Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Holiday Reading, End of Year reflections, and a Preview of things to come

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and Happy Holidays to the rest.

Finals are over, and I've been picking up many of the things I let drop over the semester.  Catching up on reading, catching up on news, holiday obligations, and this blog.  In the weeks between classes, I hope once again to set up a series of posts ready to go throughout the spring semester.  I have two drafts saved that I haven't been ready to share yet.

We made a library run at the beginning of the break, so I was able to catch up on some of the series I've been reading.  When I first encountered the Anne & Todd McCaffrey collaborations for the world of Pern, I read the books out of order and got rather confused.  But sometime earlier this year I was able to re-read them IN order, and they make a lot more sense now.  So, from this library run I was able to re-read Dragon's Time, with less confusion.  Followed immediately by Sky Dragons.  I really enjoyed both books.  They've made me think some more about the Pernese society, particularly the dragonriders.  Subtle things that I didn't pick up on as a teenager in the '90's, but recognized in more recent years.  I may well make a blog post or three out of those reflections, later.

I've checked out Tamora Pierce's Mastiff, but I'm not very far into that book yet.

Last year, for Christmas, I bought a Nook, knowing that I would be traveling several times this year, and hoping to save my back from the heaviness of my "to-read" list.  I have used it, both more and less frequently than I thought I would.  It has been great for airplane rides, but I haven't spent as much time reading in hotel rooms as I thought I would.  At home, my use waxes and wanes.  Many of the books and poems that I would like to read are now available as free ePub downloads from sources like Project Gutenberg.  A lot of classics.  So I've nearly filled the Nook's memory, but haven't read them as often or regularly as I would have thought.

I can remember, as a child, wanting to know EVERYTHING.  One of the items on my bucket list, is to spend a week in Washington D.C., just at the Library of Congress.  The beauty of the internet is, I'm not sure I need to do that anymore.  So many of the books I longed to read, are now available to me right at home, over the internet.  (Not always for free, of course.)

Naturally, the first books I bought for my Nook were the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit.  I first read The Hobbit in 3rd grade, when I was about 8 or 9 years old, and moved on to the ring trilogy soon after.  Growing up, I usually read those four books about once per year.  I can even remember searching the Offutt Air Force Base library for some books called "Edda," the Elder and Younger.  A long time ago.

My reading pace slowed as we moved around and I started college, much like my TV watching habits.  However, Peter Jackson's "Fellowship of the Ring" reawoke my love for Tolkien.  I couldn't get into The Silmarillion before Peter Jackson, nor most of the other Christopher Tolkien collections of J.R.R.'s writings.  Jackson's "Fellowship" changed all that.  I saw the movie 12 times in theaters and read most of the collections.  So definitely expect a post about "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" at some point.

I started re-reading The Hobbit on my Nook perhaps two months ago.  When I picked it up again over the holidays, (SPOILER ALERT)

the eagles had just set the party down.

I also have a list of about 7 or 8 non-fiction books, available through some online services, that I'm trying to finish by the end of January.  I'm not sure how much I'll write about those.

I may or may not write more posts about Glee here.

I have been thinking for quite some time about writing a post about cinematography (why, as a big Transformer's fan, I did NOT like Michael Bay's movie adaptations, how the advertisements for G.I. Joe actually made me decide not to watch it, either... and how they relate to my reasons for only watching The Hunger Games once).

I've also been thinking about the choices I make, as a parent, in screening my son's media exposure.  How my choices differ from what my parents chose. 

My hit count suggests I don't have a very large audience, so for now I mostly write as I please, but please feel free to leave a comment.  Is there any topic you're interested in hearing more of my thoughts about?  (I can not guarantee an answer.)