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CurrerBell gets out the shovel for 2017


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Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 4:10am Top

January (4)
February (7)
March (11)
April (7)
May (4)
June (7)
July (7)
August (5)
September (10)
October (9)
November (4)
December (9)

Ended 2016 with 77/75, so I'm going to stick with my goal of 75 for 2017. Might be a little difficult, though, because I may do some heavy-duty effort to cut into my Library of America via the 2017- BIG FAT BOOKS CHALLENGE and those are doorstoppers.

As in 2016, my big goal is to get through treeware, hence Kindle reading doesn't count (unless it's a case of using my Kindle for convenience on books that I've also got in treeware). A volume of treeware is eligible for 2017 ROOTs inclusion if owned by me by the end of the calendar year 2016, but I'm going to make some special effort to cut through older acquisitions.

I count volumes, not individual works, so a multi-title Library of America volume counts as a single ROOT (but I don't have to reread titles in the volume that I've already read, just the unread titles). And I claim credit for a ROOT when the volume is completed, so books that I started in 2016 will be credited for 2017 if completed in 2017.

Dec 31, 2016, 9:56pm Top

Good luck with those chunkster ROOTS!

Jan 1, 2017, 4:24am Top

Happy rooting in 2017!

Jan 1, 2017, 5:04pm Top

Sounds like your goal will be a stretch with those chunksters. Good luck with your ROOTing.

Jan 2, 2017, 1:48am Top

Happy to see names I recognize! Good ROOTing and very Happy New Year.

Jan 2, 2017, 12:36pm Top

Hope you unearth some great ones!

Jan 2, 2017, 4:52pm Top

Happy shoveling!

Jan 2, 2017, 7:42pm Top

Welcome back & Happy 2017 ROOTing!

Jan 3, 2017, 3:22am Top

Welcome back. Happy ROOTing!

Jan 3, 2017, 8:09am Top

Good luck with the chunksters!

Jan 5, 2017, 5:36am Top

Welcome back, Mike and Happy ROOTing.

Feb 7, 2017, 2:09pm Top

All hail to any reader who undertakes and completes a J F Cooper marathon! You are a better bibliophile than I am. I read several of his novels when I was MUCH younger, but have no desire to tackle his style ever again!

What door-stop reads do you see on your horizon?

Best of luck in meeting and exceeding your ROOT goals.

Edited: Feb 7, 2017, 2:32pm Top

>14 Limelite: I'm finishing up the Library of America Herman Melville: Typee / Omoo / Mardi, currently about two-thirds of the way through Mardi. Typee and Omoo are fairly decent travel books of the South Pacific, which I read for January's First Encounters theme in the Reading Through Time Group, but I hadn't had time to get to Mardi.

I'm obsessively-compulsively finishing Mardi for the sake of adding the LoA volume to the Big Fat Book challenge, but it's one of the worst things I've ever read (and was the book that did a great deal to destroy Melville's literary reputation during his lifetime.) I'm not so much "reading" it as I am skimming – sort of a "speed read" skimming – but I am going to complete it.

ETA: Also currently reading Jenny Uglow's excellent biography of Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories, which also meets the Big Fat Book challenge @ 690 pp. It's a major project because I've also been reading or rereading Gaskell's novels and novellas as needed, and I've got to read Wives and Daughters (another 600+ page doorstopper), which is now her one novel that I've never yet read.

Feb 8, 2017, 5:25am Top

>15 CurrerBell: I'm just reading Gaskell stories during lunch breaks and like them much better than I expected (I'm not a short story person). I've been eyeing the biography by Jenny Uglow, would you recommend it?

Edited: Feb 8, 2017, 6:53am Top

>16 MissWatson: Oh yes, definitely the Uglow biography, though it would help if you read along on the novels. The one novel that's pretty awful is Ruth (review) and that you might want to avoid unless for the sake of completeness.

The one Uglow bioraphy that I've read in full is Nature's Engraver, and I've got her biography of George Eliot in some TBR pile somewhere. Nature's Engraver is a biography of Thomas Bewick, the late-18th and early-19th century woodcut artist who's most famous for his History of British Birds, the second volume of which (Water Birds) was the book that Jane Eyre was reading as the novel opens.

ETA: Bewick's "History" means "natural history."

Feb 8, 2017, 9:49am Top

>17 CurrerBell: I read a very positive review of her In these times a while back and she's been on my radar ever since.

Feb 8, 2017, 1:42pm Top

>15 CurrerBell:

I don't have a masochistic gene in my body and wouldn't think of doing what you're doing. I read strictly for the joy of it. No moral drive in me, no conscience when it comes to casting aside dreadful books.

