Monday, April 11, 2011

24-Hour Read-a-thon Wrap-Up & Favorite Reads Giveaway: A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons

24-Hour Read-a-thon Wrap-Up

Over the weekend, I (semi-) participated in the twice-a-year Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-thon. I came in with a late start, and did not read for 24 hours straight without stopping, but still managed to finish three books during the read-a-thon. All were books I had already begun and not yet finished. I still felt a sense of accomplishment for adding three titles to my April book list, though!

End of Event Survey Questions:
  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? I read as I wanted to, so I can't really say; I enjoyed every minute I was reading, and enjoyed other things when I wasn't. No daunting hour here. 
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I had been listening to The Help on audiobook from Audible long before the read-a-thon. I found that listening to it -- and finishing it -- on my iPod helped me stick with "reading" for the read-a-thon, but still allowed me to get housework done that I needed to complete over the weekend. 
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? None! 
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I really enjoyed Tweeting with the #readathon hashtag. It helped me feel like I was part of the Read-a-thon without putting too much time or effort into creating actual blog posts. 
  5. How many books did you read? I finished three (all already begun before the read-a-thon). 
  6. What were the names of the books you read? I read The Help by Kathryn Stockett, My Wife's Affair by Nancy Woodrull, and Semi-Sweet by Roisin Meaney. 
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? Well, probably The Help. But I really enjoyed all three a lot. They were very different books, which I think is important. Three similar books would have been difficult to finish all at once; I liked that I had options. 
  8. Which did you enjoy least? N/A 
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? Not a cheerleader :) 
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Fairly likely to participate again. Probably just as a reader next time; if the event happened in the summer, I could spend more time on it. As it is (in April and October), it falls smack mid-semester for me, so I'm pretty busy teaching through the week & trying to keep my house under control on the weekends!
 I had a fabulous time reading books and catching up on other participants' experiences via Twitter (#readathon hashtag for those of you who would like to see what it was all about). Look for reviews of the books I read coming up this week (The Help and My Wife's Affair) and later in April (Semi-Sweet).

Favorite Reads Giveaway: A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons

Three weeks ago, I kicked off my new giveaway series with Gibbons' first novel, Ellen Foster. Last week, I introduced The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton as another favorite read of mine. (The winner for last week's giveaway is Meredith Miller. Meredith, I hope you enjoy Jane Hamilton's The Book of Ruth!)

While Ellen Foster is one of my favorite books, this week I'm bringing you my absolute favorite Gibbons novel: A Virtuous Woman. Also an Oprah's Book Club pick, A Virtuous Woman is the story of a marriage. The title comes from the Bible verse regarding marriage:
"Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies." (Proverbs 31:10) 
Husband and wife Jack and Ruby alternate narrating this tale, recounting scenes from their life together. The novel is short, as is Ellen Foster, but it is a beautiful story about the blessings that come from sharing life with another person. As in all of her novels, Gibbons depicts both the good and the bad; ultimately, however, good shines through and humanity is celebrated.

To enter the Favorite Reads Giveaway for A Virtuous Woman, fill out the entry form below:


  1. I finished The Help last night myself! I really enjoyed it. The next book my list is Water for Elephants...have you read it?

  2. I have read Water for Elephants! It is fantastic. I can't wait for the movie to be released later this month. Do you guys get U.S. releases in Vienna? I have no idea how that works!

  3. It is usually a few months later...basically about the time it releases on DVD's for you guys!! Ha! They have "original version" theaters here that do them in English, but most have German over-dubs. Glad to hear the book is good! It sounds different, which I like...not your normal setting. :)

  4. Kristi and Joanna, It is so very cool to see former classmates from WCHS communicating via their in the U.S. and one in Austria! :)

  5. Thanks for choosing me! I have The Help on it's way finally came up my turn on PBS! Water for Elephants is great. I can't wait to see the movie! (Even though movies generally ruin the books!)

  6. You did great on the read-a-thon! I didn't read as much as I wanted (I got a late start too), but I had fun chatting on Twitter with everyone.



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