Friday, January 6, 2012

January challenges

If 2011 was my year for getting back into reading in a big way, 2012 was a year for signing up for challenges.

I've signed up for the following:
MT TBR Reading Challenge - 12 books from my TBR pile
Vintage SF Reading challenge for January
2012 Goodreads Reading Challenge - 30 books

I'm also participating in Unputdownables' Great Gatsby read-a-long. The read-a-long just started with its opening post, so there's plenty of time to participate. It's a short book, less than 200 pages, compared to some hefty classics, so it's a nice approachable challenge. Unlike some people, I've never read it for school, so it's completely fresh for me. I've always been fascinated with the 1920s era, mostly image versus reality. My mother has always had a fondness for Fitzgerald and the Lost Generation, so maybe the interest has trickled down to me.

For the Vintage/TBR challenge, I'm working my way through "Pavane" by Keith Roberts, 1968 alternate history novel about a world where Elizabeth I was assassinated. The Catholic Church holds complete sway, controlling innovation and technology, so even in the 20th century, the technology level is closer to the 19th century, rougher-edged. Rumors and stories abound about the strange things living out on the heaths and moors. The novel is made up of a series of interlinked stories and the first "Lady Margaret" features a haulier on a steam engine. The dialect is a little hard sometimes and the place names are a mix of old English and Roman ones.

(Old Earth Books just reprinted "Pavane". Neil Gaiman Presents published an audiobook version a few months back as well.)