Sunday, April 22, 2012

Readathon: Update 4

I definitely didn't make it as late as I wanted to last night! My goal was to read until 10:30 or 11:00, but I turned my light out and fell fast asleep at 10:15.  I did have odd, Anne of Green Gables-laced dreams, though, so I can I still count that for the readathon?

I'll be back later today for my end of event meme, but for now, here are my reading stats:
Books finished: 0; 2 total
Time spent reading: 45 minutes; 7 hours, 45 minutes total
Pages read/listened to: 50 pages; 454 pages total/ 0 minutes; 30 minutes total

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Readathon: Update 3

I finished The Shape of Desire, and it is definitely time for the contatcts to come out!

I'm not sure what I'm going to read next, but I do know that I will be heading to bed in the next hour or hour and a half (can't let that sleep rthym get off if I want to be productive at school this week...).  My goal is to reach at LEAST 500 pages before I succumb to sleep.  We'll see if I make it!

Reading stats:
Books finished -- 1 (The Shape of Desire); 2 total
Time spent reading -- 2 hours; 7 hours total
Pages read/listened to -- 138 pages; 404 pages total/ 0 minutes; 30 minutes total

Readathon: Update 2

I am now firmly ensconced in The Shape of Desire, by Sharon Shinn, and I am coming to the realization that I will probably never love any of her books like I did her Samaria series.  Those books kind of brought me back into reading fantasy, and they will always hold a special place in my heart.

I'm going to make myself some supper (nachoes and M & Ms...yum!), and then I fully expect to finish The Shape of Desire very soon.  After that, it will be a battle to the death between starting Son of the Shadows and giving in to one of the Samaria books...

Reading stats:
Books finished -- 0; 1 (Daughter of the Forest) total
Time spent reading -- 3 hours; 5 hours total
Pages read/listened to -- 186 pages; 266 pages total/ 0; 30 minutes total

Readathon: Update 1

I just got home from tutoring, so my readathon can officially begin! I read some this morning before I tutored, I listened to my audiobook on my drive to and from tutoring, and then, of course, I read during lunch.

I'm hoping to see these numbers go up significantly over the next few hours! Plus it's rainy and dreary outside, which is perfecting reading weather :)

Reading stats:
Books finished -- 1 (Daughter of the Forest, which was possibly BETTER the second time through...) Time spent reading -- 2 hours
Pages read/listened to -- 80 pages /30 minutes

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Readathon is Almost Here!

I'm SO excited about the readathon! It has come at the perfect time, and I'm really looking forward to spending tomorrow escaping into the world of books. I have to tutor from 9:00-1:00 tomorrow, but after that, I'm going to read, read, read. I'm getting a jump start on my reading tonight, and I'm particularly excited that the reading fates aligned and delivered Sharon Shinn's newest book, The Shape of Desire, to my library just in time to read tomorrow! Yay!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

It's That Time Again!

It's Spring, which means it's time for Carl's Once Upon a Time Challenge! I've been quite absent on the blogging front, but I have been reading, so I hope signing up for this challenge can help get me back on blogging track!

I'm signing up for Quest the First, which means I will try to read five books that fit into the category of fantasy, fairy tale, folklore, or mythlogy. I'm tentatively thinking that I will choose from this list:
1. The Once and Future King, by T.B. White (which will also count for A Century of Books)
2. Daughter of the Forest, by Juliet Marillier (I've been wanting to reread this, so now is the perfect time!)
3. The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey
4. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkein (I need to read this before the movie comes out, so it's perfect!)
5. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaman (I've never read any Neil Gaman *ducks*, and Carl is doing a group read of this, so it seems like the perfect opportunity!)
6. Green Heart, by Alice Hoffman
7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by J.K. Rowling
8. The Queen of Attolia, by Megan Whalen Turner

I'm also signing up for the Quest on Screen. This will give me a good excuse to gush over ABC's Once Upon a Time. It will also give me some motivation to rewatch The Lord of the Rings sooner rather than later; some Lost, Doctor Who, and Pushing Up Daisies might show up, too.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


I've been a bit absent lately, and the only excuse I can give is distraction. For the first time since I started blogging, I have almost NO motivation to actually write reviews (which is ironic since I'm doing the Century of Books challenge). I've been reading, and in the case of my Century of Books reads, I've even been journalling and keeping notes. But the desire to turn those notes into posts has been nonexistent.

To distract you from the lack of posts, I'm going to share this:

I love the Victorian era, and I can't wait to do some dedicated reading in June and July! Maybe I'll finally get Tess of the D'Urbervilles read...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Shakespeare Reading Month: A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream was the first Shakespeare play I ever taught, and even though I don't teach it anymore, I still have quite the soft spot for it. I loved being able to teach a comedy, especially one that my students could relate to so well (liking someone your parents don't approve of, liking someone who doesn't like you back, liking someone who has a donkey's head...wait a minute...). For a while I practically had the play memorized (that's what happens when you listen to it five times a day for a period of several weeks), and upon revisiting it in the form of the excellent Arkangel audio production, I found it to be just as delightful as I remembered.

