Friday, January 11, 2019

#4

The Secret Garden. By Frances Hodgson Burnett. Lovely, happy, beautiful story. I liked the movie with Margaret O'Brien, but I like the book so much more. I'll certainly read it again. But it was read now for the 1910-1919 prompt for the BookCrossing Decade Challenge.

Happy coincidence: TCM is showing the movie in four days—15 January 2019, 1:15pm ET. I’ve set my DVR.

#3

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary. By M.R. James. Published 1904. There are multiple versions of this book. Part 1 is the first 8 stories. Part 2 is another 7 stories. This version is all 15 tales.

The stories are set in the 1500s to 1800s, and are told by an antiquary who has heard a peculiar tale in the course of research. James is very good at setting up unsettling descriptions of sights and events and is famous for leaving most of the horror to his reader's imagination.

"Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad": Holy mackerel! Need to read Dombey and Son, chapter xii, referenced in this.

Several of the stories have been filmed for various programs or movies. (See the IMDb listing for Montague Rhodes James for details.) I've actually seen "The Runes" as the basis for the 1957 Dana Andrews movie "Curse of the Demon," which occasionally turns up on Turner Classic Movies around Halloween. H.P. Lovecraft was a fan of James'. Leonard Maltin gives the movie three and a half stars out of four, and viewer reviews are equally favorable. 

This book satisfies the POPSUGAR Challenge calling for a ghost story as well as 1900-1909 in the BookCrossing Decade Challenge.

*The page numbering on this Kindle edition is eccentric: several multi-page stories are listed as starting on "page 101 of 101."

Sunday, January 6, 2019

#2

1/3-6/2019: I've finished my second book for 2019: Little WomenIt's 400 pages in fulfilment of several POPSUGAR challenges: #1 A book becoming a movie in 2019. #2 A book that makes you nostalgic. #31 A book about a family. #34. A book that includes a wedding. #37 A book with a two-word title.

A book about a family:
"I do think that families are the most beautiful things in all the world!" burst out Jo, who was in an unusually up-lifted frame of mind just then. "When I have one of my own, I hope it will be as happy as the three I know and love the best.

Next: Ghost Stories of an Antiquary.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

#1

1/1-2/2019: Second day of the new year, and I've finished my first book for 2019: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It's 96 pages in fulfilment of the POPSUGAR advanced challenge, prompt #9: A book that has inspired a common phrase or idiom (e.g., Big Brother from 1984). In Alice, there's the thought of "Mad as a hatter."

Last year, I listened to the Audible version of Alice, but as so often happens, I zoned out in sections of the story. I don't do that with printed materials, so it was good to read this.

Next: Little Women.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

I'm looking at two different reading challenges for 2019: The BookCrossing Decade Challenge and the PopSugar Challenges. (In the PopSugar Challenges, you can use a single book to satisfy multiple prompts, so if your South American author writes a book with a two-word title, you've filled two prompts.) I may not complete either challenge; I hate it when needing to read a challenge book interferes with wanting to read something else. I also have a bunch of unread targets from the Great American Read I hope to work into these challenges.

BookCrossing 2019 decade challenge
Regular Challenge: Read one book first published (not a reprint) in each decade.
1920 - 1929 - Doña Bárbara (1929) Rómulo Gallegos (of Venezuela)
1930 - 1939 - The Grapes of Wrath (1939)  John Steinbeck
1940 - 1949 -  For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) Ernest Hemingway
1950 - 1959 - The Catcher in the Rye (1951) J.D. Salinger
1960 - 1969 - The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (1966) Robert Heinlein
1970 - 1979 - The Killer Angels (1974) Michael Shaara
1980 - 1989 - Downbelow Station (1982) C.J. Cherryh
1990 - 1999 - A Great Day for the Deadly (1992) Jane Haddam
2000 - 2009 - The Friday Night Knitting Club (2006) Kate Jacobs
2010 - 2019 - Dead Letters (2018) Jane Haddam

BONUS decades:
1900-1909 - Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (1904) M.R. James
1910-1919 - Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910, published 1915 (Pulitzer 1917); written by Howe's daughters Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards, and Maud Howe Elliott. (Actually written by three female authors, including Howe’s third daughter, Florence Hall.) OR  Zuleika Dobson, or, an Oxford love story (1911) Max Beerbohm OR The Secret Garden (1911) Frances Hodgson Burnett

