The SciFi/Fan Plan

I like science fiction and fantasy books–they feel so much more inventive than traditional fiction.  This isn’t so say that there is nothing amazing about classic novels or even modern novels but, on occasion, I need something a bit on the edge of reality if not completely outside it!  

This list is not book-oriented like the Classics Club list.  What I wanted to do is create a list of authors (most of whom I have never read before) and go from there.

Plan:  To read at least one major work or series by every author in this list.

Author List:  This list is by no means comprehensive for this field.  It contains both old and new authors–those I could remember off the top of my head.  In fact, I am sure this will grow much longer as I add writers.   

  1. Adams, Douglas
  2. Ahmed, Saladin
  3. Asimov, Isaac 
  4. Atwood, Margaret
  5. Bradbury, Ray
  6. Bradley, Marion Zimmer
  7. Brett, Peter V.
  8. Brin, David
  9. Brooks, Terry
  10. Bujold, Lois McMaster
  11. Butcher, Jim
  12. Card, Orson Scott
  13. Carey, Jacqueline
  14. Chabon, Michael
  15. Clarke, Arthur C.
  16. Correia, Larry
  17. Dick, Philip K.
  18. Feist, Raymond E.
  19. Fforde, Jasper
  20. Gabaldon, Diana
  21. Gaiman, Neil
  22. Gibson, William
  23. Goodkind, Terry
  24. Grossman, Lev
  25. Harkness, Deborah
  26. Heinlein, Robert
  27. Herbert, Frank
  28. Hobb, Robin
  29. Jemisin, N. K.
  30. Jordan, Robert
  31. Kay, Guy Gavriel
  32. Kowal, Mary Robinette
  33. Lackey, Mercedes
  34. LeGuin, Ursula
  35. Lewis, C. S.
  36. Lynch, Scott
  37. Martin, George R. R.
  38. McCaffrey, Anne
  39. McCarthy, Cormac
  40. McClellan, Brian
  41. Miéville, China
  42. Modesitt, L. E.
  43. Murakami, Haruki
  44. Niffenegger, Audrey
  45. Niven, Larry and Pournelle, Jerry
  46. Novik, Naomi
  47. Peake, Mervyn
  48. Pratchett, Terry
  49. Priest, Cherie
  50. Pullman, Philip
  51. Rice, Anne
  52. Rothfuss, Patrick
  53. Saberhagen, Fred
  54. Sagan, Carl
  55. Sanderson, Brandon
  56. Scalzi, John
  57. Stephenson, Neal
  58. Tolkien, J. R. R.
  59. Verne, Jules
  60. Weeks, Brent
  61. Westerfeld, Scott
  62. White, T. H.
  63. Williams, Tad
  64. Willis, Connie
  65. Zelazny, Roger

 

Off I go.  I’m currently listening to The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (#36 on the list).  This is the first book in the Gentlemen Bastards series.

The reading plan…which will be tossed away by February

I can’t stick to a plan for reading.  Why?  Because I read according to my mood.  However, I like to keep trying.  Maybe someday I will be able to do it!

This year I want to stick to the 19th century as much as possible with my Classics Club reads.  I’m not saying I won’t stray from the list, but I’m feeling a bit old fashioned today so these are winning out.

Classics  Goals

  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  • Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
  • The Red and the Black by Stendhal
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  • Waverly by Sir Walter Scott

However, my main goal is to tackle a lot of science fiction and fantasy books this year.  I’ll talk about that in a different post.  But, a few of the newer contenders being published this year (2014) that I want to grab and will definitely be reading!:

  1. The Book of Life (#3 in All Souls Trilogy) by Deborah Harkness
  2. Words of Radiance (#2 in Stormlight Archive) by Brandon Sanderson
  3. The Crimson Campaign (#2 in Powder Mage Trilogy) by Brian McClellan
  4. Skin Game (#15 in Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher
  5. Magician’s Land (#3 in Magician’s Trilogy) by Lev Grossman

 

After that…well, we’ll have to see.

