Current Distractions, June 2015 Edition

I am on holidays! It's great! For the first time ever (or I guess the first time since I finished school, and of course excepting Christmas holidays) I'm staycationing, and it's pretty great so far. I'm trying to get as much done around my poor neglected house this week as I possibly can. We'll see how it goes.

Overall June has treated me fairly well. It's flown by, with things going on just about every weekend and nice weather as long as you're not trying to grow anything. I'm not home often enough to keep a close eye on my lawn, so my grass isn't doing well at all.

I don't have a ton to report with regard to distractions. I'm putting off reading the next book on The List, which is The Moviegoer, because the only other Walker Percy book that I've tried to read was one that I gave up on because it wasn't particularly interesting.

So yeah, this is a short post because even though I'm on vacation and I actually have time to write something for once, I'm hoping to waste as little time as possible on my computer this week.

The Magicians on TV

Some of you may have heard that Lev Grossman's The Magicians is getting a SyFy adaptation. Back when I was reviewing Random 21st century novels, I reviewed the sequel to The Magicians, The Magician King.

I'm largely indifferent to this show for a few reasons. I have really severe adaptation fatigue lately. Also, I've realized that if someone makes a book I love into something visual, I don't have any obligation to watch it. I had such a great time reading The Magicians and unless I hear really really really great things about this series, I just don't have any desire to watch it, because I'm sure the show won't duplicate or improve upon that experience in a valuable way. I especially won't watch it before I've read the third book, The Magician's Land, which I still haven't gotten my hands on in paperback. I learned my lesson the hard way with the Harry Potter books, that watching an adaptation halfway through the series leads to my ideas about everything being supplanted by the adaptation's. Not playing that game again.

But anyway. I got curious enough that I ended up watching the trailer for the show after all, and damn if it isn't just a bit intriguing.

I'm still not intrigued enough to watch the show without some mega rave reviews, though.

If that's not damning with faint praise, I don't know what is.

Anyone out there excited for this show? Or anyone as exhausted by this sort of thing as I am?

2015 Reading Plans

A good blogger would've written this post in January instead of halfway through the year, but in case I don't harp on this enough: I'm not a good blogger.

You would think that the goal of reading through The List would be enough, but I think it's pretty clear that I'm easily distracted. I didn't really make much mention of this as far as I can remember, but my 2013 reading goal was to get through the Dark Tower series (which I did), and my 2014 reading goal was to read all ten books in Roger Zelazny's Amber Chronicles (which I didn't).

This year my goal is to read as many as possible of my own books that I haven't read yet. While I have a lot less of them than a lot of bookish people apparently do, having books sitting around that I haven't read really bugs me, and I've had a lot more of them since I inherited a bunch from my Mémé and Pépé when they moved, and my great aunt when she died.

For fun (ha!), let's go through all the books that I should potentially be reading during the remainder of this year, with a few notes on some of them. To be clear, at this point if I didn't read anything else, including List books, for the rest of the year, it's still very possible for me to read all of these books.

Top shelf. Click to embiggen.
Bottom shelf. Click to embiggen.
  1. Othello by William Shakespeare. God knows where or why I got my hands on this. I haven't read Shakespeare since high school, but it can't hurt to try again.
  2. Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford. I was really excited to read this until my job made me hate everything to do with the topic. I'm planning to return to this book when I have some distance from it.
  3. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. Some people in a forum I belong to recommended this when I asked about books by women. My sister had read the book for a class and had it on her shelf. She'd hated it, so I snagged it from her.
  4. Q-In-Law by Peter David. You'll see a review of this here on the blog yet, I swear. I've actually read a non-Star Trek Peter David book that I really enjoyed, so we'll see what I think of this.
  5. The Fractal Prince by Hannu Rajaniemi. I read the first book in this trilogy and reviewed it here before deciding that I wanted to focus my non-Top 100 and Romance reviews on 20th century books only.
  6. Garden in the Wind/Enchanted Summer by Gabrielle Roy. The first of the many books I inherited. I've currently got a review of a different Gabrielle Roy book scheduled for September this year.
  7. The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence. I'm going to try to review this as well. A lot of my inherited books (this is another) are CanLit.
  8. Living and Party Going by Henry Green. The only book I've had to buy for this blog so far, I think.
  9. Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer. The book that I'm relying on to rejuvenate my efforts at NaNoWriMo this year.
  10. Walden by Henry David Thoreau. I literally bought this book because I felt I had to read it before the next book, which is...
  11. Walden Two by B. F. Skinner. This is another inherited book. Obviously it is not a real sequel to Walden.
  12. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. Another inheritance. I haven't seen the movie but I know it's got a great theme.
  13. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I have a copy of this book that I've read several times, that belonged to my mom, that I have damaged with tape in a misguided effort to keep intact. Imagine how depressed I was to discover that it's an abridged edition. I'm not sure I really like this edition that I bought, but here we are.
  14. Venturing into the prairies by Therese Jelinski. It's about nuns!
  15. Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett. Borrowed from my brother, although I seriously need to give my heart time to mend before I read anymore Pratchett.
  16. The Heat Seekers by Zane. Another borrowed book, which I plan to review.
  17. The House of the Seven Gables and The Blithedale Romance and The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I'll be posting a review of The Scarlet Letter sometime in the next half decade.
  18. Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco. The Name of the Rose is fabulous, and I can't help myself when I walk into bookstores.
  19. A Distant Mirror by Barbara W. Tuchman. I've decided that this is the next book that I'll read, although by the time this gets posted I'm hoping to have already started it. So excited.
  20. Rich Man, Poor Man and Beggarman, Thief by Irwin Shaw. Inherited books again.
  21. Amber Chronicles 6-10 by Roger Zelazny. Looping last year's goal into this year's goal!
  22. The Portable James Joyce. Nope. I'm just hanging onto this because it contains a copy of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which I'm going to need nine years from now.
Wish me luck!

Five Years Ago This Month: June 2010

Five years ago this month...

With my 2005 vintage Mac Mini (Toby) on the verge of giving up the ghost, I bought myself a new MacBook Pro.  It was thrilling! I named the new one Taliesin, and it's what I've been using ever since, with only a few signs of slowing down (knock on wood). It's not quite as shiny now as it was then, though.

...I reviewed Ironweed. It's another book that left almost no last impression.

...I reviewed Twin Temptation. It was absurd.

...I reviewed Tobacco Road. This book has proven to be one of the more memorable and disturbing of the List books. I disliked it and I'll never read it again, though.