Regular Rumination

Dutch Lit Month!

Posted by in Blogging, Books, Challenges!

Iris is hosting her Dutch Lit Month again in June 2012. I missed this event last year, so I’m very excited to participate this year. I don’t read nearly enough books in translation, let alone Dutch literature. You can read more about Dutch Lit Month and sign up for the event (and two others!) over at Iris’s blog.

I’ve decided to read the newest novel by Margriet de Moor called The Storm. I wanted to read one of the books that Iris suggested, but I had a surprisingly difficult time finding their translations at my library. They were often available, but I couldn’t put them on reserve. We also have a HUGE collection of the books in their original Dutch. I was really excited to see that.

I’ll admit, what attracted me to The Storm is the cover. Isn’t it beautiful? I’ll be reading and reviewing this title sometime in June and I hope you’ll join the Dutch Lit Month challenge!

 

4

TSS – The Classics Club

Posted by in Blogging, Books, Challenges!, Classics

So, as far as I can tell, my last Sunday Salon was in December 2010. I was a religious Sunday Saloner, but, and this is a running theme in my life, I got lazy and a little burned out about having a non-review post each month. Now, though, I have the opposite problem. I have so many things to talk about and none of them are reviews. I’m done writing reviews about books that are just OK. Excellent books? Yes. Horrible books? Absolutely. I used to want to write a review for every book I read, but there are just some books I don’t have an original thought about. See every John Green book ever and Kavaleir and Clay.

In any case, I think I’ll reinstate my weekly Sunday Salon posts. For whatever reason, I’m currently obsessed with creating reading lists and setting myself up for failure. After all these years of blogging, I know myself. My reading lists and goals, like the recent Orange Longlist goal, are things that I would like to finish, but I never really beat myself up about it if I don’t. I don’t know that I’ve ever finished a reading challenge I set for myself (see: recent TBR Dare failure), but I’ve also never stressed out about it. So when Jillian’s Classics Club was announced… well, it was the perfect opportunity for me to make yet another list that I may or may not finish.

Essentially The Classics Club is a list of classic books you would like to read in 5 years. You need to choose 50+ classics , set an end date, and then comment on Jillian’s blog.

And now, my list! I apologize in advance: I did not alphabetize this list. I just wrote it as I thought of books I wanted to read or saw them on various other lists.

Start Date – 3/10/12
End date – 3/10/17

Rereads

1. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
2. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
3. Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston
4. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
5. Something Wicked This Way Comes –  Ray Bradbury
6. We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Shirley Jackson
7. The Things They Carried - Tim O’Brien
8. Howl - Allen Ginsberg
9. Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead – Tom Stoppard
10. Hamlet – Shakespeare
11. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf - Edward Albee

Poetry

1. The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas - Dylan Thomas
2. The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats  – W. B. Yeats
3. T. S. Eliot: Collected Poems1909-1962 - T. S. Eliot
4. H. D.: Collected Poems 19-12-1944 – H. D.
5. The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes - Langston Hughes
6. Birthday Letters – Ted Hughes
7. Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman
8. Ariel: The Restored Edition – Sylvia Plath
9. The Collected Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay - Edna St. Vincent Millay
10. Selected Poems (William Carlos Williams) - William Carlos Williams
11. Selected Poems - Gwendolyn Brooks

Prose 

Pre-1700

1. The Illiad – Homer
2. The Odyssey -  Homer
3. Something by Shakespeare
4. Historia verderdera de la conquista de la Nueva España - Bernal Díaz del Castillo

1700s

1. The Monk – Matthew Lewis
2. A Vindication of the Rights of Man - Mary Wollstonecraft
3. The Sorrows of Young Werther – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
4.  The Expedition of Humphry Clinker – Tobias Smollett
5. The Mysteries of Uldolpho - Ann Radcliffe

