Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The 306 Greatest Books #135 - Mort

The next up on my reading of the 306 greatest books is Mort by Terry Pratchett. This book can be found on the BBC Book List.

The second of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books that I read on the list is Mort. This is actually book 4 in the Discworld series and although you don't HAVE to read the books in order, I do. Book 1,  The Colour of Magic, which I read and reviewed in 2011, is on the list. The following two books were not on the list and I listened to them via audiobook (I have to physically read the book if it's on the list, otherwise I can do audiobook), and then I read this book. The basic premise is that Death, a character that has shown up off and on in the previous three books, is tired of his job and looking to take on an apprentice. The apprentice he has chosen is Mort. Hilarity ensues as Mort ends up screwing things up and tries to figure out how to fix things. In general this book, like the other Discworld books, is very short, just over 200 pages in paperback, so it is a quick read. But it is an enjoyable read. After the first two Discworld books, Pratchett seemed to reign in his snarky humor, allowing for the storytelling to take center stage. Whereas I felt the first two books were more a direct commentary on society, Mort was more of a story set in the Discworld universe with commentary sprinkled here and there. While reading Mort, I at first wasn't all that enamored with it. I couldn't see where it was going and it was starting to be a little bit of a slog. That changed however when Mort screws up big time (I won't spoil it) and has to figure out how to fix it, which he does for the rest of the novel. In general I rather enjoyed this book, not as much as The Colour of Magic which I still think was one of the best satirical novels I have ever read, but I still thought it was an enjoyable, worthwhile read.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

2016 Personal Goals - Month 2 Update

Two months in. Plodding along.

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.
Month 2 - Finished Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. 10 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.
Month 2 - Finished 6. 44 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.
Month 2 - Finished 1 item, installing new furnace. 7 to go.

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.
Month 2 - Still reading through the pile.

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

 Our 10 year vow renewal was in Disney World this month and we had spent 8 days there. The majority of the month was spent either preparing for the trip, on the trip, or recovering from the trip. Much of my free time will revert back to working on the kitchen remodel again, although I still got a bunch done on it before we left for vacation.