Monday, June 19, 2006

The 48 Hour Book Challenge--Summary and Wrap-up

Books Read (7 total):
Skellig by David Almond; 182 pages

Before Wings by Beth Goobie; 203 pages

I Was A Teenage Fairy by Francesca Lia Block; 192 pages

Olivia Kidney by Ellen Potter; 155 pages

Night Flying by Rita Murphy; 129 pages

Owl in Love by Patrice Kindl; 204 pages

Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce; 247 pages

Number of Hours Spent Reading:
I believe I spent around 23 hours reading over a 34 hour period. I gave up 14 hours early because I'd run out of books on my theme, thought I would really have to push to read and blog on another book before I would need to pass out for the night, and didn't think any of the other books I had would be as good as the ones I'd just read. I didn't want to wreck the experience.

I also wanted to prove to myself that I wasn't obsessive and could quit when I recognize that the time was right.

Time Spent Reviewing:
I didn't actually keep track of the time I spent reviewing/blogging, but I did try to keep it to a minimum. Though some of those posts look long to me. So I'm going to say 10 to 20 minutes per book, meaning 70 to 140 minutes total, or between an 1 hour 10 minutes and 2 hours and 20 minutes.

What have I learned about magical realism? I'm not sure. I think it's time to read something on the subject. I have questions as a result of my reading, though:

1. All but two of the books I read were about people in crisis experiencing "magical" events. Does magical realism refer to books about people having these kinds of experiences or does magical realism have to deal with a world in which that just is the way things are? That was the case in two of the books I read.

2. Are ghost stories magical realism? Or are they just magical realism?

3. Is it magical realism if there is a possibility that the character experiencing magical events is mentally ill as a result of abuse, crisis, etc.?

Also, my personal goal was 3 to 4 books, which I hoped to exceed, and I did. I keep track of the number of books I read each year. Because of the two-day orgy of reading, I'm up to 50 books so far this year.

I definitely think we should do this again next summer.


fusenumber8 said...

Five out of seven of the books you read included characters, usually people, with wings. So does magical realism in children's literature hinge on this interesting trope? Too soon to say.

Gail Gauthier said...

I noticed that early on, too. I was concerned that that was going to get old fast for me, but evidently there is a great variety of things that can be written about beings with wings.

fusenumber8 said...

And you didn't even get to "The Angel Experiment" or Zilpha Keatley Snyder's "Below the Root" and "Black and Blue Magic". I once made a list of all the children's books that contained people with wings. It's 26 titles and counting...