30 Day Book Challenge, October 2013: 1 Through 7

In Ruins: A Journey Through History, Art, and Literature - Christopher Woodward The Complete Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes - Classics Grammercy,  Arthur Conan Doyle Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone  - J.K. Rowling The Tempest - William Shakespeare The Halloween Tree - Ray Bradbury The World Of Charles Addams - Charles Addams David Copperfield - Charles Dickens Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) - Jenny Lawson Orlando Furioso - Ludovico Ariosto, David R. Slavitt, Charles S. Ross

I am so bad at challenges. I'm probably not going to finish the two year-long ones I've signed in for at GR - though I am going to read all the books I've put on my lists for them! Eventually!. But thanks to my omg-moving-frenzy of the moment: "Argh, I'm packing my paper books! It'll be months til I see them again! I want to read them ALL right now before I say goodbye!!!" - let's just say I'm unfocused.


So when I saw this Challenge to Blog About a Book Daily it sounded fun - but then I remembered me and challenges and my usual difficultly managing everything timewise. So I'm going to cheat! Rather than toss this out in single days I'll moosh multiple days together.


Links are to the Booklikes Book Page (when I can manage) and then to my review at Booklikes. (I'm also doing enough copy/paste/format stuff from Goodreads that instead of typing Booklikes I keep turning it into Goodlikes. Or Boodlikes. Sigh.)


1) Best Book I Read Last Year


In Ruins: A Journey Through History, Art, and Literature by Christopher Woodward: Booklikes, My Review


I loved this for the history, for the many citations of authors and books that I immediately added to my reading list, and for the feeling that I'd been traveling while reading it. And the artwork was lovely too.


2) Book That I've Read More Than Three Times:

Sherlock Holmes, Greenwich Unabridged Library Classics by Arthur Conan Doyle: Booklikes, My Review

Oddly this is my go-to book when I'm sick and stuck in bed. Most of the stories are short, the mysteries are usually solved (no cliffhangers), and often because I know how things will end I can drift off to sleep if I feel like it. And since I've been reading this since high school there's a nostalgia hit there too.

3) Your Favorite Series:


Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (I don't have any of them reviewed except with stars)

The Potter series forced me to give up my Han Solo In Carbonite Rule of "Argh, no series until it's done!" mainly because I enjoyed Rowling's worldbuilding so much.


But then the concept of what makes a "series" has changed - or at least the definition now includes past works by authors now dead. For instance, all the Sherlock stories/novels have been numbered and included in a series, as have many other authors' works who'd never thought of their books with a number after the title. Once it was a trick to track down - for example, all the Agatha Christie Poirot stories - but now it's easy enough to find them, just google - and you have it. Though you'll notice that the wikipedia page I linked doesn't call that a series - but the Goodreads page does. So I have no idea who sets the standard for this kinda thing. (Publishers?)


4) Favorite book of your favorite series:
And now I'm stuck. Since I avoid series (see 3), I'm still scratching my head on what to choose - and how to figure out what I've already read that's now considered a series. I can't pick just one of the Harry Potter books - to me each one melds into the next. They're kind of one long experience.


So I'll cheat use my own definitions! And pick another series, out of multiple series of favorites. (Yes, it's nonsensical, roll with it.) Out of Shakespeare's series of comedies, my favorite is The Tempest. It's got magic, romance, lots of great settings, memorable poetry/songs:


Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.

And I've enjoyed reading lit crit speculating that Propero represents Shakespeare.

5) A book that makes you happy:
Hmmm. That's hard. I'll have to pick two. And they're both seasonal!

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury: Booklikes, My Review

Which I reread almost every year for Halloween (recently anyway). Someday I hope they release the cartoon version (1993) of it on DVD - Leonard Nimoy's particularly fun as Mr. Moundshroud.


The World of Charles Addams by Charles Addams: Booklikes, (no review yet, just stars)

6) A book that makes you sad:
Well, not the entire book - but the first thing that comes to mind is that David Copperfield (by Charles Dickens) made me cry on the train to work back in the early 1990s. It was a book I would never have thought would effect me that way, otherwise I'd not have been reading it on public transport. At the time I was sure I knew what to expect from Dickens' tearjerking-melodramatic-scenes - I'd read a chunk of him in both high school, college, and just for fun. But somehow something in the bit about Copperfield as a boy, learning while away at school that his mother had died and he's alone in the world (especially after how he's already been treated) - well, it got to me and I ended up quietly trying to stop the tears so I could see my way off the train.

A different kind of sadness was learning of the existance of the book A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality by Joseph Nicolosi - just reading the name of that book makes me sad. And the thought that a child might see their parent reading it and the child then knowing that they aren't accepted as they are... Sigh.


In theory I was going to stop at 6 - but nope, that is actually too sad a thought to end on.


7) A book that makes you laugh:
I don't read many books primarily for humor, though often my favorite books are full of  remarks or asides to the reader that are humorous. The first book I think of that falls into the humor category is


Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson: Booklikes, My Review


It was a surprise to find out how much it amused me - the key was the setting, because I have relatives from Texas. So suddenly I found myself reading and laughing out loud - and I mean that literally. I'm not someone that does that with a book - I'm more the mild-smile or smirk while reading type - and it almost startled me to hear myself laugh. [Quotes I thought were giggleworthy on my review page.]

The book that startled a laugh out of me recently was


Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Aristo, specifically the David R. Slavitt translation: Booklikes (can't find this edition atm), My Review


...which is hysterical, especially for a tremendously looong epic poem. It might not set everyone off that way, but many parts of it made me giggle. [Quotes on my review page here, more at the Reading Progress section at GR - I need to copy all that over to Booklikes. Eventually.]