Friday, October 18, 2019

Finally ready to start reading again - almost!

It's been almost a year now since my last blog post. 

There's a really good reason for that, I decided to do the near-impossible and actually finish my degree. Now, it's not 100% completed yet, I've submitted the first half of my capstone project but the second half still remains. 

Before I started on my 'back to school' journey back in December of 2018, I had around 90 credits all either general education or science credits. I decided to go back and finish a degree in accounting even though I only had 3 business credits at the time. Well, I CLEP'd a lot and then enrolled in WGU for a single 6 month term. Around 32 of my gen ed credits transferred, then I transferred in 24 CLEP credits all taken December-March. Now, since April, I have completed another 66 credits. When I complete my capstone, I will have cleared 97 credits in 10 months. 

Almost an entire BS in accounting in a 10 month span! 

Anyhow, I'm already doing a lot more reading since there's only so long I can work on my capstone in one stretch. :) 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

November 15th, 2018 - 45 days left to finish the Newbery winners

Whew!~ it's been a crazy couple days and I'm pretty much afraid to tabulate how far behind I am. Basically, I got a nail in my tire a few days ago and trying to get it fixed between work was a ridiculous frustration. I had a bunch of foster kittens that had to go in for neuter and had a volunteer appreciation dinner. Pretty much, there has not been a good evening for reading. I read a little bit on lunch breaks, but, most of lunch has been spent making phone calls and dealing with stuff.

Anyhow, I did finish Tales from Silver Lands which actually was fairly decent. I also FINALLY finished Story of Mankind which wasn't bad either. If the title was changed to "The Story of Western Civilization" it would be a bit more fitting. Very Eurocentric and of course a few things that are not politically correct to say today. I read the original version, not the updated one, so perhaps a couple of those issues are fixed in the updated one. It does have a nice conversational style to it, probably best for adults who enjoy reading vintage history books.

3363 pages left as of this evening, so I need to read about 76 pages a day for the next 44 days. I lost a tiny bit of ground, but, not too bad considering how rough the last few days were. I really wish I had an ereader, would make my nighttime reading a lot more pleasant! Perhaps a nice black friday purchase to help me finish out the year.. lol

Sunday, November 11, 2018

50 days left - November 10, 2018 update

I'm finishing up day 50 with 3,639 pages left to read, divided over the next 49 days that's an average of 74.3 pages per day to finish the Newbery books before January 1st. 

I finished up Rifles for Watie and I'm thrilled. I started reading this book April 2016, more than 2 years ago. I renewed it all 5 times that I could before returning it to the library and now I've checked it out 4 more times. But, wow, it's finally over. That's not even really fair to the book, I just wasn't in the mood for a civil war era book. I'm pretty bullheaded too, so, forcing myself to read a book I wasn't feeling took a lot. What's sad is, about halfway through it actually turned into an interesting book. If I would have come across it in the mood to read about the civil war, there's a chance I would have even really enjoyed the book.

I read a bunch more of Tales From Silver Lands. I know that book gets a bunch of hate on Goodreads, plenty of 1 star reviews. Obviously, it has that one big glaring issue of some white guy writing down a bunch of South American tales. That's obviously always going to be an issue. This is written sort of in the style of Grimm or Aesop and so on. But, because these are so modern, you really expect at this point to have some sort of reference information; where the tales were acquired and so on, but, that's not provided.  That's the part that really makes it a bit problematic. Other than that, most of the tales themselves don't have huge issues and some of them are even fun to read; that is, if you enjoy Grimm and so on. The lack of credit, including even basic things like which country the tale is from, is definitely an issue though. 

I did not read anymore "Story of Mankind". I decided that was more of a workweek sort of book, so, I'll probably make a bit of progress with that on Monday. :) 

Saturday, November 10, 2018

November 10th update

It turns out I did some of my math a bit wrong, I must have missed an entire book when I was calculating up how many pages I had left. Oops!