But if you lack a title for your door stop reading program, I suggest Norman Mailer's Selected Letters of Norman Mailer, edited by J Michael Lennon. 700 pp of scriving by a not very likable man.

Edited: Feb 10, 2017, 2:10pm Top

>19 Limelite: I'm very fond of Mailer. Personally, I think The Naked and the Dead is the greatest American war novel, greater even than The Red Badge of Courage. That's not my only Mailer doorstopper; I've read Harlot's Ghost as well, and I need to reread The Executioner's Song, which I read when it was first published and remember loving it even more than The Naked and the Dead. I have Selected Letters of Norman Mailer and do want to get around to it eventually. I'm even more anxious, though, to read Mind of an Outlaw (selected essays) and Michael Lennon's Norman Mailer: A Double Life, two other doorstoppers I also have.

I think he's one of the greatest American writers since the Second World War (although I consider Invisible Man the third greatest American novel after Huckleberry Finn and The Scarlet Letter, but without rating Ellison as highly since he was too much a one-book wonder).

One Mailer doorstopper I've never managed to make much progress with is Naked Evenings. Most Mailer aficionados say its beginning is magnificent prose but then it really sloughs off. I agree, but one of these lifetimes I'll engage in another masochistic effort.

ETA: Mailer's The Gospel According to the Son (fortunately not a doorstopper) is a complete triviality, however. All it is is a very reverent hodgepodge of the four canonical gospels with Jesus himself as the first-person narrator, a very silly waste of time. Mailer had a tendency toward greatness accompanied by complete flops. Since my copy of The Gospel According to the Son is my only autographed Mailer, I did get around to reading it.

Apr 8, 2017, 1:46am Top

>22 CurrerBell: My favorite Dickens!

Apr 14, 2017, 2:12pm Top

Hi, Mike, Just catching up on threads. I was away from LT for a few weeks.

Edited: Jun 19, 2017, 3:55am Top

Good job, Mike! You are almost at the half way mark!

Jun 22, 2017, 7:40pm Top

>27 connie53: Thanks, Connie. I just finished one more, which now brings me to 50% before the halfway mark. And I've got at least one more I should finish by the end of June.

Not to break my arm patting myself on the back, but 10 of those 38 are doorstoppers, 7 of them Library of America's which I've been wanting to get to for years. I've still got a long way to go on my LoA collection though (which includes the entire LoA set of Henry James, and the only writer I know with a larger canon is Joyce Carol Oates!).

Aug 8, 2017, 11:45am Top

>28 CurrerBell: I like doorstoppers. I committed to reading 10 of them this year, 2 more to go!

Aug 8, 2017, 1:00pm Top

>28 CurrerBell: I committed to 3 doorstoppers this year, but did not finish one. I think I'm going to tackle the complete editions of The Gulag Archipelago to finish out the year of chunksters.

Aug 8, 2017, 2:11pm Top

Seeing this discussion about doorstoppers I had to go back and check my own efforts in that department! - five, which isn't bad, and I'm nearly finished another. All have been audiobooks or paperback-with-audiobook which feels a bit like cheating but I wouldn't get through them otherwise. Well done with the chunksters, Mike and Connie, and good luck with The Gulag Archipelago, Tess!

Aug 8, 2017, 8:54pm Top

>31 connie53: and >33 floremolla:. We'd love to have you in the 2017- BIG FAT BOOKS CHALLENGE (of which >32 tess_schoolmarm: is already a member), and you can help us meet our goal of 100 chunksters for 2017!

Aug 9, 2017, 12:48am Top

>34 CurrerBell: I will think about that!

Aug 9, 2017, 4:17am Top

>35 connie53: I'll look at that this evening. I always have an audiobook on the go and usually it's a chunkster because I like to get my money's worth from my £7.99 monthly Audible subscription ;)

Aug 9, 2017, 5:03am Top

>36 floremolla: You're very good - I was too tightfisted to commit to £7.99 a month!

Sep 10, 2017, 2:59am Top

>42 Planning ahead, Mike!

Sep 10, 2017, 10:43am Top

>43 Somehow I messed up and managed to post two "Septembers" by misteak, so rather than have an oddball "delete" hanging around on the thread I created an "October" post early.

Sep 10, 2017, 11:10am Top

LOL. That makes sense.

Nov 24, 2017, 10:48am Top

I read in the November thread you did reach your goal! Congrats!

Nov 25, 2017, 1:55am Top

Congratulations for reaching your goal!

Nov 25, 2017, 11:06am Top

Yay, congratulations!

Nov 25, 2017, 11:31am Top

Yeah, congrats!


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