Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The 306 Greatest Books #145 - Idylls of the King

The next up on my reading of the 306 greatest books is Idylls of the King by Alfred Lord Tennyson. This book can be found on the Sybervision Book List.

Idylls of the King is an epic poem written in free verse describing the time of King Arthur from when he meets Guinevere until his death and the collapse of his Round Table. This is a spiritual sequel to The Lady of the Lake, and in more than one instance I had wished I had read that story immediately before beginning this one (although reading my review of how much I didn't like it, I'm glad I didn't). At first, while reading through this poem I was greatly dismayed due to the difficulty in understanding anything that was going on. I would get lost in the poem not knowing who did what, or why, or even care who or why. I realized this had to be one of those stories where I read a summary of the events in each section before I read the section. After I started doing that, the story became much easier to follow. If I became lost at any point, I was able to pick the story thread back up fairly easily. The story is laid out in 12 chapters. Each chapter is essentially a stand alone story that occurs during the time of King Arthur, with few threads weaving through the whole narrative. The narrative builds though, and by the end it does make a bit of sense. The primary underlying theme of the stories is Lancelot's eternal love for Queen Guinevere and how eventually they become lovers, bringing the downfall of Camelot. The story itself is often sparse, being filled with the flowery language of the poem. At times the poem is exquisitely worded, however those times would come and go. One thing that stood out to me was the consistently incorrect use of the words "past" instead of "passed" and "bad" instead of "bade". I wasn't sure if it was an editorial issue or that's just how it was, but it drove me nuts. Overall, I was rather bored by the poem and just wished it would be over. Luckily, it's short and the ending came pretty quickly.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

2017 Personal Goals - Month 2 Update

2 Months in.

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 191.1
Month 1 - 191.1

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

4. Read last 5 books on the Sybervision Book List
Start - Current count is at 95.
Month 1 - Read The Last of the Mohicans. 4 to go.
Month 2 - Read The Red and the Black. 3 to go.

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 142.
Month 1 - Read The Last of the Mohicans. 11 to go.
Month 2 - Read The Red and the Black. 10 to go.

6. Finish 2 more Geological Movie Reviews 
Start - Earthquake still looks like the best bet.

7. Watch 10 of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time 
Start - Current count is at 77.

8. Finish 50 things on the Blog/Website, with 30 specifically on my To Do list.
Start - My To Do list currently has ~160 things on it.
Month 1 - 6 items done. 44 to go.
Month 2 - 8 items done. 42 to go.

9. Finish 8 things on the House Things to do List 
Start - The list currently has 29 things on it.
Month 1 - In the middle of finishing the windows.
Month 2 - 1 item done, window sill installation. 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 - It is time to finish this up. A lot more work involved here than I anticipated.

13. Submit 2 papers for publication
Start - Time to focus on my publications this year.
Month 2 - Been working steadily on getting my Master's Thesis publishable.

14. Get caught up on my to read pile (which is mainly Star Wars but some other stuff as well)
Start -  I read many of the books I was behind on last year. Time to get fully caught up on my to read pile.
Month 1 - Working my way through the pile steadily.
Month 2 - Slowly working through it.

15. Watch and re-review Two entire lists of one of the 10 Top Ten Movies
Start - Working my way through the Top 10 Sci-Fi movies now.
Month 2 - Rereviewed Star Wars and watched and reviewed Harvey. One of the Sci-Fi list and one on the Fantasy list.

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.

----------------------------------------Items of Note---------------------------------------------------

I spent most of my extra time this month getting my Master's Thesis set for publication submittal. Right now I hope to have that completed by the end of March.