Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Modest Goal

(blows dust off blog...)

Hello? Hello? Anyone still there? (listens to echo...)

In an effort to pull myself out of my funk, I gave myself a goal that would require real effort yet one I thought I could actually achieve. At the beginning of December, I made a goal to read 100 books between December 2010 and the end of 2011.

True to form, I may have underestimated myself. (I always thought I was simply a modest person but I can still hear the snarl in my elementary school teachers' perfect penmanship on my report cards: "She is very intelligent but does not work to her full potential.)

It's only the middle of January, yet so far I've read 21 books. IN all honesty, I have to say that I've broken my long-standing taboo about reading at work when it's slow. I'll freely admit that I'm lazy and a slacker but for some reason, I just couldn't cross the line of reading at my desk. Instead, I'd entertain myself some other way...internet, writing a letter, something. I guess the idea is that I at least look busy if I'm on the computer but if I'm reading a novel...well, to me that's a signal that my supervisor will have to cook up something unpleasant for me to do "to keep me busy".

My rules are quite simple. The books must be individually published, be at least 100 pages, can be fiction or non, but must be mostly narrative. For example, a knitting book will count if it's mostly instruction/technique but not if it's a pattern book (although I have to admit that including books such as Tea Cozies 1 & 2 and Egg Cozies would certainly increase the list quite quickly). Books that fail the 100 page rule will be noted as 100a, 100b, etc.

I was inspired to do this by two things: my friend Margarita, who is the most voracious reader I've ever met. AND she reads literary fiction in Spanish, French, and English. I have a house full of books plus about 500 books on "read later" list at the Seattle Library, so I thought it would be a great time to decrease the "read later" list and increase the "completed" list. Also, over the past several months, I've been buying LOTS of books from Powells, and they've arrived faster than I have been able to read them.

Without further excuses, here is the list so far:

21. The Story of the Stone by Barry Hughart, finished 01/16/11

20. The Chaos Crystal by Jennifer Fallon, finished 01/14/11

19. Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China that Never Was by Barry Hughart, finished 01/12/11

18. Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop, finished 01/08/11.

17. A Young Man without Magic by Lawrence Watt-Evans, finished 01/05/11

16. Comedy in a Minor Key by Hans Keilson, finished 01/02/11

15. Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex by Eoin Colfer, finished 01/01/11

14. The Witch of Cologne by Tobsha Learner, finished 01/01/11

13. The Assassin's Edge by Juliet E. McKenna, finished 12/29/10

12. Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner, finished 12/26/10

11. Midsummer Night by Freda Warrington, finished 12/24/10

10. Promise of the Wolves by Dorothy Hearst, finished 12/20/10

9. The Greener Shore by Morgan Llewellyn, finished 12/17/10

8. Elfland by Freda Warrington, finished 12/16/10

7. Why Greenland is an island, Australia is not, and Japan is up for grabs by Joyce Davis, finished 12/15/10

6. Alphabet of Thorn by Patricia A. McKillip, finished 12/13/10

5. A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz, finished 12/10/10

4. Ice Land by Betsy Tobin, finished 12/10/10

3. The Stray Sod Country by Patrick McCabe, finished Dec. 9, 2010

2. When the King Comes Home by Caroline Stevermere, finished Dec. 9, 2010

1. Dawnthief: a chronicle of the Raven by James Barclay finished on Dec. 7 2010

All of these are fiction except for #7, and I like all of them except for #18. The ones with titles in bold are ones I highly recommend.

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