Sunday, January 08, 2012

Week in Review (1)

Random Thoughts

I am finding that there are not enough hours in the day to do everything that I would like to do. Take yesterday for example: I listened to Josh Groban for my Listening to on Wednesday Post for this week, I read half of Foundation by Isaac Asimov for the Science-Fiction Read-along hosted by Carl, I read the first two chapters in 1Q84 for an informal group read, I visited blogs, I cleaned, etc. It sounds like a productive day, right? Well, I also had high hopes to read The Unwritten Volume 4, watch the second episode of the first season of the BBC Sherlock Holmes, read an essay, read some more short stories from the book Debi gave me, and listen to Ready Player One. Obviously I think I can squeeze more into one day than is really possible. I am sure today is going to be a repeat in that there is lots I want to do and I probably won't get to most of it.

One thing I did do yesterday was get the urge to see how many of the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die books I have read. The number? 64. When you think about how that is out 1001 that is a bit of a depressing number, but thanks to some actually reading of the classics last year the number is a lot higher than it was when I got the book in the first place. I also know I have read a couple more but I couldn't entirely remember what books I have read by Toni Morrison and Kurt Vonnegut. Also, I counted Foundation even though I am only halfway through it.

My List:
  1. Oroonoko by Aphra Behn (university)
  2. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (university)
  3. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (university)
  4. The Monk by M.G. Lewis (read in 2011)
  5. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
  6. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (university)
  7. The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe (university)
  8. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  9. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (read in 2011)
  10. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (university)
  11. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (university)
  12. Hard Times by Charles Dickens (university)
  13. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (read in 2011)
  14. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (read in 2011)
  15. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens 
  16. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (university, but had read before that, too)
  17. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 
  18. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (read in 2010)
  19. Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (university, but had read before that, too)
  20. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  21. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (read in 2011)
  22. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (read in 2011 and university)
  23. The Island of Dr Moreau by H.G. Wells (read in 2011)
  24. Dracula by Bram Stoker (read in 2011)
  25. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells (read in 2011)
  26. The Awakening by Kate Chopin (read in 2011)
  27. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (I *think* university)
  28. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (twice in university)
  29. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  30. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (university)
  31. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (read in 2010)
  32. Animal Farm by George Orwell (read in high school)
  33. Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
  34. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  35. Foundation by Isaac Asimov (cheating, but soon to be read in 2012)
  36. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (read in high school. HATED it!)
  37. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (read in high school. HATED it!)
  38. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  39. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  40. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  41. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  42. The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles (university)
  43. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  44. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  45. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  46. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  47. The Lover by Marguerite Duras
  48. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (university)
  49. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
  50. A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham
  51. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Engenides
  52. The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
  53. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
  54. Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels
  55. Silk by Allessandro Baricco
  56. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  57. Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
  58. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  59. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  60. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  61. Unless by Carol Shields
  62. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
  63. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon 

Oops, either I counted wrong or I missed a book... Oh, well! As you can see 2011 did really good things for this list. I also have discovered that I own many of the books that I haven't read. And, thanks to places like Project Gutenberg it is easy to get the classics. I am not making a challenge out of this or anything. I was just curious how I was making out. I have the book so I should actually pay attention to it once in a while.

On another note, are you looking to read a bit of poetry in 2012? I have joined up with Lu from Regular Ruminations to co-host a monthly poetry reading meme of sorts. If you are interested and missed the post you can read all the details by clicking here.

Challenge News

This week I did a bit of reading for the Science-Fiction Experience and managed to read Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold. Ready Player One and Foundation are currently being read and will count for the challenge. In going through 1001 Books to Read Before you Die last night it featured some classic science-fiction that I may work into the next month or so. We will see what happens.

Weekly Reads

I actually started this book in 2011, but with my VERY slow reading did not get a chance to get back to it until this month. It wound up being my first read of 2011 and it was a good way to start the year. If you are looking for a bit of a different memoir/non-fiction then you should check it out. I think that most people can relate to the underlying themes of the book. I could at least. I am glad I read it! A longer review will hopefully happen soon. (Personal Copy)

I picked Hugo up entirely on a whim when it was first released and loved it. I enjoyed the idea of a book that was a mixture of pictures and words and wanted to see what it was about. Then, 2011 came around and Wonderstruck was released. I wanted it right away but made myself wait. What a fantastic start to 2012, folks. I loved this book. It was a wonderful story with fantastic pictures. I think I might have liked it better than his previous work, but it was so long ago I cannot really comment for sure. I will address this more in a review. (Personal Copy)

