25 October 2010

Day 212: a general update

Yay!  I finished another batch of books and I'm starting my second one.  I've actually already read one and a half of them, but I'm trying to stay ahead on my blogging because...

I'm going to try to do NaNoWriMo this year.

I will be writing a collection of Rupert stories, the best of which I will attempt to get published or end up self-publishing.  Anyone who would like to assist me in this endeavor can do so by offering to write guest posts so I can slack a bit on blogging, and/or offer up ideas for Rupert stories.  I intend to publish said stories in collections of 5-8 and since I will be writing something like 40 of them over the course of NaNoWriMo, this means I will be able to publish material for a while.  Given the publishing industry I will probably not be able to make them available online, and you should want to buy them for all of your family and friends anyway.  I hope to have line drawings available in the book and I highly encourage people to color their pictures.  Perhaps I will make the coloring pages available online.

I am not actually shooting for the completion of the 50,000 word mark as I think that would involve writing far more Rupert stories than what would actually be good for my mental health, but if I hit that goal I will be especially happy.  Each story is roughly 1200 words long and takes about half an hour to forty-five minutes to write assuming I already have the story idea in mind (which I usually do).

Anyway, because I'm doing NaNoWriMo, you'll be seeing a lot of guest posts and a lot of shorter novels, and perhaps even short story collections.  This means I will likely be reading teen and juvenile literature.  For people who enjoy the posts about adult literature, I apologize, but keep reading, I'll be back in December with more mature books...perhaps I will even make December my Highfalutin' Smut month, that'll drive you all away.  On to the book list for this section!

Observations from a Wheelchair by Jack Rushton.
Got this one from the Goodreads First Reads program.  As soon as it came to me in the mail I realized I had made a mistake in requesting it, and sure enough, it turns out it was a collection of somewhat over-sweet family newsletter type essays.  I don't necessarily regret reading it, but I rather wish it had been something else, and it managed to sit around unread for awhile.

The House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle.
Mostly picked this up for the length and the creepy cover.  It's apparently influenced by Wuthering Heights, but either it's been too long since I've read the novel or else its influences are too subtle for me to pick up on other than some borrowed characters.  So far the story has been fairly creepy, or so I imagine since I'm not terribly prone to scare from books.  It is told in the past tense, so unless something really spooky happens it seems to be pointing to a less-than-terror-filled ending.  I will probably be completely wrong as Dunkle may pull a 6th Sense on me.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry.
The first of two Lowry's I plan to read in this group.  I've been meaning to read this title for something like years.  There is such a variety of Holocaust fiction out there that it's hard to know how much of it to read and what.  I do not necessarily feel compelled to read Holocaust literature, but something tells me I ought to read this one.

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry.
This is the companion to The Giver.  That book had such an amazing impact on my life that I doubt it will come anywhere close in tone, content, or influence.  However, I'm not actually expecting it to, so I hope to still enjoy it.  I've read a couple of reviews, and mostly they just complain about it not being as good as The Giver without actually saying anything about its own merits or faults.  Given that this was published ~10 years after the first book it's no surprised that this flew under my radar, but I sort of wish I had known about it in 2002, if only because I think I would have had different thoughts about it then.

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman.
I want to add more L's to this man's name, if only for symmetry's sake.  You'll have to pardon me if you see Phillip written in any of my posts.  So this is the last of His Dark Materials.  I'm pretty eager to finish it up and see what happens to Will and Lyra's worlds.  I'm tempted to pick up another Pullman almost right away, but that would make for 3+ of his works in succession.  I feel like I have enough repeat authors as it is with Gail Carriger, Neil Gaiman, and Suzanne Collins.  Hmm, maybe I'll be picking up the Gregor series from Collins for NaNoWriMo, damn you, series-writing authors!

Tenderness by Robert Cormier.
This seems dark even for Cormier.  Once again, I picked it up mostly for the length, or lack thereof.  This is a somewhat unusual trend for me; when I was reading stuff by Cormier on a regular basis I tried to pick the thickest books possible so I would be sure not to run out of reading material before I went to the library again.  Now I find myself going against that behavior, but it's nice to see that there are slimmer volumes by authors I know and love and can expect good stories from.  I imagine Cormier will be able to handle the complexities presented on the dust jacket (a boy who murdered his parents gets together with a girl who is sexually promiscuous...no wonder I didn't find this one in high school).

Grace by Elizabeth Scott.
I had this on my reading list at some point and after reading another blogger's review took it off.  Now it's back on because it meets my page requirements for NaNoWriMo and I figured why not give it a try.  Suicide bomber angels...okay!

These posts will likely be interspersed with guest posts once we get into November, I also have a few more posts coming from Consider the Lobster and Adaptations, the previous essay/short story collections I read.  Let me know if there are short-ish novels you want me to write about and I'll see if I can get my hands on them.  Also...Rupert ideas, I could use them.


  1. You have some wonderful books you picked up. I love the Sally Lockheart trilogy by Pullman. While not as ambitious in scope as His Dark Materials, I loved it just the same. Cormier was a favorite of mine in high school. I just love the depth of his stories.
    The Giver remains one of my all-time favorite novels, but Gathering Blue is just as wonderful. It can't compete with The Giver on a couple of levels-I think Lowry knew that as well. It is just as powerful, but I can see where many thought it was a failure. I say read it for yourself and see!

  2. Thanks Allie, I'll have to look into the Lockheart series. I'm in no way expecting Gathering Blue to be a failure, I'm pretty hard on books, but I'm also able to take sequels, etc. in their own context rather than comparing them to an author's masterpiece. What I can't do is critique poor literature well just because it's popular or the "best" that the author has written.

    Glad to see you commenting!


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