1800s

1. Emma - Jane Austen
2. Walden – Henry David Thoreau
3. The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson – Ralph Waldo Emerson
4. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
5. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
6. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
7. The Origins of Species - Charles Darwin
8. North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell
9. Tess of the D’Ubervilles - Thomas Hardy
10. The Complete Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
11. The Haunted House – Charles Dickens et. al.
12. The Prince and the Pauper – Mark Twain
13. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court - Mark Twain
14. Shank’s Mare (Tokaidochu Hizakurige) - Ikku Jippensha and Sadakazu Shigeta
15. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne
16. The Lost World - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
17. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
18. Los pazos de Ulloa - Emilia Pardo Bazán

1900s

1. I Am A Cat - Natsumi Soseki
2. Respiración artificial - Ricardo Piglia
3. Go Tell It on the Mountain - James Baldwin
4. Dust Tracks on A Road: An Autobiography – Zora Neale Hurston
5. Gigi - Collette
6. La muerte de Artemio Cruz - Carlos Fuentes
7. El aleph – Jorge Luis Borges
8. Woman in the Dunes – Kobo Abe
9. Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids - Kenzaburo Oe
10. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
11. The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemmingway
12. Of Human Bondage - W. Somerset Maugham
13. The Painted Veil  – W. Somerset Maugham
14. The Razor’s Edge - W. Somerset Maugham
15. East of Eden - John Steinbeck
16. The Waves - Virginia Woolf
17. Orlando - Virginia Woolf
18. To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
19. A Room of One’s Own - Virginia Woolf
20. O, Pioneers! - Willa Cather
21. My Ántonia - Willa Cather
22. Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton
23. Ethan Frome - Edith Wharton
24. Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier



This list comes in at 69 books, so I’ll have to read 14 a year or so. I can see future-Lu laughing at my ambitious Spanish reading plans, but I’d like to read more books in Spanish to keep up my language skills, so this is the perfect opportunity. I’m excited to get started! And look, I just barely made this in before Sunday ended.

7

Quick reminder

Posted by in Blogging, Challenges!

This is a (very late) reminder that the Read More/Blog More Poetry Event post for February will go up tomorrow. You can sign up with your link over at Kelly’s blog. I can’t wait to read about the poetry you read in February!

0

A Moby Dick Readalong for Your Winter Blues

Posted by in Books, Challenges!, readalong

So when I posted my TBR Dare/Challenge post, I cheekily listed Moby Dick on there, thinking there was little chance I’d actually read it. But then so many people commented saying that they loved Moby Dick and that I should start of 2012 with that particular novel. Of all the books I listed, more people mentioned Moby Dick. Then it seemed to be everywhere. People were writing blog posts about it, saying how much they loved or hated it. Finally, I just decided that Moby Dick will be one of the first books I read in 2012. Someone (Jillian, perhaps?) pointed me toward the Conquering Moby Dick Readalong by The Blue Bookshelf and I’m thrilled to join in.

I’ve already started reading and let me just tell you, I love it so far! It’s so interesting and actually funny in some parts, though I’m not entirely convinced it’s supposed to be funny. Most of all, though, I love the narrator and his voice and I think there are some truly beautiful passages about the sea. I can’t wait to keep reading more. So if you think you might like to join in, the first post goes up on January 12! I know it’s soon, but I’m surprised how quickly I’ve been reading Moby Dick. We’ll see if I still feel the same way when I’m 200 pages in, but so far, so good.

Thanks for convincing me to read Moby Dick, y’all!

5

Books I Need to Read in 2012

Posted by in Books, Challenges!

So, I’ve got this really philosophical post waiting in the wings about lots of things, but I’ve decided that I’m not going to post that just yet. Instead I’m going to announce the great TBR Challenge of 2012. You see, up until I moved away from my hometown, I was a library fiend. I read and checked out books like it was my job. In that time frame the amount of books I owned also grew. And grew. And grew. Yet, I still rarely read the books I own.

It’s a familiar story, yes? So familiar that there are TWO TBR Challenges going on right now. I haven’t participated in a challenge in a while, but this is one that I was planning on doing anyway, so why not participate in both? Is that allowed? I say it is. One is the 2012 To Be Read Pile Challenge over at Roof Beam Reader and the other is the TBR Double Dare over at Ready When You Are, CB. The rules are slightly different, so it’s safe to say I’ll have two different lists for each challenge. In the mean time, I’ll get all these books read and then cleaned off my shelves! Unless, of course, they’re too good and I have to keep the to myself.

