Current Distractions, September 2013 Edition

Working ten fewer hours per week really makes all the difference in my mood, which should be obvious. Also bittersweet because this week I have to work five days again. Bah.

Still, I'm feeling motivated.

(But busy, so this post will be pretty short.)


My sister and I have now made it almost to the end of Breaking Bad Season 4. I managed to see a spoiler for a later season one day while looking for reviews, and have been trying diligently not to pay too much attention to Twitter on Sundays and Mondays, but it's tough. Lately both of us have just been amazed at how differently we feel about most of the characters than we did in the first couple of seasons.

I finished Deep Space Nine Season 5, too. This show mostly just amazes me that something of this quality was on tv in the 90s. I'm not sure why it's so underrated, but it probably has something to do with it being Star Trek, and thus too nerdy to acknowledge, but I'm not sure.


I went to a writing workshop! It was just an afternoon, but it definitely gave me some things to think of in advance of NaNoWriMo, which will hopefully go better this year than last.


I mentioned it in a previous post, but I might as well mention it again: I'm participating in Dewey's Read-a-Thon next month! I probably won't be able to get much reading done for reasons, but I'm still pretty excited. I anticipate completing at least one book that day.

Tell Me What You're Reading!

In the interest of maybe inspiring some more discussion around here, I've decided to open the floor to any readers who happen to pass by.

What are you reading this month? Is it for business or pleasure? Are you enjoying it? Would you recommend it to anyone? What are you going to be reading in the near future?

Depending on how much time I have in a given month, I'll also be giving updates on my own reading, so you'll have a somewhat better idea of where I'm at in List progress (not that anyone's holding their breath at this point), or just to talk about stuff that I'm reading that I won't be reviewing "formally."

In September...

In the last few days, I finished The House of Mirth (Edith Wharton) and Different Seasons (Stephen King).

The House of Mirth will be getting its own full review here (albeit in several months' time), so I'm not going to tell you what I thought of it.

Different Seasons, though, being a collection of novellas, won't get reviewed on this blog. I loved the collection, but I don't know if it was cultural osmosis/seeing the films or something else, but the three big stories weren't the most interesting too me. The creepiest and most fascinating was "The Breathing Method," because I had no idea what to expect. Well, I expected something horrifying, and I got it. If you're wondering where to start with Stephen King this probably isn't the best place, but it's definitely not the worst. It's not that it's bad, moreso that it's not much like his other writing, so it might give you the wrong impression.

I'm not terribly sure what to read next, so I guess I'd better finish Quicksilver (Neal Stephenson). The pace of that novel is about right for the amount of time I have to read right now (hardly any). I still don't exactly understand what it is I'm reading: alternate history? regular history? historical science fantasy? I suppose I'll figure it out by the time I've read the entire 2700 or so pages in the trilogy. If I do decide to read the whole thing, which I probably will if not right away.

Finally, I suppose this is as good a time as any to let you know that I'll be participating in Dewey's Readathon this year. I discovered it via someone else's blog and it looked like a fun way to clear my schedule and a few books off of my reading list. I'm not sure exactly how I'll manage the logistics right now, but I suspect you'll hear more than you want to about it on the actual day of, so I'll just leave it at that for now.

Looking Back, Part 3

I'm sure no one will have any trouble believing this, but I almost forgot that it was time to do a retrospective post. The last one was over two years ago, which is about as shameful as these things get when it comes to me and the lacklustre maintenance of this blog.

Top 100 So Far

This last set of ten books was an extremely rough go. The books from 80 to 71 were roughly as good as the previous set of ten, and definitely better than the combined ratings of the previous books. Fully half of the books this time around got 3/3 ratings. But despite a lot of highs, this set had the lowest low that I hope I'll see on The List, so low that I had to create the 0/3 rating for it. The remainder were 30% rated 2/3 and 10% rated 1/3.

Actually eff it, here's a table of all those ratings:

My graphic creation ability continues to be absolute garbage, two years on
So based on a quick look at the next ten books, I'm in for some good stuff, and hopefully won't take three years to read it all. Two of the books are even ones that I tend to call favourites when I have to pick, so I'm really looking forward to rereading them. Now, if I could just get to the library, I'd be right on track.

80. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh - 2/3
79. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster - 3/3
78. Kim by Rudyard Kipling - 3/3
77. Finnegans Wake by James Joyce - 0/3
76. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark - 2/3
75. Scoop by Evelyn Waugh - 3/3
74. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway - 3/3
73. The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West - 1/3
72. A House for Mr Biswas by V.S. Naipaul - 2/3
71. A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes - 3/3

Total Pages: 3449

Random/Romnovs So Far

I gave up on a sidebar because my web design skillz weren't up to the task, and instead created this handy page that accomplishes much the same thing.

R21. Persuasion by Jane Austen
R22. The Parasites by Daphne du Maurier
R23. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
R24. World War Z by Max Brooks
R25. The Magician King by Lev Grossman
R26. Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
R27. Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire
R28. Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear
R29. The Long Walk by Richard Bachman
R30. Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

Total Pages: 4299

In past retrospectives I've listed the other books I was reading while I was reading the twenty books that I actually ended up blogging about. But this time I'm worried that the list would be obnoxiously long, plus I already gave you at least half of it in a Supplemental post.