Monday, February 15, 2016

The 306 Greatest Books #134 - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The next up on my reading of the 306 greatest books is Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. This book can be found on the Observer Book List.

As with many stories I have read, this one was an odd one. I assume most people are familiar with the premise of the story but if not, I wouldn't read this review as I will spoil it. That being said, the premise of the story is that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are the same person, transformed through chemical concoctions of the doctor's creation. This is what I knew going into the story. However, the story is set up as a mystery. Who is this Mr. Hyde? And what is his relation to our dear friend Dr. Jekyll? Reading the story, it felt like a second read through, where I already knew the ending and I was just reading it this time to catch up on the details I missed. A very weird feeling, considering I have never read the book before. Overall, the story was alright. It is written as an autobiographical account from a lawyer friend of Dr. Jekyll's who witnessed the whole thing. The prose is fairly straight forward, except for the last chapter, which was "written" by Dr. Jekyll and gets rather wordy for my liking. It is very short, taking me only a few hours to read, however nothing really ever grabbed my attention. I was rather interested in how the "big reveal" progressed through the story and seeing the groundwork laid down for it was fascination. But overall, I would say that if you wanted to read it, it wouldn't take very long and you may find it interesting, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find it, as it feels that pop-culture has ruined any surprises that were built into the story.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

2016 Personal Goals - Month 1 Update

One month in. Going strong and steady

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
Month 1 - 179.0

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.
Month 1 - In the middle of The World as Will and Idea

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.
Month 1 - Finished Artemis Fowl. 11 to go.

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.
Month 1 - Finished 5. 45 to go.

9. Finish 8 things on the House Things to do List
Start - The list currently has 27 things on it.
Month 1 - In the middle of the kitchen remodel still.

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.
Month 1 - Only one comic left to go. Photographed box 5.

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.
Month 1 - Slowly working through my pile of stuff to read when I get the chance.

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.

-----------------------------------------------Other items of note-------------------------------------------------

 I had spent a good chunk of my free time last month working on the kitchen remodel which is coming to it's final portions. Tiling, painting, putting up molding, and building a book shelf are what is left with that for the most part. I also have been busy working on planning our 10th year vow renewal in Disney World which is coming up later this month and should be a lot of fun.