I’ll be honest. I’m entirely freaked out by how many books are on this list. I decided to record all the books I have on my shelves right this moment. The rest are still packed away at my parents house from when I moved. This is not even a quarter of my books, not even close. How did I acquire so many?! It’s going to take me YEARS to read them all! Before book blogging I owned zero books that I hadn’t read, because I would go to the store, buy books, come home, read. Now look at me!

I’d like to read this entire list in 2012. That’s it. None of the books from home, just these. I’m sure I won’t get through all of them. I know me. I’d really like to try, though. Since I usually read around 100 books a year, give or take a few, that will still give me 35 books, give or take a few, to read outside of this list. I might get a head start on some of them, too.

I want to start 2012 out with a good one. Anything from this list that blew your mind?

Books for the 2012 TBR Pile Challenge

(Must be published before 2011, 12 books total)

1. Proust Was A Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer
2. The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni
3. Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks
4. Tokyo Cancelled  by Rana Dasgupta
5. Empire Falls by Richard Russo
6. The Amnesiac by Sam Taylor
7. The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
8. The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric
9. Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey
10. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
11. Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon by Craig Nelson
12. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Alternates

1. Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra
2. Moby Dick by Herman Melvill

Books for the TBR Double Dare

(Only read books on already on your shelf before 1/1/12, except for exceptions. My exceptions: any book clubs, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, possibly all the books on this list.)

1.  What You See in the Dark by Manuel Muñoz
2. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
3. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
4. The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice
5. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
6. Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier
7. The Pattern in the Carpet  by Margaret Drabble
8. Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst
9. Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson
10. Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas
11. The Constant Gardener by John Le Carré
12. Memorial by Bruce Wagner
13. A Happy Marriage by Rafael Yglesias
14. City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell
15. 13 edited by James Howe
16. Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
17. I Thought You Were Dead by Pete Nelson
18. In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
19. The Coldest Night by Robert Olmstead
20. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Random Riggs
21. Truth & Beauty by Anne Patchett
22. The Best of It by Kay Ryan
23. Let’s Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell
24. The Beekeeper’s Lament by Hannah Nordhaus
25. So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman
26. Emma by Jane Austen
27. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
28. Imaginary Homelands by Salman Rushdie
29. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
30. A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
31.  Lions of the West by Robert Morgan
32. A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz
33. Escape on the Pearl by Mary Kay Ricks
34. Listening Is an Act of Love by Dave Isay & StoryCorps
35. Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose
36. An Atlas of Impossible Longing by Anuradha Roy
37. The Best American Comics 2011 edited by Alison Bechdel
38. Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue by John McWhorter
39. Evening is the Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan
40. The Lost City of Z by David Grann
41. Matterhorn  by Karl Marlentes
42. A Death in the Family by James Agee
43. The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell
44. Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon
45. Possesion by AS Byatt
46. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
47. Exley by Brock Clarke
48. Vita Nova by Louise Glück
49. The Seven Ages by Louise Glück
50. Averno by Louise Glück
51. Nothing: A Portrait of Insomnia by Blake Butler
52. The Wrong Blood by Manuel De Lope
53. Peace Like A River by Leif Enger
54. On Borrowed Wings by Chandra Prasad
55. Native Speaker by Chang Rae Lee

49

Happy Birthday to…

Posted by in Blogging, Books, Challenges!, Family, Grad School, Life

Happy birthday to… ME.

The birthday girl, 21 years ago.

Yes, blogland, today I am 22.

So I thought I would write 22 things I would like to accomplish in my 23rd year.  Some of them are big goals, some of them are simple, all of them are important.  In no particular order:

1. Write a 150 page minimum thesis about Roberto Bolaño. Let’s start big, right?  This is going to have to happen this year, no matter what!

2. Travel to a part of the USA I have never visited before. Going to Spain and talking to folks made me realize just how little of my own country I’ve really seen.

