Skip to main content

The TBR Challenge is done! (plus, some news)

It just occurred to me that I have reached my goal of reading 60 books from my TBR pile. In fact, by the end of October there were 63 of them, so I exceeded the goal with two months of reading to go. By now, the number is 64 and I am reading what may become books 65 and 66. Yay!

The speed with which I managed this is in large part due to the fact that I bought a number of interesting books I couldn't wait to read. It is a sad fact that, once I have bought a book, if I don't read it within a few weeks I start to lose interest in it, and if I own it for long enough I forget I ever owned it in the first place. This is how I occasionally end up buying a second copy (rare, now that I keep a list of the books I own on my smartphone) and also why I sometimes end up culling books without having read them.

I had hoped to reach 200 books read in total by the end of the year, but as I have only finished 157 books by now, I expect the final number will be closer to 180. Not that the 200 book goal isn't within my reach: if I finish 22 books in November and another 22 in December, I will reach 200 before the end of the year.

This is unlikely, however, as I have a project I'm working on that will keep me quite busy for some weeks, possibly even until spring. I have recently become the proud owner of a brand new Volkswagen Caddy Maxi panel van that my father and I are going to transform into a mini-motor home for me. Work has started and will keep me quite busy, planning and working and possibly doing some freelance translating to pay for the whole thing. This may leave me too little time and/or energy to read as much as I am used to. As a matter of fact I think I would probably have managed to read 15 books in October (instead of only 10) if we hadn't already started the work. On the other hand, this just might energise me into reading more books than average - I really can't tell.

Also, while I found any number of foreign blogs and websites about van-to-motorhome conversions, I didn't find many of either in Icelandic (my native language). In fact what I found was mostly travelogues written by motorhome owners, and a handful of discussions about DIY motorhomes on message boards and Facebook, so I am trying to fill that niche by writing a blog in Icelandic about the whole process, which is also going to take time away from reading.

I hope to be able to take my motorhome on the road next spring. Until then I have one book about motorhome life lined up for reading: Queen of the Road by Doreen Orion (if I can find it - it seems to be playing hide and seek with me). I am hoping to find a copy of A monkey ate my breakfast: Motorhome adventures in Morocco by Julie and Jason Buckley, when I go to London at the end of this month. Incidentally, their blog, Our Tour, is a fantastic resource about the various aspects of motorhome travel as well as telling the story of their travels in Europe and North-Africa.

And now, dear reader, I have a question for you: Can you recommend any other books about motorhomes and motorhome travel, including guides to DIY motorhomes? 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to make a simple origami bookmark

Here are some instructions on how to make a simple origami (paper folding) bookmark:

Take a square of paper. It can be patterned origami paper, gift paper or even office paper, just as long as it’s easy to fold. The square should not be much bigger than 10 cm/4 inches across, unless you intend to use the mark for a big book. The images show what the paper should look like after you follow each step of the instructions. The two sides of the paper are shown in different colours to make things easier, and the edges and fold lines are shown as black lines.


Fold the paper in half diagonally (corner to corner), and then unfold. Repeat with the other two corners. This is to find the middle and to make the rest of the folding easier. If the paper is thick or stiff it can help to reverse the folds.



Fold three of the corners in so that they meet in the middle. You now have a piece of paper resembling an open envelope. For the next two steps, ignore the flap.



Fold the square diagonally in two. You…

List love: A growing list of recommended books with elderly protagonists or significant elderly characters

I think it's about time I posted this, as I have been working on it for a couple of months.
I feel there isn’t enough fiction written about the elderly, or at least about the elderly as protagonists. The elderly in fiction tend to be supporting characters, often wise elders (such as  Dumbledore in the Harry Potter books) or cranky old neighbour types (e.g. the faculty of Unseen University in the Discworld series) or helpless oldsters (any number of books, especially children’s books) for the protagonist to either help or abuse (depending on whether they’re a hero or not).
Terry Pratchett has written several of my favourite elderly protagonists and they always kick ass in one way or another, so you will see several of his books on this list, either as listed items or ‘also’ mentions.
Without further ado: Here is a list of books with elderly protagonists or significant, important elderly characters. I leave it up to you to decide if you’re interested or not, but I certainly enjoyed…

Short stories 221-230

From Norway:

The Blacksmith Who Could Not Get Into Hell”. Collected by Asbjörnsen and Moe. An amusing folk tale about beating the Devil. Recommended. (A different translation from the one I read.

“The Father” by Björnstene Björnsson. About a proud father and a parish priest.

“Skobelef” by Johan Bojer. A humorous tale about a horse that has a tremendous influence on a small rural community. Beautifully translated. Recommended.

From Sweden:

Love and Bread” by August Strindberg. A rather cynical tale about a man who discovers that one cannot live by love alone. Recommended. (This is such a very different translation that it makes me want to read the original to see which is truer).

“The Eclipse” by Selma Lagerlöf. A heart-warming tale about an old peasant woman who needs an excuse to invite the neighbours over for coffee. Recommended.

“The Falcon” by Per Hallström. A haunting tale about a peasant boy who rescues a hunting falcon. Beautifully translated. Recommended.

Now we turn to the…