Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Goals - 25%

In December, I wrote down a few goals I hope to accomplish this year. First among these was to read 50 books by the end of the year. I'm holding strong at 16 so far:

1. The Modigliani Scandal - Ken Follett
2. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian - Marina Lewycka
3. Blueberry Muffin Murder - Joanne Fluke
4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer
5. Holidays on Ice - David Sedaris
6. How I Live Now - Meg Rosoff
7. Lady Chatterly's Lover - D.H. Lawrence
8. Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys
9. The Hound of the Baskervilles - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
10. The Plot Against America - Philip Roth
11. The Post-Birthday World - Lionel Shriver
12. In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto - Michael Pollan
13. The Devil and Miss Prym - Paulo Coelho
14. Cavern - Jake Page
15. How Starbucks Saved My Life - Michael Gates Gill
16. Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life - Amy Krouse Rosenthal

The bold titles are those appearing on the "1001 Books to Read Before You Die" list. I didn't count 2 Poe short stories as books, but adding to that the 5 above, I've now read 56 of 1001 (a whopping 5.59%). I understand why the suggested time period for this is "before you die."

Out of the titles above, I'd have to say that Cavern was the worst. The only reason why I read it was that it takes place in the town where I live. Besides the plot being totally ridiculous (pre-historic bear that can hibernate for 50 years at a time and lives in a cave awakens and starts eating people), the writing was horrible. So, do bears have emotions? Page would have you think so - apparently when bears eat someone, they are "enraged" (not, say, hungry?)

Some of the highlights were Wide Sargasso Sea, a book about the life of "the madwoman in the attic" from Jane Eyre. The story was beautiful and haunting in all the right ways. Also particularly hilarious was Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. This isn't a novel, but rather a series of very short essays, alphabetized, focusing on random snippets of Krouse's life. I wish I had written it, since at times I was convinced it was actually about me.

I haven't gotten to the colorwork thing yet. This mostly has to do with not having appropriate yarn... if only I could just walk over to the yarn store and get some. But since there is no yarn store within a 150 mile radius, I have to think up enough stuff to order to get free shipping at KnitPicks.

The Modern Letter Project is currently on hiatus (their hiatus, not mine.) Frankly, I'm glad. Out of the 6 letters I was supposed to receive, I only got 2. I was very close to quitting, since writing letters and getting no reply was annoying. I guess it's back to friends. Do you want me to send you a letter? Say so in the comments!
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