Tuesday, 29 December 2009

End of Year Totals

Hi everyone, it's 29th December which means there are just 3 official days left for 'The Year of Readers'. On 2nd of January I'll be sending out an email asking for your final book totals (1st Jan 2009 - 31st Dec 2009), total donations raised and a reminder of your charity again. I'm so excited to see how much we've all raised for charity!

However I'm not sure if I have everyone's email address (I certainly know one address has become invalid since the start of the year). So I'm popping this announcement up here as well. If you haven't received an email by end of 2nd January 2010 please comment on this post with your total number of books read, total donations gathered (base this on what people/you have pledged if you haven't yet collected all the money together), your charity and your email address, so I can keep track of you on my own list.

Remember that for every book read by anyone taking part I donate one British penny to Eco Libris and $1 (roughly 50p right now) plants one tree so if you all get your books totals in to me we should be able to plant quite a few trees between us.

If you're wondering how to donate your money I suggest collecting all the donations people have made to you during 'The Year of Readers' up, depositing it in your account and then sending a cheque, Paypal or credit card doantion for the whole amount to your chosen charity. Please make your donations as soon as possible in January and at the end of the month I'll email out completition certificates to everyone who submits their totals.

Any questions, just leave them in the comments and thanks again so, so, so much for taking part in this fund raising enterprise! Thanks also to your generous supporters and to those who self sponsored themselves. You're all brilliant people who go to the top of the nice list and I can't even begin to say how happy I've been that the internet has connected me with such generous people.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

It's time for the last push guys! One final month of reading for charity approaches and then at the end of December I'll be asking you for your final totals so I know how much to donate to Eco Libris. I think I'm somewhere in the 60s, hoping to make 70 by the end of the year and also hope my sponsors don't freak out about that (said I'd probably read 50 - 60 books).

I have some free bookmarks and matching bookplates to hand out (6 I think) from one of our generous sponsors. So if you'd like a bookmark please comment below and the first 6 get one :)

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Read-a-thon Time!

Just a quick reminder that Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon is coming up the weekend after next (starting at 1pm GMT 24th October). Great opportunity to increase your reading total and have super fun!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

June Update (late)

Gah so yes I've been a little absent, but most importantly I've been reading! Just wanted to drop you a quick update:

I asked for totals in June and in that month I received responses that told me all active participants had read a cumulative total of 386 books (including me). I know the total's probably way bigger now (I'm up from 31 books to 51). Great going guys!

That means alongside your own charity activities you've all helped to raise almost £4 for Eco Libris, that's just over $4 which means next year we'll be helping to plant four new trees.

Unfortunately when I call for totals I'm getting about 12 - 15 responses. I don't know if everyone else is still reading for charity and gathering money. I hope so (give a little hey in the comments if you just haven't had time to return a total).

The next official total call will be the final total now but I'm always happy to receive news on how you're doing!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Sandra's Progress at Fresh Ink Books

The book that inspired my charity choice:
The author was kind enough to stop by my blog and thank me.

Books read to date: 70

Those reviewed:

Sponsors: none yet

Comments, questions, reading recommendations, or links to reviews of any of these book are always welcomed at Fresh Ink Books.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Year of Readers - Fundraising Drive

We’re entering the sixth month of ‘The Year of Readers’, our year long sponsored read-a-thon that’s designed to raising money for literacy charities around the world. If you haven’t heard about the event before
please read our
introductory post introductory post, which is full of information about what we’re doing and how we hope to benefit charities by reading in 2009.

Our readers are doing really well flipping pages and raising money offline, but as the sixth month of the year begins I think we could all use a little online fundraising boost. So if you’re passionate about reading please consider donating to one of our readers so they can advance the cause of reading related charities.

There’s a variety of causes for you to pledge your money to:

I’m reading for Room to Read. You can send me a flat rate donation at my
Justgiving page.

Peta is raising cash for Book Aid International which benefits all kind of literacy organizations. Why not contribute a few pounds to her cause at her
fundraising page.

