Tally Monday- October 6, 2014

Checked Out

  1. Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
  2. Ten Years in the Tub by Nick Hornby*


  1. Stormy Weather by Paulette Jiles
  2. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
  3. The Stand by Stephen King, uncut ebook


  1. Ski Weekend by R.L. Stine
  2. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
  3. Fire Game by R.L. Stine



When I was in sixth grade I started writing a story about vampires.  I had the great little notebook that was covered in jean with butt pockets and everything.  I hated the bus so I balanced the notebook on my lap, took out my purple R.S.V.P. pen, and started writing.  I packed it with excitement and vocabulary words.  I went home and read the first chapter to my mother.  She was super impressed.  Honestly, I still think that those five pages, front and back, were my best work ever.  And do you know what started it?  Fear Street.  That was the year that I was completely enthralled with the books.  I would beg Mom to take my to the used bookstore so I could find more of the series.  It was a moment of innocence.  That summer I found the adult horror section and I changed forever.

I find it funny how people assign value to books.  A mentor of mine once pointed out that Fear Street books shouldn’t count toward my challenge.  I balked because she reads so many bodice rippers.  Once in a while I think that I should go back to my horror roots in my writing.  I mean, it’s worked before.  Anything that makes a kid pick up a pen and write a story just for the fun of it is totally worthy.

And so, that was my reading life this week.  I bit my nails and yelled at the protagonists and downed page after page, making fun of outdated clothing and details.  I enjoyed the shit out of it.

You guys know that today I am starting my DEART (Drop Everything and Read Twain) project.  I haven’t started yet.  The book is sitting patiently beside me, waiting to be picked up.  I’m nervous.  What if I don’t like it and have set myself up for failure?  What if Twain is too smart for me?  Do I really want to dedicate my next year to one author?

Then there’s The Stand.  I read the originally published version a couple of years ago and loved it.  This Ebola scare has me just itching for some Captain Trips goodness.  But rereading a book is a lot different than rereading a HUGE book.  I don’t know that I can justify the time.

Hubby is busy with Magic online right now.  I should plow through some stuff pretty quickly.  Or fail horribly.

*Holy. Shit.  I forgot to mention the Hornby!!  Okay, so Hornby writes this column about books bought compared to books read and the general workings of a reading life.  Ten Years in the Tub is the collection of years of this column, some previously collected and released and some new.  I love it.  It makes me laugh and nod and I want to highlight the shit out of it.


Secrets Revealed! The Mark Twain Project

I’ve hinted at it and here it is:  The Proposed Mark Twain Project!

Basically, someone donated an awesome Mark Twain collection.  Hardcover.  Cameo of Twain on the spines.  24 volumes of the complete authorized works.  I grabbed those up like they were diamonds.  I stacked them on my desk at work and contemplated taking them home for a day or two before one of the book sale ladies asked me to “make them disappear.”  So, I paid half price and got the set for $12.

You can see the set here.

I have a confession.  I have never read any Twain.  I love the man.  He’s a genius.  He’s quotable and just so damn American.  I’ve been to his house.  My shot glass is Twain.  But I have Never Read Twain.

So I am going to.

My project is based on reading the complete authorized Twain in one year.  I took the 24 volumes and planned them for every other week.  This means that I end about a month shy of a full year and I need that just in case.  In theory, every week that I need to read a Twain I will drop whatever I am reading and dive into the Twain and then pick up like nothing happened.

I make NO PROMISES.  If I am finding something particularly painful, I will move on.  Life is short.

I’m going by volume, which can be looked up online or you can follow the link at the end.  If you want to read along, here’s the plan:

  1. October 6- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  2. October 20- Innocents Abroad
  3. November 3- Pudd’nhead Wilson
  4. November 17- The American Claimant
  5. December 1- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
  6. December 15- Roughing It
  7. December 29- Life on the Mississippi
  8. January 12- The Mysterious Stranger
  9. January 26- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  10. February 9- The Gilded Age
  11. February 23- A Tramp Abroad
  12. March 9- What is Man?
  13. March 23- Following the Equator
  14. April 6- Tom Sawyer Abroad
  15. April 20- The Man that Corrupted Harleyburg
  16. May 4- In Defense of Harriet Shelley
  17. May 18- Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc
  18. June 1- The $30,000 Bequest
  19. June 15- Sketches Old and New
  20. June 29- Europe and Elsewhere
  21. July 13- The Prince and the Pauper
  22. July 27- Mark Twain’s Notebook
  23. August 10-Christian Science
  24. August 24- Mark Twain Speaks

For a list of the works included in each volume, look here.