DONE! What’s next?

Done, done, done, done, done, done, done, done, done, done!

I spent the past 2 days reading the final 200 pages because I’d be damned before I continued reading this bad boy into the new year.  1,079 pages…FINISHED!  And it only took 7 months (technically only about 2, because I spent about 5 of those 7 months reaaaaally procrastinating).

Final thoughts:

  • Still don’t like Joelle
  • Still think the book could’ve been at least 300 pages shorter
  • Reading that last endnote was almost more exciting than reading the last word on the last page.  Almost.
  • Pages 157-176, for me, remained the high point of the book.  This is where I think DFW was at his finest.
  • Speaking of DFW, I’ve decided that—due to his dark humor—if he were a filmmaker, he’d be Todd Solondz (rent Happiness).
  • I will never read this book again.  It was not a bad book, either.  I’m really glad I did it, since it’s been on my to-read list forever, but never again.

I’m also less than an hour away from finishing You Better Not Cry on audiobook.

So now that Infinite Summer Year is over and done with, what are my reading plans for the coming year?  I realize I bombed spectacularly this last year, because I hate reading more than one book at a time (took me forever to even allow audiobooks into the mix).  Since I spent pretty much the entire year reading IJ…yeah, well…it was none too pretty.

Well, my personal goal is to read at least 50 books in the coming year.  I also signed up for two reading challenges, so 14 of those 50 books will be based on themes.  The first one I signed up for is the What’s in a Name? challenge.  I’m still debating the music book, but I’m thinking:

  1. Food in the title: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel by Aimee Bender
  2. Body of water in the title: Either Colson Whitehead’s Sag Harbor, or John Banville’s The Sea
  3. Title (queen, president) in the title: Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  4. Plant in the title: Hija of the Valley: Cactus Mood by my friend, Lina Suarez
  5. Place (city, country) in the title: Either Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison or The Last King of Scotland by Giles Foden
  6. Music term in the title: Hot Water Music by Charles Bukowski

The other challenge I’m doing shouldn’t be hard at all: the Women Unbound Reading Challenge.  I’m aiming for the suffragette level, which is to read at least 8 books, 3 of which must be non-fiction.  Since I have my MA in Women’s History and get nerdy pleasure from all kinds of women’s/feminist lit, my bookshelves are overflowing with enough unread material to cover this challenge (and then some).  I’m thinking:

  1. Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates
  2. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  3. Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) by Stacy Schiff (which I started years ago but never finished, and is really, really good)
  4. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
  5. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  6. Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  7. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange
  8. The Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia Frazier

But before all this madness starts, I intend to settle down with one of my Christmas presents to myself: Book of Clouds by Chloe Aridjis.  I have sooooo many books to catch up on, and I can’t wait!

What are on y’all’s reading lists?


About Melissa

I love donuts. Chocolate iced, hold the sprinkles.
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8 Responses to DONE! What’s next?

  1. prof susurro says:

    I am reading:

    1) Ida: A Sword Among Lions
    2) (re-reading) Sisters of the Yam
    3) The Heart’s Traffic
    4) The Guardians
    5) Strange Angel

  2. Melissa says:

    Oooh, you just reminded me. I keep forgetting to add The Guardians to my wish list.

  3. prof susurro says:

    funny, you actually reminded me first by asking this question. 🙂 I love synchronicity

  4. I read “Herland” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman about once a decade. Maya Angelou’s books are good — “Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now” may be my favorite of her autobiographies. “Reading Lolita in Tehran” by Azar Nafisi is well worth reading.

  5. Melinda says:

    If you’re going to read “Reading Lolita,” you should also add “Jasmine & Stars” by Fatemeh Kesharvez, an Iranian response to that book — really good — to your list.

    I just finished “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn and I’m starting on “The Story of B” by the same author. Books on my reading list include “Whipping Girl” by Julia Serano, but I won’t be able to read it for a while, since it’s pretty much not available on this continent.

    If you’re looking for awesome, women’s lit -ish nonfiction, you should read “Virgin” by Hanne Blank. It’s super fascinating and well-written too.

  6. Melissa says:

    sounds good! thanks for the recommendations. 🙂

    and actually, you just reminded me to put “whipping girl” on my wishlist. a friend mentioned it to me a couple of years ago, but i never added it.

  7. Melinda says:

    And by “women’s lit” I mean “women’s studies” — whoops.

  8. Care says:

    Thank you for joining the Women Unbound Challenge. I’m reading Herland RIGHT NOW and I thought it would go faster – it’s not what I thought it would be, which is fine, too. Blonde by JCO intrigues me and I now must know about this Vera book you mention. Off to chase your link, thanks!
    (I’m also doing the What’s in a Name – I like your choices for that, too)

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