an excerpt of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms online somewhere before it published and I was fully like “Who is this lady?”

2011 – Chime, Franny Billingsley

Y’all know I love an unreliable narrator, and Franny Billingsley does something in Chime that I’ve not seen played out in many other books, if any: Her protagonist, Briony, is unreliable to us because she is unreliable to herself. Discovering the ways she has been misled is one of the greatest pleasures of this odd, creepy book.

2012 – Thorn, by Intisar Khanani

Thorn is a retelling of the fairy tale “The Goose Girl” that manages to be dark and hopeful at the same time. Intisar Khanani is one of my favorite fantasy writers currently working. I don’t know what else to say beyond that. Thorn is wonderful. You should read it if you haven’t.

2013 – Gemsigns, Stephanie Saulter

It feels like Stephanie Saulter is weirdly unknown, and I can’t figure out why. Maybe she’s just better known in the UK? I have no idea! Gemsigns is this amazing, strange, gripping political science fiction about genetically modified humans fighting for their rights in a world where they have always been considered property. Many are the machinations. I loved it.

2014 – How It Went Down, Kekla Magoon

How It Went Down is a Black Lives Matter story told in many voices, and it’s beyond me that it mostly flew under the radar when it was published. It resists easy answers and insists on the complicated humanity of every one of its narrators. Kekla Magoon is an incredible author who reliably has me in tears.

2015 – The Scorpion Rules, Erin Bow

Two of my friends recently read The Scorpion Rules, thereby reminding me of how much I love it! An all-knowing AI has taken over the world’s weapons systems and prevents war by taking hostage one child from every country’s ruler. If the country declares war, the ruler’s child is killed. Greta is one of those children. The Scorpion Rules and its sequel, The Swan Riders, never go in the direction you expect. They’re packed with twists and turns, but at the same time they give the characters space to be thoughtful and interesting.

2016 – Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee

If you read Ninefox Gambit you must accept some level of having no g.d. clue what’s going on with it. It’s dense military sci-fi that weirdly reminds me a lot of my 2015 pick, The Scorpion Rules. Captain Kel Cheris is tasked with a near-impossible military task; the unstable, brilliant, dead tactician Jedao is installed in her head to assist her. Jedao is a superb character and I adored this book and you should too.

2017 – THICK! AS! THIEVES! by Megan Whalen Turner AT LAST FINALLY AT LAST oh God and it was worth the wait dear heaven I love this series

(Yes, this is eleven books. I know that. But more books is better than fewer books, n’est-ce pas?)

Happy Readathon!

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon Post

This is my master post for readathon, so strap in! I’ve never done one of these things before!

Hour 11

I was going to say that it’s hour 11 and I haven’t lost steam, but I seem to have read much less in the past three and a half hours than in the foregoing hours. Am I slowing up? Is my old age catching up with me? I did take a break to do some end-of-month budgeting and fold my laundry.

Read: 2 chapters of my genocide book (only 7 chapters now remain!), Paper Girls, vol. 1

Currently reading: Vision, vol. 1

Currently snacking upon: Nothing at the moment! I ate up all my raspberries and now regret not buying two things of raspberries. But it’s five o’clock, which means it’s time for a delicious, refreshing gin and tonic.

Hour 7

Fantastic news, y’all. The protag in Rulebreaker did indeed resolve her dilemma sexily. I chose Rulebreaker based on the results of my Twitter poll, then moved on to the runner-up, Angie Thomas’s NYT-bestselling The Hate U Give.

The Hate U GiveTWAS EXTREMELY SAD. And now I am back on the internets, checking in with my fellow readathoners.

Snacks eaten: Cheese fries. I meant to save them for later but I got super hungry.

Books read: One Crazy Summer, The Ship Beyond Time, Rulebreaker, The Hate U Give

Hour 4

Well this is going great so far. I read One Crazy Summer and The Ship Beyond Time (both awesome) and have now started on Cathy Pegau’s Rulebreaker, a romance novel in which (ahaha I am so excited) a con lady FALLS FOR HER MARK oh noes how will she resolve the resultant moral dilemma? (My prediction: Sexily.)

I also participated in a mini-challenge over at Pirates and Pixie Dust, ate a chocolate marshmallow bunny, and took a quick break to visit with my baby nephew and deposit a check at the bank. Readathon is amazing. I always knew it would be and I was right.

Hour 0 Survey

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Louisiana! The weather is “who cares, I’m staying inside all day.”

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

This stack here?

(Yes, okay, I went a little nuts at the library.) Hard to say! The Ship Beyond Time is definitely one that I’m excited about, and I also have a romance novel on my ipad about a con lady who falls in love with her target, which sounds pretty great. But One Crazy Summer might be the book I’m most looking forward to: It’s been on my TBR for years and years, multiple bloggers have recommended it to me, and I’m only just now getting around to it.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

ALL OF THEM. I never buy candy, but I bought candy this one time, because Easter-colored M&Ms were on sale for a dollar. So I have that, I have popcorn, I have raspberries and some spinach to keep things healthy, I have a jar o’ cookie dough, I have homemade Oreos and also regular Oreos, and I have cheese fries for dinner. Judge not lest ye be judged.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

Gosh, what can I say? I’ve been blogging for nearly ten years (I KNOW), but I’ve never managed to do a readathon before. I’m very excited. I like cheese fries a lot. My reading eyes are bigger than my reading stomach. I am going to read at least 50% of one book while exercising this morning because I’m really, really trying to stay faithful about exercising.

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 readathon, and I’m having feelings about it! The blogging community is objectively the greatest. I don’t know why it took me this long to participate in one of these things.