Challenge · Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time VI Wrap-up & Looking Forward

So. It’s the last day of (northern hemisphere) spring—although given the weather lately, you could forgive me for believing that summer started a while back. I’m currently attempting not to melt. But since the “official” first day of summer is tomorrow, that must mean today is the last day of Carl’s Once Upon a Time VI reading challenge.

I have to say, I’m a little disappointed: June 19 already?! Where did the time go? I only managed to complete one book for the challenge, and that was actually an essay, “On Fairy-stories”. Let’s just say I got a little distracted by other, non-qualifying books this spring. And by the completely totally wonderfully awesome post-season run by the Kent State Golden Flashes baseball team—I spent three hours last night that would otherwise have been devoted to reading watching their improbable and gut-wrenching win over top-ranked Florida. (Why do the teams I follow always make it so close???)

But that doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying the half-starts. I’m over half-way through The Silmarillion (J.R.R. Tolkien), and I think it’s getting better with every passing page. I’m currently on Chapter 19 (of the Quenta Silmarillion section), “Of Beren and Lúthien,” which is proving my favorite chapter so far. I’ve already made a note to borrow my brother’s copy of The Lays of Beleriand so that I can read the poetic version of Beren’s and Lúthien’s story. I also picked up The Hobbit the other day, mostly to verify which copy I had, and found myself starting the first chapter, becoming quickly engrossed, but I made myself set it aside: first The Silmarillion, then The Hobbit. So, you can see that although I didn’t finish as much as I had hoped for Carl’s challenge, I’ve still had fun with it (which I believes covers the first two rules!). So of course I’ll have to play along again next year!

Looking down the road, I’ve already committed to two more reading challenges, Allie’s Victorian Celebration and Stu’s & Richard’s Spanish Language Lit Month, so I’ll be switching my reading over towards those topics. This should take me fairly through the summer. But after that, I think I might try to steer clear of any more commitments for the year, as I don’t seem to be keeping them very well. Easily distracted reader, I am! I’m hoping to begin to make faster progress through my reading, however: I have a new plan for these dastardly hot and humid days. Read. Preferably underneath a ceiling fan with a nice cold beverage on hand. Today is day 1/3 predicted for this week, so perhaps The Silmarillion will be finished before the week is out. And with that, I must set the (way-too-hot) laptop aside and return to Beren & Lúthien. Their story is calling.

Happy reading Summer/Winter!

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17 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time VI Wrap-up & Looking Forward

  1. I ended up reading fewer books for Once Upon a Time than I’d have liked, but even so I think it’s been a success. 🙂

    1. I don’t know if I’d call my reading 100% a success, but close. 🙂 It certainly helped me to get a good bit of Tolkien read, so that’s always a plus. Glad to hear you had a good challenge as well!

  2. Hey, thanks for the wrap up post. I just put mine up so please be sure to leave a link to yours in the Mr. Linky there.

    I got distracted a great deal by my efforts at getting healthy and also couldn’t quite let go of the science fiction at the end of the SF Experience. But still I am happy with what I accomplished. I plan on continuing my participation in Bellezza’s Japanese Literature Challenge and in the Summer in Discworld challenge over the summer. I’ve got a start in both of them already.

    So thrilled that you are reading and enjoying The Silmarillion. It is a favorite of mine, more proof, in my mind, of Tolkien’s genius. Can’t wait to read your review. I was going to read The Hobbit again this year but decided to wait until after the films are done and then re-read it to compare and fill in gaps.

    Thanks so much for taking part in the challenge this year!

    1. Will do! Thanks for hosting the challenge!

      One of these days I will have to participate in Bellezza’s challenge, but I think I’m a little over-committed this year. She always makes Japanese literature sound so good, I don’t really have any excuse for not participating!

      I am very much enjoying The Silmarillion! It’s really fascinating to me to realize all he really accomplished both in creating such a fully imagined world, and in tying it in with his academic theorizing/studies. I think if I reread The Hobbit in the next month, that will be far enough before the films, although I could see rereading it after the films as well!

      1. I have quite a bit of Tolkien-related reading options that I plan to dip into come November to get prepared for the film. I have a great-looking essay collection called Picturing Tolkien that is all about PJ’s LOTR adaptations. I have a 4-volume set of Christopher Tolkien’s History of the Lord of the Rings, have Tolkien’s story collection, Tales from the Perilous Realm, and have some Tolkien bios that I still haven’t read.

        Haruki Murakami is definitely a Japanese author worth checking out.

        1. Oh, those all sound good. I haven’t read much outside of the well-known works, but that’s slowly changing.

          Thanks for the rec.!

  3. Easily distracted reader am I as well! You’ll stay away from overcommitting yourself to challenges, and I’ll stay away from overcommitting myself to promised reviews, and we should be able to get to more of what we want to read. I agree with you about the shock one feels that it’s June 19th already (!), and my over-heated computer. But, that could possibly be due in part that it’s been 90+ degrees all week here in Illinois. Ew!

    1. We’re only on our 2nd day of 90+, but I feel for you. I do not like hot, humid weather at all! Hopefully it cools off for both of us soon.

      OK, we commit to stop overcommitting. 😉 Fortunately, I’m mostly wanting to read what I’ve committed to short-term, so there’s that. Good luck with all your commitments!

  4. Amanda, you convinced me to read Tolkien. I now own all the books, including The Similarion. 🙂

    1. LOL. I mean The Silmarillian. (I think.) Ha! Is that a fantasy reader faux-pas? Mis-spelling it? 😛

    2. I think that’s a good thing! I’ll warn you about The Silmarillion, not everyone likes it as well as others–although, come to think of it, I could see you preferring it to the others. It’s the “history” of Tolkien’s Middle Earth from before The Hobbit, and often reads almost like the Bible or a similar text in style. There are many, many characters, many of whom have several names. So it’s more challenging than Tolkien’s other books, which are more traditional in style. But there’s a lovely index (I LOVE the index), and it really does read as a historical epic. I hope you enjoy!

    1. Well, it as fun, at least what I managed to complete of it! And yes, with 2012 nearly half-gone, I think a lot of us are already starting to feel like we need to go into catch-up mode.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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