Jan/Feb books

So, a while ago you might remember that I mentioned I was reading The Fellowship of the Ring, which I finished just in time to meet my January two-book goal. Pretty enjoyable read that went much better than my previous attempt some years ago that also spawned some hilarious tweets and the idea to live-blog The Two Towers (more on that in my next post, or review the absurdity in the previous post). Tolkien’s craft is the really impressive part of the book–his care in illustrating the world he’s created consumed me more than parts of the actual Fellowship plotline. For all my jokes about the obscene number of songs, chants, and poems in the book, most of them were interesting enough to encourage me to take a crack at The Silmarillion after I finish the main trilogy.

Despite being somewhat lacking in the character development department at the expense of his worldbuilding, at least reading Fellowship means that characters that are frankly almost indistinguishable in the films have much more distinct personalities. This is particularly true of the Hobbits–Merry and Pippin hold their own much better in the books so far, and Gimli feels much less like comedic relief.

As I mentioned before, I’m gonna be live-blogging The Two Towers over the course of February, but given that it’s going to be pretty slow going to blog each part of the book as I read it, I’m not anticipating finishing it this month, and it’s not going toward my two-book quota. As some of you may know, I have a habit of reading multiple books at once, and another habit of not finishing any of the books (or video games) I’m in the middle of before picking up something new that I will maybe finish instead. In the spirit of trying to cut down on books I am halfway through, I’d like to finish J.M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians this month (if I sounded like I thought Orhan Pamuk’s Snow was depressing, wait until I’m done with this!) and also treat myself to a book a recently picked up–The Discreet Pleasures of Rejection by Martin Page. I am not helping my chances of avoiding seasonal affective disorder at all this month! I’m anticipating having to switch back and forth between these two somewhat frequently due to do literary density, so if I’m lucky, I’ll add a lighter third book to offset the other two (sorry, live-blogging Two Towers does not make it light enough).

On a final note, it is a bad idea to get back into listening to Pandora when you have no money to procure all of the cool things you’re being introduced to on your stations.

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About Chelsea
I'm currently pursuing my MFA in Writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My ideal career path involves using writing, publication, and writing education to enact progressive social change.

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