AK’s Reading Goals

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      I am participating in this 2015 Reading Challenge, and I am naturally behind. (Why wouldn’t I be?)

      I have written a list of books that fulfill each requirement, though. These books go in the order of the 50 requirements.

      1. East of the Sun, Julia Gregson
      2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
      3. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
      4. In the Unlikely Event, Judy Blume
      5. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne
      6. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
      7. The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
      8. An Abundance of Katherines, John Green
      9. Sing You Home, Jodi Picoult
      10. The Face, Dean Koontz
      11. Yo!, Julia Alvarez
      12. Cabbage and Bones: An Anthology of Irish-American Fiction
      13. The Farming of Bones, Edwidge Danticat
      14. The Hot Zone, Richard Preston
      15. Carrie, Stephen King
      16. Leaving Time, Jodi Picoult
      17. The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman
      18. Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout
      19. One Thousand White Women, Jim Fergus
      20. Emory’s Gift, W. Bruce Cameron
      21. The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz
      22. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, Stephanie Oakes
      23. The Picture of Dorian Grey, Oscar Wilde
      24. The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd
      25. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
      26. Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer
      27. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Judy Blume
      28. Icy Sparks, Gwyn Hyman Rubio
      29. The Herbalist, Niamh Boyce

      30. World Without End (Sequel to Pillars of the Earth), Ken Follett
      31. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
      32. Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
      33. The Cay, Theodore Taylor
      34. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
      35. The Year of the Flood, Margaret Atwood
      36. Before I Fall, Lauren Oliver
      37. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
      38. A Million Little Pieces, James Frey
      39. Book of Shadows, (I think James Reese, but I’ll look it up at home.)
      40. The Sandman, Neil Gaiman
      41. Songs of Willow Frost, Jamie Ford
      42. A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson
      43. Slasherazzi, Danielle Kaine
      44. The Plague, Albert Camus
      45. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, Agatha Christie
      46. ( I haven’t chosen one from an author with my same initials.)
      47. A Midsummer’s Night Dream, William Shakespeare
      48. As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner
      49. The Dovekeepers, Alice Hoffmann
      50. American Gods, Neil Gaiman

      I’m sure I’ll read more than these, simply because when I walked into Goodwill one afternoon, I walked out 64 books heavier. (The cashier thought it was a prank.) My goal is to at least finish these 50 books. I’ve read 12 so far, three of which were read within the last two weeks.

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        Books that have already been read on The List (in order of read):

        1. An Abundance of Katherines (John Green)
        2. The Fault in Our Stars (John Green)
        3. The Picture of Dorian Grey (Oscar Wilde)
        4. The Hot Zone (Richard Preston)
        5. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Jules Verne)
        6. Leaving Time (Jodi Picoult)
        7. Sing You Home (Jodi Picoult)
        8. The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Neil Gaiman)
        9. Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn)
        10. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
        11. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (Judy Blume)
        12. Before I Fall (Lauren Oliver)
        13. A Walk in the Woods (Bill Bryson)

        Currently reading: A Walk in the Woods (Bill Bryson)

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          Right now, I’m reading through On Writing by Stephen King. It’s not on the official list since I just ordered it online on a whim. (If you call pining over a book for seven years a whim, anyway.) I’m considering striking The Hot Zone from the list for non-fiction book, since it’s hardly based on facts at all, and substituting this one. Or maybe I’ll keep it as an Honorary Book.

          It’s certainly giving my a lot to think about, especially with Camp NaNo coming right around the corner. (Ahem, eight days to be precise.) I didn’t see this as a writing manual of sorts; it’s not even labelled as such, but I’m finding that there are pockets of wisdom (how could there not) about writing – what has worked, what hasn’t, and the learning bridge in between. It’s opening my eyes to my own process, or lack thereof, and it has given me new strategies to try.

          The strategy I’m grabbing ahold of right now is the “start out with a basic situation and tell the story” one. I prefer the title storyteller to writer or novelist, so this tip rings true to me. All I ever want to do is tell the story as truthfully as I can. (Or as truthfully as the characters will allow. More on unreliable characters later.) This strategy begins most often with a “What if” question, and it builds from there.

          I have my What if question. I have a rudimentary set of character with whom to work. I have my basic setting, though I still need to do research on it since I’m not exactly familiar with Central American rainforests. I even have a proposed ending, but, of course, I trust my characters to find their own way out of their mess. I just don’t have all that murky middle, the part where I slack off and let sag until I finally toss aside the project in disgust. I don’t have any of that. I don’t even know how character 1 will get from A to B, and truthfully, I don’t even know what or where B is, much less X, Y, or Z. This is how King prefers it, and this is my strategy for this Camp NaNo, no matter how terrifying the idea seems to me.

          *I’m jumping in!

          (I didn’t know where to put this post. It’s about both reading and writing, though mostly more about writing. If I find a more suitable place for it, I’ll move it.)

          Ashe Elton Parker
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            The Techniques board might be a good place.

            I hope you’re able to complete your Camp Nano project (btw, there’s an FM Cabin, and I think we still have a space or two left, if you’d like to join us). :)

            Ashe Elton Parker
            "Just love me, fear me, do as I say, and I will be your slave." ~ David Bowie as Jareth in Labyrinth
            Member since 1998.
            Look me up on Wattpad for some of my books!
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              Thanks, Ashe! I’ll play around in the forums and explore after work. :)

              I wish I knew about the cabin. I started one with a couple friends already, and I’d feel bad if I dropped out of the one I created. There’s always next summer, though.

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