Another month has passed, and it’s time for another update on the Linzthebookworm/Logophile Reading Challenge. This one should be shorter than anticipated.
Guess how many books I finished in February.
Go on, I’ll wait.
You know that plan I talked about in my January update? About going back to Level 1 and trying to work my way through that section? Yeah, that didn’t happen.
Instead, I decided to attempt to finish the books I had started last year and left in progress when I began the Sanderson Binge, beginning with David Copperfield, the classic by Charles Dickens.
Originally I’d intended to use this as my Project Gutenberg book (#1 on the challenge list), but my dearest friend and sister-in-law reminded me that one of the books she’d been recommending to me forever and a day (The Man Who Was Thursday, by G.K Chesterton) was also available through Project Gutenberg, so instead I made the decision to use David Copperfield as #33, A book that takes place before 1900.
I attempted to read David Copperfield last year, and got thoroughly bogged down in what struck me as a meandering and pointless set of anecdotes with no discernable plot. I was determined to push through and finish this time, and finally about 2/3 of the way through, I caught a glimmer of an interesting storyline that tied together the random threads of the character’s early life. My eyes glazed over whenever Wilkins Micawber started talking, and I detested Dora, but there we have it. Copperfield down, and I was able to move on to the other books I had already in progress, which I did not complete before the end of February. Alas.
March, however, is another story. I’ve finished 5 books already in the 4 days of this month. That’s for the next update, though.
Somewhat tangentially related, on one of my regular weekend YouTube binges, I got the brilliant idea to make a page in my bullet journal to track all of the books I actually own (both physical copies and on my Kindle) that I haven’t actually read yet – or may have read so long ago that I can’t remember it and was planning to read it again anyway. I counted, and was somewhat abashed to realize that I had 118 books in my posession that were as yet unread.
Yeahhhh… I probably have a problem.
Regardless, I shall be making an effort to use these 118 unread books to fill in as many of my reading challenge categories as possible.
On to the current status! Continue reading
Few people would have used the word “quiet” to describe Mae Gregersen.
At least until the past few years, my memories of her are those of a lively, mischievous woman. Outspoken, to be certain, rather stubborn, and just a touch rebellious when it suited her.
Some of my earliest memories take place in her home – playing in the backyard under the orange tree, digging tiny rivers among the rose bushes. I remember music, and the color blue, and impatiently waiting for my turn in the single bathroom. One of the most distinct memories I have as a toddler was of her hysterical reaction when I borrowed her scissors to chop off my long, blonde curls. It was just slightly over the top – I may have inherited a bit of theatricality from her.
Grandma was demonstrative with her affection – just not always in a traditional way. Instead of hugs and kisses, she tended to sit next to you and smack you repeatedly on the leg when overcome with loving emotion. She loved to tease people she cared about, and was legendary for openly critiquing any facial hair or untraditional hairstyle.
I’ll never forget my unfortunate prom date, who rode a bus 8 hours to get to me and bunked for the weekend in my grandparents’ spare room. It was the late 80’s, and his new wave hairstyle apparently occasioned some rather emphatic commentary. When asked how he was getting along with Grandma, the poor fellow blurted out “She’s a fascist!” , which became something of an inside joke in the family afterwards.
In larger groups, Grandma was the life of the party – she blossomed with attention, flirted with the best of them, and laughed – oh, how she laughed.
I have missed her laughter the most over the last four years.
I know all too well how adrift she must have felt when Grandpa left us – how difficult it must have been for her to accept losing her best friend and constant companion after seventy years. It was hard enough after seven.
Her macular degeneration was another blow – losing the easy escape of burying herself in a book, seeing the world around her grow a little darker every day… no wonder her spark had faded. No wonder she grew… quiet.
But I will always remember her spark, and her laugh, and today I will think of her with that glow on her face as she has reunited with her love, regained her sight, and who knows – may even be teaching the angels to jitterbug.
~ In memory of Mae Gregersen – May 15, 1925 – January 29, 2018
January is as good as over, so let’s check in on my progress for this year’s reading challenge, shall we?
My original plan was to try to stick to a level at a time and bounce around within the level until it was complete. Alas, as Robert Burns was wont to lament about the best laid plans of mice and men, my intent was derailed immediately.
You see, as 2017 ended, I was deep in a binge re-read of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series, with the intent to work my way to the most recent novel, which I had not yet read, and the Arcanum Unbounded collection of short stories and novellas. I completed the original Mistborn trilogy just before the end of the year, and so the first book I was able to finish in 2018 was The Alloy of Law.
Not one to waste the opportunity to check something off the challenge, I chose to assign The Alloy of Law to #7, A book on a best seller list, which made the New York Times best seller list when it debuted in November 2011.
I immediately moved into the sequel, Shadows of Self, which I had vague memories of reading very quickly in 2015. No judging, I read over 100 books that year, and 109 in 2016. It’s difficult to retain details of so many books. >.>
I assigned Shadows of Self to #47 on the challenge list, A book with a male main character, and finally ventured into the newest offering in the series, The Bands of Mourning.
Have I mentioned I hate to waste an opportunity to check something off on the challenge? The best fit for this particular novel seemed to be #15, A book with a cover that’s in your favorite color. (Technically, I have three colors that are pretty much tied for favorite, and #29 covers my top favorite already, so I went with my current second favorite color, blue.)
Finally, today I completed my Brandon Sanderson binge with his Arcanum Unbounded collection. I’d read a few of the short stories and novellas included in the collection already, but three of them were entirely new to me, and the extra details that accompanied each story helped put them in context on a reread, so it was worth reading the entire collection.
And checking off #40, of course, Read a collection of short stories.
From here, my original plan goes back into effect – trying to complete a level at a time, going back to Level 1. I have one checked off already, of course, and a good idea of what I’ll be reading for most of the remaining eleven (including finishing the long-neglected reread of A Wrinkle in Time – rejoice!).
Hopefully you can expect at least a couple of posts here before the end of February update, but I have learned to make no promises. It’s much nicer to provide a pleasant surprise than a constant string of disappointments. 😉