As of this morning, I have 3,816 more pages to read and 51 days left in the year. In other words, I have to continue to read about 75 pages per day. It's a good thing I binge read yesterday and read a couple hundred pages to make up for the book I forgot to count.. lol

I am currently reading Rifles For Watie, Tales from Silver Lands and Story of Mankind simultaneously. When I get tired of one, I switch to a different one. Tales from Silver Lands is pretty decent so far, despite it being a white guy writing about a culture he isn't from. Rifles for Watie has improved dramatically in readability, just a lot more enjoyable in the second half. Story of Mankind has a nice conversational style, short-coming's include a eurocentric focus and possibly some factual errors. Still can see why it won at the time though, it's a history book that has some personality in it.

Well, that's the time I have for now. I will pop back in tomorrow. Hoping to knock out the rest of Rifles for Watie today, but we'll see.  :) 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

I feel so bad that I haven't gotten around to updating this..

Well, it was like this, back in February I went on vacation and had this realization of what my life used to be, what it was at that point and what I wanted it to be going forward. Being up in Michigan during winter, cross country skiing, reminded me of the last time I was there doing that same thing and who I was then.

Back then, I was active in volunteering. I fostered kittens for a local shelter and did dog transports on the weekends. I fit that in around a full time job and full time school. I was incredibly busy, but I was also a lot more connected to my community. I had more people to talk to and interact with, I had this whole network of people locally that I could connect with.

I got back from vacation, saved up some money for a couple large ferret cages and I've been fostering kittens for the local shelter since March. Basically, I take in kittens that are about 4-5 weeks old and keep them until they weigh 2 lbs at which point they go back to the shelter for neutering and adoption. I've had between 1-3 litters of kittens at any one point since about March except for two weeks I took off in August. Though, during that two weeks I volunteered with a Trap Neuter Return group to neuter feral cats and went on vacation for a week.

I still wanted to read the Newbery winners this year and I have been doing that, BUT I didn't have time to read them and blog them and I definitely didn't have time to vlog them on YouTube. If you are curious what I thought of the books I've read so far, I did review them on Goodreads and I believe they scroll on the right side of my page.

Yesterday, I had 55 reading days left in the year and 4,209 pages of Newbery winners left to read. If I can average 77 pages per day, I can still finish the Newbery books in time. This is only about 20 pages more than I needed when I was still on schedule, so I didn't fall very far behind and I have a couple books partially finished that I haven't counted in that.

I think I will update this on a daily basis now until the end of the year so anyone interested can keep up with the drama of 'will I/ won't I' finish the Newbery books this year.

Happy reading! 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up Ages 12+

270 books in the 12+ category. I've read 30. Ugh! Please note that you shouldn't assume that my list is complete or accurate. I tried, but, there are likely mistakes. I always recommend just owning this book. If you are going to put in the thousands of hours to actually read the list, you might as well buy the $20 book discussing it. I am not affiliated with the book at all and don't benefit at all by recommending it.

