This page has moved to a new address.

Leonicka Valcius

Leonicka Valcius: August 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

50 Book Pledge Giveaway

I was so worried I’d fail this challenge that I almost did not try! Well I was wrong, folks. I completed the 50 book challenge with 4 month to spare!

Here are my stats:
Total books: 50
Full manuscripts: 20
Fiction books: 43
POC books:  28
Books by women:  38 

Book number 50 was The Palace of Curiosities by Rosie Garland and it was a great way to round out the challenge. I won’t say too much about it now since it won’t be on sale until March 2013, but it was a lovely, lovely book with a heart-wrenching characters and a touching romance. If y’all ask very nicely, I’ll review it before the new year :)

But now for the GIVEAWAY!  THREE lucky winners (from the US or Canada only) will receive ONE book of their choice from the list of published books I’ve read this year. You have until Sept 14 to enter! Good luck, everyone!

Click the links for my reviews or check out my Goodreads page for ratings.
  1. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
  2. The Obamas by  Jodi Kantor
  3. Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
  4. Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat
  5. The Whore of Akron by Scott raab
  6. The Book of Negoes by Lawrence Hill
  7. Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi
  8. Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup
  9. Their Eyes Were Watching God  by Zora Neale Hurston
  10. Ru by Kim Thuy
  11. Talking With My Mouth Full by Gail Simmons
  12. Wicket Season by Gabrielle Prendergast
  13. The Headmaster's Wager by Vincent Lam
  14. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  15. When Apples Grew Noses and White Horses Flew by Jan Andrews
  16. We are in a Book! by Mo Willems
  17. Salsa Nocturna by Daniel José Older
  18. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wien
  19. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
  20. Miguel Street  by VS Naipaul
  21. Throne of Glass by SJ Maas
  22. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Cathrynne Valente
  23. Daughters Who Walk This Path by Yejide Kilanko

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, August 20, 2012

Clearing my To-Read Pile

I just finished book 48 of the 50 book pledge. Assuming it won’t take me four months to read two more books, I need another challenge.

Right now I have 27 books in my To-Read pile. Considering my current pace of approximately 1.5 books per week, I have exactly enough time to get through them all!
My plan:
  1. Don’t buy new books! This will be super difficult because books are the only thing I impulse buy. I cannot leave a bookstore without buying something. I could try to avoid bookstores too, but that’s like telling a moth to avoid the flame. To make matters worse, I am really excited to read Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias and the Diverse Energies anthology from Tu Books, both of which release in October. Woe.
  2. Don’t re-read! SavvyReader is hosting a #ReadtheHobbit Challenge. As much as I want to participate, I know I’d immediately feel compelled to re-read LOTR.  And I have precious little time. Maybe I’ll dedicate 2013 to re-reads (I’m already creating a list of old favorites), but for now only new books allowed*!
  3. Apply the lessons I learned from the Olympic Readathon! I really am going to pass on the duds this time. For real.

Do you have any tips to help me conquer the endless To-Read pile? Can it even be done?! Let me know in the comments! 
*Note: I am making an exception for The Shadow of the Wind by Zafon and The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood because they’re part of a series. Refer to the aforementioned compulsion.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, August 13, 2012

Olympic Readathon Results

While London was hosting the 30th Olympiad, Random House of Canada hosted the Olympic Readathon! I participated because I’m a champion reader. Or I thought I was. Here are my numbers at the finish line.
  1. Miguel Street by V.S. Naipaul—complete: 115 pages
  2. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce—complete: 296 pages
  3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas—complete: 406 pages
  4. Tar Baby by Toni Morrison—read 110 out of 306 pages
  5. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente—read 131 out of 247 pages

Total: 1058 out of 1200 pages
 So close! I think I tripped over two major hurdles on my race for victory.
  1.  I did not have designated reading time. I simply read when there was nothing else for me to do.  With an extra fifteen minutes of reading per day (instead of fooling around on Twitter and Tumblr), I’m sure I would have met my goal.
  2. I didn’t skip over the duds as quickly as I should have. I have a really hard time letting go of books I don’t like. I keep waiting for them to get better. My earliest memory of this was when I forced myself to finish The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett as a child. By the end I not only hated the book but also resented having wasted so much time on it! Lesson learned (I hope).

Overall this was a really fun challenge! Do you participate in Readathons? What are your keys to success?

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, August 6, 2012

POC Media Week 3: July 30 – Aug 5

I was working most of this week and had very little time to enjoy life. My entertainment was split nearly fifty-fifty. I wonder what I’ll do when the Olympics are over. My hours of entertainment will probably decrease overall. Ideally I want to maintain an even ratio by consuming more diverse media, not by cutting out other media. Once again, suggestions are appreciated.

Paper Droids:
Pass. Formerly known as 404. Awesome geek girl magazine. (approx. 30mins)

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce:
Fail. I loved this book and I’ll be writing a review soon. However I don’t think a single one of the many characters Harold meets during his pilgrimage across present-day England was a person of color. (approx. 10 hrs)
Pass. Yay Gabby Douglas! Yay Usain Bolt! Yay Oscar Pristorius! Love love love the dedication of these athletes. (approx. 5 hrs)

Pretty Little Liars:
Pass. I’m getting pretty tired of it though. I don’t like being in perpetual suspense. At this point only the cute outfits make me keep watching. (approx. 1hr)

Tar Baby by Toni Morrison:
Pass. The prose in this book is amazing. I guess that’s why Ms. Morrison is a Nobel Laureate. Funny story though: I found this book in the way back of the bookstore on the tiny sliver of a wall reserved for “black writers.” Not impressed with you, Chapters.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,