Sylvia is reading for a couple of Canadian charities CODE and World Literacy of Canada which work to get children and adults in developing countries literacy training and a supply of useful books. Sylvia’s customized the challenge and you can read all about what she’s doing at her
Canada Helps fundraising page.

Melanie is reading for a travelling charity - The Public Library on Wheels. If you want to fund their travels pop by her Canada Gives page.

JC is one of several readers collecting money for First Book, which asks you to remember the joy you felt when you read your own first book. Her fundraising page could use some love.

You can also click through any of the links in the right hand side bar to leave a comment for one of our readers about sponsoring them.

You can help by donating money to one of our readers or by passing on information about ‘The Year of Readers’ to anyone who might be interested in donating. Tweet it, Facebook it or Blog it – however you choose to pass on the message it would be much appreciated.

Finally I’m looking to run a series of silent auctions to increase fundraising. If you have any really cool good quality book related things and would be willing to see them auctioned off for charity please contact me with a comment here. It could be signed copies, ARCs, boxed sets or fancy book paraphernalia. Also if you know anyone who might be interested in donating items please tell them to get in contact here.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

April Prize Draw

The winner of our March prize draw was J C Montgomery who will receive the Softskull book package as well as a few crafty goodies from our craft sponsors (see the sidebar).

I’m going to start up our April competition a little early because I want to tie it in with the 24 hour read-a-thon. If you’re participating as a reader in the 24 hour read-a-thon this year leave a comment on this post (saying you’re a reader)and you will be entered once into the prize draw. At the end of the read-a-thon return here and let me know how many books you read during the 24 hours and you will get an extra entry for each book you read. You must officially sign up as a participant at the 24 hour read-a-thon’s blog to be eligible to enter.

Each book read by participants of The Year of Readers during the 24 hour read-a-thon will also earn quadruple the amount that a regular book read for The Year of Readers usually earns for EcoLibris (so any book read during 24 hour read-a-thon will earn 4p for Eco-Libris).

The prize up for grabs this time is 30 Bookmooch points from my own vast stash. 1 person will win 30 points, 15 of which I will add to your account and 15 of which will go to the Bookmooch charity of your choice. If you don’t have a Bookmooch account you can either start one up and start collecting points (15 points will get you 15 books if they are posted from your own country or 7 from international senders) or donate the whole 30 points to charities (I’m happy to split the charity points between different organisations if you would like). Please note this part of the prize is only for those participating in the 24 hour read-a-thon as readers.

Anyone cheerleading at the 24 hour read-a-thon just needs to comment on this post (saying they are a cheerleader) to be entered to win a copy of ‘Captivity’ by Debbie Lee Wesselman, a handmade bookmark and matching bookplate, handmade bracelet and handmade card.

You can leave your comments any time until noon GMT on April 30th 2009. This competition is open to all official participants of The Year of Readers, taking part in the 24 hour read-a-thon. All winners will be chosen using a random number generator.

Happy Read-a-thon!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Prize Draw - March

This months giveway is extra-super specialicious. Richard Nash who was until just recently running Softskull Press generously donated 5 books for us to pass on to you lucky, lucky readers. He let me pick the titles and even replaced one when the book I picked wasn't availabe. Fabulous guy, really friendly and nice. (You can also buy Softskull titles at Turnaround.)

Books to be won are:

Candy in Action - Matthue Roth
Gone and Back Again - Jonathan Scott
Cool for You - Eileen Myles
Lonely Werewolf Girl - Martin Millar
Branwell - Douglas A Martin

I've decided to make them into one big prize package, but such a big freebie means I'm going to ask you guys to put a little more effort in to win this draw. Don't worry I'm not going to make you joust or anything:)

Recently I've been thinking about where all the books we read in 2009 might end up. The books that leave my house often go in charity bags, some get traded at Bookmooch, sold on Amazon and occassionally I post a book to a campaign that is collecting books to stock libraries, pass on to people who don't have books or raise money for worthy causes.

So to be in with a chance of winning the Softskull book bonanza all you have to do is donate a book to a worthy cause (it's a nice honour system giveway).

