Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fits and Starts

Right after my last post about how my reading momentum was gathering speed, I hit a road block in the form of the picky reader impulse.

I picked up Sherman Alexie's new short story/poetry collection, War Dances. Since it's Alexie, I thought I had it in the bag. An easy book to get into, right? Not so much. His style in this book is very different than the books of his I love, far less dry humor, far more literary. I read a story, thought, "Eh, maybe I'll like the next one better." Half way through the book, I set it down and didn't feel like picking it up again.

Next, I opted for Chuck Palahniuk's Stranger Than Fiction, a collection of non-fiction essays. They're basically mini documentaries and lack story. I got about half way through that one, then I set it down too.

After some thought, and another trip to the library, I cracked open Christopher Moore's The Stupidest Angel. I figured I was in that kind of mood and now I've whipped through about half of it in no time at all and look forward to finishing the rest. Thank goodness I finally found one that fit my mood.

I'm staring down the end of the month and trying to read as fast as I can. For the sake of being on a deadline, I'm counting the half-way books. So, right now my tally is:

The last half of John Connolly's book + the whole Gail Carriger + half of Sherman Alexie + half of Chuck Palahniuk + half of Christopher Moore = 3 books. That leaves me with the second half of Moore's book and one other whole book to read by Wednesday. Doable, I think. I hope. Time to buckle down.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Gathering Reading Momentum

My, I've got to say, tackling four books in one month is proving quite the undertaking. More so since this is a busy time of the semester, and on top of the books themselves I'm also reading many student papers. Time's flying, which means it'll be spring break before I know it.

So far I've finished The Gates and Soulless. One and a half books down, three more to go. I'm not sure what I'll start next, but I've got a substantial pile from the library to choose from.

How's your March going so far?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Like Being An Agent

I just stumbled onto a fun website called Webook. It's got an interesting premise based on the idea of book selection by consensus. You can play with it two different ways:

1. Read 1st pages submitted by randomly selected authors. Rate them. Then you can move on to rating the 1st chapter, then 1st 50 pages of books that are rated well.

2. Submit your own work to be rated, and perhaps advanced, by the readers on the site.

The principle is that the books which are advanced and rated well then come to the attention of professional literary agents. It's kind of neat. I've signed up just for giggles, and I tried reading one 1st page. I read it, then I rated it, then I got to see the average ratings from other readers, broken down by percentage of ratings. That part was cool. As it turns out, my rating was the same as the majority rating. Fun, huh?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

Hi all, I'm going to ask for a little bit of audience participation on this one. My photography club has a monthly contest and this month's theme is "Pattern." I've been going through my photos, trying to pick out the best one, but I've only been able to narrow it down. I'm asking you to do me a favor and help me pick which one I should enter in this month's contest. What do you think?






Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Quatro Libros

February's 28 things in 28 days didn't quite happen. I got overwhelmed, I got distracted, I just couldn't pull it off. It was good to shoot for, though, and I got some things done that I wouldn't have otherwise.

This month, I'm shifting gears. My recent goals have been all about producing things. For March, I'm going to focus on consumption. My March goal is to read four books in addition to finishing the book I'm currently reading. So, four and a half books total.

I just need to average about one book per week. Should be doable. I hope. It may not seem like all that much, but when I factor in the workload of teaching, especially at this point in the semester, it's more intimidating. Wish me luck.