I’ve been away…

Hey folks–

I was absent quite a good chunk of last year.  I couldn’t make myself write (I was even a NaNoWriMo flake!) or read or do much of anything extra-curricular.  Mostly, last year was a survival year.  I made it through and I am determined to make 2014 so much better!

What’s going on right now?

1.  I finished the first book on my classics list in quite some time!  I took on H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines.  I’ll post a review soon.

2.  I am currently listening to Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora on audiobook.  The beginning made me laugh!

3.  I just picked up Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive #1) on Kindle over the holidays.  I’ve only read two chapters in and am intrigued, but am putting it on hold to finish the Lynch book.

Misc.

I’ve been writing and doing write-y things lately (like prepping for NaNoWriMo).  So, it will be no surprise that I have run across a 30-day writer’s prompt challenge.  I’m totally excited about Day #4!

I found some Dansko Mary Jane’s on clearance yesterday and they were too cute to let go.  It felt like shoe shopping when I was a kid:  there was an actual shoe store clerk to help with fitting (a dying breed).  And there I was with one pair of excellent shoes to go back to school in!  However, I’m already back to school…but, hey, it’s Labor Day weekend so I am calling it the same thing.  [School starts too early anymore…!]

I’m debating on whether or not to purchase some yarn for a sweater.  I’ve never knitted a sweater before and it’s a LOT of yarn to get at one shot (you need the same dye lot).  And what if I don’t like it when it’s done?  Then I’ve spent wads of cash on all this wool yarn that I will have to frog out and it will just sit there in the basket making me feel awful…

Easing back into reading, slowly

As I write this, someone in the living room is watching The Addams Family (movie, 1991); Wednesday and Pugsley are performing their Shakespearean death scene for the school talent show.  All I can hear are the gagging death-coughs of Christina Ricci…(which is, of course, the reason I KNOW it is The Addams Family).

*****

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.  I am reluctant to barrel through this book with unholy speed because I am enjoying how often I laugh.  I’m not talking about the material evoking an amused smile or a polite titter.  I mean sincere, deep belly laughs…the kind that make you the object of stares from strangers.

I inched a few steps farther into The Hobbit.

But, I am most proud of my passable progress through The Fires of Heaven; to be fair, it is an audiobook which leaves me free to do other things (like knit or draw) while listening.

*****

On a better note, my reading–as snail-like as it is–is allowing me to write again.  I forget how often they feed each other…

And, I’m all like, “OOOOH. Shiny!”

It’s true.  Book ADD has descended upon me and I am flap-all with my lists.  I’m so contrary I can’t even follow my own plans!

Those books in the Stacks list–they’re invisible.

 

First thought:  I’ve just begun and it is funny as hell.

Beyond the tall tale ridiculousness there is such a curiosity for and a love of the world…

 

As I read this book it reminds me more and more of my sister.  It is that strange combination of uncensored-stream-of-thought, irreverent humor, and intelligence spouted out at a million miles a minute–if you’re not quick, you’ll miss the twists and leaps.  It is a familiar voice.

I will be reading furiously and ignoring my students this weekend!

Again: Cold Days

The first time I read Jim Butcher’s Cold Days was not long after my library got it incold days (last December).  I read it in a mad rush trying to gobble up the latest Dresden adventure…and it left me a little unsure of what to say.

So, a few days ago, I sat down with some knitting and listened to the audiobook again.  I feel better prepared to talk about it.

I enjoyed the book because it is Dresden and I am sucked in no matter what.  Butcher is an endlessly entertaining writer and, let’s face it, James Marsters is no slouch as a voice for the audiobook.

What I think:

1.  This is the “turning” book.  This novel marks the first steps of a new path for Dresden and there isn’t much overt movement for the character internally because: A) he’s really off balance after becoming the Winter Knight and being “dead;” B) there are too many new things popping up to worry about old things; and C) the time clock is very short and doesn’t allow much deep interpersonal interaction–it’s more of a “info now, emotion later” kind of discourse.  Essentially, this is a new beginning and all the threads are being sussed out.

