Day 8: Reading & Blogging for Darfur

Darfur ButtonWell, it’s been one whole week!  I really wanted to get this update out yesterday but have found myself just plain tired.

THANK YOU to everybody who has gotten involved in raising awareness and funds for Darfur.  Be it from your encouraging words, blogging about it, putting buttons in sidebars, and reading books or watching videos about Darfur.  If you haven’t gotten involved yet, it’s not to late!  Why should you, you ask?  Well, I basically want people to at least see the word Darfur and wonder what in the world does that mean?  So many of us haven’t ever heard of Darfur, much less know that the world’s largest humanitarian crisis is taking place there.  The government of Sudan has killed hundreds of thousands of its own citizens and continues to terrorize them.  And we aren’t doing enough to stop it.

I’ve gotten a lot of great support!  But I know that it could be more.  It’s not to late to get involved.  Even if you see the button on somebody else’s blog and think it’s enough, think again.  Your readers aren’t necessarily their readers.  I’m trying to reach more than just bloggers.  If a hundred blogs mentioned Darfur in a single post, how many people would that reach?  Thousands!  If a hundred blogs left the button in their sidebar all month how many of their readers would see it?  Even more.

I remember the first time I ever saw the word Darfur.  It was on the way to my husbands grandma’s house.  There was this college duplex that had a huge sign in the window that said, “Save Darfur.”  After passing that sign half a dozen times, I started to feel guilty that I didn’t know what in the world they were talking about.  So of course I had to look it up.  It’s that same type of awareness that I’m trying to create.  Plus, I kept those numbers really low (50 cents a post, $1 a sidebar) hoping that it would add up to a lot.

And leave me those comments!  I’m having my own read-a-thon this month and those comments, small as they may seem, keep me going!  I’ve found myself getting into bed at one-thirty in the morning only to turn on the lamp to get some reading done.  When I ran my 100th post giveaway I was averaging 30 comments a post, so I know we can do better.  So stop by, say hello, boost my spirits.  Besides donating ten cents a post, I’m just being greedy and saying that I need help staying awake.

Thanks so much to everybody who has sponsored my reading at a penny a page, 50 cents a post or both!  I have approximately 13 sponsors.  I’d love to have at least 25 sponsors. So get the word out there! I know many were unsure and still deciding.  Just let me know before the end of the month, so I know if you’ll be eligible for the grand prize.  If I get 25 sponsors I’ll add a $25 gift certificate to Amazon to the grand prize.

So what have I finished this past week?  The fact that I’m reading Ana Karanina by Leo Tolstoy makes me feel better about counting the pages for some of those easier reads.  Books I’ve reviewed are linked over.  Others are coming.

  • What Jamie Saw by Carolyn Coman: 126 pages
  • The Devil Came on Horseback:  Bearing Witness to the Genocide in Darfur by Brian Steidle:  230 pages
  • This is What I Did by Ann Dee Ellis: 176 pages
  • When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka:  160 pages
  • Clementine by Sara Pennypacker:  135 pages
  • Clementine’s Letter by Sara Pennypacker:  150 pages
  • The Talented Clementine by Sara Pennypacker:  137 page
  • Where I Live by Eileen Spinelli (saying it only took me ten minutes to read this one, I didn’t count pages)
  • Darfur Diaries:  Stories of Survival by Jen Marlowe:  256 page
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee:  284 pages
  • A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck:  148 pages
  • Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale:  (didn’t count pages for this one either)
  • The Leper Compound by Paula Nangle:  192 pages

Author Interviews from this past week:

Other posts published since September 1st:

Stats so far:

  • Pages read since September 1st:  1,994 at a penny a page equals  $19.94
  • Posts published since September 1st:  14 at .50 cents a post equals $7.00
  • Number of comments received (including trackbacks, etc. because I’m not about to try to subtract those out):  317 at .10 cents a comment equals  $31.70.  Let’s double that this next week!
  • Number of bloggers who posted about the campaign:  51 at .50 cents each equals $25.50 (I upped this from .25 cents, I may go up to a dollar if more people blog about it)
  • Number of bloggers who posted button in their sidebar:  28 at .50 cents each equals $14
  • Number of Darfur books read or documentaries watched: 3 at .50 cents each equals $1.50
  • Number of books or videos reviewed by bloggers: 2 at $1 each equals $2.00
    (Think of those books and videos as a mini-challenge.  I’m assuming since it was the first week, it was low numbers.  Let’s get those books read!)

Visit these great reviews!

  • Mrs. B. Roth from It is I, Mrs. B. Roth watched the documentary The Devil Came on Horseback and wrote up a great review.
  • Megan from Leafing Through Life read Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur by Halima Bashir and I’m eagerly awaiting her review.
  • Marcia at The Printed Page also read Tears of the Desert:  A Memoir of Survival in Darfur and gave a great review.  But what’s more is that she’s giving away her copy over at Up for Grabs and donating .50 cents for each entry.  So go over there and enter!!  Tears of the Desert is a new release that you don’t want to miss!
  • Let me know if I missed you and I’ll make sure to link over next week.