Bertoldo, Bertoldino, and Cacasenno – Giulio Cesare Croce and A. BanchieriN
Robinson Crusoe – Daniel DefoeY
Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan SwiftN
The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen – Gottfried August BurgerN
The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas, Sr.N
The Children of New Forest – Captain Frederick MarryatN
The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel HawthorneY
The Rose and the Ring – William Makepeace ThackerayN
Tom Brown’s Schooldays – Thomas HughesN
The Coral Island – Robert Michael BallantyneN
Eric, or Little by Little – Frederic W. FarrarN
Captain Fracasse – Theophile GautierN
Journey to the Center of the Earth – Jules VerneN
The Good Little Devil – Comtesse de SegurN
Little Women – Louisa May AlcottY
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Jules VerneN
What Katy Did – Susan CoolidgeN
Around the World in 80 Days – Jules VerneN
Heidi’s Wandering and Learning Years – Johanna SpyriN
The Fifth Form at St. Dominic’s – Talbot Baines ReedN
With Clive in India – George Alfred HentyN
Kidnapped – Robert Louis StevensonN
Heart – Edmondo De AmicisN
Seven Little Australians – Ethel TurnerN
The Prisoner of Zenda – Anthony HopeN
The Treasure in Silver Lake – Karl MayN
Eclipse of the Crescent Moon – Geza GardonyiN
The Tigers of Mompracem – Emilio SalgariN
The Hound of the Baskervilles – Arthur Conan DoyleY
The Call of the Wild – Jack LondonY
Jolanda, Daughter of the Black Corsair – Emilio SalgariN
White Fang – Jack LondonY
The Railway Children – E. NesbitN
The Fortunes of Philippa – Angela BrazilN
Jock of the Bushveld – Percy FitzpatrickN
The Mystery of the Yellow Room – Gaston LerouxN
A Girl of the Limberlost – Gene Stratton-PorterN
The War of the Buttons – Louis PergaudN
Tales of the Jungle – Horacio QuirogaN
The Cave Children – Alois Theodor SonnleitnerN
The Dark Frigate – Charles HawesY
In Medeleni – Ionel TeodoreanuN
Emily Climbs – Lucy Maud MontgomeryY
Tarka the Otter – Henry WilliamsonN
Ede and Unku – Alex WeddingN
Biggles: The Camels Are ComingN
The Children from Number 67 – Lisa Tetzner and Kurt HeldN
Missing from Saint-Agil – Pierre VeryN
Caddie Woodlawn – Carol Ryrie BrinkN
The Happy Return – C.S. ForesterN
The Yearling – Marjorie Kinnan RawlingsY
Cue for Treason – Geoffrey TreaseN
Red Zora – Kurt HeldN
We Couldn’t Leave Dinah – Mary TreadgoldN
My Friend Flicka – Mary O’HaraY
Johnny Tremain – Esther ForbesY
Woods of Windri – Violet NeedhamN
The Otterbury Incident – Cecil Day-LewisN
I Captured the Castle – Dodie SmithN
Metropolis – Osamu TezukaN
The Path – Miguel DelibesN
Big Tiger and Christian – Fritz MuhlenwegN
The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. SalingerN
The Wool-Pack: A Tale of Adventure – Cynthia HarnettN
The Sons of the Great Bear – Liselotte Welskopf-HenrichN
Adventures of the Ingenious Alfanhui – Rafael Sanchez FerlosioN
The Cloven Viscount – Italo CalvinoN
King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table – Roger Lancelyn GreenN
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray BradburyN
Eagle of the Ninth – Rosemary SutcliffN
The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. TolkienY
Lord of the Flies – William GoldingN
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch – Jean Lee LathamN
Viking’s Dawn – Henry TreeceN
Captain Thunder – Victor MoraN
Neitah: A Girl in the Far North – Edith KlattN
The Silver Sword – Ian SerraillierN
