When I was in junior high school, I had to make a family crest for our medieval times unit, and it had to have a family motto on it. I decided on “Never Quit” because that was our family way of doing things: we were expected to finish what we started.
Despite my fine upbringing, I hereby officially declare myself a quitter. I hereby quit the challenges that end at the end of December: 9 for 09 challenge (for which I still have five books unread), the BiblioShakespeare Challenge (for which I lack two books or Bard-written plays), and the World Citizen Challenge (for which I lack three books; I’ve already read four). I was going to take a picture of the stack of those books, which have been taunting me for weeks, saying “Read me now or you won’t finish the challenge and then you’ll be a failure!” They go back to the library tomorrow morning. But if I wait to get a picture, I’ll never post this.
Note that this quitting of challenges is just for those three I mentioned above. I still have one 800s book for the Dewey Decimal Reading Challenge (commentary on Alan Paton I want to read for my book club), half of a book plus a movie for the Everything Austen Challenge, about one more hour of Oliver Sacks for the Science Book Challenge, and then The Japanese Literature Challenge and Really Old Classics Challenge that end in January and February which I’m really excited about. I also like the idea of the Women Unbound challenge and I’ll focus on finding books with women’s issues to add to my reading.
This quitting may have something to do with the fact that I woke up this weekend with the flu and I spent two days this week essentially unconscious as I slept and my son ran his cars over my head. Now I’m in a non-energetic slump (but at least I could read again yesterday without the words getting blurry before my eyes).
I also want to apologize because I have not opened Google Reader in more than a week: I was waiting until Monday and then, well, I was not feeling well on Monday. I’ve tried to leave a few comments around the blogosphere in the last two days and I sincerely apologize if they were not coherent. I am just hoping this post is coherent. I realize blogging is about the community and I want to get back to it. I’m just not feeling well enough to face the high number of unread posts that will certainly great me in Reader. Hopefully I will in a few more days.
In happier news, I’m delighted that Edith Wharton is visiting the Circuit in January! Sign up by Saturday morning (8 a.m. CST) if you’d like to host her on your site.
What is your family (or personal) motto?
How are you doing on your challenges that end by Dec 31?
These are the books I did finish this week.
- Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton (285 pages; fiction). FINISHED! For my book club.
- Jane Austen’s Little Advice Book by Jane Austen (125 pages; quotes from Austen’s fiction). FINISHED! For the Everything Austen Challenge. This was a fun hour! I am so excited to read Austen’s novels.
- My Life in France by Julia Child (300 pages; nonfiction/memoir). FINISHED! I loved this book.
- The Secret Life of Wilkie Collins by William Clarke (205 pages; nonfiction/biography). FINISHED! For the Collins Classic Circuit. Although it was interesting, it was a bit unsatisfying, so I began another biography as well (see below).
As I mentioned above, I’m quitting the remaining yearly challenges for the year, which means returning all of those books that have been taunting me. Maybe I’ll pick up some of them in January. (I separated them out because it was a bit overwhelming all together.
- Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl. Abandoned unread. I had to return this book to the library. I do want to read it, but I think I’ll have to keep it for next year (maybe for the next Spice of Life Challenge!).
- Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond (45 read of 425 pages; nonfiction). For the World Citizen Challenge. Returned unread. I may revisit it in January.
- Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science by Charles Wheelan (nonfiction). For the World Citizen Challenge. Returned unread. I may revisit it in January.
- One People: Many Journeys. A coffee table book illustrating people around the world. I picked it up as an “anthropological” book for the World Citizen Challenge, but I’m not certain it technically counts as such. At any rate, I returned it unread.
- The Photographer by Emmanuel Guibert (267 pages; nonfiction/memoir/graphic novel). Returned unread. It looks very good, but I ran out of time, it’s due, and I’m sick.
- I Feel Bad about My Neck and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron (audiobook; nonfiction/memoir/essays). Returned unread.
- Around the World Cookbook by Abigail Johnson Dodge. A kids’ cookbook. I read some and tried a recipe.
- $3 Meals: Feed Your Family Delicious, Healthy Meals for Less than the Cost of a Gallon of Milk by Ellen Brown. I skimmed some of this.
- Yum-O! : The Family Cookbook by Rachel Ray. I skimmed some of this.
- Rachael Ray’s Big Orange Book by Rachel Ray. I skimmed some of this.
Each week, I list my progress so I can see how my reading compares week to week.
Now that I’m dropping some of the pressure-filled challenges, I can focus on my longer term books I’ve been neglecting. (That’s the idea, anyway!)
- Our Latter-day Hymns: The Stories and Their Messages by Karen Lynn Davidson (80 read of 350/455 pages; nonfiction). I didn’t read any more
- Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History from Aesop to Harry Potter by Seth Lerer (254 read of 330 pages; nonfiction). For My History of Children’s Literature Project.
- Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (20 read of 196 pages; children’s fiction). For My History of Children’s Literature Project. On hold for this week.
- Too Late the Phalarope by Alan Paton (on 120 of 285 pages; fiction).
Old Library Loot
- Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell (484 pages; fiction). For the Gaskell Classic Circuit. I have not yet begun this. Maybe this week?
- Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks (audiobook, on 5 of 5 CDS; nonfiction). I haven’t gone anywhere lately (it’s the audiobook in my car), so I didn’t finish as I anticipated.
- Carmen by Georges Bizet (opera). I have not begun this yet. Next for the car!
- The Harlem Renaissance edited by Harold Bloom (nonfiction/essays). Background info for the upcoming (February) Classics Circuit.
New Library Loot
I got a few books that I’m eager to read!
- Two Histories of England by Jane Austen and Charles Dickens (on 55 of 160 pages; fictionalized nonfiction). For the Everything Austen Challenge. I first saw this on Heather J.’s blog and immediately had to go put it on hold so I could read it too!
- The Harlem Renaissance: An Explosion of African-American culture by Richard Worth (on 40 of 125 pages; children’s nonfiction). Background info for the upcoming (February) Classics Circuit.
- Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country (Bloom Commentary) (115 pages; nonfiction/commentary). I plan on counting this for the Dewey Decimal Reading Challenge. Also, for my book club.
- Harlem STOMP! A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance by Laban Carrick Hill (135 pages; nonfiction/coffee table book). Background info for the upcoming (February) Classics Circuit.
- The King of Inventors: A Life of Wilkie Collins by Catherine Peters (150 read of 425; nonfiction/biography). For the Collins Classic Circuit.
- Wilkie Collins: A Biography by Kenneth Robinson (nonfiction/biography). I will probably not read this one, as I decided to read the Peters’ biography, but I’m hanging on to it just in case.
- Wilkie Collins : A Literary Life by Graham Law (nonfiction/biography). I will probably not read this one, as I decided to read the Peters’ biography, but I’m hanging on to it just in case.