Sunday, September 6, 2009

TSS: Where am I going, where have I been?

Good morning! It's Labor Day Weekend here in the US, a long holiday weekend marking the end of summer, and traditionally, a time for me to access the road ahead.

Daughter #1 has gone back to college, Twin B starts school on Tuesday, and Twin A begins next week. Book club starts again up after a summer hiatus, community organizations begin their new season, and it's time for me to take a look at my reading.

Every summer I resolve to read a lot more and, year after year, the opposite usually occurs. The girls are home, activities are planned, and I'm rarely in the car alone (so no audiobooks, either!). This summer, I purposely chose lighter books and enjoyed each one of them!

Molly's Summer Vacation Reading Challenge was the highlight of my summer reading. The Enchanted April, A Thousand Days in Venice, and That Old Cape Magic made for the best summer reading ever! The wrap-up post with links to reviews is here.

Now... on to fall! It's time to concentrate on challenges. The Classics Challenge ends October 31 and I have two books left to read. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell will be next, but I may join Carl's RIP IV Challenge and use The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins or We Have Always Lived In the Castle by Shirley Jackson for both!

Next is the Everything Austen Challenge that runs through January. There are four activities left to complete, but I've got about forty that I'll be choosing from! Most likely will be rereads of Pride & Prejudice (the annotated version this time around) and Northanger Abbey (this would also work with the RIP challenge), Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin, and a movie adaptation or two.

There's plenty of time left for Bellezza's Japanese Literature 3 Challenge, but I'm anxious to get started! After Dark by Haruki Murakami is where I'll begin.

A few odd and ends need to be tied up for the 2009 mini-challenges, but my Year of Reading Dangerously Challenge is not going well. I'll need to concentrate on that one if I want to complete it.

Sorry for the challenge ramble, but writing does help me think and get organized. This morning, I'll be taking my coffee outside and reading Someone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple. A polar fleece jacket will be needed - it feels like fall! I'm halfway through this 400+ page Persephone Classic (it just occurred to me that this could count for the classics challenge!) and am loving it.

I wish I could sit and read Dorothy Whipple all afternoon, but I've promised to take my daughters and my sister's German exchange student to the mall. Later, everyone will gather here for dinner, so I'll have to be content with the hour or two I have right now.

Are you participating in challenges and wondering if you can complete them all? What will you be reading today?


  1. You're participating in a lot of challenges! I passed on any challenges this year because of my adolescent resistance to any requirements on my reading time. :-)

    The Austen one looks like lots of fun. Good luck!

  2. I always have big plans for summer reading too, but I think being outside and having long hours of daylight mean I spend less time sitting and reading and more time doing.

  3. It's funny how each season, causes new events in our lives, and gets us to reassess our priorities. Sounds like you have a lot planned for fall.

    I joined a bookclub for fallwhich meets for the 1st timeinOctober.Hopeit'sfun. (why is the spacebar onmy new laptop sticking??????? grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  4. That's a lot of challenges! I'm reading THE PUZZLE KING by Betsy Carter and a few other things. Good luck with it all! :-)

  5. Seems you will have a nice reading in fall. I don't take up reading challenges mostly because I can't get to many books needed...and, of course, reading required for college is a challenge on its own :)

    Have a nice Sunday!

  6. Don't apologize...writing it down is the best way to get organized (and for me to get motivated:) I have stopped wondering about finishing all my challenges now that I know it won't happen. Happy Sunday!

  7. That's a very impressive reading list. I'm so enjoying the RIP IV challenge and it surprises me as I never used to be a fan of short stories - at all! Yesterday, I sat in front of a bookcase to see which book would call to me and I chose 84 Charing Cross Road. It's heavenly.

    Best wishes to your girls on the new school year ahead!

  8. Wow! Lots of stuff! You can do it!

    I actually think I may be able to finish all my challenges for this year. I'll be quite proud of that if I can, because I signed up for a lot of them. They're so hard to resist!


