Jun 12, 2008

A Meme, a Meme-ish Thing, a Reminder and Some Other Stuff

Debi tagged me for the Summer Goals Meme. I will be travelling for a good part of this summer, but I do have some reading goals. I wouldn't quite feel like myself if I weren't already planning which books to pack. After all, there will be quiet evenings, rainy days, and two twelve hour plane trips.

But first things first: before leaving, I'm hoping to read one or possibly two books for Trish's Classics Challenge. Pride and Prejudice and Lady Chatterley's Lover are the most likely candidates. Can I handle two classics during the first week of July? We'll see.

I'm also hoping to be able to finally read Shakespeare's The Tempest for Annie's What's in a Name Challenge before leaving.

As for the books I plan on taking with me, they all have in common the fact that they're short. Long books don't work very well when I have limited time to read. Plus I want to feel like I'm actually finishing things. Here's the list of candidates:
  • Strangers by Taichi Yamada
  • The Zigzag Way by Anita Desai
  • Hey Nostradamus by Douglas Coupland
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo
  • Pay the Piper by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • Death: At Death's Door by Jill Thompson
  • Fables: Storybook Love by Bill Willingham
  • Fables: March of the Wooden Soldiers by Bill Willingham
  • Spawn: Angela by Neil Gaiman
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 1 by Alan Moore
  • My Invented Country by Isabel Allende (I actually wanted to take at least one more non-fiction, but I'm out of ideas. Something short and gripping would be perfect. Suggestions? Maybe one of Michael Palin's travel books?)
Most of these are challenge books. The comics are extras for the Graphic Novels Challenge. Officially I've finished, but I plan to keep on reading comics, so I'll count them for the challenge. Many are for the Orbis Terrarum Challenge. If I manage to read The Non-Existent Knight (short, but a library book, so I can't take it) and The Famished Road (a chunkster) before I go, I may actually finish the challenge during the summer!

Books aside, I just want to have a good time, make the most of it, and see monkeys and coatis again. What about you? Any reading or just general goals for this summer?

Next: a Meme-ish game-ish sort of thing I came up with when I should have been doing Productive Things. Let's call it the Blogger-Book-Keyword Meme. The rules:
  • Pick 5 blogging friends (it can be more if you'd like);
  • For each of them, think of a book that reminds you of them, or that you think they'd like;
  • Explain in 3 to 5 keywords or short phrases why you think they'd enjoy the book, or why it reminded you of them;
  • If you know for sure that the person has read the book in question, then pick another, but if you're not quite sure, go ahead and use it anyway;
  • If you have reviewed the books in question, you can link to your reviews;
  • Tagging others is not necessary, but feel free to do so.
This is not meant to be a challenge, so the goal is not to get the people in question to read those books, but to perhaps add to one another's wishlists some more (because we don't do nearly enough of that), to see how we perceive one another's tastes, and to have some fun. So here it goes:
  1. Debi - Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi - Cultural insight; informative; moving; thought-provoking.
  2. Rhinoa - Tamsin by Peter Beagle - Cats; English folklore; fantasy; atmospheric.
  3. Dewey - Black Maria by Diana Wynne Jones - Time travel; strong female protagonist; gender stereotypes questioned; humour.
  4. Lightheaded - The Bromeliad by Terry Pratchett - Sense of wonder; strong characterization; hilarious; moving.
  5. Susan - Transformations by Anne Sexton - fairy tales; beautiful language; dark.
There. I've never come up with a meme before. If you all think that this is the silliest Meme/Game you have ever seen, feel free to tell me so :P But if not, and if you have the time, I'd really love it if you played along. And please do let me know if you do so.

Last reminder: tomorrow is the deadline for submitting your post for the 12th Bookworms Carnival! So if you plan on doing so, now's the time :P Please e-mail your link to untuneric at gmail dot com.

And finally, I am doing something I almost never do: I'm putting two books aside. Two good books at that. The first is Gene Wolfe's The Knight, which I started reading yesterday to complete the Once Upon a Time Challenge. I'm replacing it with Susanna Clarke's The Ladies of Grace Adieu.

The reason? Well, it's a good book. I'm sure that it is a good book. I've read a few chapters and so far I'm very impressed with Wolfe's use of language. It's simply beautiful. Yet for some reason I can't make myself feel at home in the story right now. I'd probably be able to make it happen if I forced myself, but I don't think that would be fair on me or on the book. I've been a bit restless, and this is a chunky book, plus there's the fact that I've been told that it's a good idea to read the sequel, The Wizard, right after. I don't think I'd be able to do that right now. In late June I won't have all that much time to read, plus there's my trip in July. So later this year I'll go back to The Knight and The Wizard and give them the attention they deserve.

