Posted in History

Friday Free-for-All (08/24/12)

In the wake of a Bout of Books, I haven’t been in the mood to read on the internet. My Google reader has been pretty much ignored most of this week with occasional fits ofย  marked-as-read.

From this week, Girl XOXO is doing a reading challenge. And I’m going to do it too:

GOALTo read books set in each of the countries that won a GOLD MEDAL in the 2012 Olympics, or written by authors from these countries – all prior to the start of the next Olympics scheduled for August 4, 2016. (Girl XOXO)

That ends up being 50 countries. 50 books in four years? I can do that, right?


  • Algeria
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • South Africa
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda


  • Argentina
  • Bahamas
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Grenada
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United States of America
  • Venezuela


  • People’s Republic of China
  • Iran
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • North Korea
  • South Korea
  • Uzbekistan

  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Serbia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine


  • Australia
  • New Zealand

From a couple of weeks back: The Wall Street Journal had an article on the metrics being gathered by connected ereaders. On one hand, I love this concept. That your ereader could keep track of how much you read (both in words/pages and time spent), how fast you read, what books are “easy” reads, etc. appeals to the part of me that loves to know, in numbers, how things are. As a writer, my feelings are mixed. Yes, I’d love to know, especially in the draft process, where a reader might lose interest in what I’ve written, but I also see the potential for publishers to be a little too concerned about formula that creativity might be stifled.

From the beginning of the month: Jeff O’Neal on prequels, sequels, and extended universes. Which kind of asks, is fandom a bad thing? What might we miss out on by spending time on more Star War or more Star Trek or more Sherlock Holmes? Some of fandom is habit. It’s saying, “I’ll go see the next X-Men movie because it’s an X-Men movie, even though the last one wasn’t worth $7 or two hours.” That’s very much like finishing a terrible book just because you always finish books. There should be a moment of re-evaluation every-so-often. I’ve put books down. Just because a TV show might have held my interest for five seasons doesn’t mean I owe it my time if the sixth if awful. And I’ve also rewatched episodes of Doctor Who when my Netflix queue had 200+ other thing in it. Spend time on the things that are good and enjoyable, don’t worry about the rest.