Friday, January 23, 2015

National Readathon Day Takes Off Tomorrow

Happy friday, fellow readers! This upcoming weekend is an exciting one for the book world, so I hope your week has prepared you to curl up on the couch (especially for those of you who are expecting a snowstorm this weekend!) with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book. And while I wish that type of relaxation for you all the time, there is an additional reason this particular weekend is so special...

Tomorrow is the first annual National Readathon Day!

Initially created by the recently merged Penguin Random House, National Readathon Day is about more than just reading a book, though. It's also about fundraising for literacy, GalleyCat points out:

Proceeds will support the National Book Foundation’s education programs, including an after-school reading program called BookUp. Fundraisers will win prizes from The National Book Foundation. 
More than 200 bookstores and libraries across the country will be participating in the event. To find out where to participate in your local area, check out this map. 
Fifteen bestselling authors including: Khaled Hosseini, Jacqueline Woodson, Delia Ephron, Harlan Coben and Simon Doonan have supported the cause in this #timetoread video.
See original post HERE 

The National Book Foundation website tells us more about the celebration:

Consider this: 53% of 9-year-olds read for pleasure daily, and by the time they turn 17, that number drops to 19%. Without your help, book worms may soon become an endangered species.  
That's why Penguin Random House and the National Book Foundation are launching National Readathon Day. We're asking book lovers across America to pledge to read for four hours starting at noon (in respective time zones) on January 24, 2015. 
Make your commitment here on FirstGiving and fundraise to support the National Book Foundation's efforts to create, promote, and sustain a lifelong love of reading in America. Proceeds will support our education programs, like BookUp, our after-school reading program which has given away over 25,000 books to middle schoolers since 2007. 
To show our appreciation, we're delighted to offer some exciting rewards at a variety of fundraising milestones. 
Individual fundraising premiums for National Readathon Day are awarded at the following levels:  
$100 - an I Love Reading tote bag  
$250 - a copy of a 2014 National Book Award winning book   
$1000 - a tote bag plus all four 2014 National Book Award winning books. 
$2500 - 2 tickets to the invite-only 2015 National Book Awards ceremony, dinner, and after-party  
$7500 - 2 tickets to the invite-only 2015 National Book Awards ceremony, dinner, and after-party plus hotel and airfare (from anywhere in the continental United States) 
Additionally, the top fundraising team will have the opportunity for an exclusive reading (in-person or online) with Phil Klay, author of Redeployment, the 2014 National Book Award Winner for Fiction. 
Thank you for joining us for National Readathon Day and in celebration of how important reading is to American culture.

The mission of the National Book Foundation is to expand the audience for literature in America. Its programs include BookUp, 5 Under 35, the Innovations in Reading Prize, and the National Book Awards. 
If you need more information about the National Book Foundation or National Readathon Day, email And for press inquiries, email
See original post HERE

As of a week ago, there were already more than 120 teams that had "raised more than $20,000 as part of the event" (GalleyCat).  As of today there are 153 teams, raising more than $40,000 according to the FirstGiving website. There is still time to get involved and get excited, so hop to, folks!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Perfect Cookie for the Perfect Book

Lately I have been hearing an awful lot about Girl Scout cookies. And I always hear an awful lot about books, of course. So when I saw that someone over at Book Riot put the two together, pairing different GS cookies with certain reads, I was delectably intrigued:

Girl Scout cookies are great no matter what they’re paired with, but I think we can all agree that everything is better with books. As a former Girl Scout, I know that people have their favorite cookies (Reppin’ Samoas, what what!). After some extensive taste tests, we here at Book Riot have found the perfect book/cookie pairings – no matter what your cookie preferences may be!
 See the original post HERE

Some of these pairings are utterly fantastic, I must say. Others, I admit, I don't quite get because I don't know enough about the book. :( Buuuut I do think a fun pairing for Savannah Smiles, though, would be "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake" by Aimee Bender. :-p Ahh irony. Gotta love it.

What would YOUR perfect pairing be?

