Spooktober marathon

It’s finally here, the week leading up to Halloween and Dia de Muertos, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with a 9 day reading marathon.

The rules are quite simple, complete 49 hours of reading by the end of November 2 and maintain as much as possible the Science Fiction theme of the year, if there’s some space horror to throw into the mix, it would be just perfect.

To keep track of the hours left, I’ll use the really handy timer plus app. So, the clock is set.

Let’s go get those remaining October pages and more.

Off to read.

azr.

2,814 pages

I start the final stretch of October with 2,814 pages left to read, this, from the 5,518 projected as the minimal total for this month. That gives around 312 daily pages to read, which is really doable, just need some focus, and large quantities of caffeine.

To keep the tradition of this time, I started reading this year’s edition of Frankenstein, a present from a couple of my dearest friends, makes this all that more special. This particular edition is from Nordica Libros, a publishing house from Spain, and its beautifully illustrated by Elena Odriozola.

Another delightful surprise is that this edition contains introductions from Mary Shelley and her husband Percy Shelley, and if I´m not mistaking, it’s the first time I read side by side.

I’ll take this days to also close the Aliens Omnibus series, currently about to start volume number 4, right after I finish the first volume of the manga Ghost in the Shell.

The only left is to make the list for the movie marathon form Halloween to Día de Muertos and I will be set, on top of the list is ParaNorman by request from my two kids, there’s also James Whale’s classic, Frankenstein, but from there everything is pretty much open territory.

Now to tackle those pages.

Off to read.

azr

79 pages

If at this hour you would tell that my total was 79 pages, my initial though would be that is not bad for a busy Thursday.

But the reality is that my total for the whole week is those measly 79 pages, including another blank day.

By now, I should be close to 24,500 total pages for the year, with almost 4,000 pages of deficit. My focus is to close the gap by one of one of my favorite time of the year, Monster Mash, that begins with Halloween and ends with Día de Muertos.

I have some catching up to do.

Off to read.

20,000 pages , and just getting started

I have finally reach another milestone on this year of reading, 20,000 total pages.

Not the milestone to break open the champagne, or the red wine in my case, but it’s an important stepping stone toward the broader goal of the year, and a much needed wisp of fresh air to fill my being with renew hope.

To keep on rolling on this high, I will attempt to knock-off at least 1,000 pages of the backed-up pages from passed weeks, and get my reading back on schedule, which as of now, it’s 4,250 pages behind schedule, but first things first, read the remaining 608 pages left to reach this week’s quota, and then, take a little off the top.

To help me along the way, there’s some amazing things helping me out, from a couple of French Comic Books, Clockwerx and the Ark, the latter part of the material that got me over 20,000 pages-

To the classic Manga, Ghost in the Shell, which I’m currently reading while listening to Mr. Nick Cave´s solo performance in Alexandra Palace, Idiot Prayer.

And top off the night the award-winning novella Binti, written by the Nigerian-American author Nnedi Okorafor, which won both the Hugo and the Nebula Award, and it’s sequels both were nominated for the Hugo Award in their respective years. I am about halfway thru it, and is quickly escalating to the top of the best book of this year of reading.

There’s still some intense reading to close-out the day with a strong progress, but with such good material, and a couple of really strong black coffee, this night is shaping up to be a really good one.

Off to read.

azr.

First blank day of the year

Yesterday, after a 93 straight days of reading, I recorded my first blank day of the year, meaning, zero pages of reading.

I had a really busy week, and came last night, I didn’t have the energy or mood to pick up any of the things in my reading queue.

I think that’s the perfect cue to take a bit of a hiatus, this start to my year of reading has been all pedal to the metal, it’s time to chill the fuck up.

Nevertheless, I’ll keep on reading, maybe not at the same pace, or keep on posting my progress each week, but I’ll regroup to take on my standing reading challenges head on.

See you soon.

azr.

14 down, 38 to go

I’m more that glad to say that the 52 books in 52 weeks is not on schedule, actually, it is ahead of schedule.

Yesterday I finished reading book number 14, and consequently the last of the three books by Ernest Cline that were on my TBR pile for this year of sci-fi reading.

Armada is the tale of an intergalactic battle game that pins the greatest hot-shot pilots since Top Gun against the extraterrestrial menace coming from Jupiter’s moon Europa, little do the top 10 ranking players that this war simulation will quickly transform into a struggle for the very insistence of humanity.

The story moves in a brisk pace, following the quick deployment of Zack Lightman and his high flying battles in space against the extraterrestrial threat, the story a little bit like a tribute to Ender’s Game with the familiar splash of pop-culture knowledge that was so central to the other two novels by Mr. Cline.

This is just a fun ride and a great weekend read, I did find missing some of the subtleties and questions that Ready Player One and Two posse of the nature of our existence against the vastness of the universe, but sometimes a book should be just and escape from reality.

This week I’ll start one of the most challenging books of this year’s reading, Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons, this particular volume contain the first two books of the award winning series, Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion, totaling a whopping 929 pages. Judging by the first chapter I read, some of the most disturbing thing I have read in awhile, the length of the book will not be problem, for the first push got me to page 89, the perfect way to get things rolling for Monday.

