Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In a Glass Darkly and a Tardy Readathon Wrapup

It is a quarter to eight in the morning and every thing is very quiet and still.  I have a pot of tea beside me and I'm finally prepared to wrap-up my readathon thoughts two whole days after the event.

First -- a few non-book related somethings:

  • Why am I out of Irish Breakfast Tea?

  • Is having an intense desire to rearrange my kitchen cupboards a sign of nesting?

Please, feel free to share your thoughts on both subjects.

Okay, on to the Readathon Wrap-up:

I'm not going to do the meme provided because I'm a maverick (j/k).  No, seriously, I only finished one book and I feel like in my last post I reflected my thoughts on Readathon adequately.  Rather, I'd like to discuss what I -- personally -- will do differently when I participate in the April readathon:

  • I enjoyed reading, but I'm not too keen on the emphasis on number of books.  I could have blasted through 37 Sweet Valley High novels and had an amazing book count, but instead I chose to read a thick book (which most veterans say not to do during a readathon) and then interspersed my tome reading with scary Victorian short stories.  This worked well for me.

  • So, next readathon I'm going to focus on how many pages I can get through.  This way I'm a winner if I decide to read Trollope or a stack of Agatha Christie mysteries.

  • I'm also going to steer clear of counting hours.  This seemed to be a bit messy.  For example, I would read for a block of two hours, but in those two hours I might use the bathroom, or make some tea, or stare at my cat.  Then I had difficulty truly saying how long I read.  I think tracking minutes of pure, unadulterated reading will work best.

  • I really enjoyed listening to audio books as well.  I didn't finish my audio book, but I'm planning on having an embroidery blitz soon and listening to audio books while I stitch.

My final goals for the next official Readathon in April (keeping in mind that I will have a 6 month-old baby).   Are to read 500 pages and 4 hours of audio (up from the 407 I read and the 1 hour of audio for the October readathon).  I'll keep track of minutes, but my ultimate goal will not be a certain number of minutes (i.e. I'll have a baby).

There is one tiny readathon in my future; I'm planning on Reading in the New Year.  Depending on Atticus' sleep schedule (or lack thereof) I plan on beginning at midnight and reading as much as I can.  I had a blast doing this earlier in the year.

Now on to a review, Sheridan Le Fanu's In a Glass Darkly.  This collection of five short stories/novellas (the last two tales are long) make up the papers of one fictitious Dr. Hesselius.  A doctor of medicine, believer in the powers of the supernatural and the trickery of the human psyche, and a sort of psychologist, Dr. Hesselius is periodically called upon to hear tales of horror, madness, and the otherworldly.  What is truly remarkable about this collection is its unpredictability.  Sometimes, the reader believes there is no haunting, only madness.  Other times it appears that some supernatural horror is at play.  And in at least one tale -- one of the scariest-- there is no supernatural element at all.  Rather than give a synopses of the tales, I'll implore you to go in reading this collection blind.  By all means, skip the introduction until after you've read the 5 stories.  I'm glad I skipped the introduction because then each story was a surprise, a chilling surprise, but a surprise nonetheless.  Fans of Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw" will especially love In a Glass Darkly.  This book also counts towards my RIP Challenge!

Okay, my tea is getting cold and I need to throw dinner in the crock-pot and start folding a mountain of laundry.  We've a busy day today and I better get started!


catherine said...

you are out of irish breakfast tea because it is nationally known and accepted as the superior morning tea. thus, there was a run on the tea bags, and you, being pregnant, were not vicious enough to fist fight an octogenarian for the last box, and Sam was too kind to beat up a little old man who smuggled some bags out of the store.

also, reading in the new year sounds amazing, and i know i can participate in that one.

also. in a glass darkly is now on my to be read list, along with all the other pratchett novels i'm winging my way through.

nerdybookgirl said...

Awesome! We can be companion new year's reading/blog nerds! I like it!

Thomas at My Porch said...

My "new" kitchen is so inadequate space-wise that I have yet gotten to the point where I wanted to organize it. This is highly unusual for me. For you it could be nesting or maybe procrastination? Anything you are avoiding? I counted minutes and page numbers for the readathon. Seemed to work okay. Because I like you got distracted from time to time. But I didn't have a cat to stare at.

Lauren said...

oh a readathon! I haven't done one since I was a kid! how fun...and sweet valley high gosh I loved those books!
either way with the cleaning the kitchen cupboards at least you'll be able to find everything! :)
lovely to find your blog during blogtoberfest!