I’m considering how to re-vamp these for 2019. Between the changes WordPress made to their blog post editor and the (intentional) lack of organized reading challenges for next year, I’m not sure how I want to write these posts. (I’m also not sold on the new WP editor and might stick with the classic one as long as I’m able.) Still, I do want to include the same basic information. We’ll see what I come up with. But for now, here’s the last update for 2018!
December 2018 Status:
As is usual in months where I post my monthly summary before the actual end of the month, anything finished in November that wasn’t on my November update will have a * at the end of the entry to distinguish it.
Knitting projects finished:
- Honeydukes Hat #3
- Trekking XXL Vanilla is the New Black socks
- Mock Cable & Rib Hat
- Stargate GAL square
WIPs indicated with a ‡ are currently hibernating while I try to get other items finished.
- ‡ 2016 GAL Blanket (current square: Studio Ghibli)
- 2018 GAL Blanket (current square: Dragon Age)
- ‡ Nessie Expedition socks MKAL
- ‡ Don’t Cage Me In socks‡ Close to You shawl
- ‡ Dryad Hat
- Quantonium 40 socks
- (Weaving) Pillow or table runner sampler
- The Best of Connie Willis (e-book, short stories, new, 82%) *
- Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 5 by Hiromu Arakawa (paper manga, new) *
- Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare (paper, new) *
- Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 6 by Hiromu Arakawa (paper manga, new)
- Nebula Awards Showcase 2016 (paper, new) (I only read the 3 award-winning stories from the collection)
- “The Egg” by Andy Weir (digital short story, new)
- The Lady Astronomer by Katy O’Dowd (e-book, new, DNF @ 5%)
- Loading Penguin Hugs by Jacqueline Chen (paper, new, comics)
- I Met a Traveler in an Antique Land by Connie Willis (ebook, new)
- The Tomten by Astrid Lindgren (paper picture book, new)
- The Tomten and the Fox by Astrid Lindgren (paper picture book, new)
- Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare (paper, new)
- Holes by Louis Sachar (paper, new)
- The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland (audio, new, DNF @ 28%)
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (paper, re-read)
The Best of Connie Willis
I really enjoyed this short story / novella compilation. Overall, I think this was a higher quality of short stories in one book than usual — but that should be expected from this compilation since these are all Willis’ award-winning stories. The “best of” stories from one of the best authors should be pretty darn good.
Measure for Measure
This has some great quotes and some interesting characters, but it’s also got a lot about it that bugs me. I like Isabella and Mariana and Escalus, and very few of the other characters. The ending is very Shakespearean, but I hate that Isabella says nothing when the Duke proposes marriage. Yes or no, she should say something. (Oh, and the Duke? I don’t like him much at all.)
Nebula Award Showcase 2016
The stories I read were all enjoyable, though they didn’t always portray humanity in a flattering light. One of the things I liked was that though there was often a “humanity as a whole can be mean” type of feel, the heroines also served as examples that individual people can be beacons of hope in the darkness of mob mentality.
By the end of the book, I liked it. It had to grow on me, however. At the beginning of the book I didn’t care much about any of the characters. Not one I’ll need to re-read, but now that I’ve read it I’m glad I did.
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.
I really wanted to like this book. It has time travel, witches, and yet is slightly on the sci-fi side of speculative fiction. When I realized that I was over a quarter of the way into the story and was still more interested in the premise than the actual execution was when decided to DNF this book.
Books in progress:
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman (paper, new, 384/592)
- Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint (ebook, new, 13%)
While the rest of this status update has been for the current month only, this is my year-long progress on all of my reading challenges.
- Books read: 83/70
- Shakespeare plays: 6/10
- Percent new books: 84.34%
- Bucket List Books: 24
- Backlist Reader Challenge: 32/40
- Book reviews posted: 37
- DNF reads: 8