Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Chunkster Challenge

You're probably wondering why Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry are peering at you in this blog entry. I found a book of their skits called A Bit More Fry And Laurie at the December The Adoxist Society book swap. This is a cropped version of the cover, which shows Hugh driving a motorcycle,and Stephen hanging on.

Do I really need a reason to show a picture of Hugh Laurie? I'm going to be taking on a mighty huge reading project these next few months, (discussion of said project begins in the next paragraph) but to keep from being overwhelmed, I'll be taking a break Wednesday afternoons from 2-3 p.m. to watch House. Because of the time difference, that's when it shows over here.


I had been thinking about it, but dreaded the commitment, but at the same time was also starting to feel a little isolated from my fellow bookwormy bloggers, so when Bookfool asked me to join her Chunkster Challenge, I hopped on the bookwagon immediately.

The Chunkster Challenge falls right in there with New Year's Resolutions, but with a pithier name. Seriously. Gotta love that name. (For some reason, it makes me think of chocolate, but what the hell, most things do in one way or another.)

"So whaddaya gonna read, punk?"

Oh, that's my Tough & Cool Inner Bookworm. She's competitive and a bit of a snob. (Why does she talk like Dirty Harry? It's a mystery to me.)

T&CIB thinks I should read everyone else's lists and show them up by reading something really dense, in both senses of the word. Or show them up by reading MORE. Somehow, it has escaped T&CIB's notice that I (we?) have a job. I tell her to dry(den) up and go to hell, Dante-style, but she never quite leaves me alone, so she's hanging around, arrogant as hell while I make my list:

1. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray.
I bought this early in 2006, and it's been languishing on my TBR ever since. I've been curious about VF since I read Gone With The Wind (my favorite Chunkster of all time and on other bookworm lists for this challenge) and heard Scarlett and Melanie compared to Becky and Amelia. After all this time, I'm gonna get it read!

T&CIB: You're reading the movie tie-in, with Reese Witherspoon's smirk plastered all over the front of it.

Bybee: Get lost! Have you forgotten that I'm lucky to have found a copy at all in Korea? Have you forgotten that we're like thousands of miles from the public library where I could pick up an old, crumbling version that was published around the time Taft was president?

2. The Remainder Of The Bronte Sisters' Canon.
I've read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, the 2 biggies. Now, to complete the canon, I must read Anne Bronte's 2 novels, Agnes Grey and The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall and Charlotte Bronte's other novels, The Professor, Shirley and Villette. I haven't done an exact page count, but I don't think any of them are truly Chunksters, but taken as a whole reading project, it's kind of intimidating.

T&CIB: Even if you succeed, you're not really completing the canon. You aren't including Emily Bronte's poems.

Bybee: You sound like Martha Stewart, except a Martha Stewart who's wacked out and stoned on library paste.

3. Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
After all that 19th century Brit Lit, I'm going to need a little breather. Andersonville, the winner of the 1956 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, is impressively (opressively?) chunky at 766 pages. After I relax (!) with this tale of the notorious Civil War POW camp, I'll go on to...

4. A Distant Mirror by Barbara W. Tuchman
I abandoned this well-done history of the 14th century when I got sick a couple of months ago. I had just taken it up again when I accidentally left it behind in the hotel I went to as part of my birthday present. Now that I've got to go and search for and retrieve it, the whole thing's become a quest: I must read this book, if only to put it behind me for good! Not sure of the page count, but it's a thick book, and every page is packed with great writing and description.

Happy Chunkstering, Everyone!

1 comment:

Les said...

I love your post! I was cracking up the whole time I read it. :) You know, I think all Chunkster participants should indulge in a "chunky" Hershey Bar with almonds each and every time they pick up their books in this challenge list. Whaddaya think? ;)