Tuesday, December 01, 2009

putting down the (digital) pen, picking up the book

December 1, time to reflect on the NaBloPoMo challenge of publishing one post each day for the month of November.


I am happy to be able to gloat that, despite travelling, house guests, and an illness which turned out to be not H1N1-ey after all but merely a common cold, I successfully completed the challenge. Yay me! Mind you it is infinitely easier to pull off this sort of challenge when one only has a hobby job. My real congratulations are reserved for those who managed to complete the challenge while holding down a real job.

I am tempted to sign up for the December challenge, which is to give something to someone every day of the month, and then blog about it. It seems to fit the season. But there are cookies to be baked, after all, Christmas cards to be written, mantles to be decked, and one increasingly decrepit wire reindeer named Norman to be plunked onto the front lawn.

Besides once the Offspring Formerly Known as Resident returns home for two weeks, all bets are off. By the end of the holidays, it is doubtful as to whether we will be bothering to change out of our pyjamas as we lounge on the chesterfield watching Slings and Arrows DVDs and scarfing back subversive shortbread.

And then there is the little matter of Canada Reads. Today the five books, which will be battling for the title of the book which all Canadians should read, were announced, along with the name of the person who will be championing each book. With an athlete, a rapper poet-laureate, and a doctor amongst the panelists, I suspect it's going to be a dog fight.

I have only read two of the five books, but one of them, Douglas Coupland's Generation X, is a personal favourite. Ann-Marie MacDonald's Fall On Your Knees is also a very powerful book, and a real contender.

I was heartened by the mixture of trash-talking and mutual admiration that I heard amongst the panelists today, as they discussed their choices, and if I were in any way organized, I would get those other three books read before the smackdown in March.

What are you reading?
What are you writing?


Wandering Coyote said...

I think Canada Reads always picks the worst books! Fall on Your Knees, IMHO, was SHITTY and exemplifies every single last issue I have with modern CanLit!

justrun said...

Woohoo! NaBloPoMo is complete! Go us! And I was only employed for about half the month. ha!

I am not taking on the challenge for December. Too much travel. Or too much lazy. Can't decide.

Allison said...

Kudos to you on blogging every day last month! I think some of your NaBloPoMo must have rubbed off on me because I blogged a fair bit myself.

I'm currently reading books related to FMS and cake decorating...exciting stuff. Oh wait, bedtime reading is The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. ;)

Missy said...

Great work!

Great reindeer name!

I just finished Grapes of Wrath, what an amazing book! Loved it, cannot stop thinking about it, waiting to find Ma digging through my recycling and I will invite her in and help find her work.

I am mostly writing for work or writing letters, my Todd is just finishing the 3rd draft of his MFA capstone novel.

I need to pick the next book for my book club. Maybe we should read what Canada reads? Any other suggestions?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I didn't mind Fall on Your Knees, Wandering Coyote, but I would love to get the lowdown on your issues with CanLit sometime.

You did it too! Yay, Justrun! Let's take December off. Maybe try again in January?

You have been blogging quite a lot, Al, which I certainly enjoy.
I really have to reread the Hitchhiker's series sometime. It's been decades...

I would also love to reread Grapes of Wrath, Missy. I haven't read it since high school.
You know, I can't imagine writing a third draft of a novel. The mind boggles at the work involved.
Your book club should read Generation X!

Wandering Coyote said...

1. Too much sexual deviancy, including incest, which is so not shocking anymore and so predictable

2. too many family "secrets" which turn out to be anti-climactic and not worth the effort in the end

3. too much brooding!

4. too much unrequited and/or illicit love!

5. too many far-fetched coincidences

That's a start, anyways!

BeckEye said...

Will you be reading Curling: A Complete History?

Charlie said...

Yes, I echo the congrats on completing the NaBloPoMo, so gloat away.

I'm deeply immersed in Stephen King's 1,100-page Under the Dome. I keep reading and reading, but I don't seem to be making any progress.

I probably set WC off again because she hates King. Sorry, Barbara.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You are certainly clear on what bugs you with the book, Wandering Coyote, and I may not agree with everything but you do have some valid points. Well done, perhaps you should be on Canada Reads!

Man, I would love to, Beckeye! Talk about embracing your Canadianity!

I seem to make very slow progress in anything I read these days, Charlie. Are you enjoying it though, or just reading it because you are reading it?
No need to apologize though, because WC is cute when she gets all righteous.

John Mutford said...

While I agree with Wandering Coyote's points (I think they're even more astute that Will Ferguson's problems with CanLit), I don't agree that Canada Reads always picks the worst books. They're different panelists every year and I think the different personalities have brought quite a bit of variety (some good, some bad). Though if she still insists they do a terrible job, she should check out the National Post's alternative: Canada Also Reads and nominate a better book.

Wandering Coyote said...

John: and my first nomination would be for Jane Urquhart's The Underpainter! It's in my top three books EVER!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'll have to check out the National Post one, John, see what's in the running over there.

I have not read that one, Wandering Coyote. In fact I have not read any of her books.

Gifted Typist said...

Well done you! Your december offering is looking pretty good too. Keep going Zombie