Then, I moved on to the newest Fables. I am a HUGE Fables fan and one always comes out just before Christmas. I always want to buy it beforehand, but am generally good and wait for the gift cards. This one was wonderful! It was another great start to the year. I really enjoyed how the storyline was basically a tip of the hat to the great comics of old. Yes, folks, this book was a homage to the beginnings. It worked very well in the context of the story and I cannot recommend it enough. I love Fables! (Personal Copy)

Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold was my first official read for the science-fiction experience. I have the entire series through a free download offered through the author last year. It is just a big series and I was not so sure I wanted to start yet another big series. I don't listen to myself very well, though, and it does tie in with Carl's challenge, so I gave it a read. I really enjoyed it! I have been hearing good things about Bujold's series for ages, so I really shouldn't be surprised. If you haven't read it yet I do recommend at least this book. I look forward to more space adventures in the series soon. (E-book)

Yes, I am doing mini-reviews on these posts now. I figure if I do them every week I can at least say 'I enjoyed said book' or 'I disliked said book' and then if I never get around to a more formal review there is at least something about the books. Is this a good or bad idea, do you think?

Currently Reading:
Foundation by Isaac Asimov
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things by Various Authors
Naked by David Sedaris

Currently Listening To:
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Weekly Posts

What Are You Listening to Wednesday - Week 7
Tuning in on Thursday - Week 8
Friday Reads - 1st Edition

New Additons

Fables Volume 16: Super Team by Bill Willingham & Company (Gift Card)
The Fox Woman by Kiji Johnson (Gift Card)
The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier (Gift Card)
The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson (Gift Card)
The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Carloine Preston (Gift Card)
The Shadow of Malabron by Thomas Wharton (Gift Card)
The Unwritten Volume 4: Leviathan by Mike Carey (Gift Card)
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson (Gift Card)
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick (Gift Card)

December's reading got so bad I brought everything back to the library and suspended my holds until next week....

Nothing this Week...

Nothing this Week...


  1. I added up my 1001 books read last year, but I can't remember anymore how many it was. It seemed to much more skewed to the last 50 years, though. I've been reading tons of classics for over a decade now and I think I'd only read like 200 books off the whole list...

    Now i want to go find the list and check again.

    1. Yes, there was a lot of books from like the 1950's and forward it seemed...

  2. I'd be ashamed with myself if I looked at the 1001 books. My count would probably be less than a dozen.

    Looks like you're cramming as much as possible into your day. I commend you - that's what I'm trying to achieve as my 2012 resolution.

    I need to get my hands on Fables; I've seen, read and heard so many good things about it I need to take a look.

    1. You might surprise yourself by how much you had read. The guy figured he would have read nothing, but I listed off just 5 or 6 books and he had read all of them. Mind you I chose some of the more likely ones that would have been read in school, but still.

      Yesterday didn't go well for getting things done. I spent too much time doing things that were not productive at all! But, hopefully I can get back on track today.

      Yes, everyone needs to read Fables. I love it!

  3. I've also been experiencing the too many things to fit in the day for the last week or so. I think your mini-reviews are an excellent way to cope with that! And they're so cute!

    1. Thanks, Joy. I might review a few here and there, but at least when I don't get around to them I will at least have said if I like them or not. I see it relieving lots of stress.

  4. Okay so I had to go find the list. I must have been off with the way I remembered before because now my total is 129 read all the way through, and 14 that I've read at least half of before abandoning. Not to mention countless others I started and abandoned long before the halfway point. I'm incredibly surprised with some of the selections. I'm not sure I saw a single Vonnegut on there, and certainly there was no Shakespeare or Dante...weird.

    1. I know we ended up discussing this in email, but I also was surprised by your number. I don't read a lot of classics, but you do, so I expected you to blow me out of the water. Which did still sort of do. :)

  5. I am so with you on the time in a day!! I do SO much but I leave so much more undone.

    I really want to read MWF seeks BFF, can't wait to see your thoughts.

    1. Yes, there is so much that I don't accomplish either... I need more hours in the day!

      I hope you get a chance to read MWF seeks BFF. It was a great book.

  6. You are right ... the days are never long enough to get it all done! I'm hoping to read The Fox Woman for Once Upon a Time challenge this year.

    Enjoy your loot!

