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50 book/15,000 page challenge - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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50 book/15,000 page challenge [Nov. 30th, 2006|07:25 am]
Zoethe
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[Current Mood |busybehind]

You know, I started the year so strong with the books. But then things happened. Things like the bar exam. And NaNo. And reading really long books. I finished precisely one book in October, so didn't even bother with an October post. November was better because it consisted of finishing the books I started in October. But man, I better get my act together for December!

October and November's books:

40 - Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. Book group choice. Only the woman who chose it and I finished it. This probably tells you everything you need to know. The stories of the women are a fascinating look at cultural differences between then and now, but the lead character is pretty much a boat anchor throughout the bulk of the book. They really should make a movie of it again.

41 - April 1865: The Month that Saved America by Jay Winik. An outstanding look at the end of the Civil War. Highly recommended if history interests you.

42 - A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. I love Bill Bryson, who after years of writing humorous travelogues is now moving closer to John McPhee territory, taking on difficult or obscure topics and writing accessible books about them. In this case, the history of which he speaks is actually the origins of the world, and the understanding of biology, and the scientists who doped out the stuff. I enjoy his turns of phrase, which are enhanced in my mind for having listened to his book "A Walk in the Woods" and being familiar with his not-quite-British precision of speech (he's American butspent his teen years and twenties in England). Quite entertaining.

43 - The Witches' Goddess: The Feminine Principle of Divinity by Janet and Stewart Farrar. Mostly an encyclopedia, but it was a handy read on the NordicTrack.

44 - Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure by Dave Gorman. We picked this up in England, after seeing his TV special of the same title. Gorman is an oddly crazed man who gets himself involved in really bizarre undertakings but then manages to turn them into profitable ventures. I recommend seeing the show of the same title first, but the book gives more character details and is a lovely supplement.

That's it. That's all I've got for now. And only one book seriously underway.

Best get cracking.

But I do have 20,000 pages under my belt. That's something.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: monkeycid
2006-11-30 12:34 pm (UTC)

Mr. Bryson

Six books aren't too much, you can do it :)

I recently read "A Short History of Nearly Everything", and while the read was enjoyable I felt that I didn't learn too much - most stuff was a simplification of things I already knew. There were plenty of amusing scientist anecdotes that I'd never heard, of course, but on the whole it felt rather disappointing. My knowledge in the area isn't too great; I'm nearing the end of a (swedish) high-school level education with a slight focus on science, which means that I don't have a very deep understanding of, well, anything.

I dunno. It just felt vaguely disappointing.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-11-30 01:46 pm (UTC)

Re: Mr. Bryson

It's definitely written for people like me - victims of the American education system who managed to get through with the absolute minimum of science.
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[User Picture]From: ytaya
2006-11-30 12:37 pm (UTC)
If you liked 'Googlewhack', I can recommend 'Are You Dave Gorman?' Dave seeks out and meets a multitude of Dave Gormans. Hilarity ensues (tm).
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-11-30 01:48 pm (UTC)
I actually knew of him from seeing an article about that adventure a few years ago on Yahoo. We bought the book when we were in England. It's around the house somewhere....
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[User Picture]From: kalieris
2006-11-30 01:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, how I hated Ivanhoe! I'm impressed that you finished it, because I don't believe that I did.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-11-30 01:50 pm (UTC)
It was a tough read, and it took a long time to slog through it, but I'm actually glad I did. Even if just for the hilarious retelling of the tale in which we engaged at book group (the woman who chose the book attempting to tell it straight, me adding lively commentary with soundtrack as we went along).
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[User Picture]From: gkingsley
2006-11-30 02:32 pm (UTC)
Janet Ferrar was the special guest at an open Samhain ritual quite a few years ago, right after Stewart died. Let me tell you, she can cast a circle! She's got some kickin' power going on.

She was also trying to get into my husband's pants - this was right before we started seeing each other - but that's a different story.

Their books are tough to slog through, but very informative.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-11-30 02:42 pm (UTC)
That would be awesome. And I'm amused.
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[User Picture]From: gkingsley
2006-11-30 03:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Janet is a firecracker. Frank would have been happy to sleep with her, but Gavin was there and he was weirded out by that.

Question - are you Wiccan? If so, there are a couple of books I would recommend highly.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-11-30 05:18 pm (UTC)
More Pagan, actually. But I'd love to hear your recommendations.
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[User Picture]From: gkingsley
2006-11-30 07:06 pm (UTC)
I'm working through a fantastic book called Evolutionary Witchcraft by T. Thorne Coyle. It's not so much Wicca as it is Witchcraft, and it really resonates with me, so I'm recommending it to everyone.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-11-30 07:23 pm (UTC)
I have read it and really need to focus some energy on it. It is a fabulous book.
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[User Picture]From: vrax
2006-11-30 04:56 pm (UTC)

Oooh, me, me!

If you're done with it, theferrett said I could borrow April 1865. Can I, Can I?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-11-30 05:20 pm (UTC)

Re: Oooh, me, me!

Yipes, I just loaned it to someone here at work. You can be next in line after him?
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[User Picture]From: vrax
2006-11-30 05:26 pm (UTC)

Re: Oooh, me, me!

Ok, thanks!
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[User Picture]From: jeanniemac
2006-11-30 05:25 pm (UTC)

The Witch's Goddess

You should also read its companion book, The Witch's God. I actually read that one first and liked it alot more. It was written some years after the Goddess book and although its lay-out is similar, the writing flows better and is much cleaner all the way around. It was what convinced me to buy the rest of their books. Although I don't agree with everything that they do, I find their take on Wicca alot easier to work with than the straight Gardnarian/Alexandrian view. I was also impressed by the amoung of folkloric research they put into many of their rituals.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-11-30 06:43 pm (UTC)

Re: The Witch's Goddess

I have it on the shelf, among my many "rount tuit" books.
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[User Picture]From: nuadha_prime
2006-11-30 06:45 pm (UTC)
I think it would be fair to cut yourself some slack. It was the friggin' bar exam. :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-11-30 07:22 pm (UTC)
Slack is for the weak! People who cut themselves slack are the ones who don't pass the bar exam!!!!

[pant pant pant]

Sorry. Got a little carried away there. ;-)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-12-02 12:49 pm (UTC)
He's terrific.
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