[This post has been too long in coming. It should have happened in early Oct. as the Challenge technically ended at the end of Sep. but see below.]
This is update 12* in the Two-Thirds Book Challenge.
This is the last monthly update for the Two-Thirds Book Challenge that I issued last year. I will not be issuing “report cards” (as Jen!! inquired) but I will gladly do a follow-up round of everyone’s individual assessments as long as they are posted before Thanksgiving. This has never been a contest or a strict, rules-based, endeavor. It has always been a personal challenge that involved some “criteria,” as I labeled them, that I put down as guidelines. Your challenge was only with yourself. So please assess with that in mind.
I hope to write a short post on how the Challenge turned out for me and what I learned about my own reading proclivities from it. It is nothing earth shattering but it helped me to know myself better.
On to September’s posts:
2/3 Book Challenge: Evidence of Things Unseen by Marianne Wiggins
Evidence of Things Unseen by Marianne Wiggins
For the last month I’ve been carrying the book back and forth between work and home, intending to chip away at this review, intending to copy down the many excerpts from dog-eared pages that made me gasp, gave me painful goosebumps, pricked my eyes with the beginnings of hot tears.
Evidence of Things Unseen is a love story. It is small and domestic, but it is also about science and technology and the ways those things disrupt and transform. It is about two very ordinary people who meet at the cusp of an era.
no simmering life but a boiling one
The Diaries of Anais Nin
A complicated post but an honest one. “… no simmering life but a boiling one, no small compromise with reality.”
2/3 Book Challenge: Bluets
Bluets by Maggie Nelson
I don’t know how to write about this book. I don’t even know where to begin. As I think about it, I keep coming back to the idea of a tone poem, a single extended meditation on a single theme – in this case, the idea of blue. Blue of lapis lazuli, of sadness, of pornography. A love affair with a color, an exploration of the sensation of perceiving color, of the experience of feeling, of the feeling of loss, of the loss of a love.
A couple of quotes and a bit more commentary follows. I’d say she did a good job writing about it. I would like to read it now.
2/3 Book Challenge: How a Person Should Be
How A Person Should Be? by Sheila Heti
No, a person shouldn’t be terrible; the book was.
2/3 Book Challenge: Let’s Bring Back
Let’s Bring Back by Lesley M.M. Blume
“The book is a celebration of nostalgia, of the manners and customs of a better time.” With a broad definition of ‘a better time,’ the book argues for the return of things such as naps and certain kinds of style. Rhetorically a kind of nostalgia, it sounds as if its arguments serves a better purpose than most nostalgia does. Sounds interesting.
And lastly (book challenge)
Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs
Another Tempe Brennan mystery that doesn’t disappoint, this time bringing controversy surrounding a set of bones that some believe to be those of Christ.
The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
A classic that I hadn’t read before. My great love of mysteries was come by naturally, and when my dad gave me ton of paperbacks that had been my grandma’s, there were only a few Christie books in there. Although I still have a lot on the reading list to catch up on, I look forward to working in more of her books. … This is also the first book that I’ve read on the Kindle. I’ve read excerpts and a short story, and I have to say that reading a book on the device was a little disconcerting.
Ah, yes. Electronic reading. Doable (generally), but different. Different affordances; different ways of doing things.
My Two-Thirds Book Challenge 2011/12 – Book 21
Yarn: Remembering the Way Home by Kyoko Mori
Absolutely one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read.
Honestly, go read the rest of Helen’s review on your own. It is wonderfully written and I do not want to ‘steal’ more of it than I did just now.
My Two-Thirds Book Challenge 2011/12 – Book 22
Misconception by Ryan Boudinot
This one is a snapshot of struggling families, first loves, hard moral dilemmas, violence and all the other things that go with being an adolescent in the imploding family.
True to life, perhaps, but focuses too much on the “horror and otherness.”
* Helen is taking another month for some adjusted expectations and I fully encourage that: My Two-Thirds Book Challenge 2011/12 – Adjusted Expectations [Of course, at this point, it is kind of irrelevant since the month has already past but I wanted to include this post of hers too. And I apologize to the other Challenge participants for being so far behind that I didn’t let them know they could take another month if they wanted.]
My Two-Thirds Book Challenge 2011/12 – Book 23
More Baths, Less Talking: Notes from the Reading Life of a Celebrated Author Locked in Battle with Football, Family, and Time Itself by Nick Hornby
Helen gave this 5 stars. Exquisite thoughts on book reviewing; read her review and then maybe read the book. I am going to. Just added to my Goodreads.
My Two-Thirds Book Challenge 2011/12 – Book 24
New York Drawings by Adrian Tomine
Another 5 star review. “This book is stunning. … It’s beautifully done, and don’t skip the notes at the end. Some of the asides are priceless.”
My Two-Thirds Book Challenge 2011/12 – Book 25
Shizuko’s Daughter by Kyoko Mori
Having not read this book, I’d say this sounds like a great description:
I’m really not sure how to review this book. Everything I write sounds trite. I loved it, and it’s a wonderful story about families in the evolving cultural landscape of Japan. It’s also about being an outsider, being a little different, in a world that doesn’t seem to have a lot of room for that kind of thing, but it has more room than you would expect. It’s about complicated families. It’s a YA novel but it doesn’t feel like one.
My Two-Thirds Book Challenge 2011/12 – Book 26
Paying For It by Chester Brown
I enjoyed this graphic novel way more than I expected to. It’s not even that I agree with the author’s point of view — in most cases I just don’t — but he is totally committed to exposing himself with as much honesty and candor as is available.
One-dimensionality of the women in the story and an “extended diatribe” in the “extensive notes” do mar it. Though, Helen contends it will force you to think about important issues. Keep in mind, the full title of the book is Paying For It: A Comic Memoir About Being A John.
So, this wraps up this post and the year for the Two-Thirds Book Challenge.
There will be a final roundup of individual readers’ roundups, some time before the end of November. (I would like to count it in my DigiWriMo total. Shameless, I am.)
Participants, please alert me to anything I missed. I apologize in advance if I did.