POPSUGAR Challenge
  1. A book becoming a movie in 2019 Little Women Louisa May Alcott (film version)
  2. A book that makes you nostalgic  Little Women Louisa May Alcott
  3. A book written by a musician (fiction or nonfiction)
  4. A book you think should be turned into a movie Hamilton Ron Chernow [Go ahead and make it a musical, Hollywood! It’s in development.]
  5. A book with at least one million ratings on Goodreads The Catcher in the Rye (1951) J.D. Salinger
  6. A book with a plant in the title or on the cover Dead Letters (2018) Jane Haddam
  7. A reread of a favorite book Downbelow Station (1982) C.J. Cherryh First read about 1983; last read 2018
  8. A book about a hobby The Friday Night Knitting Club  (2006) Kate Jacobs
  9. A book you meant to read in 2018  Hamilton Ron Chernow [Go ahead and make it a musical, Hollywood! It’s in development.]
  10. A book with “pop,” “sugar,” or “challenge” in the title PopCo (2005) Scarlett Thomas
  11. A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover The Girl in the Green Sweater: A Life in Holocaust's Shadow Krystyna Chiger, Daniel Paisner [I have the pattern for the sweater, and I hope to knit it soon.]
  12. A book inspired by mythology, legend, or folklore Circe (2018) Madeline Miller Or The Lightning Thief  Rick Riordan
  13. A book published posthumously Our Souls at Night (26 May 2015) Kent Haruf (died 30 Nov 2014)
  14. A book set in space The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress  (1966) Robert Heinlein
  15. A book by two female authors The Temple and the Stone (Knights Templar #1) (1998) Katherine Kurtz, Deborah Turner Harris or Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910 published 1915 (Pulitzer 1917); written by Howe's daughters Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards, and Maud Howe Elliott. (Written by three female authors, including the third Howe sister, Florence Hall.) OR Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer
  16. A book with a title that contains “Salty,” “Sweet,” “Bitter,” or “Spicy” Sweet, Savage Death (1984) by Jane Haddam
  17. A book set in Scandinavia Roseanna (1965) Maj Sjöwahl and Per Wahlöö [The first in an excellent mystery series set in Sweden. Also, see Wallender series by Henning Mankell.]
  18. A book that takes place in a single day
  19. A debut novel  The Friday Night Knitting Club  (2006) Kate Jacobs
  20. A book that’s published in 2019
  21. A book featuring an extinct or imaginary creature The Dragonriders of Pern: Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon Anne McCaffrey
  22. A book recommended by a celebrity you admire Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy. Recommended by Jennifer Lawrence OR anything by N.K. Jemisin, recommended by her cousin W. Kamau Bell
  23. A book with “love” in the title Zuleika Dobson, or, an Oxford love story (1911) Max Beerbohm OR Love and Friendship Jane Austen
  24. A book featuring an amateur detective  The Friday Night Knitting Club  (2006) Kate Jacobs
  25. A book about a family   Little Women Louisa May Alcott
  26. A book written by an author from Asia, Africa, or South America Doña Bárbara (1929) Rómulo Gallegos (of Venezuela)
  27. A book with a zodiac sign or astrology term in the title
  28. A book you see someone reading on TV or in a movie
  29. A retelling of a classic Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast (1978) Robin McKinley OR Hiddensee Gregory Maguire
  30. A book with a question in the title How'd I Get Here? And Why Am I stealing M&M's from Air Force One? Dan Beckmann
  31. A book set on a college or university campus  Zuleika Dobson, or, an Oxford love story (1911) Max Beerbohm OR The Daughters of Cain Colin Dexter
  32. A book about someone with a superpower The Lightning Thief  Rick Riordan
  33. A book told from multiple character POVs Downbelow Station C.J. Cherryh
  34. A book that includes a wedding  Little Women Louisa May Alcott Or Great Expectations Charles Dickens
  35. A book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter  The Lightning Thief  Rick Riordan OR  Downbelow Station C.J. Cherryh
  36. A ghost story Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (1904) M.R. James
  37. A book with a two-word title  Little Women Louisa May Alcott Or Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy. Recommended by Jennifer Lawrence Or Doña Bárbara Rómulo Gallegos (of Venezuela) Or Downbelow Station C.J. Cherryh
  38. A novel based on a true story The Killer Angels (1974) Michael Shaara Or Anna and the King of Siam (1943) Margaret Landon
  39. A book revolving around a puzzle or game  The Baseball Whisperer: A Small-Town Coach Who Shaped Big League Dreams (2016) Michael Tackett Or Ready Player One Ernest Cline OR The Roger Angell Baseball Collection: The Summer Game, Five Seasons, and Season Ticket by Roger Angell
  40. Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading Challenge


ADVANCED POPSUGAR Challenge
  1. A “cli-fi” (climate fiction) book The Dry Jane Harper OR Drought: A Californian Environmental Disaster Thriller Graham Masterton
  2. A “choose-your-own-adventure” book
  3. An “own voices” book
  4. Read a book during the season it is set in The Roger Angell Baseball Collection: The Summer Game, Five Seasons, and Season Ticket by Roger Angell
  5. A LitRPG book Ready Player One Ernest Cline
  6. A book with no chapters, unusual chapter headings, or unconventionally numbered chapters
  7. Two books that share the same title (1) The Invisible Man  H.G. Wells
  8. Two books that share the same title (2) Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
  9. A book that has inspired a common phrase or idiom (e.g., Big Brother from 1984) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for "Mad as a hatter" an "Curious and curiouser"
  10. A book set in an abbey, cloister, monastery, vicarage, or convent A Great Day for the Deadly (1992) Jane Haddam


