Monday, January 11, 2016

The 306 Greatest Books - #133 Artemis Fowl

The next up on my reading of the 305 greatest books is Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. This book can be found on the BBC Book List.





   This is another book that falls into the "Young Reader" or even perhaps the "Teen Lit" category. You can tell because it is only ~250 pages long and is in the typical larger paperback format. The story is about a highly intelligent 12 year old, who sets out to rebuild his family's fortune which was lost by his father. Even though he is highly intelligent, he does have problems like the fact that his father went missing (likely covered in a future book) followed by his mother having a breakdown and becoming mentally ill and bedridden. In order for Artemis to do regain his family fortune (mostly gained through illegal means in the first place), he hatches a scheme to obtain gold as ransom for a kidnapped fairy, who are generally thought of to be fairy tales in this world. In general, I thought the story was actually rather good. I enjoyed reading it and I could not for the life of me figure out the ending. When it came, it was rather anti-climactic, but it worked for the story. What really surprised me about the story though was that even though the title is Artemis Fowl and the first few chapters focus around Artemis, the bulk of the story centers around "The People" as the fairies, goblins, trolls, and other magical creatures are referred to. You see the world of the humans, and how this kidnapping and rescue proceeds, mostly from their perspective. This was something I wasn't expecting going into the book. The book is written as a world building story, with obvious plans (that since have been written) to expand upon the characters and story lines. Overall, I would say that the story was fun to read with a surprising twist at the end that definitely made it a feel good story. I'm not surprised of the success of the book, as I thought it was pretty good, but I would hardly rate it as one of the best books of all time. 


Saturday, January 2, 2016

2016 Personal Goals - Initial Post

As a recap of the previous years we have:

2010: 14% completed
2011: 30% completed
2012: 48% completed (counting partial completions)
2013: 28% completed (counting partial completions)
2014: 37% completed (counting partial completions)
2015: 29% completed (counting partial completions)

Not as much as I hoped to get accomplished. Lets try the next year not spending so much time wasted online and more productive.
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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 179.7

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

4. Read 6 books on the Sybervision Book List (including 2 in the Science or Philosophy sections)
Start - Current count is at 89.

5. Read a total of 12 books on my book list. (need to get to 200 books by my 40th birthday)
Start - Currently my total count is at 131. 

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

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

8. 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.

9. Finish 8 things on the House Things to do List
Start - The list currently has 27 things on it.

10. Finish skinning the top of the hovercraft
Start - Hopefully I can make some time to get to it this year.

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

12. Collect and photograph all of the Star Wars Comics
Start - I got most of this done last year. It's time to finish this up and move on this year.

13. Submit my Masters Thesis for Publication
Start - Last year was actually spent getting a chapter of my dissertation published. Let's move on and get this done this year. This was the last big thing I had left to get published which I wrote before.

14. Get caught up on my Star Wars to read pile
Start -  Right now I have more than a bookshelf full of books that I am behind on reading.

15. Watch and re-review an entire list of one of the 10 Top Ten Movies
Start - I finished one set of 10 last year. I plan on doing another set this year.

16. Collect, photograph, and organize my Star Wars novel collection
Start - I have it mostly set with paperbacks but I would like to get the collection organized and get the first release hardcovers.


Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Personal Goals - Last month

Another year is in the tank.

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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
Month 9 - 177.2
Month 10 - 174.9
Month 11 - 177.0
Month 12 - 179.7

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.
Month 9 - Finished Moll Flanders. 2 books to go.
Month 10 - Finished To Kill a Mockingbird. 1 to go.
Month 11 - In the middle of The World as Will and Idea. Not sure if I will be able to finish it by the end of the month.

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.
Month 9 - 35 done. 15 to go.
Month 11 - 37 done. 13 to go.
Month 12 - 39 done.

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.
Month 9 - In the middle of a major home renovation which will take care of at least 2 items on the list.
Month 10 - Still on major home renovation.
Month 11 - Still in middle of major home renovation, however it currently knocked off 2 with 1 on the way. 1 item left 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.
Month 9 - Finished Box #7. 5 comics left to go.

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------------------------------------------

Kitchen and the holidays took up most of the month of my time. Hopefully will be able to get things back on track next year.