1. I have four books simultaneously in progress. This is unusual for me; my normal process is to pick a book, read it until it's done, then move onto the next one. The main reason for the current fragmentation that I'm involved in two separate paced re-reads; of the other two books, one has established itself as a carry-in-pocket-and-read-at-odd-moments book, and the last is a short story anthology.
The read-at-odd-moments book is The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles
by Padraic Colum, the first (and so far only) book to get full marks at Read All the Newberys
. It's the read-at-odd-moments book partly because it's an ebook, so I'm going to have it with me anyway when I get trapped in a doctor's waiting room or whatever, and partly because, although I'm enjoying reading it, I'm not in a particular hurry to get back to it when I'm not. It has to be admitted that, although I've not read this version before, I do have a pretty good idea how it's going to end.
I'm re-reading Tamora Pierce's Alanna series in synch with Mark Reads Tortall
. Early Tamora Pierce has a somewhat clunkier prose style than I remember her later work having, and the pacing is oddly episodic. So far I'm finding them pleasant enough, but not so gripping that waiting between chapters is a trial.
I'm re-reading A Night in the Lonesome October
according to internal chronology (the prologue is set at some point in September, then there are 31 chapters headed "October 1" to "October 31"). There's not a formal re-read community for this, but I know people who have done it (and even people who do it every year), and I decided to give it a try. Doing two re-reads at once may turn out to be pushing it, but if I'd waited for Mark to finish the Tortall books, he would probably have been reading something else interesting instead. Too early yet to tell if I'm going to regret having to stop at the end of each chapter.
2. Speaking of Mark, he recently started a new blog called Mark Plays
, which is the same thing as Mark Reads but with video games. He started with Portal
, right now he's nearing the end of Portal 2
, and he's just announced that next week he's going to start on Dragon Age: Origins
This has nothing to do with why I finished Portal 2
this month, which I'd already done before I read Mark's announcement, but the timing was good. I'm so used to the idea that everybody knows all the big plot twists in Portal
(or at least their associated quoted-to-death catchphrases) that I was surprised and entertained that he was surprised and entertained by all of them. He is continuing to be caught off-guard by every plot twist in Portal 2
, including the one that gives "Chapter Four: The Surprise" its title, which I would have sworn nobody
would have actually been surprised by. But then Mark never sees any plot twist coming. It's a big part of his blogs' appeal.
3. I have finished my first-pass read-through of I Could Do Anything, If I Only Knew What It Was
; it's only taken me nine months. (Finishing it at all is a victory; if I didn't have procrastination issues, I probably wouldn't have been reading it in the first place.) The book is now full of bookmarks marking the bits I could benefit from going back over in more detail, and actually doing the exercises instead of just skimming past them. (Reading Chapter Nine made me sad; it was exactly what I needed ten years ago. Though whether I'd have heeded it if I'd had it is another question...)
4. Did we really just blow through the entire year's complement of Doctor Who
episodes in a single month? Apparently we did. Huh.
5. If you are interested in one or more of the following: Muppets, Doctor Who
, The Avengers
(the movie with Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey, Jr. and some other dudes in it, not any of the other things with that title), The Hunger Games
, and/or Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
, this video has something for you