    1. Maybe I will save The Fox Woman for Once Upon a Time, too. We will see how it goes.


  7. I used to keep great track of the 1001 books but then...well...we all know how my tracking has gone the past two years. ;)

    Have you seen the downloadable excel spreadsheet of the books? I actually started to add some of the prize-winners to mine but haven't looked at it in a while.

    Fox Woman has been on my wishlist FOREVER!

    Have a great week Kelly!

    1. I am too depressed by my numbers to pay a lot of attention, but I did make a list of books that I own that would count for it. Just because... If I get to some of them it means they are not unread anymore!

      Yes, I looked at the spreadsheet, but that's about it so far...

      I know! Ana loved it and then so many other people loved it. Now I want to read it!

  8. Anonymous3:25 PM

    I have the 1001 Books book sitting on my shelf, but I'm too scared to look at it. :-D

    1. Well, I have owned it for years and this is only the second time I have opened it... So...

  9. I think your mini-reviews are awesome! I wish I could cram more into a day too, like reading *and* watching some of my TV seasons. Sherlock Holmes is so awesome!

    I'm just starting the sequel to "The Shadow of Malabron" which I read in 2008. Long enough wait between sequels! Hope book 3 is written faster.

    1. Thanks! I wish I could cram more into my day, too. I all ready know there is too much I want to accomplish today and not enough time for it all.

      I still haven't got around to Sherlock Holmes!

      Oh, really? I guess I won't rush to read them, then, if I have to wait forever for book 3.

  10. I have the same problem with squeezing in everything I want to do. Why does all the best stuff take so much time?

    I should go through and see how many of the 1001 books I've read. I used to have a spreadsheet, but I can't remember how many I'd ticked off on there and I'm sure the number is higher now anyways.

    1. I know, right?

      Yes, it was fun to count and see how many I have read. I hadn't looked in a while so I was surprised by my number this time around.

  11. I could see having a lot of fun (and spending a lot of time) looking through that 1001 list. :)

    1. I had fun with it, that's for sure! The book comes with a write-up on each book, too.

  12. I can waste entirely too much time trying to figureout how many books I have read on that darn list. I could be accused of being mildly obsessed with it. And yet, I like to check at the end of year just for the surprise of finding out I have readsome more.

    I am on page 4 of 1Q84! tweet at me, ok? @bkclubcare We are going to be discussing on twitter with a #1Q84 hashtag. I can't remember your twitname. :)

    1. Yes, I would like to start checking at the end of the year, too. I read a bunch of books that counted last year, but not sure what this year will bring.

  13. Yay The Fox Woman :D I hope you enjoy it!! And you're so right…there really is never enough time in the day todo everything you want to even if you do multitask, lol. Sad….

    1. I am sure I will. I should have read it when I had it out from the library last year, but then the book got ruined or stolen or something and I never got another chance. :(

  14. Isn't Wonderstruck fantastic? I was worried it couldn't possibly be as agood as Hugo Cabret but it really is.

    1. Yes, it really really was wonderful!

  15. Oooh, you're reading some great stuff! I need to see if I've added Wonderstruck to my wish list. Hugo Cabret was such a wonder. Need to see the movie version of that one, as well.

    I've heard MWF seeking BFF is good, but I can't recall who recommended it. I should probably take notes on recommendations.

    I have sort of an "eyes are bigger than my stomach" type of relationship between things I desire to do and the amount of time in the day, too. Such a nuisance. If I could live to 200, I might come close to doing all that I hope to accomplish, at this rate. Maybe. Really, probably 300 years would be better.

    1. I need to see the movie version of Hugo, too. We were going to go but never made it.

      I try and take notes on recommendations, but sometimes I am really bad about that.

      Yes, that's what I am like, too. I know my wishes for today are way too much stuff, but I can hope!

  16. "Obviously I think I can squeeze more into one day than is really possible." <---Story of my life! :P But you sure as hell manage to squeeze in a lot more per day than I do!!!

    1. Not all the time... I only post about it when I actually look productive. :)

  17. I am so excited about Wonderstruck! I'm really glad to hear you enjoyed it. Coincidentally, I'm in the middle of the 2nd episode, first season of Sherlock Holmes, too! (We stopped in the middle because my husband fell asleep. Yeah, we are getting ooooold).

    1. Wonderstruck was wonderful!

      I am watching Sherlock alone. I should go back and watch the first episode with the guy, but haven't had a chance to do that yet either.


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