Monday, January 04, 2010

Tough & Cool Inner Bookworm: Sizing Up Bybee's 2009 Reading Season

Bybee had a sudden craving for mandu so she went out and I haven't seen her since. Perhaps she's snowbound somewhere. Perhaps it wasn't a longing for mandu. She knows full well that it's time to cast a glacial eye at which resolutions she kept and didn't keep in 2009 and I think she just wants to protect those big meaty knuckles from a well-deserved rap or two.

Bybee's Bookish Resolutions for 2009:

1. "Complete Middlemarch." Hmm, nothing to fault her about here. I will briefly mention that she started the book in early January and didn't finish it until March 6.

2. "Finish the Canadian Book Challenge." Bybee did this as well and I'm pleased with her for completing the Anne of Green Gables series. I'll even be magnanimous and ignore that little burp with Anne of Windy Poplars. But she's only completed 3 books for the 2010 Canadian Challenge. She'd better get busy or before she realizes it, Canada Day will be upon her like the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens on a hockey puck.

3. "Read more Pulitzers." Tsk. Bybee only read 3 Pulitzers this year. I really don't care, since I'm a 19th-century kind of gal myself, but you'd think after all that feverish hunting and gathering she'd apply herself to that particular shelf a little more.

4. "Make frequent use of the library at my new university." Bybee's made frequent use of the library, but is frequent synonymous with good? Yes, it's true that she checked out The Scarlet Letter in August and read it with surprising gusto, but I weep bitterly to think of all those classics she continually (and willfully) passes up. I've lost count of the times my heart's been broken as she just whooooooshed by all those lovely Henry James novels and galumphed into the nonfiction section.

5. "Complete the Well-Seasoned Reader Challenge." Bybee finished this challenge on time and with no difficulty. Hmph. Only 3 books somehow relating to food, and you know Bybee and food...! But since we're on the subject of challenges, let's talk about the Eco Reading Challenge. Trust me, if Bybee could hear this, she'd have both hands clamped over her fleshy ears singing lalalala. Yes, it's true -- she only read 3 out of the 4 books she pledged for the challenge and one of them was finished after September 1. Fail.

6. "Study Korean." Her reading is progressing slowly and she's picked up a handful of new vocabulary. After 5 years, she might know almost as many words as a Korean toddler. I cringe that she's not more aggressive about self-improvement.

7. "Keep challenges manageable." Bybee kept this resolution for the most part, but I don't quite approve of it. So many new and exciting challenges involving opportunities to read 19th (and older!) century books emerged and poor little Susan was all, wah wah wah...I'm too busy. Busy watching How I Met Your Mother and reading back issues of Us magazine, I'd say!

8. "Be less of a slob about writing reviews." Ooooooooh. I'm thinking of someone whose name starts with B (and it's not Bronte) who has taken up permanent residence on Slob Street in Slobville in the Land of Slob. I must whisper this next bit of shameful news: She's 20 reviews behind! I thought this unfortunately-named blog was a book blog. Am I missing something?

9. "Read more internationally." Sigh. Pass the aspirin. Bybee squandered so many opportunities to bake two cakes with one oven. I'm thinking Don Quixote. I'm thinking about Dumas and Hugo. What about Boccaccio? I can't go on; I've got a burning feeling in my chest like Dante's Inferno. It's not the coffee.

10. "Let nonfiction rule this year." Well, it didn't. The final score was 56-48, fiction. I could care less, especially since I just heard the elevator open and Bybee's voice in the hallway humming Non, je ne regrette rien off-key, but I would like to quickly point out that there's a lot of fine old nonfiction around. Pepys' diary. Life On The Mississippi. Between Marcus Aurelius and Machiavelli, she could have a really nice time. Wouldn't anyone?


Autodidact101 said...

Oh too funny, I'm four book reviews behind on my blog already. I was kicking myself but now I know its normal.

Eva said...


I can't make a more intelligent comment, because I'm laughing really hard, and my laptop is shaking up and down since it's on my stomach.

"I cringe that she's not more aggressive about self-improvement."


Susan said...

T&CIB should go out for some mandu also, I'm thinking! and maybe get lost on the Seoul train, since you finished your goal of over 100 books this year, which meant you read, read read for all of December, and which T&CIB doesn't even mention!!! Bad inner bookworm! You should be covered in laurel wreaths, Bybee my dear book-twin! I for one am delighted and bow to you, since I failed awfully at that particular challenge *bows head and sighs disconsolately) And yikes, was that 48 non-fiction books read this year? And I was proud of my 6!!!! Maybe your inner bookworm should come take a gander at some other lists, I'm sure she would stop glaring at you long enough to whisper "it'll do" to you..... :-D Happy 2010 book-twin, and do you have any resolutions? (T&CIB, I'm talking to Susan here!)

nat @book, line, and sinker said...

hilarious!!! love your take on this and really had some good laughs. don't forget, 2010 offers 365 days left for new books and for writing overdue reviews! have at it. :)

ps. my korean is worse than yours.