The second book I'm abandoning for the time being is The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. Yes, I still love fairy tales. But I've read 300 pages in the last 2 months, which leaves me with about 500 left to go. I've been enjoying the book a lot so far, but fairy tales do work better in small doses for me. The way it's been doing it is: I read 50 pages in a day and then I don't pick the book up at all for a week or two. There's no way I'll finish before July, so I'll return to the forests of the Brothers Grimm after the summer.


  1. Have a wonderful trip!! Are you packing anything else besides books???

  2. Have a GREAT trip, Nymeth! And take lots of pics! ;) BTW, when're you leaving?

    Ooh, I enjoyed reading Strangers! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on it.

  3. Trips are so much fun! :) Yay for P&P! I'm afraid of Lawrence, but more power to you for wanting to read him. And Debi tagged me for this too, so I have to get around to it! I think your mini-meme is adorable. :D

  4. hmmm interesting thought about the Knight, as I set it aside some time ago.. it just wasn't pulling me into it and I was fighting all the way...good thought to give it another try down the road. But I do think his style of writing just doesn't set right with me. (I'm not the brightest bulb in the package).. oh well.. have a great summer traveling!! Envious here!

  5. I just finished Lolita, and I want to reread what you wrote in your post reviewing it. It was a challenging book for me, in terms of understanding all he wanted to say. I'm sure it wasn't "simply" about his intoxication with a "numphet" but more a treatise on love/society. Anyway, have a good trip. From your list of possibly books to bring along, I'd go with the Allende. She's always enjoyable to me.

  6. It looks like you've put together a pretty good list of books for your summer travels - if you want to add one of Palin's books, I'd suggest Full Circle as it's pretty well suited to being read on the go.
    Your keyword meme is a pretty clever idea - it would also work well with music...
    Good job in laying aside the books until you're ready for them - there are a couple of times I where I wish I'd been smart enough to do that...

  7. I love your meme, Nymeth! Very clever, and useful, too! It's funny, the book you picked for me, I tried to get from the library right after I read your review, but it was checked out at the time. I will definitely be picking it up sometime soon! (I should just put in on the hold list, so they'll save it for me, but we're there so much that I figure it will be there sooner or later.)

    Sounds like you've made some very reasonable summer goals. And of all of them, the one I hope you most achieve is the "having fun" one! I just have to say again how jealous I am. I can't help it...you went and mentioned monkeys. I've been reading about New World monkeys this week, and they are just so fascinating! Can't wait to see (in photographic form) all the glorious things you'll be seeing!

    Sounds like setting your books aside was a good move on both accounts. I can definitely see why you would want to set aside The Complete Fairy Tales. When I was reading that abridged version, I read about 5 a week, and it was just the perfect pace for me. More than that and I felt I wasn't doing them justice somehow. I've really been missing them, and MUST pick up another volume though.

  8. The Bromeliad! Wohoo! Thank you for choosing this for me. Whee!

    Yey for packing books for the trip! Yey for Austen as well!

    And it's almost the end of summer here where I am so uh, maybe I could read more books?

  9. Stephanie: Nope...I plan on wearing the same thing every day for two months :P Who needs clothes? :P

    Melody: The second week of July. And thank you :) Strangers was an impulse buy - I had never heard of it or of the author, but I liked the cover and synopsis, and I found it at a library sale, so it was irresistibly cheap. I'm looking forward to reading it.

    Eva: I read some Lawrence last year and I just loooved his stuff. I can see why not everyone would like him. He's way too wordy, and while that tends to annoy me, I somehow find it endearing in him. So I'm really looking forward to Lady Chatterly. I look forward to seeing what your summer goals are! And thanks, I'm glad you like the mini-meme :)

    Deslily: Pff, not the brightest bulb in the package :P I really really believe that being able to enjoy more complex or experimental books is not a matter of brightness but of availability. And of course, a lot of the time simply of taste. But yeah, there is no point in struggling with a book. Reading is supposed to be enjoyable, after all. It was only recently that I learned to allow myself to put books aside with no guilt, so I'm enjoying my new-found privilege :P

    Bellezza: I'm going over to read your thoughts on it now. And thanks for recommending Allende!

    Ken: Thanks for the Michael Palin recommendation. I knew I could count on you :P Yes, it would work well with music, wouldn't it? Hmm, you're giving me ideas. And there were many times in the past when I wasn't smart enough to put certain books aside, when I really should have.