The Cherry Kids – Constantin ChiritaN
Rifles for Watie – Harold KeithN
The Baron in the Trees – Italo CalvinoN
The Witch of Blackbird Pond – Elizabeth George SpeareY
The Silver Brumby – Elyne MitchellN
Marianne Dreams – Catherine StorrN
The Lion – Joseph KesselN
Friday’s Tunnel – John VerneyN
Zazie in the Metro – Raymond QueneauN
My Side of the Mountain – Jean Craighead GeorgeN
The Non Existant Knight – Italo CalvinoN
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper LeeY
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen – Alan GarnerN
Island of the Blue Dolphins – Scott O’DellY
Tangara – Nan ChauncyN
Friedrich – Hans-Peter RichterN
A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’EngleY
The Letter to the King – Tonke DragtN
The Twelve and the Genii – Pauline ClarkeN
Time of Trial – Hester BurtonN
I Am David – Anne HolmN
Pastures of the Blue Crane – H.F. BrinsmeadN
The Stowaway of the Ulysses – Ana Maria MatuteN
Gentle Ben – Walk MoreyN
The Min-Min – Mavis Thorpe ClarkN
The Owl Service – Alan GarnerN
The Outsiders – S.E. HintonN
Flambards – K.M. PeytonN
Smith – Leon GarfieldN
The Dolphin Crossing – Jill Paton WalshN
Picnic at Hanging Rock – Joan LindsayN
The Pigman – Paul ZindelN
A Kestrel for a Knave – Barry HinesN
Chocky – John WyndhamN
The Cay – Theodore TaylorN
Sounder – William H. ArmstrongY
Where the Lilies Bloom – Vera and Bill CleaverN
The Edge of the Cloud – K.M. PeytonN
Oscar at the South Pole – Carmen KurtzN
The Summer of the Swans – Betsy ByarsN
The Lark and the Lauren – Barbara WillardN
Grover – Vera and Bill CleaverN
I’m the King of the Castle – Susan HillN
A Long Way from Verona – Jane GardamN
Winter in Wartime – Jan TerlouwN
No Way of Tellin –Emma SmithN
Across the Barricades – Joan LingardN
The Summer Book – Tove JanssonY
Julie of the Wolves – J. Craighead GeorgeY
Stories from the Year One Thousand – Tonino GuerraN
The Spirit Wind – Max FatchenN
Fly Away Home! – Christine NostlingerN
The Nargun and the Stars – Patricia WrightsonN
The Slave Dancer – Paula FoxN
The Friends – Rosa GuyN
The Dark is Rising – Susan CooperN
Carrie’s War – Nina BawdenN
M.C. Higgins – Virginia HamiltonY
Nobody’s Family is Going to Change – Louise FitzhughN
The Trouble with Donovan Croft – Bernard AshleyN
Who Does This Kid Take After? – Eva JanikovszkyN
The Chocolate War – Robert CormierN
Twopence a Tub – Susan PriceN
Tuck Everlasting – Natalie BabbittY
The Machine Gunners – Robert WestallN
The Peppermint Pig – Nina BawdenN
Crisis on Conshelf Ten – Monica HughesN
The October Child – Eleanor SpenceN
Dragonsong – Anne McCaffreyN
Bilgewater – Jane GardamN
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry – Mildred D. TaylorN
Thunder and Lightnings – Jan MarkN
First of Midnight – Marjorie DarkeN
Underground to Canada – Barbara SmuckerN
The Westing Game – Ellen RaskinN
Hay, Dollface – Deborah HautzigN
After the First Death – Robert CormierN
Tulku – Peter DickinsonN
Neverending Story – Michael EndeY
My One-Legged Friend and Me – Anna-Liisa HaakanaN
Playing Beatie Bow – Ruth ParkN
The Sentinels – Peter CarterN
Homecoming – Cynthia VoightN
The Scarecrows – Robert WestallN
Agnes Cecilia – Maria GripeN
The Island on Bird Street – Uri OrlevN
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole – Sue TownsendN
The Village by the Sea – Anita DesalN
Nausicaa – Hayao MiyazakiN
Handles – Jan MarkN
A Parcel of Patterns – Jill Paton WalshN
Talking in Whispers – James WatsonN
Hating Alison Ashley – Robin KleinN