3. Keep reading amazing books.  I’m not too worried about this one.

4. Embrace all the changes in my life instead of being stressed out by them.  Things have already started changing in my life and I can’t let it always stress me out.  Things are always going to change, but I should accept those changes as exciting opportunities, not terrifying moments.

5. Move to a new city.  This is another one that’s probably inevitable this year, but more than just move to a new city, I want to make that new city my own.  I’m going to live it and love it and find all the fabulous things about it.

6. Write more.  Though I haven’t officially started working on my NaNoWriMo project, maybe that will get me going on this one.

7. Keep maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I’m really proud of myself – I have managed to maintain a gym membership and have kept trying hard to eat well.  I’m definitely not going to let that taper off in my 23rd year.

8. Cook more! Always cook extra to freeze.  I love cooking, I just need to plan ahead a little better and find the time to really cook what I love.  I want to buy less frozen food and prepared food and begin cooking naturally.

9. Read more of the books I have on my shelves. They’re getting overwhelming and I need to read more before I acquire more.  I can’t rely so much on my library until these books are read!

10.  Clean more.  I should donate things I don’t use anymore, like all the clothing I have that I do not wear.  Also, anyone who knows me well knows that I’m more than a little bit messy.  I’m going to spend this year trying to change that.  I’ll make my bed every day.  (Maybe.)

11.  Refinish this old dining room chair I have in my room.  My dad gave it to me from his old dining room set and right now it’s pretty ugly and a little bit broken, but I have some grand ideas for it that just might involve crochet and purple paint.

12. Learn how to sew, better. I know the basics of sewing and can sew some very simple things, but I have a sewing machine and I want to learn how to use it to make my own clothes and gifts.

13. Finish my granny square blanket.  I started crocheting a blanket before I left for Spain and I’m determined to finish it this year.

14. Enjoy every minute of my life. Sometimes we all need a reminder to enjoy the life we have.  I am guilty of spending too much time thinking about the future and what’s going to happen that I miss what is happening.

15. Keep up Regular Rumination.  I think I let my blog slip a little this past summer and I’d like to keep it up a little bit better.  I need to figure out what is working and what isn’t.

16. Start a food blog.  Notice I didn’t say maintain or keep up with or successfully start a food blog, but I have always wanted a food blog, even if it is just a way to get me cooking more.

17. Make a photo light box.  I want to have more professional looking photographs for this blog and my potential food blog.

18. Save some money.  It’s time to start building a savings if I can, especially if I’m going to be moving to a new city.

19. Start learning another language.  I ran into people in Europe who spoke at least a little bit of more than 3 languages.  I speak 2 languages, and I have studied 3 (other than English), but two of those languages I can barely say hello in.  I want to have a somewhat working knowledge of third language.  I’m thinking German.

20. Never take my loved ones for granted.  I have an amazing family, amazing friends and an amazing boyfriend.  I need to keep telling them that they are the best thing in my life and that I appreciate them every day.

21. Start collecting furniture.  This one is also related to moving to a new city.  I need to start building a collection of kitchen supplies and furniture.

22. Don’t be afraid.  Sometimes I’m timid, shy or nervous about myself and the decisions I make.  I need to own them.  I need to stand up for myself and not be so afraid of making mistakes.

So what does a book blogger do on her birthday?  Offer a present to her loyal readers!  I will be giving away two books today.  If you leave a comment on this post, you will automatically be entered in the giveaway.  First place winner gets first choice, second place winner gets whatever is left over!  I’ll draw a winner during Sunday Salon! Your book choices are:

  • The Double by José Saramago
  • The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon

Good luck! :)

19

TSS – An Announcement

Posted by in Challenges!, Poetry, Sunday Salon

Good morning!  I hope you’re having a wonderfully lazy Sunday morning… or a productive one, if that’s how you roll.  That is definitely not  how I like to roll, but unfortunately that’s how it has to be this morning.  I’m heading back to school today, so I’m packing and getting ready for some long driving.  I’ve read a lot of great books this week, which will be reviewed… eventually.  I have been feeling very overwhelmed the past few days and I’m not sure why.  There’s nothing going on that’s particularly overwhelming, but I think it’s just the pre-school jitters.

