Friday, September 30, 2011

A New Project

A few days ago, Simon announced that in 2012 he was going to try to read a book published in ever year of the twentieth century. As soon as I read that, I knew I wanted to read through the twentieth century too!

I also knew, however, that I would need more than a year to try to finish the project. A hundred books is a lot of reading, and it is also about how many books I've read each year for the last few years; I can't see myself reading ONLY books for the project, so I'm going to go ahead and plan for some contingencies that will give me some freedom within the confines of the project.

I am going to start working on the project now; I hope that the extra three months will mean that I will be finished with the project by the end of 2012. I'm going to try to keep my reading for the project more on the classical side of things, and I'm going to try to include as many books that I already own as I can. I'm looking forward to reading Virginia Woolf, Iris Murdoch, and E.M. Forster for the first time!

I'll be making a project page to keep track of what I read, and I hope to review each book that I read for the project. If you have suggestions of things I MUST read, please share!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

School Started....But You Probably Already Know That

Hi, bloggy friends!

Life has been a bit crazy these last few weeks with school starting; somehow I always manage to forget just how exhausting those first two weeks can be. School becomes the proverbial black hole, and it sucks everything (energy, ability to function, desire to socialize, desire to read for long periods) into its vortex. Things are settling into their routine, however, so the blog should start getting more attention from me!

Since school wasn't enough of a time-eater, I also (innocently, and without full knowledge of the implications of my decision) embarked on a journey through the Doctor Who universe shortly before school started. It is my NEW FAVORITE THING. It is amazing and geeky and everything that I like, so I will admit that when it came down to a choice between reading and watching another episode of Doctor Who (especially the first few days of school), I chose the Doctor every time.

I have a post of mini reviews planned for tomorrow, but here is some bookish goodness to hold you over until then.

1. Which book has been on your shelf the longest?
This is a tricky one. It's probably either my copy of Winnie the Pooh or one of my All-of-a-Kind Family books. The library was my main source of books as a child, and the compulsive book-collecting didn't start until I was in my teens.

2. What is your current read, your last read and your next read?
Currently I'm reading Game of Thrones and Ceremony; I'm listening to Anne of Green Gables in the car on my drive to work. The last book I finished was the audio version of A Long, Long Sleep, which was mediorcre at best. Next I will either read Sherman Alexie's War Dances or A Month in the Country since I am on the waiting list for A Clash of Kings, the sequel to Game of Thrones, at my library.

3. What book did everyone like and you hated?
One that I hated? Twilight. One that almost everyone loved but that I was fairly impartial to? The Help.

4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you'll read, but you probably won't?
Hmmm...I like to think that I will at least give a book a try even if I end up not finishing it. I guess there's a pretty good chance that I will never get around to The Fountainhead.

5. Which book are you saving for your "retirement"?
I don't really work that way. Now if you asked me about books that I would definitely need to reread in retirement, I would tell you that I would like to reread all the Dickens that I have loved (Little Dorrit, Our Mutual Friend, Nicholas Nickleby, David Copperfield)

6. Last page: read it first or save it for the end?
Always save it for the end. I don't understand people who read it first...

7. Author acknowledgements: waste of ink and space or an interesting aside?
I always read them if they are there. I find it especially enjoyable if I have read other books by the author or have some knowledge of the author's background and biography. Plus, sometimes the author acknowledges the reader (like J.K. Rowling did in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), which is pretty cool.

8. Which book character would you switch places with?
Probably either Hermione from Harry Potter or Beth from Attachments.

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (a person, a place, a time?)
Here's a few: I will always associate Nicholas Nickleby and The Hobbit with Segovia, Spain, because I read them while I was studying there. Another that comes to mind is Lord of the Rings. I was a freshman in college when the first movie came out, and that was also the first time that I read the books. Several of my friends were also Tolkein fans, which was fun. Return of the King stands out especially because I whenever I had a bad day or just needed to experience a little piece of beauty, I would reread the scene where Eowyn and Faramir are standing together on the battlements of Gondor. My copy of the book automatically falls open to that page ;).

10. Name a book you acquired in some interesting way.
When my friend DeAnna got married, she gave a personalized, meaningful gift to each or her bridesmaids. During our senior year of college, I basically forced her to read Jane Eyre; I pestered her and pestered her until she finally read, and I was very happy that she liked it after all that! Her gift to me was a beautiful, antique edition of Jane Eyre.

11. Have you ever given away a book to a special person for a special reason?
I gave a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird to a guy that I was dating. He hadn't read it, and things (I thought) were getting pretty serious, so I knew he had to read what I would name, if forced, as my favorite book. Things didn't work out between us, but at least he read that amazing novel!

12. Which book has been with you to the most places?
Probably Lord of the Rings. The trilogy has been to England, Colorado, Tennessee, Minnesota, and North Dakota.

13. Any "required reading" you hated in high school that wasn't so bad ten years later?
I didn't hate very many things in high school, but what I did hate I haven't revisited. Oliver Twist is the one novel that I was required to read that I despised; I know that I will go back to it eventually and that I will probably appreciate it much more than I did as a sophomore in high school, but it just hasn't happened yet.

14. What's the strangest item you've ever found in a book?
I have no interesting stories for this one. I've found bookmarks and some interesting inscriptions, but nothing crazy.

15. Used or brand new?
Either. But if I buy it used, it can't have highlighting or writing in it. I don't mind if I highlight or write in it later, but it drives me crazy to try to read around someone else's thoughts.

16. Stephen King: literary genius or opiate to the masses?
I've never read any of his work because I am a wimp. I can't handle scary things AT ALL. One of my students last year told me I should read his fantasy series, which I might try eventually.

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?
I liked the movie The Jane Austen Book Club so much better than the book. And of course, Last of the Mohicans the movie is briliant (and not just because it has Daniel Day-Lewis) while Last of the Mohicans the book is BO-RING.

18. Conversely, which book should NEVER have been introduced to celluloid?
Hmmm....again, kind of coming up blank.

19. Have you ever read a book that made you hungry, excluding cookbooks?
Julie and Julia. Also, lots of British books with all their talk of tea and scones.

20. Who is the person whose book advice you always take?
My friend Sara. We have a very good bookish relationship. She's the reason I'm reading Game of Thrones. In the blogging world, Angie has never failed me. I've also found some real gems through Sasha (even though we have pretty different tastes), Dolce Bellezza, Wallace, Amy, Eva, and Allie.