Giveaways!  These are just the prizes that were announced this week.  Next week at about the mid-point I’ll announce the majority of the prizes and list who is eligible to win.  Trust me, if you haven’t gotten involved yet, you will want to! There are TONS MORE!!  Read here for details on what to do to become eligible.

It’s not to late to get involved.  Open to everybody, everywhere!  Click here for all of the details and click here for a great Darfur primer.


  1. I’m eagerly following along with what you’re doing this month. Glad for the update!

    on September 9th, 2008 at 10:53 pm
  2. Wow, for earlyish on, that is some progress report! Well done to you!

    on September 10th, 2008 at 12:22 am
  3. I’m really excited abut your first week stats! Looking goood.

    I haven’t figured out how to get your button up on my sideboard but I am working on it.

    on September 10th, 2008 at 2:51 am
  4. It’s a great start, Natasha!

    I’m almost embarrassed to ask this (due to ignorance), but I was wondering if other books regarding Sudan would count towards your effort to raise awareness? A dear friend of mine asked/encouraged me to read They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The Story of Three Lost Boys From Sudan for the Non-Fiction Five Challenge, but I didn’t get to it. I would read that this month, too, if it was applicable. I do not know where in Sudan the story takes place and I do not know if it is even related to the genocide of Darfur. I do understand that it is not on your list and will respect your decision either way. The book will get read eventually, but it was worth a try.

    on September 10th, 2008 at 5:33 am
  5. Wow Natasha, that is really an intense amount of reading and writing you have done! You’re doing awesome.

    on September 10th, 2008 at 5:37 am
  6. Ok, I just wrote a comment, but I am not sure it got through. If it did: the more comments the better! ;-)

    I just wanted to let you know that you’re doing great! Keep it going, Natasha! Also, I realized that I completely forgot to put up your button on my blog, so I just did that. And I put up a post about your campaign on my non-book blog:

    on September 10th, 2008 at 7:30 am
  7. You are doing great! I can’t believe how much reading you are doing!

    on September 10th, 2008 at 8:03 am
  8. It’s fun to see the stats. You’ve had a really good start! Keep up the good work! :)

    on September 10th, 2008 at 8:22 am
  9. [...] campaign.  The original information about her campaign is here, and her first update is here. [...]

    on September 10th, 2008 at 8:38 am
  10. Great job–keep up the good work!

    on September 10th, 2008 at 10:12 am
  11. I can’t wait till you uncover the other prizes!

    on September 10th, 2008 at 10:34 am
  12. AWESOME in just a week!

    I’m headed to the library on my lunchbreak today, armed with your book list. Our library is tiny, but hopefully they’ll have something I can get.

    on September 10th, 2008 at 10:51 am
  13. I think this is going really well! Everytime I pop by someone’s blog I see the button or a post about this. Don’t get discouraged!!!

    on September 10th, 2008 at 11:56 am
  14. I finished reading the book Not On Our Watch by Don Cheadle and John Prendergast.

    on September 10th, 2008 at 12:53 pm
  15. boosting spirits!!!! =] lol. btw. thanks for the update! idk how you even keep track of everything yourself! and no need to be discouraged. the month has just begun!!!! =]

    on September 10th, 2008 at 1:34 pm
  16. I’ve got some books to read, and a video. I haven’t quite gotten to them yet. You’re doing well. Keep up the good work.

    on September 10th, 2008 at 1:58 pm
  17. Wow! Amazing progress already! Keep up the great work! I will be blogging about the documentary I watched this weekend. Eye-opening just like you said. I need it to soak in.

    on September 10th, 2008 at 3:43 pm
  18. You are doing great! Keep up the good work!

    on September 10th, 2008 at 5:42 pm
  19. Thanks all!! I finished one book this morning and read two others. Now about to try to get some blogging done.

    Joy – No worries! That’s what I love about this whole thing is having people learn something that they didn’t know before. The Lost Boys refer to a conflict that took place in Southern Sudan. Darfur and Southern Sudan are certainly related, but currently the genocide is taking place in Darfur which is a region in the north west part of Sudan. I’ve looked at that book a couple of times and would like to read it as well. There are a lot of books and documentaries about The Lost Boys but in this case I haven’t listed them as books relating to Darfur. Don’t let that stop you though!

    on September 10th, 2008 at 9:46 pm
  20. Oh, my friend will not let me get away with not reading it, so it will get read! :) I just won’t push to get it read for this month and your campaign – which is fine, I totally understand the difference now. And, yes, since she told me about it, I have seen numerous books on “The Lost Boys”, as well.

    on September 11th, 2008 at 6:25 am
  21. Wow. I don’t know where you find the time to do all this, but you’re doing fantastic!

    on September 13th, 2008 at 9:33 am

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