Thursday, July 8, 2010

Feeling Better, Blogging, and Vacation.

Hello all-

Well, I spent a week away from blogging and what a week it has been. The mono hit me very hard and there have been many days where I have slept 16+ hours and have still felt exhausted. I feel a little better tonight after a good meal, so I thought I would spend some time catching up on all the blogs I follow, and write a post or two.

Being sick and the other negativity from last week has put a lot of things in my personal life in perspective, but I'll only discuss what I need in regards to my blog.

Honestly, I love blogging. It has given me a lot of motivation over the last 11 months or so and I am grateful to be a part of a great and welcoming community. And while I am not as far along in my challenge as I would hope to be, I am happy with what I have accomplished. It is daunting to think that I haven't made much of a dent (I am 51 books in out of 250), but when I think about some of the larger challenges I have been working on, that number seems more impressive. That 51 includes all 3 novels in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I have also been working my way through the 9 volumes of Sherlock Holmes stories and while I have 2 left, one volume only has 6 stories. I have also read some of the biggest and most intimidating novels on my list: Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, Great Expectations, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Gone with the Wind (okay, not really intimidating, but certainly long).

I have also been averaging around 3 or 4 posts per book. Like I have said in my FAQ's, I like writing multiple posts to talk about the reading process, but as I continue with my blogging, I realize that writing so many posts is draining me. You can count on seeing less posts per book (and less posts per week) in the future. I need to save my sanity.

I do need a mental break to recharge. I have been struggling with quite a few titles recently. I have picked up and set down the following books in the last couple of weeks: Lord Jim, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, Things Fall Apart, The Inferno, Tom Jones, and To Kill a Mockingbird. Nothing seems to be working. And I am currently on page 30 in An American Tragedy by Dreiser and there are almost 1000 pages.

I think it may be time to use one of the free passes I granted myself. I decided to give myself these passes as a way to read some of the novels I knew would be coming out during this challenge so that I could read them at their debut and not have them spoiled for me (I am thinking about Mockingjay in particular. I know that I will have to read it the day it comes out or it is going to be spoiled for me since MANY blogs I follow are anxiously awaiting its release as well).

But, I am going on vacation next week. Matt and I (and the kitties) will be heading up to my family cottage for 3 or 4 days and I think I am going to read a "fun" book or two while we're up there. I need a mental break and since I probably won't be up for much of the physical stuff while we're up there (tubing and waterskiing and the like) I think a nice big fantasy read will do me some good.

We'll see though. A part of me feels like I will be cheating on the quality books on my shelf, but if I put it in perspective, it has been 11 months since I have read anything other than a "classic." And while I certainly have loved most of them, they take a lot more mind power than a fantasy novel or some YA. (Its the truth, you know it and so do I).

Anyway, I am going to schedule some posts for nest week (1 or 2) and I will plan on being back full board the week after.


  1. Glad to hear the chicken soup helped. I miss your posts. Take the week and reenergize. I'm looking forward to you getting back up to speed. Love, Mom

  2. I'm really impressed with you for having the fortitude to stick with so many difficult classics, I know I definitely have to space them out more! I don't think there's anything wrong with a few fun reads (it is summer after all) or with fewer posts. :)

  3. Thank God you are better! I hope your "rest" is going to do you lots of good things!
    I missed your posts this week (specially Thursday Treat) :'( , so, you'll have to return fully energized, so you can post 2 or 3 posts per week for now on! please!

    my best wishes

  4. I really hope that you enjoy your rest you deserve it. I enjoy reading your blog so much and you have read so many good books but I hate to think of the pressure to blog getting you down - it should be fun for you as well as your readers. Have a great holiday!

  5. Your list is so daunting (our list of mere 100 books seems quite pitiful in comparison) that you well deserve a nice little summer vacation! Have fun on your holiday and don't feel bad about reading some fun stuff every once in a while. It'll give you energy and motivation to continue with your list. Looking forward to your return though :)

  6. What an amazing project you've started -- but I totally see that ONLY reading your list is a bit insanity inducing. I had really good intentions when I began blogging too -- but I've come to realize that shorter goals (one to three month reading lists) are easy to accomplish with a feeling of success.

    I hope you enjoy your vacation -- and don't worry about what you "should" read, just read what you want to read.

  7. You've definitely earned the right to a fun book or two! Even after just one or two heavier books I feel the need for something lighter. Have a lovely break!

  8. I think taking a break is a good thing. I'm always impressed by how well you're sticking to this. I usually get tired of goals around the 3-month mark, so I try to keep them shorter.

    As for the books you're reading - I recently read Things Fall Apart and I hated every minute of the first half. The second half, however, made the first half make sense, and I ended up loving the book. An American Tragedy is one of my all-time favorites. It's one that once you get into it, it really goes very fast despite the length.

  9. Do a literary palette cleanse! I do that every few books or so when I just can't read anything Very Important. So I read Agatha Christie or something. My version of "take me away, Calgon".

  10. It always helps my sanity to read a fun book in between classics or literary fiction. It reminds me that reading should be really fun, sometimes hard, but always rewarding. I love your blog and I think that cutting back on posts per book will probably help you feel less stressed. We readers will still be here if there are fewer posts!

    p.s. So glad you're on the mend.

  11. Good to hear that you are feeling a little better. And as for the blogging, do it when, how, and if it best serves your own needs. You will be brilliant no matter the form or frequency. Hang in there for the teaching bit too. I work in education also and know that it is tough times these days. My younger sister is right where you are but just found a great position in her same system. Know how nerve wracking it can ber when it happens last minute though so take care of yourself and do something fun to distract until all is right again.

  12. I'm glad you're feeling better. I'm also glad you're taking a break - I usually have to alternate between heavy, dense reading and light, fluffy, silly books. I'm kind of impressed you've made it THIS far.
    If you need suggestions for great fantasy books, I've got a few in mind for you, specifically The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett. I won it in a charity raffle in January, and I loved it to death.

  13. Glad to hear you're feeling somewhat better, but it does sound like you need a break! :) I go through slumps sometimes where I have 6 or more books on the go and none of them can keep my attention. It's crappy. You have to just pick a book that is fun or what you need at the time, eh.

    Hope you have a great holiday - you deserve it!

  14. I hope you start feeling properly rested soon! And I think it's perfectly okay to read some "fun" books in between. I've been trying to read only nonfiction this summer, just because I have access to a really superb nonfiction library that will be lost to me at the end of the summer, but it's no good. I have to read some fun books, or else my brain gets tired and won't focus.