Daily Archives: March 14, 2013

Take Control of Your TBR Pile Read-a-thon

Hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer

To help those who are taking part in the month long Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge (you can still sign up) and anyone else who wants to catch up on some of those reads collecting dust. Anyone can join in! The only requirement is that the books read must have been published before March 2013. Each day there will be fun challenges and prizes to help motivate you.

On twitter use hashtag #TakeControlRAT to share your progress follow others, and look for challenge updates. Here is the schedule post with links to daily challenges and our host’s goals.

I had too many ARCs in the queue to participate in a month-long clear-up of the TBR pile, but a weekend readathon is just right.

WRAP-UP

When I first wrote up my goal last Friday, I put down 350 pages. Later in the day, I said to myself, “But Katherine, remember the last couple of readathons? You were barely getting 400 pages in a week!” And I down-graded to 300 pages. I totally blew away my 300 page goal. More importantly, I wanted to finish two translated works from off my bookshelf. Mission accomplished! Both were pretty short, but they’re a little bit of progress toward a couple challenges. So, happy day!

CHALLENGES & NOTES

Friday

Spent some time playing EQ2 with my husband and listening to the Nebraska/Ohio State basketball game. Skipped Friday’s challenge due to time. (But, I now realize it’s open during the entire challenge!)

Leonardo's Hands CoverLeonardo’s Hands by Alois Hotschnig did not work out for me. I just don’t have the patience for this kind of literary writing any more. (If I ever had the patience for this sort of thing.) The point of view continually shifted between first, second, and third person. Dialogue may or may not be spoken dialogue. If I hadn’t read the back cover, I wouldn’t have any idea what’s going on. Leonardo’s Hands might be a fine and rewarding book, but it’s the sort of thing that walks the line between mess and literary stunt.

Two books long on my virtual TBR pile arrived from Amazon:

  • A Dirty, Wicked Town: Tales of 19th Century Omaha by David L. Bristow
  • Take Me Home from the Oscars: Arthritis, Television, Fashion and Me by Christine Schwab

Maybe this weekend is going to be about TBR non-fiction.

Saturday

Fooling Houdini coverWhile I was cleaning one of my bookshelves last night I came upon Hitchhiking by Gabriele Eckart. That will take the place of Leonardo’s Hands.

Day filled with creaky joints and migraine auras. Read. Looked at many, many book covers for the challenges. Finished Hitchhiking. Switched to a on-line on-screen library book, Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind by Alex Stone.

Sunday

Head. Ache. I solider on. (Actually, earache. I get them. They’re annoying.) Cried uncle in relation to the cover challenges. Amused husband for a while in the evening.

Kimba’s Challenge:

Go through your TBR pile and find the oldest book you haven’t read.
Tell us why you bought it.
Why you haven’t read it.
Read the first chapter
Tells us what you think or give a summary.
Share a quote.

This is a tough question. I’ve been buying books for 20 years. I don’t always read what I buy. What is the oldest book I own that I haven’t read? Probably Maxim Gorky’s Foma Gordeyev, published in 1901. I had a thing for a Russian guy in college. What book have I owned the longest without reading? The Gorky probably comes close even though I didn’t meet Dima until my junior year. It wasn’t until the internet that I started keeping close track of when I acquire books, but I might have something that I bought in high school laying around here. Why don’t I read books before acquiring more books? I’m a magpie. I’m always attracted by the newest shiny thing.

God Emperor coverBut, what book have I said year after year, “I’m going to read it this year”? That would be God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert, published in 1982. I bought it because read the first three and I want to read the rest. (Actually, I had to make sure I bought it and didn’t just steal it from my mom like I did with Dune.) Many readers have become bogged down at God Emperor. I’ve had several conversations about it. My latest theory, one backed up by the first chapter, is that it’s so different from the other three that it’s like picking up a brand new SF series, and a daunting one at that. Quote: “I assure you I am the book of fate.”

Monday

Did a few chores, read the synopsis for my husband’s book, and went out to dinner. On the reading side of things, the middle essays of Misreadings are dragging… But I finished it!

GOALS

I have two challenges, the 2013 Mount TBR Reading Challenge and the 2013 Translation Challenge, that I haven’t made any progress on. I’m going to shoot for knocking out a couple birds with one stone this weekend by picking a couple books from my shelves that are translations:

  • Leonardo’s Hands by Alois Hotschnig
  • Misreadings by Umberto Eco Done

Both are pretty short. I’m also done with my primary source reading for my novel research and I need to move on to Jim Steinmeyer’s Hiding the Elephant. I’m going to shoot for 300 pages.

Throwback Thursday ~ Much Ado About Nothing

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books!

Noting that book blogging often focuses on new releases, here’s how Throwback Thursday works:

  1. Pick any bookish or literary-related media (or non-media item) released more than 5 years ago.
  2. Write up a short summary of the book (include the title, author, and cover art) and an explanation of why you love it.
  3. Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
  4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list!

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

Cover via Goodreads

Set in a courtly world of masked revels and dances, this play turns on the archetypal story if a lady falsely accused of unfaithfulness. Villainy, schemes, and deceit threatens to darken the brilliant humor and sparkling wordplay–but the counterplot of a warring couple, Beatrice and Benedick, steals the scene in Shakespeare’s superb comedy of manners (via Goodreads)

That above is a somewhat edited version of the Goodreads summary because otherwise the entire story is given away. This is my favorite of Shakespeare’s comedies. As many times as I’ve read it or seen it, it always amuses me with its language and its meta plot. Throughout most of the play, Shakespeare seems to be poking fun at himself. It has laughs. It has tears. It has a heroine named Hero.

The first version I saw was Kenneth Branagh’s 1993 film adaptation:

And I’m pretty stoked for the Joss Wheadon version:

Cover via GoodreadsI’d also like to mention Shakespeare in the Cinema: Ocular Proof by Stephen M. Buhler as an additional Throwback and a shout out to one of my favorite college professors.

His classes, even the one on Milton, were always a mix of popular culture, music, and general lit-geekery. I was very lucky in my education to have rarely encountered forbidding literature teachers. Most were willing riff on whatever themes students saw in classic works instead of forcing one interpretation on us. Dr. Buhler is one of them best of them.