For every book you put in the post (or donate locally) before midnight 31st March GMT you get an entry into the draw. Please comment to let me know which organisation you've sent to and how many books you've sent.

You get one extra entry if you write about the cause/s that you're sending books to somewhere (make sure you leave a link to your post in the comments below).

You can get an other entry if someone tells you they were influenced by your post and sent books to a charitable organisation/needful library (think libraries abroad or those destroyed by natural disasters).

To add to the prize giving goodness I'm almost certain that I'll be including a mystery book in with this package so go nuts donating!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

January Favourites

I'm finally putting up the books people picked as the best books they read in January. If you're looking for a book recommended by excellent readers try one of these titles:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
March by Geraldine Brooks
Light on Snow by Anita Shreve
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Watchmen by Alan Moore
The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill
Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden
Ender's Game
Who By Fire by Diana Splecher
The Book of Evidence, John Banville
SEALed With A Kiss by Mary Margaret Daughtridge
house by Josh Simmons
These Happy Golden Years - Laura Ingalls Wilder
Stefan Zweig's "The Post Office Girl"
Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow by Peter H√łeg
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

Mandi Moore (no not that one but I bet the google hits start pouring in now) had an exciting announcement:

'I want to make the announcement that I am expecting a baby! The little one is due July 13th. We have our ultrasound scheduled for Feb 19th to find out the gender.'

Hope that went well :)

People were looking forward to some new releases:

'In February, I'm excited for the new Maeve Binchy novel, although I really didn't like her last one.'

'Scott Pilgrim Vol. 5 by Bryan Lee O'Malley is comes out this week. The Demi God Files by Rick Riordan comes out next week. I am stoked about both of these. One is my favorite indie comic, and the other is a companion book to one of my favorite fantasy series.'

'I'm really looking forward to Evermore by Alyson Noel, which gets released tomorrow (February 3).'

I've only had a few book totals through for February so if you haven't sent yours through please leave it here. I'm thinking I might not ask for any more totals until the middle of the year, I don't want you all to feel the pressure - this is all about fun.

Speaking of fun I'll be announcing the titles in our very special book bonanza giveaway tomorrow. Lots of goodies.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

J.C. Montgomery's Progress

  1. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
  2. March by Geraldine Brooks
  3. Sexing the Cherry by Jeannette Winterson
  4. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
  5. Peony In Love by Lisa See
  6. Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
  7. A Lucky Child by Thomas Buergenthal
  8. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

Comments and questions regarding the above list, please visit my blog. My contact information is on the sidebar.

February Prize Draw Winner

The winner of our February prize draw is N Vasillis - congratulations! I'll be posting out your book and selection of crafty goodies next week.

Thanks to everyone who entered and make sure to check the blog for an extra big giveaway next month :)

Friday, 27 February 2009

January Totals

I was going to pop up the list of everyone's favourite books and announcements for January, but I seem to have left my copy at work so that will have to wait until Monday.

However I can announce the total number fo books we all read in January. I'm still waiting for 12 totals to be returned to me but at the moment our January total stands at 257 books.Amazingly this means we have so far raised over $1440 (£1,019.69) between us! I'm so grateful to everyone for getting involved, keep up the good work :)

Monday, 23 February 2009

February - Prize Draw

This month's fabulous prize draw item comes from McSweeney's . They generously donated a new, hardback copy of Michael Chabon's 'Maps and Legends'. Darren Franich, from McSweeney's sent me this blurb of Chabon's newest non-fiction work:

'Michael Chabon's sparkling first book of nonfiction is a love song in sixteen parts — a series of linked essays in praise of reading and writing, with subjects running from ghost stories to comic books, Sherlock Holmes to Cormac McCarthy. Throughout, Chabon energetically argues for a return to the thrilling, chilling origins of storytelling, rejecting the false walls around "serious" literature in favor of an wide-ranging affection. His own fiction, meanwhile, is explored from the perspective of personal history: post-collegiate desperation sparks his debut, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh; procrastination and doubt reveal the way toward Wonder Boys; a love of comics and a basement golem combine to create the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay; and an enigmatic Yiddish phrasebook unfurls into The Yiddish Policeman's Union.'

