01 May 2011


Life as a Reading Challenge, Chapter 6

It's a good thing that I still have eight months of 2011 left, because out of the twenty-nine books I challenged myself to read this year, I still have twenty-five to go. Twenty-five books in eight months seems doable--although a rate of four books in four months doesn't really inspire confidence, does it? =P

Lisa of Her Book Self has a knack for finding and spotlighting great quotes about reading; I especially loved the one which led to last Friday's thoughtful reflection:

The worst way to read, he said, is with the thought that you do not have enough time. The only way to read is in the knowledge that there is an infinite amount of time stretching ahead, and that if one wishes to taste only a few sentences per day one is free to do so.

It perfectly encapsulates what I love most about leisure reading, and gives a gentle but firm rebuke to that other exercise of challenge reading. While leisure and challenge are not mutually exclusive, I like to bump into my books by accident rather than pick them up on purpose--and I'm tired of making myself feel guilty about the books I'm not reading when the books I am reading are so fantastic.

It's about time, too, as I have a whole detour planned for my May reading . . .

I told you: no wire hangers ever!!!

Please forgive my Horror movie-honed humour. All this means is that I'll be writing a lot of mother themed posts for the month of May.

And I'm happy to do this because it isn't actually a challenge. Just say that the stars have aligned in the heavens and the books have aligned next to my bed (and the movies on my playlist, besides!), and I'm actually all about mothers these days.

So I can promise at least two Character Connection posts about mothers in literature (one from a Children's Classic; the other from a "retro" YA novel); and at least two Twelve Things reviews of 80s movies with stepmothers. And since stepmothers are such a great faerie tale trope, I'm sure I'll get to work them into future rounds of my Faerie Tale Theatre Production Smackdown. (You've cast your ballot for Round 1, right???) How this theme will work out for Locus Focus is a little fuzzy . . . but believe me when I say that the first Saturday of May will be all about a very maternal setting. ;-)

(And yes, it'll be from the movies, too! =P)

What tickles me most about this Mother Month theme is the fact that it goes so well with the book which got me to drop all my reading challenges (and even my low-pressure Young Detectives reading project)--although I didn't realise it at the time I made that decision . . .

You don't really think of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World as a book about mothers--but it is actually the perfect dystopian for this month. If it's not clear why, I'll have a post up to explain it soon.

Three books insisting on being reread; two movies enticing me to watch them; and a smackdown that almost didn't happen, but did . . . I'm going to take them all as the signs they are. Consider this the official announcement that here at Shredded Cheddar, May is for Mothers!

Image Sources: a) Mommie Dearest screencap, b) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley


Shaz said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I look forward to your review of Brave New World.

Shannon Young said...

I agree that sometimes challenging yourself to read too much can be frustrating. There are so many books in the world that you feel like you should have read already that you're always playing catch-up. It's so much nicer to just read what you want to read.

It sounds like this theme will really keep you interested though :).

Enbrethiliel said...


Shaz -- Thanks for returning the visit! =) I'll have some more thoughts on the book up in a few days.

Shannon -- I do often feel like reading is one big game of catch-up that nobody will ever win. I don't care so much about "new" books, but there are a lot of "old" ones I feel that I should have read by now.

Perhaps year-long reading challenges are just not for me. =P Month-long themes are more like it!

Thanks for visiting. =) I appreciate it!