Okay, the rest of my reading list from 2005:

The first half of the year can be found here. Again, why do I choose the books that I do?

Heaven by Peter Stanford. Original post here I picked this book because I had read two previous books by Stanford. I picked the first, The Devil: A Biography, off the shelf at the library because the title intrigued me as much as the subject.

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander. Original post here. I read this because I got tired of Eric pointing out that I hadn’t read it. My fantasy background is terribly deficient.

Night of the Ripper by Robert Bloch. Original post here. I first picked up Robert Bloch because he wrote Psycho (the book, not the movie) and he remains one of my little guilty pleasures that is indulged from time to time.

Heat Stroke by Rachael Caine. Original post here. Speaking of guilty pleasures… Found the first in this series through “Dear Reader”.

Ghost Story by Peter Straub. I had this book laying around for quite a while. I think I bought it in Lincoln when I still lived there. I like ghost stories so I figured, at the time I bought it, that I’d probably like the book as well. But I never got around to it until I wanted something seasonal in October. The book was alright, but the ending felt a little forced to me considering all the other really good bits.

Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert. Another series that I got tired of Eric chiding me about. Entertaining, and Mr. Herbert had some interesting ideas. I’ll be reading the rest of them in the near future.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos. (Read in translation.) Bought this in college when I was in the mood for something ‘romantic’ (to use the term loosely). Didn’t get around to reading it until I found epistolarynovel. The premise is to read this book, comprised of fictional letters in real time. Easy way to get a book done. I finished early. I was also intrigued by the movie.

American Gods by Niel Gaiman. Original post here. Why did I read this? Because everyone else has…

No Life for a Lady by Agnes Morley Cleaveland. Original post here. After I moved to AZ, I began to take an interest in the history of here and Nebraska. I guess you could call it pioneer history. I picked this book, and another of similar subject, at the Tempe Library sale. Ironically, they were published by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

And lastly…

A Precocious Autobiography by Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Great little book about becoming a writer (in this case poetry) and about Communism and Stalinism. I like Yevtushenko’s poetry and I was happy when I found this volume (probably at The Antiquarium in Omaha). Also, the translation was very transparent, which I appreciated.

So there we are. I did better in the latter half of the year though my total was only 18 novels (and 2 novellas).

Using Amazon.com’s text stats I came up with the following stats:
(This includes only 13 of the books I read. Five of them didn’t have stats listed.)
Number of words I read: 1,310,357
Ave. words per book: 100,796
Ave. Flesch-Kincaid Index (aka grade level): 7.5
Ave. percentage of complex words (3 or more sylables): 9.4%
Ave. # of words per sentence: 14.6
Overall, Stanford’s Heaven was the most complex book I read this year.

My computer is back in mostly working order aside from moving all my music back on to it and playing with all the settings on everything.

Thus:

Writing: Nothing

Exercise: A walk to CVS to buy yet more after Christmas stuff. Looking forward to disc tomorrow.

Food: Granola bar, yogurt, some chips, french bread pizza, small bit of marzipan, nachos, a fish taco, an apple. Was craving salt today.

Other: Tidied.

Fun: EQ. No really, I was testing my video driver installation!

Finished American Gods and No Life for a Lady in rapid succession. I’m trying to get *cough* 20 books read by the end of the year. I’m still undecided on Gods. There are parts that are clever, and I love a good con, but I’m not sure I buy the basic premise. I mean, no one worships old gods anymore, here in America or across the Atlantic. Eric pointed out that he also missed some good material in urban legends. But I guess this is what happens when one has been formulating theories on religion and belief for a while, and gods have little to do with either. Loved No Life for a Lady. Agnes Morley Cleaveland had a great voice and imparts history in the form of “I was there.” The books covers the rise and fall of New Mexico cattle baronies. It’s a book I’m glad I stumbled across.

Writing: 1 card down, 1 finished and quickly resurrected to be finished again later, eradicated all the unnecessary ‘never’ from the ms. That all sounds like more than it was.

Exercise: Wednesday disc. Good stuff. Four on four. I was particularly happy with an inside-out forehand to Brian. It was level and leading.

Food: Yogurt, granola bar, sardines on Triskets, nuts, *cough*chocolate*cough*, a #2 from Guerrero’s. Thinking about experimenting with hot coffee drinks and creme de cocoa.

Other: Got the bills done. Did dishes and generally tidied.

Fun: Some Neopets. Watched Onegin in the background this afternoon. It was pretty in some parts, but lacked pathos. And perhaps that’s more due to my love of the novel and my associations with it. Makes me want to read it, though I swore off rereads for this year.