To enter to win this book and increase your reading total just leave me a comment telling me what your favourite myth or legend is by 13:00 GMT March 1st. The myth you choose can be from any culture and you can include a brief plot summary if you like, I'm fascinated with myths.Only official members of 'The Year of Readers' (those who have signed up via the site's Mr Linky) are eligible to enter this contest. This contest is open to official participants from all countries and continents. The winner will be decided using a random number generator and the book will be posted to the winner at no cost, regardless of where they live in the world (although I can't legislate for any customs charges that might be made by your country).

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

New: Amazon Associates

I realised I was missing a really easy trick to earn some more money for charity so we now have an Amazon Associates account. Every time any one buys a book from Amazon, through the search box in the left hand column the account earns a referral fee. Every time the account reaches $10 I'll get that amount sent to my bank account and I'll draw the amount earned out every time I receive a payment. This cash will go into a tin for charity (I'm going to draw it out as I go along so I don't have to make a massive withdrawal at the end of the year).

However I'm not sure how the select a charity to send this money to. I think I want to donate it to a charity no one here is already supporting, but which one? Any thoughts?

So the next time you think about buying a book from Amazon please take a minute to drop by the blog and find it via the search engine. Make sure all your friends, family and book blog readers know about it as well.

I'm still collecting totals and questionnaires but I'll be back soon with a post about the books you loved reading in January. Remember to keep dropping links and reviews here (if you ahven't received an invite letting you post here please let me know).

January Totals

Hi everyone, January just flew by didn't it?

So many people seem to have their birthdays in January, which means plenty of nights out, then a serious focus on the New Years resolutions to balance out all the good times. I think I'll have to try to master the art of reading on the exercise bike!

It's time to collect in your reading totals for January. I hope you've all found plenty of time to read and have had good book experiences. I've already received a few totals which have just blown me away, your reading is going to put books into so many new places. BTW if you have already sent your total no need to send it again.

Below is a short questionnaire for you to fill in. You can just tell me how many books you've completed in January if you like or you can provide some extra information. I don't have e-mail addresses for about seven participants so if you didn't receive this message by e-mail as well please let me have your e-mail address.

Copy and paste the questionnaire into an e-mail, title it 'January Totals' and return in to me as soon as possible:

Book Total – January:

Money Raised – January:

Best Book:

Worst Book:

So what else did you do in January?

Has it been easy encouraging people to sponsor you?

Want to comment on anything else book related (announcements, books you're looking forward to, challenge progress)?

The winner of our first monthly prize draw is 'The Medical Librarian'. The prize, a new copy of 'Captivity' by Deborah Lee Wesselman, generously donated by John F Blair Publishing(www.blairpub.com/), a handmade bookmark and matching bookplate from Hindrance Crafts (http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5774337),a cute as heck handmade card from Gingerwinks (http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6345294) and a handmade bracelet made by me (http://www.blinkingmouse.etsy.com) will be sent on as soon as you send me your address.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

January Prize Draw - Captivity: Debbie Lee Wesselmann

It's time for our first prize draw here at 'The Year of Readers', yehaw. I decided to hold monthly draws with prizes that will encourage all participants in their reading. John F Blair is the first publisher who has generously donated a free book to give one lucky participant something new to read. Check out short blurb of 'Captivity' by Debbie Lee Wessemann below:

"Dana Armstrong is no ordinary primatologist. In the 1970s, she was the little blond girl with a chimpanzee for a sister, a participant in her father's psychology experiment that sought to narrow the divide between species. Now, decades later, the black-and-white clips of Dana bathing, learning sign language, and throwing tantrums with her "sister" still flicker in classrooms across the country. Dana wants nothing more than to forget about them, but as director of a chimpanzee sanctuary in the woods of South Carolina, she cannot escape.

Dana arrives at work one morning to discover that the worst has happened: someone has vandalized the buildings and opened the cages, setting loose a group of particularly dangerous chimpanzees. She mobilizes her staff to capture the missing chimps before they can injure local citizens or be killed themselves. The sanctuary is already on precarious ground, and if it fails, the chimps--some infected with HIV, some survivors of experimental surgeries, some rescued from roadside zoos--have nowhere to go. The sanctuary is all they--and Dana--have left."

