20151026_070920The kids are home this week for fall break and rather than set myself up for massive frustration, I’ve decided not to work on the novel while they are home. Instead, I’m going to relax and catch up on my reading! What better way to enjoy the new darker hours (Sweden switched to Daylight Savings Time yesterday and now it’s dark before five)? And imagine, a whole week dedicated to reading! Minus a few interruptions, of course. Dog. Food. Refereeing. General-all-purpose helper. (See how I had to strike through that word relax earlier?) But I know I can knock off a few books.

So what’s on the agenda? 

  1. The Well of Ascension, Brandon Sanderson — The second in his Mistborn series. I started the book about a week ago and I’m having a tough time getting into it. Maybe all the free time this week will inspire me to dive into it again because I enjoyed the first one. The thing I love most about this series is the concept. I feel like I’m reading a superhero comic set in a fantastical world.
  2. Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous, Gabriella Coleman — A hacker character is germinating in my head and I need to do some research. This is the first of several I plan on reading. Fascinating book. I’m a little over halfway through with it. As I read, I keep getting flashbacks of our early gaming days with the guild in Star Wars Galaxies. The conversations. The anonymity. We didn’t care so much about tackling worldwide political issues, though, and while some of the members might have been technical geniuses, I promise I wasn’t one of them.
  3. Grimm’s Children’s and Household Tales, The Grimm Brothers — I’m enchanted with fairy tales at the moment. Many of the tales in this book sound similar to each other, but that doesn’t stop me. Each night, I get through a few more, purposely reading this book slower than I normally do because I want to remember the stories. Every time I pick up the kindle, I go to the book’s Table of Contents and review the tales, making sure I can remember each one. If I can’t, I go back and read that story again. I don’t know why I do this, to be honest. Maybe it’s a desire to retain the information. My husband drives me crazy when he binge watches shows. How can anyone remember all that has happened if you watch twenty episodes in a row? Are the days of savoring a story over a week, or even a few days, over?
  4. The Bookshop Book, Jen Campbell — I picked this up when Jen came to Stockholm (I wrote about that here). So much fun to read about the amazing bookshops all over the world! I wish we had some of them here. I’m currently angry at the local bookshop by me because the last time I went in there, I asked for help and the woman looked at me like she wanted to chop me up into pieces. To be fair, that’s normal service in Sweden, but it drives me bonkers. Smile! How hard is it? Offer to help someone. Then I read about these amazing bookshops where booksellers offer tea and biscuits and–it’s hard for me to comprehend at the moment–they offer to help their customers. Sigh. I’m so jealous of the people who live near them and get to experience this phenomenon on a daily basis.
  5. American Gods, Neil Gaiman — Got this for my husband’s birthday but haven’t had a chance to pick it up myself yet. My husband is easy to buy for. He ONLY reads fantasy and science fiction. It doesn’t matter if everyone he knows shoved the same book in front of his face and swore his life would be dramatically changed for the better after reading it, if the book wasn’t fantasy or science fiction, he wouldn’t read it. Unfortunately, I suffer from another condition. I want to read everything, which means I have an eclectic collection of books. It also means he’s always waiting weeks, or months, for me to read the same books as he did so we can talk about them. For example, I bought this book in August. But, this is probably the next one on my list, so that has to count for something, right?
  6. Story, Robert McKee — Each term our writing group chooses a book to use as our textbook. This term, we chose Story and one of our members, drama teacher Gary Clarke, gave a short presentation about the book. Gary uses the book to teach his students and from what I heard, he gave a great presentation. Unfortunately, I missed that day. Which means I’ve got some work ahead of me. People claim the book is amazing, but that it’s loaded with a LOT of information. I’m almost frightened to open it.
  7. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll — I’m working my way through a bunch of classics as I audit a MOOC on Fantasy and Science Fiction hosted by the Univerisity of Michigan. Required reading for week two are Carroll’s books and while I’ve seen a bunch of movie versions, I’ve never read them.

Waiting in the wings are the third Mistborn book, Haruki’s 1Q84, an Alistair Reynold’s book, Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, a book on the study of generations, about three more of the Dresden File books, oh, I also really want to read The Martian, and I have a number of books I just reserved at the library, which haven’t come in yet. Too many books and not enough time to read them all! Please tell me someone else has this problem.

Because I probably can’t get through all the books I want to read, I’ve decided to set a goal for myself. If I can finish five books this week, I’ll be a happy camper.

What about you? What are you reading?

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