Sunday, November 27, 2011

Weekly Wrap-up for November 27, 2011: Whew.

It is a bit of a dismal day today. We woke up to rain, and it has been raining ever since. I usually enjoy these kinds of days, but I have had a lot going on this week, so I haven't spent much of the day lounging as I usually would.

To be honest, since finishing school on Tuesday, I have been constantly on the go. My only downtime was last night when Matt got off work. Beyond those few hours, we've been traveling, eating, shopping, or visiting with family. It is nice to be home, but I am staring at a messy apartment that needs to be whipped back into shape sooner rather than later.

Tomorrow morning it will be weird not to get ready for school and go into "my" classroom. For the first time in nearly a year, I don't have steady employment, and that is going to stare me in the face in the morning. I know I will adjust and the daily sub jobs will slowly roll in. Tomorrow, however, I plan to spend at home catching up on some things, getting some stuff organized around here (you know, the things I have shoved into closets), and some reading/writing. I haven't touched my Nano novel in nearly two weeks, and while I feel really confident in what I am writing, I don't think I want to rush through it to try and win by Wednesday at midnight. We'll see.

I had grand plans for reading this weekend, but since I have been a little busier than normal, nothing was really accomplished. The only "book" I completed was Civil Disobedience, which shouldn't count since it was only 30 pages. Buy hey, that's progress, right?

I still feel like I am in a rut, but I am going to power through the rest of my commitments for 2011. I have some "fun" things I have been meaning to read, so I think they will be my reward after finishing my commitment titles.

Here is what I am going to try and finish by the end of the year:
  • The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James: I started this early in the month, right before I had to collect a bunch of essays and get everything in shape for my departure. I really LOVE it, but I need to set it aside while I finish my Group Reads for November and December.
  • Purgatorio by Dante: I'm halfway through. And I was supposed to have this finished by last week. I am enjoying it, but I keep getting distracted.
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad: This is my fourth read and I hate it as much as I did the first 3. But I am going to get through it no matter what (I'm about 50 pages from the end).
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau: This is the second title I wanted to read for Transcendentalist Month, but I haven't started it and need to finish by the 15th. I actually really liked Civil Disobedience, so I am hoping this is similar.
  • Paradiso by Dante: This is a December Group Read, so I have plenty of time to get to it. I'm looking forward to finishing the trilogy and finally marking The Divine Comedy off my list.
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen: The other December Group Read. I am SUPER excited to get to this, since I haven't read it in ages and was just sent a beautiful new copy for review.
The Fun Reads:
  • The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini: I pre-ordered the fourth title over the summer, but it has been so long since reading these that I don't remember them all that well. I really want to read the whole series again, so this will be my reward after I finish the list above.
  • Brotherband Chronicles Book 1: The Outcasts by John Flanagan: This one also just came out (yes, I broke the book buying ban), and since I loved his other series SO MUCH, I know that this one will continue to eye me from the shelf until I read it. I best get that over with. ;)
I would also really like to finish Adam's 2011 TBR Challenge, but I am not making much progress. If I finish the James title above, I will have FIVE more books to read out of this list:
  • Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
  • Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
  • Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
  • The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
  • Pamela by Samuel Richardson
  • The Once and Future King by T.H. White
  • Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
Hahaha. Those titles make me laugh. I think it might be impossible for me to complete the challenge, but I am going to try. I am probably going to set aside Lord Jim and Pamela for next year. Mainly because my current go-around with Conrad makes me want to stab my eyes out, and I think I want to tackle Clarissa by Richardson before Pamela.

I don't think I can do it. I mean, the Dickens title is over 800 pages. But, I am going to try. And at least I won't have to worry about picking out titles for the next month-I already have them set out! ;) We'll see how it goes. At least I know for next year not to procrastinate and to get some of these titles out of the way early on, rather than waiting until the end of the year.

Well, I best get started on finishing my cleaning. Let me know what you're going to be reading to finish out 2011, would you? I'd love to see. :)

Happy Reading.


  1. You want to read FIVE books off that list by the end of December??? Wow. I've only read two of them, and while I liked them, they weren't exactly speedy reads. Nicholas Nickelby is pretty good, but it's 800 pages of tiny print; Cry, the Beloved Country is much shorter, but I found it a quiet, reflective sort of read. I know The Power and the Glory is pretty short, but the only Graham Greene I've read is Travels with My Aunt, which I think is quite different (and hilarious, by the way!).

    I know it's going to be a big shock to have all that free time after working so hard the past few months. Hopefully all these books will help you to fill the time. And who knows, maybe some teachers will get terrible colds or take some mental health days before the holidays, right?

  2. I don't want to put you off or anything, but Pamela is so awful it makes me want to cry! But but but I'm sure you can read them all before 2012! Just, you know, if you want to and don't burn yourself out reading them and stuff :)

  3. I can't believe you are forcing yourself to get through Heart of Darkness. I read it once, in high school, absolutely hated it, and now I refuse to ever read it again. :)

  4. Ugh, Heart of Darkness. I've had to read that two or three times because of school, and each time I absolutely hated it. The Once and Future King is fun, though, so I hope you get to read it!

  5. The Once and Future King is a fun read and worth re-reading! The others are a little tougher in my opinion. I bet you'll have something more permanent before January...crossing my fingers :)

  6. Cry the Beloved Country is really beautiful. You are being pretty ambitious with your list, but who knows-maybe you'll do it. I'm starting the Wolf Hall readalong tomorrow (hosed by Coffee and a Book Chick and Linus's Blanket). I feel the need to read some big books before the year closes. I want to read Trollope's The Duke's Children, and maybe delve into a favorite author (could be Faulkner, Steinbeck, or my new fave Cormac McCarthy).

  7. I know getting things cleaned up and squared away helps me feel a little more at ease and ready to tackle commitments. Good luck to ya, Allie!

  8. I do hope you enjoy the time you get to clean and read and catch up! I sometimes wonder how non-stay-at-home bloggers find time to blog at all! I'm home with my son, so I have no excuse...

    Anyway, what a great list of books. Except for the Thoreau he he. I just read WALDEN for the second time and HATED it. But I've found I"m just not a fan of transcendentalism.

  9. Good luck with your ambitious end of the year reading! My list is far too long to actually accomplish, but I'm still looking forward to it (especially the two weeks I get off for Christmas and New Year's!)

  10. I agree with the others - The Once and Future King is a must! I loved it. I am trying to read 15 more books by the end of the year to get to 100. Not sure what the will be but am currently enjoying the Anne of Green Gables series and Jane Austen.

  11. Wow, that's a lot of reading to try to get through. I'm hoping to get through Walden for Transcendentalist month too, but one thing or another had kept me from getting started so far. This week, I hope!

    Good luck with your cleaning and enjoy your reading!

  12. Sorry to crash the party, but The Once and Future King sucked. Sucked, sucked, sucked. The first part (Sword in the Stone) was pretty good, but after that it just got ridiculous - and now, whenever I see a fantasy author's blurb about "inspired by the greatest work of fantasy of all time - T.H. White's blahblahblah" I can't help but scoff. SCOFF!

    In other news, and on a positive note, that Graham Greene book, The Power and the Glory, is fantastic. If you can get to it, do. It's short and brilliant, so you'll finish quickly.

  13. (And I love Walden - but you already knew that. Have you read any Whitman? If you want to feel accomplished, you could substitute one of your titles for Leaves of Grass. It's such a beautiful collection of poetry and reads fluidly/quickly).