Saturday, September 19, 2015

The 306 Greatest Books #131 - Moll Flanders

The next up on my reading of the 306 greatest books is Moll Flanders  by Daniel Defoe. This book can be found on the Sybervision Book List.

I was hesitant to start reading Moll Flanders because Defoe's other work on the list, Robinson Crusoe, didn't really strike my fancy. I found Robinson Crusoe to be overly dragging and not that upbeat. Well, now we come to Moll Flanders and I have several of the same criticisms. Although the book is only 340ish pages long, it seemed to drag on forever. I could be reading twenty minutes and it felt like an hour. Defoe is often very repetitive, not only with small portions of text, saying almost the same bunch of sentences verbatim a few paragraphs later, but the plot itself was on a never-ending cycle of repeat. The story follows a woman who was raised as a cast off from a prisoner. The first third of the novel deals with her repeated marriages, which needless to say, got old really quickly. The second third of the novel actually got me back into the book. Although, this was also a bunch of the same, over and over again, I actually became interested in the character for once in the story. The character herself claims in the book this was because of people enjoy reading about her wickedness. I'm not sure if that was the case or if the author actually made the character interesting for once. The problems resurface again in the last portion, where the character is "redeemed". Even though she is redeemed, I never, ever, get the impression she is ever sorry for what she did and even remotely changed her ways. She was lying and manipulating people right up through the last page of the text. Overall, I am often harsh on books where it is difficult to get into a book because of the writing style. Defoe's writing style is fine, it's just his plots are overly redundant and slow paced. I can't recommend this story to anyone, sorry.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

2015 Personal Goals - Month 8 Update

8 months in. Time is ticking down.


1. Finish 1st Draft of my Novel
Start - Again on the list.

2. Drop weight to 167
Start - This has also been on the list since the beginning. Starting at 183.3
Month 1 - 184.0
Month 2 - 184.3
Month 3 - 183.0
Month 4 - 183.5
Month 6 - 177.5
Month 7 - 179.4
Month 8 - 178.3

3. Read 1 of the Top Ten Books on Zane's List
Start - In the middle of The Stories of Anton Chekhov.

4. Read 5 books on the Sybervision Book List (including 1 in the Science or Philosophy sections)
Start - Current count is at 85.
Month 2 - Started Don Quixote.
Month 6 - Finished Don Quixote. 4 books to go.
Month 8 - Finished The Grapes of Wrath. 3 books to go.

5. Finish 1 more Geological Movie Review
Start - Earthquake still looks like the best bet.

6. Watch 10 of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time
Start - Current count is at 75.

7. Finish 50 things on the Blog/Website, with 25 specifically on my To Do list.
Start - My To Do list currently has ~150 things on it.
Month 1 - 4 things done. 46 to go.
Month 2 - 8 done. 42 to go.
Month 3 - 13 done. 37 to go.
Month 4 - 14 done. 36 to go.
Month 6 - 18 done. 32 to go.
Month 7 - 28 done. 22 to go.
Month 8 - 31 done. 19 to go.

8. Finish 8 things on the House Things to do List
Start - The list currently has 29 things on it.
Month 2 - Replaced the bathroom sinks. 7 to go.
Month 3 - Multiple projects in the works.
Month 6 - 2 more projects done. Redid bricks in the backyard and added landscape lighting. 5 to go.
Month 7 - 1 more project done. Replace back sliding door. 4 to go.
Month 8 - 1 more project done. Added baseboards to bedroom. 3 to go.

9. Finish skinning the top of the hovercraft
Start - Hopefully I can make some time to get to it this year.
Month 7 - Added the upper skirt attach strips.

10. Get my 5K time under 25 minutes
Start - My current best is 28:32

11. Collect and photograph all of the Star Wars Comics
Start - I changed strategies towards the end of the year on this. Currently I have 3 comic boxes complete and with pictures. Now I need to finish collecting the comics and photograph all of them resulting in 8 total boxes. Currently the remaining 5 all are partially done.
Month 1 - Slowly collecting more comics. Almost finished off box #4.
Month 2 - Box #4 is complete. 4 boxes to go.
Month 6 - I have about 30 comics left to get before I have completed my collection.
Month 7 - Winding down. I have ~15 left to go on the main collection.
Month 8 - Finished Box #5.

12. Submit my Masters Thesis for Publication 
Start - This was the last big thing I had left to get published which I wrote before.
Month 7 - Have been prepping to get this finished.

13. Defeat 5 Star Wars Games
Start - With collecting so many games that I have not had time to play I want to set aside some game time.
Month 4 - 1 game done. 4 to go.

--------------------------------------Other items of Note------------------------------------------

Mostly worked on various tasks around the house. The biggest item of note was taking about a week to completely destroy the bedroom to put in new baseboards. Following that I scrubbed down all the furniture in the bedroom and we ended up having a yard sale with most of the house cleaned out. Getting ready to start the big project of working on the kitchen.