Which reminds me… The other day someone asked about “comfort” reading. And I can’t remember whom. (Grrr…bad addled brain!) Anyway, comfort reading are those books you read over and over again for whatever reason. So the questions were ‘What?’ and ‘Why?’ Here’s my list:

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. Beagle has a beautiful, enviable way with words. The unexpected turn-of-the-phrase is always just around the corner. And, as faerie tales go, the characters are bittersweet and people I’d certainly want to travel with.

Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney. I read a terrible translation in college and was mesmerized by the ship-sailing rhythm of this one. Sure, the who did this and that, gets a little old, but what other story is ballsy enough for it’s first sentence to be “So.” ?

Anything by Helene Hanff, but especially 84, Charing Cross Road and Underfoot in Show Business. I saw the movie version of 84, Charing in high school when I was going out of my way to see anything Anthony Hopkins. And so I found Hanff: a booklover, a writer who is never quite what she thought she’d be. I really wish I could have met her.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Yes, I know, horror as a comfort read. But it’s so well written though in a slightly obtuse manner that makes you think about certain sentences later on. And hell, can anyone’s life be as bad as Elanor’s? That alone is a comfort.

So now I think I will try to get some 2005 reading done. The Marquise de Merteuil has just declaired war on Vicomte de Valmont. The end is near.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
7,216 / 50,000
(14.4%)

So, I’m up to 1031 words a day. Not bad for a 0 day in there. Now to catch up on some web comics. And then read something. I finished up Dune Messiah on the plane. I don’t own Children of Dune yet, and wouldn’t you know it, I’m itching to read it. Eric bought Graham Joyce’s Requiem at the con and read it in a day. I think I’ll take my turn at it since none of my other reading material is compelling.

And for the record, I did get most of the bags unpacked, my grant report done, and a nice walk in. Tomorrow is doomed to unproductivity.

I finished Heat Stroke by Rachael Caine. It’s alright, much better than Ill Wind, but really Wind sets this book up. I now understand why she ended it when and the way that she did. I’ll probably read the next one. It’s an entertaining series.

Need to get to work. But feeling lost. Need to talk to Eric, I guess.

League starts tomorrow. I’m on Sarah’s team, again. I also put in my UPA dues so it looks like I’ll be playing at sectionals and regionals with a coed team. That should be interesting, having never played a Club tournament co-ed. Sarah is also co-captaining that team. The real question is: will I resist strangling her when she dispenses one too many pieces of ‘let’s go team’ advice? Yes, I probably will, but life would be easier if women were like men. Men get pissed with each other and a minute later it’s all over.

Had a brief panic this morning. I looked at the clock and it was 9:15 and Eric was happily snoozing beside me. But wait! Wasn’t it Monday? Isn’t Eric late for work??? But, no. It’s Labor Day and he’s off. So I retrieved my copy of Fantasy and Science Fiction (Oct/Nov) and read Peter S. Beagle’s “Two Hearts” in bed. It was wonderful and sad, and I would have had to write Mr. Beagle personally if Molly and Schmendrick hadn’t been involved in some way, but I shouldn’t have worried.

And now, I’ve eaten a couple of pieces of cold pizza, and I’m watching tennis (it would almost be a shame if Malisse loses this match, he’s working so hard), and I don’t want to work today like Eric and I had planned. Another day off! I’ll work tomorrow! Last week was pretty good. I managed over 4125, which was nice. But it will be hard to shake today’s lethargy.

When I was in Omaha, I scrounged through the books of mine that are still housed on my mothers shelves. I gathered up some classics, which I had been missing (aside: does Chris still have my Gods and Heroes?), and I looked for something light to read on the plane ride back to AZ. THe only novel I had brought with me was Dune Messiah and my brain wasn’t in the mood for it yet. So I took The Night of the Ripper back with me. Finished half of it on the plane and the rest while waiting for buses on Wednesdays. Done with it today. I must say, the ending was a bit disappointing and I was annoyed by too many period cameo characters. Do we really need to have Arthur Conan Doyle involved? Or Oscar Wilde? Or The Elephant Man? I guess it provides a contrast to the many, many other lower class nobodies that pepper the fictitious investigation…

(And where did I misplace No Life for a Lady? I had it when I was at the dentist. Maybe it’s still in my bag…)

So anyway. Eric’s playing EverCrack and suggested I take the night off too. I’ve been reading. It’s an occupation that I enjoy, but I just can’t get comfortable tonight. Put a dent into Dune Messiah, but I think I’ll switch to something less taxing for a while. Probably the aforementioned No Life for a Lady if I can find what I did with it.