Friday, September 19, 2008

Planning as a form of procrastination

If I don't plan ahead, I won't end up finishing the books I've been meaning to read for ages. Some of these books have been on my reading list for years. It happens every year - I read a nice big stack of books (usually detective stories and mysteries), but only manage a couple of the books actually on my to-read list. The latter books may be more time consuming and less suited to midnight sessions when my brain is already 2/3rds asleep, but they're so much more satisfying.

Now, I've read about seven books for the Decades Challenge but have only written mewsings on two of them. And while seven might seem like only one less than the minimum of eight, I actually have to read three more books (from the 1920s, 1900s, 1890s, and 1860s, respectively). Wait, that's four. I managed this little feat of mathematics (8-7=4) by spreading my decades out too far and reading two books from the 1930s. I wanted to read The Jungle and Winnie-the-Pooh, but alas can't find my copies, so they'll have to wait until I have time to excavate my dusty corner of the Miao Library.

The first four books on the list are for the decades challenge. 13 books in about 15 weeks isn't necessarily promising, given my record of late. But several of these books are light and should melt on my tongue as soon as I begin. Others might be more plodding, but all in all it should balance out.
  1. Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  2. Silas Marner by George Eliot
  3. Young Men in Spats by P.G. Wodehouse
  4. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  5. King Arthur by Norma Lorre Goodrich (I began it this summer and have read about 100 pages)
  6. The House of Thirty Cats by Mary Calhoun (a lovely book - also begun this summer)
  7. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (I love mice!)
  8. The Question of Hu by Jonathan D. Spence (I've read parts of it and I've been meaing to read it through for ages)
  9. The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare
  10. The Underneath by Kathi Appelt
  11. The Two Towers (if I don't get through the entire triology this year, I think I'll manage...)
  12. Chinese: A collection of short stories by Bing Xin
  13. Chinese: Cao yang nian hua by Sun Rui (a contemporary novel of university life)
Now what I need is more reading and less planning.

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