Which remains me to upload the latest update of my numbers.

Off to read

azr

Another milestone for (Y-14)

In between all my sucky progress in this year reading, I still somehow managed to pass another milestone for the year, reaching 15,000 pages on the year.

My current total is 15,199 which represents a 23% of the total projected for this year of reading, that’s 64,942 pages, with the start of a new month comes both the excitement and nervousness of seeing how the final tally was. Well as you can imagine, it was not exactly what I hope for.

August was kind of a bumpy ride, my final total of net pages was 4,330 of the 5,518 projected for the month, it would seem not that big of a deal, that 1,188 pages deficit, but as the month pass, that can accumulate really fast.

So I start the month of September with 5,340 projected pages, and thanks to the positive numbers of the first two month, my total to reach balance will be 5,791 pages, not bad considering all the self imposed drama.

I even bought a bottle of wine to celebrate this little achievement, celebratory drinks over the weekend.

Off to read.

azr.

13 down, 39 to go

Thanks to an all night power outage, and a very hot and uncomfortable night, book number 13 is the in the bag.

Continuing with the next chapter of the epic adventure that started with Ready Player One

Now in Ready Player Two, a new hunt arises in the OASIS, the soul of the mermaid, a 7 fragment mission to bring back one of the architects of this fantastic alternative world.

There are a lot of amazing subtleties of the future of mankind, from our virtual posterity, to the idea of this new existence thru the programming of almost sentient AI. A lot of questions come to mind, What defines our humanity?, is it our thoughts and memories, Is a physical body necessary to be consider human?

With the ever growing virtuality of our existence, I think this questions will quintessential in our future moving forward.

Now for the pure fun part, and being a huge Tolkien fan, the whole part referencing The Silmarillion and Morgoth’s crown, was probably my favorite part. Coming in a close second was the whole Prince planet, that was some surreal shit, the only thing missing was the skit from Dave Chappelle’s show, where he plays basketball and eats pancakes.

Now to close out my Ernest Cline cycle, I will read Armada, was that a flying saucer?, let’s find out.

Off to read.

azr.

12 down, 40 to go

Yesterday, I finished the twelve book of this year of reading, and 52 books in 52 weeks is officially back on track.

The book marking is ominous occasion is Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, and let me tell you, it was a geek’s wet dream, making reference to some of the most iconic and beloved pieces of fiction, this book is a true delight.

I like both the book and the movie, but for me the source material is far better that its cinematic counterpart, without spoiling anything major my favorite things that didn’t appear in the movie were :

  • The whole Dungeons and Dragons Tomb of Horrors module appearance.
  • The Monty Python and the Holy Grail sequence.
  • The background of the villainous Nolan Sorrento, in the movie he is depicted as a generic villain, the book’s version is much better.
  • The Blade Runner references.
  • And finally, the incorporation of Rush’s conceptual album 2112.

In all the book has a great pace, I read in little over 2 days, and all the little pop culture nuggets along its pages make you reminiscence of all the cool things I grew up with.

The next book in my queue is the sequel, Ready Player Two, already on page 119, and as Jerry Maguire says, “You had me with the Lord of the Rings references “

I also start this Sunday morning with 1,691 left to read for the month of August, quite the Gargantuan task, but with my renew pace the possibility broaden.

Off to read.

azr.

Still No Numbers

This passed few weeks have been very hectic, and I had to choose between a few extra moments to read in stead off running projections or writing in my blog, both things that I equally love, but not as much as reading.

Apparently, things have finally settle into a less chaotic pace, and here I am, getting up to speed on how things are.

As the title of this entry claims, I still have not run my usual analysis of my numbers for this year of reading, the only I can say is that my total is currently 13,849 pages, my schedule is 4 days behind, if I manage to finish the twelve of the year by Sunday my 52 books in 52 weeks challenge will be back on schedule, and with only 5 days left in the month, my total numbers for August are dangerously low.

This week I mainly focus on reading the last volume of The Legends of Dune Trilogy, The Battle of Corrin, of the three books it was my least favorite, is still pretty good book, but with the generational shift, some of the most endearing characters were left behind. But there’s some great things that became integral part of the classic novel, like the discovery of the effects of the spice and the founding of the Navigators Guild, the surprising origin of the Mentats, the birth of one of the most influential houses, Corrino, and of course the age-old feud between the Atreides and the Harkonnen, things that make you feel the historical connections with that original material so highly appreciated.

To keep things rolling on the 52 books in 52 weeks , I’ll jump into three novels by Ernest Cline, starting with his famous novel Ready Player One, continuing with its sequel, Ready Player Two, and to finish close with Armada, from which I know nothing, there’s a really good chance that I’ll finish with both Ready Player One and Ready Player Two by Sunday night.

But the most pressing matter is those 2, 175 pages left on my reading schedule for August, that’s 435 pages for each day, this calls for a mini-marathon.

Off to read.

azr.

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