Great American Reads
To be read:
  1. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Mark Twain
  2. Alex Cross Mysteries James Patterson
  3. Americanah Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  4. Atlas Shrugged (1957) Ayn Rand
  5. Bless Me, Ultima (1972) Rudolfo Anaya
  6. The Call Of The Wild (1903) Jack London
  7. The Catcher in the Rye (1951) J.D. Salinger
  8. Coldest Winter Ever Sister Souljah
  9. The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas
  10. Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  11. Doña Bárbara (1929) Rómulo Gallegos
  12. Game of Thrones George R. R. Martin
  13. Ghost Jason Reynolds
  14. Gilead Marilynne Robinson
  15. The Giver Lois Lowry
  16. Gone Girl Gillian Flynn
  17. Hatchet Gary Paulsen
  18. Heart Of Darkness Joseph Conrad
  19. The Help Kathryn Stockett
  20. The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins
  21. The Hunt For Red October Tom Clancy
  22. Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
  23. The Joy Luck Club Amy Tan
  24. Lonesome Dove Larry McMurtry
  25. The Martian Andy Weir
  26. Moby-Dick Herman Melville
  27. The Notebook Nicholas Sparks
  28. Outlander Diana Gabaldon
  29. The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde
  30. The Pilgrim's Progress John Bunyan
  31. Ready Player One Ernest Cline
  32. Siddhartha Hermann Hesse
  33. The Sirens Of Titan Kurt Vonnegut
  34. The Stand Stephen King
  35. The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway
  36. Swan Song Robert R. McCammon
  37. Tales of The City Armistead Maupin
  38. Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston
  39. Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe
  40. The Twilight Saga (series) Stephenie Meyer
  41. War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
  42. The Wheel of Time (series) Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson


Already read (before 2019):
  1. 1984 George Orwell
  2. A Prayer For Owen Meany John Irving
  3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Betty Smith
  4. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll
  5. And Then There Were None Agatha Christie
  6. Anne of Green Gables Lucy Maud Montgomery
  7. Beloved Toni Morrison
  8. The Book Thief Markus Zusak
  9. Catch-22 Joseph Heller
  10. Charlotte's Web E. B. White
  11. The Chronicles of Narnia (series) C.S. Lewis
  12. Clan of the Cave Bear< Jean M. Auel
  13. The Color Purple Alice Walker
  14. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Mark Haddon
  15. Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes
  16. Dune (1965) Frank Herbert
  17. Foundation (1951) (series) Isaac Asimov
  18. Frankenstein Mary Shelley
  19. The Godfather Mario Puzo
  20. Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell
  21. The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck
  22. Great Expectations Charles Dickens
  23. The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
  24. Gulliver's Travels Jonathan Swift
  25. The Handmaid's Tale Margaret Atwood
  26. Harry Potter (series) J.K. Rowling
  27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy Douglas Adams
  28. Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë
  29. The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  30. Little Women Louisa May Alcott
  31. The Lord of the Rings (series) J.R.R. Tolkien
  32. Memoirs of a Geisha< Arthur Golden
  33. One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez
  34. The Pillars of The Earth Ken Follett
  35. Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
  36. Rebecca Daphne du Maurier<
  37. To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
  38. Where the Red Fern Grows Wilson Rawls
  39. Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë


Probably won't read:
  1. A Confederacy of Dunces John Kennedy Toole
  2. A Separate Peace John Knowles
  3. The Alchemist Paulo Coelho
  4. Another Country James Baldwin
  5. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot Díaz
  6. The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown
  7. Fifty Shades Of Grey (series) E. L. James
  8. Flowers In The Attic V.C. Andrews
  9. The Intuitionist Colson Whitehead
  10. Jurassic Park Michael Crichton
  11. Left Behind (series) Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
  12. Looking for Alaska John Green
  13. The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold
  14. Mind Invaders Dave Hunt
  15. The Outsiders S. E. Hinton
  16. The Shack William P. Young
  17. This Present Darkness Frank. E. Peretti
  18. Watchers Dean Koontz
  19. White Teeth Zadie Smith


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Monday

I've worked 12.25 hours today. At the end, I'd finished the first Training Plan (63 courses and four tests) in a total of 32.5 hours. So much for 34 courses a day to meet the deadline.

Since I'm behind schedule, I have 22 training plans to go--402 courses to go in the next 8.5 days. That's 47+ courses per day.

The 2nd training plan is 61 courses, with 3 tests. And since tomorrow isn't a holiday, there'll be other work coming in.

It's after 1am, and I have Alexa set to wake me at 7:30.