Anyway!  I have some very exciting news.  After much planning and deliberating, Jason and I are finally ready to go public with our brand new challenge for 2010!  I know that you are already signed up for a billion challenges, but this one is really worth making it a billion and one.  A lot of bloggers have been talking about wanting to read more poetry and Jason and I decided that we should have a more inclusive challenge that incorporated more genres of poetry.  I started the VPR Poetry Challenge back in May, but it was only for  twentieth century poetry.  This challenge gives you a lot more room to explore different time periods and genres.   The challenge is called Clover, Bee & Reverie: A Poetry Challenge, after one of Emily Dickinson’s poems and I’m super excited about it!

Can I entice you with pretty buttons?

There might be some opportunities for mini-challenges and guest posts and who knows what other surprises along the way!  Head on over to the blog to sign up and we really can’t wait to see you there :D

28

On resolutions and reading in 2010

Posted by in Blogging, Books, Challenges!

I swore off making resolutions for quite a few years.  Mostly my life was controlled by everything around me and I didn’t need resolutions adding disappointment into the mix, so I just went along for the ride.  I don’t know if that’s necessarily the reason I would have given you then, but now that  I’m a few years removed from high school that seems right.  Now that I have a little bit more control in my life, it definitely is time for me to not only make resolutions, but make loosely defined plans that will help me make 2010 the best year yet.  I’m not really one for following strict plans or guidelines, in fact I seem to take a perverse pleasure in doing the exact opposite of what I plan most of the time, but I could use just a little structure to the year.  To that end I have a few personal plans and reading plans that I’d like to follow.

The goal of 2010 is to find balance.  So I bring you 10 goals for 2010, all focused on balancing my life.

1) Healthier equals happier.  This covers a lot of ground, but overall I think that I need to find a healthier lifestyle.  I need to eat-in more, instead of grabbing food to go on the road, and I need to exercise  more.   Finding a class to keep me motivated would not be a bad idea.  This isn’t necessarily about losing weight (though that would be a welcome side effect), but instead it is about being as healthy as possible.

2) Spending does not always equal happier.  Spending less money and saving more money will be a huge goal of 2010.  I want to take a big trip in the next five years, so I’d like to make that possible.

3) Stress-free equals happier.  I’m prone to stressing out about things that I don’t need to.  I’m going to work hard to find the little things that make each day special and cut back on the unnecessary stress.

4) Read more classics!  I firmly believe that reading the classics can only help you to understand contemporary literature even more.  I would like to read at least 15 classics published before 1970.

5) Use challenges as a way to focus reading, to read more books by women, by people of color, by authors from different countries.

6) Find more of a balance between the genres of fiction, non-fiction, recently published and older novels, YA and middle grade.

7) Read more poetry.  This will probably be a little easier considering the sorta secret surprise Jason and I are working on.

8 ) Read more short stories.

9) Find more time in my life for things like crocheting and cooking healthy meals.

10) Write more.  This is a big one.  One of my biggest dreams in my life is to become a published author.  I have been focusing heavily on poetry for the last four or five years and will continue to write poetry, but I would also like to write more fiction.  Over all, I don’t write nearly enough.  For this goal, I need more structure.  I would like to write 500 words of fiction and 1 poem per week.

I can get behind all of these goals and I’m really hopeful for 2010.  I love the new year just for that fresh feeling you get at the beginning of the year for all the great things this year will bring.   I hope all of you had a safe holiday and are as excited about 2010 as I am.

15

TSS – Epic List of Challenges! 22 November 2009

Posted by in Blogging, Books, Challenges!

Good morning!  As you read this I am doing one of four things:

  1. Packing to go home for Thanksgiving
  2. Seeing New Moon
  3. Driving home!
  4. Finishing up my paper on “The House of Bernarda Alba”, which is a great play everyone should see.

