18 July 2011


For one of the grant applications I regularly write, the grantors ask a great question about what the marks of success will be halfway through the project.

Since more than half of 2011 is done, I thought now would be a good time to assess where I am with the reading goals I set for myself back in January and check on my current successes.

  • Read a total of 85 books in 2011. Currently, I'm at 44. I feel kind of behind because June was sparse and July may be even more so, but I think I can catch up.
  • Read one book by a Russian master. I will gladly take recommendations. I finished Anna Karenina in May. Phew.
  • Read the remaining 6 of Michael Connelly's back list (and the new one coming out in April) to be totally caught up with everything he's written. So I really can't count because there were seven more to go (not counting the next new one due in November 2011. So, I've read four and have three to go.
  • Re-read either Lord of the Rings or C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy. It was a decade ago that I last read them both. If I get through both, I'm awarding myself bonus points. I'm 2/3 done with the Space Trilogy and have to get myself to read That Hideous Strength now. It's my least favorite of the three.
  • Read at least one book a month that comes from my bookshelf instead of the library to get caught up on things I've borrowed or purchased. I have completely fallen off this bandwagon. Here's hoping maybe I can get back on at the end of this month.
  • Read at least 3 books considered to be "important" books that I've never read. Despite taking advanced or AP English through all of high school and two lit classes in college there's an alarming number of really famous books I've never read (for example, Catcher in the Rye.) I think it's high time that I tackle of a few of these classics. Just don't make me read Jane Austen unless it also involves zombies or sea monsters, OK? After slogging through AK this spring, I haven't been real gung-ho to get going on this goal, but it's time for sure. I've got a copy of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried that I think I'm going to tackle soon. It's not exactly a classic, but I think it is important because of the subject matter. Still undecided about the other two. 
For the mid-point of the year, I think I'm doing pretty well. I'm going to have to pick up the pace a little bit which may mean turning off the TV a little more. With all the summer yardwork, when I come in tired, the tube has been preferable over reading because it's so passive. And it's been a lot of Matt Smith as the Doctor, which will be hard because I find his tawdry quirks rather endearing... cough...Gratuitous Dr. Who picture here----->;

Right. I think I'm on track.

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