If you would like to win this book and a small assortment of craft goodies from various Etsy sponsors just comment on this post telling me what your favourite book about nature is by January 31st. (PS you will also receive an e-mail detailing the terms and conditions of this giveaway once I get back to my work computer- only official participants of this challenge who have signed up using Mr Linky are eligible to enter for this prize).

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

What I'm Reading

I'm a bit strapped for time so I thought I'd just do some quick twitterish reviews of read the books I've read so far here. You'll be able to see full reviews later at a variety of locations and I'll be back with links soon. For now:

Dooley Takes the Fall - Norah McClintock

An interesting variation n the YA genre with a noir/crime theme. Dooley is just trying to keep out of trouble, on schedule and away from temptation but he finds himself at the scene of a classmates death at the begining of this book. With a criminal record, a bad reputation and a known altercation with the deceased boy Dooley needs to clear his name fast.

I loved that Dooley had such a well crafted, genuine voice. The book had a fast pace and held my attention through nights filled with 'just one more chapter' before bed. The ending was a little confusing, I couldn't quite work out how two things combined to result in murder for a while. I would like to see some of the long term secondary characters like Dooley's uncle develop more in the next book in the trilogy (which I am super excited about reading) but overall a really satisfying book.

Temeraire - Naomi Novik

Dragons, battles, slash fiction elements, history, unrespectable behaviour and deceit...what's not to love! Captain Laurence and his crew capture a French frigate only to find a dragon egg aboard. The egg is about to hatch so a handler must be found to imprint the dragon before it goes feral and becomes useless to the British AirCorps (the air force but with dragons instead of planes). The dragon rejects the handler chosen and responds to Laurence forcing him into a life away from the navy and respectable society. He and his dragon Temeraire begin to train for a life defending the country from Napoleon.

I love alternate history. Chuck in talking dragons that bond with humans and I am sold. To understand a lot of exactly what I loved about it check out this review by Nic at Eve's Alexandria.

Jazz - Toni Morrisson

Toni Morrisson's earlier work is stunning. She takes a strange occurence and winds a story that makes it effortless to fall into the lives of the characters. I loved the forward to this book where the author said she wanted to write a book that felt and sounded like the launguage and music of the jazz age not a book peppered with historical facts that where static parts of the book.

Violet's husband shoots his sweetheart Dorcas and at the funeral Violet tries to difigure the corpse with a knife. The book is full of the characters histories which entwine with the history of the black civil rights movement and the issue of gradiations in skin colour.

The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen

A lovely romance novel mixed with some magical realism. You can see some of my quick thoughts at Beautiful and Fabulous this week.

So what have you read, what are you reading? How are the challenges going (I know you're all doing them, don't try and hide it)?

Friday, 16 January 2009

Mr Linky

Ok so I'm not paniced quite yet as the Mr Linky device has disappeared and come back before. However I did just see someone at another blog say their Mr Linky has disappeared for good. It's not a big deal for readers as if you signed up with a blog your name is listed in the sidebar, but it's a bit annoying for anyone new who wants to sign up.

So if you're arriving here eager to sign up and start raising funds please just leave a comment with your e-mail address/active website or blog either on this post or on the original post at the top. That way I can get in contact with you.

Hope everyone is finding some great books. I haven't found a bad one so far this year which I think comes from listening to closely to blog recommendations. Remember to link us to your reviews or repost them here.

(Edited to say yes it did pop right up after I posted this just to make me look like a fool but I'm still very glad it's back).

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Start Your Reading

'The Year of Readers' officially begins today. Today we've begun to help some charities and by the end of the year we will all have contributed to making the world just a little better. I'm so excited that over thirty people felt passionately about taking part in this challenge. I hope we get even more people joining up throughout the year.

Feel free to post/cross post from your own blog about great books you read here so others can find great book recommendations. If you have any questions you can contact me at bakerjodie at googlemail dot com .

Happy reading!

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