I’m super excited for the holidays and looking forward to the break from class.  What are your plans for the holiday?  Anything exciting?  I know that I’m excited about delicious food, like the bbq my grandmother cooks every year.  Mmm.  This week read quite a bit, mostly because I read three YA books that had very similar themes.  I finished Under the Skin, The Adoration of Jenna Fox, Genesis, The Compound, The Untelling and The Emperor’s Children.  All of them were very good.  I really didn’t know what I thought of The Emperor’s Children until the very last page, but I’m looking forward to sitting down with the review because it’s going to be an interesting discussion.  Anyone read The Compound?  That books is CRAZY.   Just insane.   The ending wasn’t really shocking, but the whole concept was wild.  I still haven’t wrapped my head around Genesis to write a proper review of it, but it has an ending that will knock you off your feet.

I’m currently reading Man in the Dark by Paul Auster and I really like it so far.  I organized all my books yesterday and they are beautiful.

Okay, now for the exciting news: CHALLENGES.  Twitter and all the blogs have been alight with book challenges and it’s so tempting to join them all.  I joined a lot of challenges last year, but was really disorganized and ended up only finishing a few of them.  This year I plan on being much more organized.  Here is a preliminary list of challenges I have joined:

 

Women Unbound: Hosted by the wonderful Eva, Care and Aarti, I finally decided to join the Women Unbound challenge!  I’ve already read one book (The Untelling) and I’m looking forward to all the others.  I am joining the Bluestocking level, which is 5 books, 2 nonfiction.  I’m not sure what I’m going  to read yet, but I will come up with a list soon.

 

 

AtoZChallenge: Last year I joined this challenge and I went for the most difficult level (reading an author  and a book title for every letter of the alphabet) and I ended up just not having enough time/energy to keep up with it.  So this year, I’m going to be a little bit more conservative and only join the A-Z Titles.

 

The Challenge that Dare Not Speak its Name: GLBT Challenge 2010.  The amazing Amanda of The Zen Leaf is extending her GLBT challenge for an entire year and I’m really excited about this one.  I was a little eager and already checked out a number of books from the library, including Geography Club, Boys Like Us: Gay Writers Tell Their Coming Out Stories, The Diary of Frida Kahlo, Virginia Wolf, and Bastard Out of Carolina. I signed up for the Pink Triangle level, which is 8 books.  I’ll be doing a post on GLBT poetry for a blog tour for different genres, so keep an eye out for that!

 

Another challenge I’m really excited about is the South Asian Author Challenge hosted by S. Krishna.  I’ve made a list for this one, including Upamanyu Chatterjee, Vikram Chandra, Indra Sinha, Bharati Mukherjee.  I’m reading 3 books for this challenge.

 

The TwentyTen Challenge hosted by Darren of Bart’s Bookshelf is a really fun challenge that I’m super excited to join.  The challenge asks us to read two books in ten different categories.

  1. YA
  2. TBR
  3. Shiny & New
  4. Bad Bloggers
  5. Charity
  6. New in 2010
  7. Older than you
  8. Win, Win! (read books for other challenges)
  9. Who Are You Again (an author you’ve never heard of)
  10. Up to You!

Isn’t that the cutest challenge ever?  I’m definitely excited about this one.

Woolf in Winter Read Along: I’ve already talked about this in the Sunday Salon, but I thought I’d mention it again!

 

 

 

I’d like to do the Dewey Decimal Challenge again, if The Novel World will host it again!  If not, I might make it a personal challenge for 2010.  I didn’t do very well, but one of my goals next year is to read more non-fiction.

Also: I’d like to reinstate my poetry challenge to start over in January (but anyone who has already joined the challenge will get to count their books and can continue with the already established time line if they’d like!).  I am trying to get a little bit more interest, if possible!  I’d love to see more poetry-love across the book blogging community :).  Interested?

Whew, that’s all.  Thanks for sticking around!  I’ll probably be joining more challenges as the year goes on, but that’s it for now.  Have a great Sunday, everyone!

