Wednesday, November 19, 2014

RGRC Book # 7 - Anna Karenina

Here's another previously read book from the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge, finished on August 2, 2012, as part of an online book club reading.

"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow."
― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Review copied from Goodreads:

I'm done! I'm finally done! What a feeling of accomplishment at having survived this mostly awful feat of literature. This book seemed so much longer than it needed to be to express its main point, there were so many characters and storylines that seemed entirely superfluous, and there were far too many instances of what my dad would call "all preparation and no H" - build-up without a climax. Things would foreshadow and build-up and then...fizzle out. Or just get dropped altogether. Let me sum it up for you: the moral of the story is that it's much better to lead a boring, practical existence (even if it bores you to tears) than to passionately chase after freedom and happiness in illegitimate ways. Because the boring people might have an existential crisis every 10 chapters or so, but they end up supremely happy in the end; the passionate people are supremely happy for a little bit, but then they end up suicidal.

I only give it more than 1 star because that's a rating I reserve for books I HATE, and that's not the case here. Boring and tedious? Yes, it was. But it was OK. I wouldn't recommend it, though.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

RGRC Book #3 - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

I decided that any book on the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge list that I have already read from 1/1/2012 and forward I am not going to reread.  However, anything that I read on 12/31/2011 or before was too long ago to write an accurate review and therefore I will reread.  Since I have decided that I will not necessarily go through the list in any sort of order, I wondered how best to post my reviews of the non-rereads (books I have read since 2012).  For now I think I'll try posting roughly one per day until I run out of them.  Sound like a plan?  Cool.  On to book number 3 of the list!

"It's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then."
― Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Review copied from Goodreads:

Having seen the movies and known the story from my childhood, I thought it might be interesting to read the book that inspired it all. It was OK, but it wasn't as mystical as I remembered it as a kid. All in all, 3 stars.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

RGRC Book #1 - 1984

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever."
― George Orwell, 1984

So, the first book (alphabetically) in the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge goes down.  I originally read 1984 my senior year of high school for AP American Government.  I loved it then and I love it now.  It did strike me, though, that I didn't remember there being quite so much gruesome violence in it.

The most striking thing is how believable the dystopian future that Orwell imagined seems.  It's not just a political satire, it's a warning about power-hunger and an overreaching government.  It also beautifully explores the complexities of human sexuality, slavery/oppression, war, absolute truth, and psychology.  The last four words of the book are arguably some of the most bone-chilling words in all of modern literature.

Five stars.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge

I've decided that I'm going to go through the entire list, rereading the books that it has been over 2 years since the first time I read them.  I.e. I read 1984 in high school and remember liking it, but not much else about it, so I plan to read it again and write a new review.  If there is a book that I read recently or that I am currently reading, I'll just copy over my Goodreads review here.  I am skipping the time-sensitive reference books, however.  For instance, a book on traveling through Europe in 2003 or finding a job in 2007 is going to be 1) pretty much irrelevant by now, and 2) pretty difficult to find by now.  If you want to take a look at the comprehensive shelf on Goodreads, you can check it out here.  And if anyone wants to take the challenge with me, I would welcome the company!

Monday, November 3, 2014

I remembered today on my drive home that I have a blog

Work is outrageously busy, I'm working on my Master's degree, I have a robust social life involving friends across at least 3 different countries and I don't even know off hand how many states (#humblebrag #amirite), I am in training for a half marathon, I have my loving husband, I have a household to keep up, I still binge watch shows on Netflix in addition to keeping up with Doctor Who and Outlander, and yet I have not stopped my reading.  In fact, I have picked up both the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge and the Buzzfeed list of 65 Books You Must Read in Your 20s.  I am a crazy person, apparently.

Back in February I bought a new car.  It's a 2014 Ford Focus and I love it.  Bluetooth audio is the best thing ever.  I can listen to Spotify and audiobooks from my phone in the car and my 40-minute commute sucks that much less as a result.

In March Matt and I went to Rhode Island (my first ever flight, by the way) to see Chris graduate from OCS.  It was a really cool experience and I'm glad I went.  Super proud of my Super Friend!  ;-)

In April we threw a party for my birthday that will go down in history, at least in my book.  I have four words for you:  Mario Kart drinking game.  So much laughter.  So much drinking.  So many things that I will not put in print, haha.  I am pretty proud of myself, though, for getting up with what you could maybe call a hangover and running what was then a distance-PR 6 miles the next morning with Jordan.  :)

In May Matt and I flew out to sunny southern California, partially to visit with Chris while he was at SWO school in San Diego (because we wanted to hang out with him one last time before he shipped to Japan), and partially to go to DISNEYLAND!  That's a picture of the three of us in front of Space Mountain, I just hate that it's washed out and you can't really tell what it is.  Oh well.  We did more than just Disneyland, as you might imagine.  We went to Pacific Beach, the Gaslamp District, the San Diego Zoo, Legoland (Matt's idea lol), and of course the Navy base.

The summer was pretty uneventful, lol.  I just kept running and running with Jordan in preparation for the Tower of Terror 10-Miler.  Oh, and I got my first (and so far only) grad school B in a class.  I'm kinda relieved that I got it out of the way early.  If I'm gonna mess up a 4.0, I'd rather do it now than the semester before graduation, lol.

The first week of October Matt and I went to Disney World with my mom and Dallas for the big run!  We got to enjoy a little bit of the Food and Wine Festival, and we got to do all of the parks and Downtown Disney.  We stayed in a one-bedroom at Old Key West that had the most AMAZING view.  I didn't do as well on the run as I had hoped, but I got a medal that glows in the dark and has a moving elevator, lol.  Plus we got to go bowling with Tracie!

Anyway, I think that's about all for now.  I plan to do some updates on the reading and running, but I have separate sites that keep track of those (Goodreads and MapMyRun, respectively).