  9. My challenges are few, and progressing at snail's pace. I tried to read only challenge books, but I couldn't maintain that. So I've decided to read one challenge book for every 3 books read. Hopefully I'll manage to stick to that!

  10. LOVE the road sign picture -- that is how I feel most of the time :)

    I am hoping that once I get into the school routine I can begin to read on a regular basis - and hopefully complete a few of the challenges that I joined in 2009.

    Have a great Labor Day celebration!

  11. Impressive challenging! Hope you enjoy the Whipple.

  12. I loved your reading choices this summer. You seemed to be having such fun with them too. And now you seem to want to get serious as if fall signals a greater reading responsibility for you. That is a lot of challenges! I could never do it. Just not enough of a planner. Good luck to you though as I know you have it in you. Happy reading!

  13. I hope you do join RIP - it's so much fun! We Have Always Lived In the Castle is an excellent book. And I'm planing to read The Woman in White too :)

  14. Lots of challenges! I've joined too many. I keep discovering great ones, like R.I.P. IV, and have to jump in.

    The one thing I would like to add to my list of things for fall is joining a book club, not online, in person.

    Have a wonderful reading week.

  15. Sounds like fall is a very busy time for you. I hope you enjoyed your time this morning. Your Persephone book sounds delightful. I like reading your ramblings...organization is the key!!

    Have a great Sunday evening and Labor Day!

  16. Wow, lot of challenges!
    Anyway, I'm curious, what you'll write about Cranford.

  17. I just finished rebcca, which is more a psychological thriller than a ghost story, but is very intriguing. After my current read, I'll pick up The Woman in White by the end of the coming week. Maybe we can compare notes then!? :)

  18. Wow JoAnn, you are a powerhouse reader with all those challenges! I did R.I.P lasy year and really enjoyed it. Carl is a great host and puts on a great challenge. I am doing the Everything Austen 2X. It is great fun.

    Happy reading

  19. Janet - I just discovered challenges this year and quickly became addicted! We'll see about next year though. The Austen challenge is a good one!

    Beth F - You're right..all those long hours of daylight and outdoor activities cut down on reading time. By the time I finally curl up with my book, it's 10 o'clock (or later)!

    Diane - New seasons, new beginnings...can't wait to hear about your new book club.

    Marie - I did go a little over board when I discovered challenges this year - lol!

    Ivana - The challenges are fun, but can easily become overwhelming. I don't have the college required reading that you do, either!

  20. Book Psmith - Glad you don't mind this written ramble. I do have a better sense of how things stand now.

    Darlene - 84 Charing Cross Road is wonderful! Enjoy!

    Lezlie - Good for you! I haven't given up hope of finishing them all just yet, either.

    Hazra - Thank you for visiting! It sounds like you've worked out a good system for getting through your challenges. Good luck!

    Molly - That picture made me laugh when I came across it, too...just knew I could use it some day!
    Hope you've settled into a routine that's working for you this year. I know it can be tough!

  21. Verity - I love Whipple's book so far and have a feeling I'll be seeking out some others.

    Frances - My summer reading really was fun, but now I'm looking forward to something a little more serious. It seems to fit with back-to-school time!

    Nymeth - I'll probably join later this week. It's especially tempting since the books can overlap with other challenges!

    Gavin - That's me exactly! Great challenges just keep coming along and it seems like I'm powerless to resist :-)

    Staci - Thanks...I did enjoy my Persephone hour Sunday morning!

    Anni - Thanks for stopping by! I'm looking forward to Cranford - both the book and then the BBC series!

    Matt - I love a good psychological thriller once in a while, and Rebecca was a good one! Hopefully this will be my year to read The Woman in White...

    Laurel Ann - I'm pretty sure I'll be signing up for RIP IV (wasn't around for it last year!)...and hurray for Everything Austen! Thanks so much for visiting.


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