Brother in the Land – Robert SwindellsN
Badger on the Barge – Janni HowkerN
The Changeover – Margaret MahyN
The Ruby in the Smoke – Philip PullmanN
Johnny, My Friend – Peter PohlN
Hatchet – Gary PaulsenY
Taronga – Victor KelleherN
The Ghost Drum – Susan PriceN
Madame Doubtfire – Anne FineN
Strollers – Lesley BeakeN
The Cloud – Gudrun PausewangN
Alex – Tessa DuderN
The Devil’s Arithmetic – Jane YolenN
A Pack of Lies – Geraldine McCaughreanN
Caperucita in Manhattan – Carmen Martin GaiteN
Number the Stars – Lois LowryY
Thunderwith – Libby HathornN
Strange Objects – Gary CrewN
Redwork – Michael BedardN
Rocco – Sherryl JordanN
The Visits – Silvia SchujerN
Dear Nobody – Berlie DohertyN
Listen to My Heart – Bianca PitzornoN
Memoirs of a Basque Cow – Bernando AtxagaN
Looking for Alibrandi – Melina MarchettaN
There Will be Wolves – Karleen BradfordN
Pagan’s Crusade – Catherine JinksN
Flour Babies – Anne FineN
Titeuf – ZepN
See Ya, Simon – David HillN
Heart’s Delight – Per NilssonN
Tomorrow, When the War Began – John MarsdenN
Some of the Kinder Planets – Tim Wynne-JonesN
Rowan of Rin – Emily RoddaN
The Gathering – Isobelle CarmodyN
Gold Dust – Geraldine McCaughreanN
Dougy – James MoloneyN
Stone Cold – Robert SwindellsN
Foxspell – Gillian RubinsteinN
Walk Two Moons – Sharon CreechY
Switchers – Kate ThompsonN
Whispers in the Graveyeard – Theresa BreslinN
See How They Run – David McRobbieN
A Jump into the Other World – Bruno TognoliniN
When the World Was Still Young – Jurg SchubigerN
Northern Lights – Philip PullmanY
When the Snow Fell – Hanning MankellN
Peeling the Onion – Wendy OrrN
The Gifting – Sophie MassonN
Out of the Dust – Karen HesseY
Deadly, Unna? – Phillip GwynneN
River Boy – Tim BowlerN
Pig-heart Boy – Malorie BlackmanN
Holes – Louis SacharY
The Crowstarver – Dick King-SmithN
I Am Not Esther – Fleur BealeN
Bud, Not Buddy – Christopher Paul CurtisY
Stony Heart Country – David MetzenthenN
The Illustrated Mum – Jacqueline WilsonN
Not Chicago. Not Here – Kirsten BoieN
Postcards from No Man’s Land – Aidan ChambersN
Thursday’s Child – Sonya HartnettN
The Wind Singer – William NicholsonN
Troy – Adele GerasN
Witch Child – Celia ReesN
Oh, Boy! – Marie-Aude MurallN
Arthur – Kevin Crossley-HollandN
Coram Boy – Jamila GavinN
Refugee Boy – Benjamin ZephaniahN
Noughts & Crosses – Malorie BlackmanN
I Am Polleke – Guus KuijerN
Walking Naked – Alyssa BrugmanN
The Slightly True Story of Cedar B. Hartley – Martine MurayN
Across the Nightingale Floor – Lian HearnN
Parvana’s Journey – Deborah EllisN
I Am the Messenger – Markus ZusakN
Dragonkeeper – Carole WilkinsonN
Crispin – AviN
Four Sisters – Malika FerdjoukhN
Slaves of Quentaris – Paul CollinsN
The Keys to the Kingdom: Mister Monday – Garth NixN
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark HaddonN
The Fire-Eaters – David AlmondN
Private Peaceful – Michael MorpurgoN
Keeper – Mal PeetN
The Amulet of Samarkand – Jonathan StroudN
The Running Man – Michael Gerard BauerN
By the River – Steven HerrickN
A Boat in the Forest – Paola MastrocolaN
How I Live Now – Meg RosoffN
Memories of Idhun: The Resistance – Laura GallegoN
Twilight – Stephanie MeyerY
Grimpow – Rafael AbalosN
New Policeman – Kate ThompsonN
My Big Birkett – Lisa ShanahanN
The Red Shoe – Ursula DubosarskyN
Toby Alone – Timothee de FombelleN
Monster Blood Tattoo: Foundling – David CornishN
Winter Song – Jean-Claude MourlevatN
The Silver Jaguar – Hermann SchulzN
Finding Violet Park – Jenny ValentineN