2.  Changes gutted Dresden’s world in every way–no home, no hope, no life.  His world flipped upside down:  he has a daughter (previously unknown) and in danger; he finds out that he isn’t invincible (and is made helpless); he finds out to what depths he will sink to do what he  thinks is right.  Much like the moment in Harry Potter #4 when Potter discovers that Voldemort CAN get to him (will kill anyone to do so) and there is no one who can save him but himself, Dresden is given a nasty shock of reality.  There is nothing but raw reaction to everything that happens.

3.  Ghost Story felt like it was tying off loose ends in Dresden’s world.

4.  Murphy.  While Dresden has crushed on her for years, he never did much about it before Changes.  However, now with him being “alive” again and the Winter Knight, Karrin does not trust him (no matter how amusing she finds him).  I also can’t see either doing much to change the situation.  I might be reading it wrong, but this feels like a death knell for the crush–a kind of you-can’t-go-back-again, missed moment thing.

5.  I am very excited to see what is coming down the line…

Back into the fray: Classics Club Spin #3

As I have been unforgivably lazy about reading through my list, I thought I would push myself to do something about it.  Here’s my list for the challenge:

  1. A Harlot High and Low.  Honore de Balzac
  2. Don Quixote.  Miguel de Cervantes
  3. Frankenstein.  Mary Shelley
  4. Gulliver’s Travels.  Jonathan Swift
  5. Madame Bovary.  Gustave Flaubert
  6. Mansfield Park.  Jane Austen
  7. Moll Flanders.  Daniel Defoe
  8. North and South.  Elizabeth Gaskell
  9. Paradise Lost.  John Milton
  10. Rebecca.  Daphne du Maurier
  11. One Hundred Years of Solitude.  Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  12. The Mayor of Casterbridge.  Thomas Hardy
  13. The Mill on the Floss.  George Eliot
  14. The Red and the Black.  Stendhal
  15. The Scarlet Letter.  Nathaniel Hawthorne
  16. The Three Musketeers.  Alexandre Dumas
  17. The Woman in White.  Wilkie Collins
  18. Treasure Island.  Robert Louis Stevenson
  19. Uncle Vanya.  Anton Chekov
  20. Wuthering Heights.  Emily Bronte

Now I am waiting for the Spin on Monday!

It’s a Seshet kind of day

No.  I am not swearing politely.  [If I swear, you will hardly be left in doubt.]

like a fucking lady

Seshet is the Egyptian goddess of writing, books, and building.  She is a scribe and the Mistress of the House of Books.

Today I am just going to read and write and do all kinds of creative things.  Everything else can be ignored.  Housework is always worth ignoring.

To Do

1)  The Hobbit.  OK.  This is NOT a long book and I should have been able to read it in one afternoon, but my book ADD kicked in.  I’m going to sit down and see if I can’t get it done this weekend.

2)  Bertrand Russell’s A History of Western Philosophy has been staring at me from the bookshelf lately begging to be re-read.  I may do just that.  [Exactly why I am craving to read this book is a mystery.  Maybe all will be revealed…]

3)  Jim Butcher’s newest Dresden Files novel, Cold Days, is currently playing on my computer while I complete #4.  [Can I tell you how much I LOVE listening to James Marsters as a narrator?  He is excellent!]

4)  I’m working on knitting up a test for my sock pattern, War of the Roses, to see if it comes out as planned.  Since this is my first color work pattern, I am praying it translates well from chart (which is lovely on the page) to fabric!

5)  I will be doing some heavy revisions of a chapter.  If that pisses me off, then I will most likely write new things instead.  Or throw a temper tantrum.  Wine will be flowing and I will be swearing; I might need to hold a puppy and sob.

I hope your weekend is filled with smiley things and cookies!