January 5th, 2011

[Janelle Monae] Bowtie

My Goals for 2011

Hi everyone!  I'm new this year, and I'm really excited about this.  I used to read voraciously, but over the past few years, the Internet and life rapidly encroached on my reading time.  One of my resolutions is to carve out reading-only time.  Another is my real purpose here.

I'm not going to challenge myself to read 50 books.  I'm going to challenge myself to read all the books I own that I have not finished or ever read.  And as it currently stands, according to my LibraryThing catalog, I'm looking at 54 unfinished books and 239 unread books.  But I know there are books tucked around my apartment that I haven't even cataloged yet!  (Of course, there are probably also some that I got rid of months ago during my last purge.) Some of these books I got last week, some of them last century.  And every year I swear that I'm going to read more books than I buy, but that has never worked out. 

However, this leaves me with a logistical challenge. ~300 books in 360 days is a pretty tall order, especially with school and work.  But, I think there is some hope for me.  12 of the unfinished and 53 of the unread are comics/graphic novels/manga, about 20 or so are short story collections and anthologies.  A handful are plays and poetry collections.  And I have no problem reading more than one book at a time. 

So if you were me, how would you do this?  I was thinking that I'd do theme months (one month for comics, one month for YA, one month for biographies), but it would probably take more time to figure out the best way to do that then it would to actually read them.  Or if you just want to warn me that some of my books suck so hard they're not worth reading at all?
El Corazon

2. Sideswipe

by Charles Willeford

Started: January 1, 2011
Finished: January 11, 2011

I have very mixed feelings about this novel, much like I have about the two previous "Hoke Moseley" novels I've read recently. Willeford just isn't that good a writer. He tells the whole story through dialogue that just doesn't sound like anything an actual human would say. His female characters are all semi-retarded at best. He's a misogynist for sure and probably a racist as well. But damn if these still aren't basically decent reads. The stories at the heart of each book are compelling. Basically he's Elmore Leonard without the natural talent--I guess that's extra fitting since Leonard was a huge Willeford fan and wrote a short introduction to the copy of this novel that I read. 310 pages. Grade: C
Total # of books read in 2011: 2
Total # of pages read in 2011: 480
Currently reading: Prayers For Rain -- Dennis Lehane; Bye Bye Baby: My Tragic Love Affair With the Bay City Rollers -- Caroline Sullivan; The First Part of King Henry the Sixth -- William Shakespeare
  • cat63

Book 2 for 2011

Green Rider by Kristen Britain. 504 pages

I've been trying to work out why I didn't like this book more than I did and struggling with the reason rather as struggled with reading it.

It's a decent enough fantasy plot where a young girl runs away from injustice and, finding a dying messenger, agrees to carry his message for him. But something about it just doesn't gel for me somehow.

It's the author's first novel, so I cut her some slack for that and the world she's built could be quite interesting really, but something about the actual writing is just ...off. It's not that it's derivative - it is, a bit, but no worse than many books I've enjoyed much more than this one. It's not that the characters aren't sympathetic - the protagonist tends to be a little whiny but she's been dumped into a scary situation that she feels unequipped to deal with, so that's fair enough.

I think a big part of it may be the pacing. Even in scenes of frenetic action, everything feels drawn out and overextended somehow. Obviously action scenes in books can suffer from this generally, but it seemed to be particularly bad in this instance and extended over the plot in general - the protagonist seemed to take forever to travel anywhere, for instance, while other characters were zooming about all over the place in order to be where the plot needed them to be.

I've read far worse books than this, and I may well give the sequel a try if I can find a cheap copy, but on the evidence of her firat novel, Britain isn't going to be landing on my favourite authors list any time soon.

44-53... the end of 2010

44. 'playing beatie bow' ruth park
45. 'the girl with the dragon tattoo' steig larson
46. 'the girl who played with fire' steig larson
47. 'the girl who kicked a hornet's nest' steig larson
48. 'the passage' justin cronin
49. 'harry potter and the deathly hallows' j.k. rowling
50. 'queen of this realm' jean plaidy
51. 'high voltage tattoo' kat von d
52. 'the tattoo chronicles' kat von d
53. 'in cold blood' truman capote

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