08 Jun 2014

forty-eight-hours: the agony of defeat

Greetings! I bring tidings of my crushing 48 hour book challenge defeat!

No, I did not crush the challenge with my reading superiority. It definitely crushed me. Did not complete, DNF, giant fail stamp.

But it was fun! Let me tell you what I did…

  • I spent a little morning time in Westeros.
  • I polished off two half-finished YA books.
  • I started a third!
  • I listened to all but TWENTY! MINUTES! of an audiobook (groan, groan, groan)
  • I read on the train, at my Starbucks, at the bus stop, while washing dishes and folding laundry, in my bed, on the couch, in a bank lobby, in a shoe store, and on my back porch.

In total, I read about 580 pages. I spent 5 hours and 43 minutes listening to audio and the remaining 4 hours and 48 minutes reading print and ebooks. So I read for about 10 hours and 30 minutes.

Ah, where might have scraped up that extra hour and a half? I did work 9 to 2 on Friday, then sit on an alumni panel at my dear alma mater from 3 to 5:30 in the afternoon. I did squeeze in a little audio time in the morning while I did some of my more menial work tasks, but could I have squeezed more? I also came home from work and watched American Hustle instead of reading… oh my.

But I believe the more compelling factors leading to my failure related to two of life’s great joys – Food and Friends. On Friday, one of my very dearest librarian friends magically appeared on my afternoon panel. She no longer lives in town, so I just could not pass up the opportunity to have dinner with her. And have I mentioned my latest nutty, experimental diet? Well, we are doing Tim Ferriss’s Slow Carb diet, during which you skip all carbs, grains, sugars, and dairy during the week, but can eat WHATEVER YOU WANT on your cheat day. So while I envisioned a peaceful Saturday at home, reading and eating bonbons, I found myself traipsing around town in search of treats, and then over to our friends’ place for a Cheat Day Barbecue.

I’m alright with my decisions. Just look at these pastries! I did have a good time reading, though, and I will definitely participate in the future. Thanks again to MotherReader for putting all of this together! Here is a little bit about what I read…

Breakfast Served Anytime by Sarah Combs 

Read: 128 pages – Finished

Smart girl attends summer college program. Makes friends, talks about literature, learns about Kentucky. This is the kind of realism that Pre-Grad-School Jessica just adored. Now that I am Older and Wiser, I found the narration a little over the top and the plot a bit overstuffed, but other than that it was a lovely little thing.


When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds 


This is a book about being young in Brooklyn, about status and honor, about what loyalty, family, and friendship is really worth. It’s also just a little story about a couple of friends trying to crash their first real house party. Reynolds crams a lot of thematic content into a relatively simple plot-line without even a single didactic moment, which is completely admirable.


Like No Other by Una LaMarche

Read: ehhh about 150 pages, idk, my bookmark disappeared – Finished

I’ve been nursing this e-galley for over a month now. It wasn’t high on my priority list for this 48 Hour Book Challenge, but you know… sometimes you leave the book you are supposed to be reading in a place you are not and then you are stuck reading whatever is on your phone. Anyway, I thought it was appropriate for this year’s focus on diverse reads – this is a love story about two teens, one West Indian Black Boy, one Hasidic Jewish White Girl, with alternating POV chapters. This didn’t have the mood or narrative style of… oh… that other book about a star-crossed interracial teen romance, but it was otherwise a solid read. I really liked the ending – it was honest and bittersweet and really honored both protagonists as individuals rather than two halves of a romantic plotline.


Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot 

Read: 45 pages

The next on my Required Reading stack, and yet another Yes, This Book Is Just For You, Jessica kind of book. This time of the boarding school/rich families who live on islands variety. I put forty-five pages away yesterday afternoon and I am definitely hooked. Glad I can end my little read-a-thon with this one on deck!


A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Read: 23 pages

And what would any weekend of reading be without a little time spent in Westeros? I’ve been re-re-(re)-reading A Game of Thrones with my morning coffee. This weekend, Arya caught some cats and Catelyn Stark rode a mule up to the Eyrie to watch her sister breastfeed. Good times.



  1. Liviania wrote:

    Those pastries look worth it to me!

    I’ve got Like No Other on my TBR, so it’s good to hear that it is a solid read.

    Posted on 6.9.14 · Reply to comment
    • jessica wrote:

      The pastries were definitely worth it. Where is the 48 hr pastry eating contest? I could definitely get behind that one…

      Posted on 6.11.14 · Reply to comment
  2. Great reading choices and its amazing with your busy weekend what you accomplished. Good job!

    Posted on 6.9.14 · Reply to comment
    • jessica wrote:

      Why thank you! Maybe next year I will actively choose to tamp down my busy-body-ness and finish all 12!

      Posted on 6.11.14 · Reply to comment

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