    Debi: I'm glad you like it :) I really think that Persepolis really is a "Debi book", and I hope this doesn't sound like a shameless attempt to get more points in the blame game :P I really look forward to reading your thoughts on it. How cool that you've been reading about New World monkeys! Monkeys are awesome. The last time I was there, my boyfriend and I went to a park where there are tons of them, and I gave one a little piece of guava...he came and took it from my fingers with his little hands. It was incredible. I hope I can take some good pictures! There are times when they are all over the place and times when they disappear. That's a good point about not doing them justice...I feel the same way. I know that if I forced myself to go through the book fast I'd end up not remembering each individual story properly, and I really don't want that to happen.

    Lightheaded: I know it sounds like cheating to pick a book for you by an author you already worship and plan on reading anyway, BUT it really did remind me of you, and not just because it's Terry. Hopefully you'll see what I mean when you read it :P

  10. Oh, I see what you're doing there! Naming Debi so you can get ahead in points! Well two can play at that game!

    But wow, you have me pegged! Look at those keywords! I feel all transparent now. I'll go request that book from the library immediately!

  11. Oh btw... if The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a graphic novel.. well.. a cartoon can not possibly look as good as Sean Connery did in the movie lol.. just a thought mind you!

    oh, and thanks for the comment.. I sometimes need comments like that!

  12. I've done your meme! It was so very fun :)

    Becky's Answers

  13. When are you leaving for Brazil? Will you be studying over there or just traveling? I hope you'll be taking your camera along with those books! ;)

    Pride and Prejudice will be an easy enough read--I don't know very much about Lawrence, though. I've been really lazy about classics this year, so I need the challenge to get my bottom into gear!

  14. Funnily enough I am reading Tamsin later thisyear. I hope I like it, I am sure I will. Looks like a pretty cool stack of reading. I hope you enjoy the Fables books, I have 2 more to read soon. I don't have plans for the summer, just reading more of my challenge books and looking forward to going away in September. Oh and of course there is Canada a week Saturday for work doh. Have agreat time away, I hope you see lots of animals and lots of reading fun.

  15. Dewey: lol, I swear it wasn't on purpose :P I hope you enjoy Black Maria!

    Deslily, you're welcome :) Sean Connery is great. I do want to watch the movie after I read the book!

    Becky, I'm glad you thought so :) Thanks for playing!

    Trish: On the second week of July. And no, not to study, just for the summer. I'll be staying with my boyfriend and his family. And yes, my camera is definitely coming along! I've been lazy too, which is why your challenge is so perfect.

    Rhinoa: I suspected that you intended to read it, it is a Peter Beagle book after all. I really do think you'll like it. Your trip to Canada is coming up already? Have a great time!

  16. That's a great meme you came up with Nymeth!
    And, I can't wait to hear your take on Pedro Paramo. I read it several years ago but feel like it's one of those books that deserves to be re-read.

  17. Thank you for picking me, Nymeth!! I will do it this week (it's 1 am now, but we've been watching Euro Championship football, so *sigh* I;m not getting alot of sleep with the time difference here!) I'll do it tomorrow - great meme, and I love the book you picked for me, which I have been meaning to read and have been looking for years for! I'll have to look harder now!! Or maybe order her complete works and get it that way :-) ....I'll let you know as soon as I get it. Thank you!!

    I'm putting a book aside too, British Fairy Tales, so I can read The Goose Girl and finish the OUT2 challenge this week! I know what you mean....do you think you are excited about your upcoming trip so finding it difficult to concentrate ? As for your selection of books to take.....if you read them all on your trip, you deserve a book in reward! lol, though I think Eva did pretty well on her trip in March too. I find I can't read serious things, much as I want to, when i'm on holiday. Except for Neil, I don't see much fantasy on that list of yours.....

  18. Iliana: I'm really looking forward to reading it. Everything I hear about it makes me think it's a very special book.

    Susan: lol, I hope you've been enjoying the Euro. I've only seen bits of games so far. I've been having trouble concentrating, but I don't think it's the trip, more the fact that this is a busy month and I feel like my brain is about to meltdown. And because I'm sort of swamped, I haven't even had the time to think about the trip and be properly excited yet! Before I know it it will be here, but it hasn't really hit me yet. I'm not sure if I'll read them all, but I like having choices :P And it's almost 2 months we're talking about, so I really want to have a good selection. I'll get my fantasy fix from Jane Yolen, Pedro Paramo and all the comics :)


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