Monday, April 30, 2012

100 Greatest Books #105 - The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The next book on my reading list is The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. You can find this book on the Sybervision Book List.




Before I started this book, I was expecting something in "Old English" similar to Beowulf and Shakespeare, neither of which I really enjoy all that much. This was much different though. It is written in the Old English style but in such a way that it it understandable for the most part. I admit I did have a little difficulty with the beginning though. This was the fastest read I have had on my list to date and I can't imagine anything taking less time. I read this in about 20 minutes and while I was reading it I found that I needed to say the words aloud to better understand them. This started as mumbling the words and eventually with my proudly stating all of the lines with gusto. Simply, the story was about a mariner who kills an albatross while sailing around, dooming all of his shipmates. I found the story very well written with a good moral; don't bite the hand that feeds you. A definite recommend.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

100 Greatest Books #104 - Camille

The next book on my reading list is Camille by Alexandre Dumas. You can find this book on the Sybervision Book List.


At first while reading this book I got the feeling I would have to dredge my way through it like I have through several on these lists. The writing was awkward in the beginning; either that or the translation was poor. Either way, I was not enjoying it. The story seemed rather random and it was kind of dull. But then something just clicked and not only did the reading get easier, the story was much better, and actually pulled me into it. I cared for the characters and was regretting what was bound to happen to them. The premise of the story is that the author comes across the estate sale of a very young (early 20’s) "kept" woman (Marguerite Gautier) (a "kept" woman is basically a high class prostitute) and purchases a book with an inscription inside it. The inscription is by a former love of the woman (Armond Duval) who had given the book to Marguerite as a gift. Days later Armond is at the author’s apartment trying to get the book back. What follows is a love story of what happened between the two people that is very touching, and possibly true. Although I figured out the "catch" towards the end, it did not in the least ruin the story for me and it was written in such a way I think anyone would have figured it out. But on the cover of one of the books it states that Henry James said this is "one of the greatest love stories of the world" and I would have to agree. It is riveting, intriguing, and heart rending, a definite recommend.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

2012 Personal Goals - Month 3 Update

3rd Month is done and we are still going strong.

1. Finish first draft of my novel -
January 1st - 3rd year on the list. Lets see if I can do it this year. Starting point - 1st section first draft is done.
Months 1-3 Update - Nothing new

2. Drop weight to 167
January 1st - Again 3rd year on the list. I think I will have a little more time this year to get it done. Starting point - 182.1.
Month 1 Update - 181.7
Month 2 Update - 179.0
Month 3 Update - 178.3

3 Read 2 of the Top Ten books on Zanes book list
January 1st - 3 books are left on the list. I am currently in the middle of War and Peace and hope to finish it by March.
Month 1 Update - Finished Book 3 of 4 in War and Peace.
Month 2 Update - Finished War and Peace. 1 book to go.
Month 3 Update - Nothing new

4. Read 7 books on the Sybervision Book List for a total of 75
January 1st - To get to a nice round number of 75 I want to finish 7 more books.
Month 1 Update - Reading War and Peace
Month 2 Update - Finished War and Peace. 6 books to go.
Month 3 Update - Nothing new

5. Read 7 books on the BBC Book List for a total of 45
January 1st - These are generally easier books to read, especially with Annabelle.
Month 1 Update - Reading Anne of Green Gables and War and Peace
Month 2 Update - Finished War and Peace. 6 books to go.
Month 3 Update - Finished Anne of Green Gables. 5 books to go.

6. Update 2 Geologic Movie Reviews
January 1st - I have 1 update I need to do one one movie and a complete overhaul of the other.
Months 1-3 Update - Nothing new

7. Finish 1 more movie on my Geological Movie Review
January 1st - Look to do 1 more movie, most likely Earthquake!.
Months 1-3 Update - Nothing new


8. Watch 15 of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time (according to AFI)
January 1st - Current count 70 so 15 more will get me 1/2 way to the goal.
Month 1 Update - Watched High Noon. 14 more to go.
Month 2 Update - Watched Double Indemnity. 13 more to go.
Month 3 Update - Nothing new

10. Skin the top of the Hovercraft
January 1st - I finished working on the bottom last year so lets see if I can get the top done this year. And with my new garage heater I will be able to work during the colder months.
Months 1-3 Update - Nothing new


11. Catalogue, photograph, and organize Star Wars collection by CVI
January 1st - With Star Wars Celebration VI coming up in August I want to catalogue and photograph my collection to get ready to know anything I need to buy when I go.
Month 1 Update - Caught up on the pile of recent stuff but nothing else.
Months 2-3 Update - Nothing new


12. Do 1 major job each month on the "Things to Do for the House" list
January 1st - With an updated list we have 20 things that we want to do to get the house in tip-top shape.
Month 1 Update - Started working on some things but nothing finished
Month 2 Update - Finished putting boards in the attic and moving stuff up there. 1 task done, 11 to go.
Month 3 Update - I was going to replace the side door but it turned out to be a lot more work than I anticipated so I only have it about 2/3rds done. 11 still to go.

Other items of note:
I still have a lot of things that I have done for the Annual UFOP meeting and SAC. And to top that off I submitted my first manuscript. Hopefully that gets published without too much more effort. This was also my birthday month so things were pretty good overall. Instead of reading off on my lists I focused more on catching up on some Star Wars books but I plan to go back to the lists shortly.

---------------------------------------FINISHED!---------------------------------------------

9. (DONE) Do 1 Geological Fact for each month.
January 1st - This went over well last year so let's do it again.
Month 1 Update - I wanted to finish these early and release them as the months went by. I have 9 done so far. 3 left to go.
Month 2 Update - Finished the last 3. So this task is DONE!