If I could choose one single line to sum about this play, it would be Lysander's line from early in Act 1: "The course of true love never did run smooth." Ever. Especially not in this play. There are five main couples that the play focuses on: Theseus and Hippolyta are about to get married, and they sort of present the frame for the rest of the story; Theseus is the one who has to decide Hermia's fate. Hermia and Lysander are in love, but Egeus, Hermia's father, for some reason that is never explained to the audience, wants Hermia to marry Demetrius (even though it is EXTREMELY obvious that Lysander is the better guy). Demetrius is sort of a jerk because he was promised to Helena, Hermia's best friend, but one look at Hermia made him dump Helena and pursue Hermia instead. Meanwhile, Helena is still desperately (and embarrassingly) in love with Demetrius.

Off in fairyland (really!), Oberon and Titania are fighting. The premise of the fight is very childish: Oberon wants something he can't have, and the ensuing chaos only makes Titania more and more (rightly so) angry. All of the couples eventually converge upon the forest, get confused (with some help from a handy love potion that Oberon happens to have), get angry, but, in the end, make up and live happily ever after.

The genius in this play (aside from the chaos and the zingers and the Rude Mechanicals, country bumpkins who try to perform a tragedy that ends up being the funniest play in the history of Athens) is how Shakespeare manages to take a serious look at what love is by using humor and comedy. Is love always difficult? Can you ever know if love is true? Can even the truest love be overcome? Shakespeare examines all of these things and comes up with very satisfying conclusions. This is one of Shakespeare's more poetic plays (as in there is a lot of closed form poetry happening, especially rhymed poetry when Oberon, Titania, or one of the other magical creatures is speaking), and that poetic quality lends itself nicely to Shakespeare's musings about love.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Goodbye, 2011; Hello, 2012!

Hello, all! I trust that the crickets have been doing a good job during Yes, that two-month absence was completely unplanned, but life got crazy, my brain got fried, and I just couldn't do it. But I'm back! And it's a new year! Let the resolutions begin!

Last year, my main bloggy resolutions had to do with posting more often, reviewing more of the books I was reading, fully committing to challenges, and participating in a Classic Circuit tour. Here's how I did:
*I did post more often, but I didn't quite manage the post-once-a-week goal.
*Ironically, even though I posted more often, I managed to review FEWER books than I did last year. Like by a lot. Go figure.
*I sort of failed at the challenges. Okay, not sort of, I DID fail at the
*But I saved the best for last! I met this goal: I participated in not just one
Classic Tour but three! I was part of the Ancient Greek Tour, the Jane Austen Tour (sort of...I read my book for it, but I was too traumatized by our tornado to actually post my review), and the Steinbeck Tour. This makes up for all my other failed/semi-failed goals, right? Right.
But here's the thing: despite not meeting all of these goals, I don't feel bad. Why? Well, as I was tallying up my stats (oh, the delights of the nerdy life), I realized that it is still about the reading for me. It will ALWAYS be about the reading for me. And I'm glad that reading is so important to me.

Given that 2011 was all about the reading, I guess I should share exactly what I read! I think these stats are pretty impressive given how stressful my teaching year was, but I guess there are some perks to not really having friends in the same city where you are living (please don't tell my mother I said this...). Overall, I read 104 books (!!!!), but I only blogged about 18 (oops...). 69 were (adult) fiction, 8 (*hangs head in shame*) were nonfiction, and 27 were young adult fiction. 20 were rereads, and 65 were from the library (I'm particularly proud of this number).

Here are my reading highlights (in the order that I read them) from 2011:
1. The Sevenwaters Series, by Juliet Marillier (but especially Son of the Shadows)
2. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Bettie Smith
3. The Middle of Everywhere, by Mary Pipher
4. Rose Daughter, by Robin McKinley
5. Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell
6. South Riding, by Winifred Holtby
7. Forever, by Maggie Stiefvater
8. Testament of Youth, by Vera Brittain
9. Let Not the Waves of the Sea, by Simon Stephanson
10. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
11. A Song of Fire and Ice Series, by George R.R. Martin
12. The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater

Favorite Rereads of 2011 (in the order that I read them):
1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
2. Attachments (I read this multiple times this year. Don't judge me.)
3. The Hunger Games Trilogy
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
5. Anne of Green Gables
6. Anne of Avonlea
7. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
8. The Great Gatsby

Things I'm Glad I Discovered in 2011:
Testament of Youth: This book changed my life, and helped set me off on my current obsessive pursuit of reading about World War I.
Downton Abbey (aka the best thing on television): This miniseries is AMAZING; it is also responsible for starting my obsession with World War I. And the good news for you is that the first season is streaming on the Masterpiece website, and season 2 starts TOMORROW!
Tumblr: I might be a little addicted...
Doctor Who (aka the other best thing on television): Guys, this show is ME; it includes everything I love, and I don't know how I didn't know about it before this summer. I watched all six seasons over the course of two months, which was awesome, but also probably indicates that I need a life...
Mumford and Sons: These guys are amazing. They also wrote my "I-am-stressed out/worried/upset/angry/stressed out-and-must-find-my-happy-place" song. It's called "Timshel", and it will change your life.

Okay, this is now a ridiculously long post, so I'll keep my goals for 2012 short: keep reading, keep blogging, keep interacting. Short, sweet, and to the point! May you all have a wonderful 2012!

P.S. I'm participating in three challenges so far (but A Century of Books will last past 2012!), and here they are: