Day: October 20, 2007

Alright my dear friends, I must call it a night. I have much to do tomorrow. I read two books, one play, but I really only completed one book. It was fun and worth it though, and the book was particularly apt I thought.

I won one of the challenges over at Dewey‘s blog. Yay! She reads some great books too so I’m sure I’ll have some lovely choices in the future. I also would like to take the time to deserve credit to Dewey for being a fantastic organiser and host of this event. She’s made this great fun for all of us.

Here’s my last challenge from Booklogged: Choose one of the books you are reading for the challenge. Pretend you are going to host a book group at your house this month to discuss that book. What will you serve for refreshments? The refreshments have to tie-in to the book somehow.

Since I’ve actually finished First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde, I’ll have a Thursday Next themed party.

People who have read the books will understand why I will choose Battenburg cake and Cheese (with crackers) as the food with coffee and tea as refreshments. Not any Cheese, but illegal cheese that I probably had to smuggle across the border.

Thanks for everything today. Good night and good luck.


A memoirs / biography reading challenge running through the whole of 2008. As with most of my lists, this is tentative and subject to change.

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
William Shakespeare or Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson
Aristocrats: Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, 1740-1832 by Stella Tillyard
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

From our lovely organiser Dewey:

1. What are you reading right now? Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

2. How many books have you read so far? 1, and a few scenes from Cyrano.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? I guess the one I’m reading now.
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Other than not doing homework, no, not really.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Well someone called long distance, but it was nice to hear from them. My Saturdays — okay my life — in general, not too exciting or dramatic.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? I’m surprised that I’ve been able to post this often and participate in challenges. I do like this wing it sort of blogging because I plan a lot of my posts.

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? No, I’m having a great time and people have been really nice with their comments.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Maybe I’ll try to do it for 24 hours for real next time, but it does depend on when that will be. It’s a shame I have to sleep tonight.

9. Are you getting tired yet? A bit. A book a day is enough for me.

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? I’m really laid back and not forcing anything. So I think it’s a matter of going with the reading, the breaks, and the interruptions with ease.

Dear Edmond Rostand,

Please write in English — I kid. I kid. You 19th century French writers slay me good. I have enjoyed your Cyrano de Bergerac. Well the first few scenes, but I must stop and find a more substantial work in which I can understand more than half of what is going on. I love your rhyming couplets and your 12 syllable verses, but another day, my good sir?


I’ve taken a couple of lengthy breaks because I am unsure of what to read but I think I’ll start Running With Scissors.

Death by reading challenges, eh? The Seafaring challenge features books of nautical nature. It runs from November 1, 2007 to January 31, 2008. I really just have one goal in this challenge: Read any book(s) from the Horatio Hornblower series by C. S. Forrester.

I love the miniseries, and I’ve been meaning to read at least one of these books for years. One book makes me Lieutenant, but I want to attain at least Captain by the end of January.

Oh here are some bonuses as per my usual challenge posts:

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
20, 000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
..and any Pulitizer Prize or Newbery winning book that fits into this category

I am really open to suggestions since I have read little in this genre. Nonfiction can apply, but it must be engaging of course.

Sarah had a challenge for us to read in a language that was not our native languages. English is not my first language, but it is by far the one I most adept. Second would be French, so I ventured out to read Edmond Rostand’s play Cyrano de Bergeac. I’ve only ever seen the movie versions of this (both the Gerard Depardieu faithful film version and the amusing Steve Martin one). It’s a story that I’ve liked, but never gotten around to reading. I read only a bit of it this past hour, but it just reminds me how rusty my French is. Shamefully, my comprehension of French diction was the best and how has fallen quite subpar. I love French, but I suck at sticking to things and keeping them up, especially musical instruments and languages. I think French is one of the most lovely languages, and sometimes, if I’m lucky, I dream in French rather than English. I was glad to pick a play and not Dumas. I try to read a lot of things in French, but I usually fail. I will not try to rad Dumas in French though, nor do I really want to finish the musketeer series even though I really liked The Three Musketeers. Anyway, this play is fun lyrically because it’s written in verse and rhyming couplets. Cyrano does not make an entrance for 900 lines. I’ll continue to read for a bit, and have some dinner I think.

I finished Jasper Fforde’s First Among Sequels. I’m a bit tired, so I don’t think I want to read One Day in th Life of Ivan Denisovich; I want something really light. That’s not going to happen, but I’ll figure what to read next.

Here are the featured readers of the hour:

Jessica – Who has just joined us and is reading Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami.
Alison is reading Scott Westerfeld’s Pretties and has read 175 pages in five hours.
Deb is reading Peter Sagal’s The Book of Vice: Naughty Things (And How to Do Them) and other books.

Page count: 299p

Kristin’s challenge for the hour is to write a bit about the book I’m reading. First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde is the fifth book in the Thursday Next series, and I don’t remember the first four all that well other than that I enjoyed them more or less as much I as am this one. I think it’s a very fun and very meta book series that is hard to compare to anything else. His writing style is also distinctive and sometimes a bit confusing because of all the meta. The series is not for everyone, but definitely good for those of us who love books, words, and the classics. I think people who like fantasy or unique but amusing humor would like the series too. I also forgot how many plotlines Mr Fforde stuffs into these books. It’s quite remarkable how he balances all the characters and the plots he puts Thursday into. This may not be for people who like more linear plots though. I enjoy the book references none the less and the idea of readers interacting with book characters. Fun stuff.

When I was 13 going on 14, I read Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I loved it. It made me appreciate not only Russian literature, but the classics in general. Tolstoy remains one of my favourite authors to this day, and I read War and Peace and The Death of Ivan Ilych last year. I’ve also always wondered about reading Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. The rules of this challenge are read a minimum of four books on Russia, about Russia, set in Russia, written by Russians, etc. I aspire to complete some of this tentative list, and I’ve picked a couple of moderately lengthed books to help me out. Continue reading →

I’ve reached page 167 of my book. Slow progress. I am going to participate in Sarah’s mini challenge of reading an hour in another language after I finish this book. Also, I am going to post my Russian Reading Challenge 2008 tentative book list in the next hour.

Still drinking some tea and still chugging away through my book.

Nearing 1PM now, I haven’t had much read this hour because I was out for that errand. But I am ready to get back into as I’ve just made a pot of green tea as is my usual weekend habit.

The challenge for this hour is at Taylor the Teacher. Open my current book randomly, and make 4 lines or so from the first words I see. These weren’t the first words I saw, but I liked it most: “a positive echo”.

A positive echo in the void.
It sighs, it laughs, it repeats.
More than silence, less than voice
Am I the source of this noise?

Becky and I have been named Readers of the Hour at Dewey‘s blog. I am about 120 pages into First Among Sequels, and I just had lunch. I’m going to finish my current chapter, and then go off on an errand hoping to be back in an hour for an Hour 4 Update. I’m going to make some tea and finish this book before I go to bed tonight, and definitely start another one. Good luck to fellow participants, and thanks for all the comments so far.

Also, I highly recommend the Thursday Next series I am reading if you have not tried it out, pick up the first in the books called The Eyre Affair. Review of First Among Sequels after the Readathon.