 

10

Operation: Read All the Books I Have Checked Out from the Library

Posted by in Books, Challenges!

tom_gauld_beasts_2Tom Gould’s contribution to Beasts! 2.
Please let me know, Mr. Gould, if you do not like my modification.

So.  We’ve talked here about my obsession with the library.  I mean, I know we have, right?  Right?  You know that I have anywhere from 35-55 books checked out at a time.  And that’s awful!  For so many reasons!  1) Because I CAN’T READ THAT MANY BOOKS.  2) Because I feel bad.  Okay?  There’s someone out there who’s browsing the stacks and they can’t have the opportunity to read a book because I’m a dirty hoarder.  3) I know, for a fact, that I will have to return all of the books on December 23.  The day of doom.  Therefore, interwebs, I have made a decision.

I know that most of my challenges will go unfinished at the end of the year, and I have accepted that.  CONCLUSION: All challenges that end in December are QUITS.  Now there is only one challenge – OPERATION: Read All the Books I Have Checked Out From the Library. All of them.  By December 23, when I go on winter break and leave College-Land for the homeland.

The List
Total books checked out: 43 (not my all time high, definitely higher than I thought…)

  1. The American Resting Place by Marilyn Yalom
  2. Antebellum Dream Book: Poems by Elizabeth Alexander
  3. Black Girl/White Girl (Audiobook) by Joyce Carol Oates
  4. The Book of Daniel by EL Doctorow
  5. Columbine by Dave Cullen
  6. Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books by Francesca Lia Block
  7. The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  8. Disquiet by Julia Leigh
  9. Endpoint: Poems by John Updike
  10. Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazaro
  11. Going After Cacciato by Tim O’Brien
  12. Guernica by Dave Boling
  13. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  14. Herzog by Saul Bellows
  15. The Host by Stephenie Meyers
  16. Housekeeping vs. the Dirt by Nick Hornby
  17. How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization by Franklin Foer
  18. In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O’Brien
  19. July, July by Tim O’Brien
  20. The Last True Story I’ll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier’s Account of War in Iraq by John Crawford
  21. Late Wife by Claudia Emerson
  22. Minders of Make-Believe by Leonard S. Marcus
  23. The Night Watch (Audiobook) by Sarah Waters
  24. On Borrowed Words: A Memoir of Language by Ilan Stevens
  25. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
  26. One Day the Soldier’s Came: Voices of Children in War by Charles London
  27. Only Twice I’ve Wished for Heaven by Dawn Turner Trice
  28. Out of Mao’s Shadow: The Struggle for the Soul of New China by Philip P. Pan
  29. Phenomenal Women: Four Poems Celebrating Women by Maya Angelou
  30. The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet by Neil deGrasse Tyson
  31. Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States edited by Lori M. Carlson
  32. The Selected Work of TS Spivet by Reif Larson
  33. Sleeping it Off in Rapid City: Poems by August Kleinzhaur
  34. Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach
  35. Timbuktu by Paul Auster
  36. Tomcat in Love by Tim O’Brien
  37. Tyrannosaurus Rex versus the Corduroy Kid: Poems by Simon Armitage
  38. Under the Skin by Michael Faber
  39. Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of An Owl and his Girl by Stacy O’Brien
  40. When It Gets Dark: Enlightened Reflections on Life With Alzheimer’s by Tom DeBaggio
  41. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
  42. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
  43. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Think I can do it?  Probably not, but I’m going to try! The only exceptions are: The Strain, which She checked out from the library and I’m currently reading, and my books for school.  My professors probably wouldn’t understand if I gave up reading my school books for a book challenge.  Right?

EDIT: My other exception is, OF COURSE, Kristin Lavransdatter!

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R.I.P. IV

Posted by in Books, Challenges!