As a side note, my littlest sister, who has been selling GS cookies for years, won't be doing so this year. But I'm stoked that GS has finally moved some cookies sales online, so those of us who don't know any Girls Scouts aren't missing out on the deliciousness itself and on helping out such a great organization!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Give the Man a Break

And by "the Man" I mean Nicholas Sparks.

Earlier this week my social media feeds blew up with "news" of novelist Nicholas Sparks's marriage split. I saw a lot of callous remarks being made about the irony of it with Sparks's penchant for hopeless romanticism in his books, and it seemed the trend was to chastise him, many people almost reveling in his pain. And then there were those who claimed that love couldn't ever last if Sparks couldn't make it work. Honestly, I was ashamed to even be reading such commentary.

That said, I'll keep this short and sweet.

Leave the man alone. Just because he writes about enduring love doesn't mean he isn't human. It doesn't mean he has some magical power to make love last that the rest of us don't. He had a twenty-five-year marriage, which is more than most people can say.

So, to Nick Sparks, wherever you are, I'm sorry for what you're going through. It's a sad thing for a relationship to unravel and it's painful and scarring and it takes time to heal, even when you're a bestselling author.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Welcome to 2015

With 2015 now upon us, "Best of 2014" lists are coming out our ears, making it hard to focus on what's to come in the year ahead. While I like "Best of" lists just as much as the next booklover, the start of a new year is a time to look forward, not back.

But where do we start? There are so many amazing books hitting the shelves this year! If you're struggling like I am (despite the giant TBR pile that is basically every room in my home), Book Riot has given us readers a fun challenge to get us started with the "2015 Read Harder Challenge":

Whatever your preference for reading challenges, we here at the Riot enjoy the odd challenge. We’ve written before about the benefits of a reading challenge; they can stretch your reading, whether the intention is to push you to read more of your TBR, more classics, more backlist, more new releases, or just to read more. Or even if the intention is to read less. 
January 1st brings with it both an abundance of challenges for the new year and an abundance of resolutions. These are often connected for readers, many of whom – Rioters included – make reading resolutions. As many of us here resolve to read more diversely, in any number of ways, we thought it would be a good idea to come up with our own reading challenge for 2015 to help you stretch your reading limits. 
I’ve included 24 tasks, averaging out to two per month, that will hopefully inspire you to pick up books that represent experiences and places and cultures that might be different from your own. We encourage you to push yourself, to take advantage of this challenge as a way to explore topics or formats or genres that you otherwise wouldn’t try. But this isn’t a test. No one is keeping score and there are no points to post. We like books because they allow us to see the world from a new perspective, and sometimes we all need help to even know which perspectives to try out. That’s what this is – a perspective shift – but one for which you’ll only be accountable to yourself. 
Where applicable, I’ve linked to previous Book Riot posts, to Goodreads lists, or other resources that might help you find books to fit the tasks.* 
We hope this challenge will help you not only to read more, but to Read Harder. 
We’ll be checking in here on the Riot periodically throughout the year, but we’ll also be talking about this challenge on social media with the hashtag #ReadHarder. Share your books, share your challenge plan, share your recommendations.
A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25 
A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65 
A collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people) 
A book published by an indie press 
A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ 
A book by a person whose gender is different from your own 
A book that takes place in Asia 
A book by an author from Africa 
A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.) 
A microhistory 
A YA novel 
A sci-fi novel 
A romance novel 
A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade
A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.) 
An audiobook 
A collection of poetry 
A book that someone else has recommended to you 
A book that was originally published in another language 
A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind (Hi, have you met Panels?) 
A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (Read, and then realize that good entertainment is nothing to feel guilty over) 
A book published before 1850 
A book published this year 
A self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”) 
*Goodreads lists are user-created and the books on them may not fit the challenge requirements. Double check any book you’re using, just to make sure. 
Have ideas for what books you want to use for certain tasks? Leave 'em below! 
Editor’s note: we’ve created a Goodreads group for this challenge! Give it a join!

See the original post HERE

I think I might give this challenge a try! What about you? Any books spark to mind when you hear these categories?

Happy new year, dear readers! May your year be filled with books to make you laugh, cry, and feel all the feels. :)