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1. What are you reading right now?
Pearl Harbor Final Judgement
2. How many books have you read so far?
I'm on book 8!
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
Probably even tie between the Janine Spendlove ones and the Young Wizards books.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Some. Most of them were cat-related and lucky I'm bigger and faster than the kittens. They can be moved.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
I missed reading in long periods of time like this - more than I thought before.
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Books Four, Five, Six, and Seven all done. Also a few quick errands and a nap. Because I'm no longer in college and naps are very important.

So! Greg Rucka's Before The Awakening, George Washington is Cash Money by Cory O'Brien, and Dessa Lux's The Omega's Bodyguard and The Omega's Pack.

Now I am back on the couch with leftover shepherd's pie that my dad made (they're not here, they're unpacking all the things at their new house) and refills on caffeine and water since both of those are very very crucial to endeavors like this.

There's also laundry in the machines and kittens crawling all over me. They're very snuggly today.

Next on the list is another history/nonfiction book: Pearl Harbor Final Judgement by Henry Clausen, who was a Special Investigator for the Secretary of War.
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Books Two and Three are done! Shattered Empire trade by Greg Rucka and War of the Seasons: Book One - The Human by Janine K. Spendlove are now complete.

I think next up is another Rucka book, Star Wars: Before The Awakening before I do dice rolls for what's next after that. And after I finish reading all the things, I will put up mini reviews/ impressions of the books that I have during this thing.

My lovely and charming roommate is exceedingly supportive in this effort and has provided me with coffee AND breakfast as I sit here and read in front of her. She's the best, everyone should have a person like this (but you can't steal mine).

So I have had eggs and coffee and snacks of cashews and walnuts, omnom. Now to more reading!
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Book One is down. War Against The Weak - Eugenics and America's Campaign To Create A Master Race by Edwin Black is complete. A terrifying nonfiction book done by an investigative reporter that will give you a bone-deep chill.

Next up: Something lighter. Shattered Empire
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I started reading spontaneously one day when I was three, so the family lore goes. I asked my mother what the truck next to us said when we were out driving and she asked me which truck to which I promptly replied "Georgia Peachtree Windows and Doors."

Mom was so startled by this that once we got home, she pulled out a book that they hadn't yet read to me and asked me to read it out loud. And then she promptly called my father and told him that he had to stop bringing newspapers home because I was three and could read.

Small note about this story, I could read yes, but I hadn't gotten to the point where I really knew my alphabet? So I knew cat as "cat" and not as "c-a-t spells cat." This was an interesting problem to solve for when I actually hit kindergarten already reading on a third grade level, but with no knowledge about spelling and the alphabet.

But yes, my bookish childhood had several very happy memories - my parents loved reading to us and I credit them with inspiring my lifelong love of the written word. My life would be much poorer without it.

So the top five that I can give you right off the top of my head for my favorite childhood book memories:

1. I finished the first readthrough of the Narnia series at age 4 and I continually go back to reread them and they've given me a lifelong love of dark closets and the persistent idea of falling through to the fantastical from the mundane. Something that has affected how and what I write, I know.

2. Fourth grade recitations of Hamlet's Soliloquy on the playground at Wilder Elementary in Louisville. I was still a very tiny matchstick of a person but the words just sparked this wild thing in me and I was devouring the unabridged plays like no one's business.

3. Listening to my mother read the Fellowship of the Rings to us out loud. A memory I love now, but back then it drove me crazy that we couldn't read through the night. The anticipation was killing me. I'd already fallen in love with the Hobbit and everything about that book.

4. Enjoying the fact that someone had left the unabridged still in lyric form leather bound copy of the Odyssey on the children's shelf so that meant I was allowed to pick it up and read it. Wide -eyed and completely glued to the page, even as I'm hiding as I do it since I pretty much knew that I wasn't really allowed to read these without permission, but it HAD been left on my shelf so...

5. First time reading the Hound of the Baskervilles. I was 8 years old, it was midnight, I was reading under my covers with a flashlight because it was a schoolnight but I didn't care because I had to KNOW what happened next. Just as I get to the really good parts...the neighbor's dog howled and I have never been so terrified before. I'm amazed I didn't wake my sister up.
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1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Nashville, Tennessee! In my hobbit house on a hill.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Honestly I cannot decide. I love them all. It's a good blend of sci-fi, fantasy, and history books.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

The Shepherds Pie for lunch

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I'm a writer and reader and historian! I've participated in Nanowrimo for the last decade and when I found out about this yesterday, I just had to do it.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

Finishing all these books! I'm so excited about that.

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Dorothy Joan Gray

May 2017

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