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It’s time for RIP IV!  I’m so absurdly excited!  Every time I’ve read a scary book this year, someone has undoubtedly said “I’m saving that one for RIP.”  And I said: “I’m such a newb!  What’s that?!”  Of course, I didn’t have to wait long.  Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings announced the early arrival of RIP IV!  My book selection:

  • Ravens by George Dawns Green.  I’m not sure this one qualifies, but the book jacket describes the writing thusly: “Shaw’s plot depends on maintaining constant fear – merciless, unfaltering terror….”  Sounds good right?!
  • Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger.  I didn’t think there were people out there who loved TTW as much as I did, but then I discovered book blogging and realized that there’s a whole army of us.  I will buy this book and I will love it.
  • The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.  I’ve seen this on a couple other lists, and this is the perfect excuse.

But okay, kids, THAT’S NOT ENOUGH.  Please, recommend some that are going to terrify me.  Make me tremble!  Give me nightmares!

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TSS – August 2

Posted by in Blogging, Books, Challenges!

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Can I tell you a secret?  We’re at the secret-telling stage, right blogosphere?   Good.  I’m writing this page on THURSDAY!  I’m so caught up on my reviews and reading (this never happens) that I have all my posts for next week scheduled.  I don’t even know what to do with myself.  This is MADNESSSSSSSS. It’s like I’m talking to the future!

You know what else is madness?  The fact that it’s August (well, not yet, but it will be when you are reading this, ahhhhhh). I start graduate school in 31 days. I’m not ready for this.

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I had a really good reading month, even after a slow start.  Here’s what I read in July:

  1. 2666 – The Part About Amalfitano by Roberto Bolaño 85%
  2. The Turnaround by George Pelecanos 68%
  3. A Home At the End of the World by Michael Cunningham 89%
  4. Broken April by Ismail Kadare 85%
  5. Widdershins by Charles de Lint 89%
  6. Memory by Phillipe Grimbert 94%
  7. Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym 79%
  8. The Implacable Order of Things by José Luís Peixoto  98%
  9. 2666 – The Part About Fate by Roberto Bolaño 81%
  10. Maus I, A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Speigelman 98%
  11. if you come softly by Jacqueline Woodson 96%
  12. Cool Salsa edited by Lori M Carlson 86%
  13. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang 88%
  14. Maus II, A Survivor’s Tale: And Here My Troubles Begin by Art Speigelman 89%

Man, I got on some kind of kick recently.  I read those last 6 books in 2 days.  I am not that fast of a reader.  Grated, they were all graphic novels or poetry or really short, but still.

Audio books: 2
Graphic novels: 3
Poetry: 1
Memoir: 4

Average rating: 87.5% (One of these days I will break the 90% average mark!  One day!)
Total pages: 3,058

Challenges update:

A to Z Challenge – 18/52
Dewey Decimal Challenge – 1.75/10
Read Your Name Challenge – 2/6
Orbis Terrarum Challenge – 8/10
1% Well-Read – 7/13
Celebrate Women’s History Month – 7/7  COMPLETE
Once Upon a Time III Challenge – 4/4  COMPLETE
Personal reading goal for 2009 – 61/100 (YEAAAAAAAH!)

I’m approaching my all-time high record for books read in one year – 75.  I should totally be there by mid September.  Especially if I keep reading like I have been for the past two days.   There are a couple more challenges that I have joined, but I haven’t gotten myself organized yet.  They will hopefully be included in the next month’s update!

Mini Review: The Turnaround by George Pelecanos

turnaround(See, it’s mini!)

I know a lot of people liked this book, but I was not a fan.  The first part of the book was pretty interesting and well-written.  It was somewhat entertaining to listen to, but other than that, I was actually offended by parts of it.  There were parts when I would think, “Wow, that’s racist.”  And I know that the point was to evoke the atmosphere of the time, but it wasn’t when a character was speaking or when something was being explained, instead it was the narrator who said something that I thought was inappropriate.  I wish I had it written down, so I could quote it exactly.  I was also kind of offended by the ending: black man is wronged in life and only the white man can help him get back on his feet. The writing was poor, which was only more painfully evident when someone is reading it to you.  And, to top it all off, I guessed the ending before it was revealed.  It was so obvious.  I’ve heard that this book is a poor example of Pelecanos’s skills, so I should pick up some of his earlier stuff.

The narrator, however, did a wonderful job.

68%

Disclaimer: I hardly ever read mysteries.

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