Tuesday, June 3, 2014

2014: Kelly's Status Report (June)

Dear Jenny,

What the ever-loving heck?! I managed to keep on top of this TBR business for three years running (okay, I did have some harrowing end-of-the-year page counting marathons there, BUT... not until the end!) and then this year... it's all fallen apart.

Since I feel like I keep getting further and further behind, I thought I'd write a little Status post and maybe, just maybe, get back on track?!

Book 1.14: On Writing

I actually wrote a preview post for this book and I am done reading it!

But I had soooo much to say about it that my post keeps getting longer and longer, I get bogged down, and then I abandon it. Maybe after I finish this post, I'll finish that one. We'll see.

Status: Completed book. Half completed blog post.

Book 2.14: Detroit City is the Place to Be

Oh, come ON! I also wrote a preview post for that one and didn't even remember writing it! (Although, re-reading it, I do remember our lengthy discussion on the colloquialism "party store" in the greater Detroit area...)

I enjoyed the first part, but then got bogged down in some heavy-duty history (which I don't really enjoy at the best of times, but given *all* of the Detroit history I have read in the past two years, I just didn't need any more). However, it was starting to pick up and then... I don't know. I got distracted.

Status:  Halfway through book.

Book 3.14: Cry, the Beloved Country

Surprise! I'm even out of "preview posts" at this point in the stack. Sooo... I guess this post can serve as one, right? This book was pressed into my hand a couple of years ago at a used bookstore by our friend Stuart who said, "You MUST read this. It's SO good." So I bought it. (Note the sunset-and-acacia tree treatment over there... although the publication date on this book was pre-Lion King. So this issue goes back further than that.)

About a quarter of the way into this book, I texted Stuart and said, "I'm gonna take a stab here... this doesn't suddenly get a lot happier, right?" He replied, "Nope." And... it didn't. I had a lot of thoughts about this book when I read it and I probably should have written my post then. I hope my notes and post-its are enough to refresh me. Cause...

Status: Book is DONE. Need to write blog post.

Book 4.14: Presumed Innocent

Yet another no-preview-yet-I'm-done puppy over here. This book had the distinction of being, by far, the longest book to ever sit on my TBR pile. A friend gave it to me in... 1996. Seriously. I don't even know why I kept it all that time, but at some point, it turned into, "As God as my witness, I WILL read this book!" So I finally did it. Now I just need to tell you about it.

Status: Completed book. Need to write blog post. (Sensing a theme here...) (Glad I am writing this post...)

Book 5.14: Digressions on Some Poems By Frank O'Hara: A Memoir

I bought this book on my second date with Bill -- after dinner at the House of Nanking (have you ever been there? Hilarious [and somewhat frightening] "Soup Nazi"-style service, but the food is amazing), we went to City Lights and I found this book, which had just been released. In 2003. So I've had it for awhile. I've always loved Frank O'Hara's poetry, so I was interested to learn more about him (apparently not that  interested, as it has sat on my TBR shelf for almost 11 years, but... well, you know.)

I just started reading it a couple of weeks ago and am LOVING it so far. Which makes me wonder... why the hell haven't I finished it and written about it? Oh, because I fell into a Buffy shaped hole -- my library has the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic books and I have just burned through Seasons 8 and 9. If you have access to these, I recommend them -- you can totally hear the characters talking, which is awesome. (Although... Season 8 gets squinchy weird in the end... but I can overlook it because... Scoobies!)

Status: Just started the book.

Book 6.14: ?

Yup. It's technically June, so I should have a Book 6 chosen. But look at this list! I'm so far behind! So I'll work on these first five and try to determine what my quickest read on the list would be... maybe On Being Brown: What It Means to Be a Cleveland Browns Fan? Perhaps topical with all of the recent "Johnny Football" talk. Or...something. I dunno.

Status: Need to pick a book!

Overall Status

Here's where I stand... it's June, so I should be halfway through reading and writing about my list by the end of this month. That's six books.
  • Completed books awaiting blog posts:3
  • Books awaiting completion *and* blog posts: 2
  • Books I need to actually choose and get started on: 1
Well... that's not sooo bad, right? Hrm. Time to get hustling over here!

How you doin?



  1. It's totally not so bad!

    You know, I don't think the Roof Beam Reader guy needs dissertation style descriptions, that's just what we do for each other. Bat out a couple of short hits and call it a day.

    As for me, my last class of the quarter ends tonight *YAY* and the next quarter doesn't start until June 23. Between tomorrow and then, and my sister-in-law's wedding, and my son's birthday, and Father's Day, I'm going to knock out a few more if I can.

    It's totally going to happen right? I think the thing we have going for us is stubbornness and a total will to make this happen!


  2. It's not for RBR -- it's because I want to tell YOU All. The. Stuff!!

    It's also for Future Me... I phoned in my review of Wind-up Bird Chronicle a couple of years ago and I was so sad to go back and see that I hadn't written much... especially because it came up in my bookgroup last year and I was the only one who liked it! I can't remember books at all, so I just sat there and said, "Well, it was good n' stuff..." I wished I had taken a little more time to jot down my thoughts when I read it.

    On the other hand, you're right -- Perfectionism is the enemy of Done!

    Good news is that enough time has passed on two of these that I barely remember em anyway, so how much can I write? Heh.

  3. Also... Hell YES it's going to happen. We are not quitters!