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text 2018-12-19 15:55
24 Festive Tasks: Door 19 - Festivus, Task 3 (Book Stack / Scales Feat of Strength)
Die Romane: Buddenbrooks. Königliche Hoheit. Lotte in Weimar. Der Zauberberg. Joseph und sein Brüder. Doktor Faustus. Der Erwählte. Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull. - Thomas Mann
The Collected Jack London - Jack London,Steven J. Kasdin
Deadly Pleasures: The Black Tower / Death of an Expert Witness / The Skull Beneath the Skin - P.D. James
The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare,John Jowett,Gary Taylor

The books I picked for this task:

 

* My hardcover boxed set of Thomas Mann's complete novels (7 books)

* My one-volume omnibus of The Collected Jack London,

* A three-novel book club P.D. James omnibus edition named Deadly Pleasures (and containing the novels The Black Tower, Death of an Expert Witness, and The Skull Beneath the Skin)

* ... and, of course, my Oxford Shakespeare Complete Works.

 

Altogether, they came to a weight of 8.5 kg (= 18.7 pounds).

 

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text 2018-12-18 20:38
24 Festive Tasks: Door 18 - Winter Solstice / Yuletide, Task 1 (Bibliomancy)
The Complete Novels of Jane Austen - Jane Austen
The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare,John Jowett,Gary Taylor

I was just going to do an "Ask Auntie Jane (Austen, not Marple)" ... but as BT pointed out, you can never really ask Will Shakespeare for his comment too often, so I've decided to call upon him for a second opinion.  Not that I mistrust Miss Austen of course, but these are serious questions, after all, so it seems justified to make doubly sure.

 

So, here we go:

 

  • A.   Will I read all the books on my TBR?  (page 378, line 29)

Jane Austen's response (from Pride and Prejudice):

"... their vice.  He was fond of the country and of books, and from these tastes ..."

William Shakespeare's response (from Romeo and Juliet):

"Prodigious birth of love it is to me"

Umm.  This is seriously spooky.  You guys can't possibly mean my entire TBR --  or if you do, you've both answered this one completely blindly.  So I'm going to interpret this as meaning I'll at least read all the books on any TBR I might create for a special purpose in 2019 (e.g., for my new spin on the Women Writers challenge).

 

 

B.   Will any of my 2019 reads be 5 stars? (page 227, line 31)

Jane Austen's response (from Sense and Sensibility):

"... judged it wisest, from the experience of the past, to submit -- and therefore, ..."

 

William Shakespeare's response (from Venus and Adonis):

"At this Adonis smiles as in disdain"

What?!  I'm supposedly going to finish off my TBR, but not a single book is going to be a 5-star read?  You've got to be kidding me!  That's some motivation to keep on reading ...

 
 

C.   Will I discover a new favorite book / author / series? (page 309, line 23)

Jane Austen's response (from Pride and Prejudice):

"... be soon down again and soon dining at Longbourn, and the conclusion of ..."

William Shakespeare's response (from Love's Labours Lost):

"Suscribe to your deep oaths, and keep it, too."

That sounds like another "no" from both of you -- both answers are along the lines of "stick to what you already know."  You're really not explaining very well how this "finishing off my TBR" thing is supposed to work, you know?  Again, not really a tremendous amount of motivation you're giving me ... unless you mean I'll finish off that TBR because I'll DNF a whole lot of books.  I'll have you know that I typically don't count DNFs towards a reading challenge, though ... Oh well.  Moving on:

 

 

D.   Will I discover that a major twist (hopefully, for the [even] better) has occurred in one of my favorite series? (page 459, line 16)

Jane Austen's response (from Pride and Prejudice):

"'I can easily believe it.  You thought me then devoid of every proper ..."

William Shakespeare's response (from The Merchant of Venice):

"Content, in faith.  I'll seal to such a bond"

Aha!  This makes more sense.  A new twist, especially one for the even better, is surely going to keep me reading, because I'll want to know how it ultimately plays out.  Seems now we're (finally) getting somewhere.

 

 

E.   Will I finish all of my reading challenges in 2019? (page 69, line 7)

Jane Austen's response (from Sense and Sensibility):

"... regret that they were only eight altogether."

William Shakespeare's response (from Henry VI, Part II):

"... holden at Bury the first of this next month."

Err ... and by that you mean ... what, Will?  I can see that Miss Austen thinks I'll embark on eight reading challenges (no "only" about it, though, I can assure you, Jane!) and I'll easily make mincemeat of them.  But what's the reference to Bury St. Edmunds supposed to mean, Will?  Or do you mean I'll "bury" those challenges?  It doesn't really make sense since you're clearly referencing the place and not the verb, but I think I'm just going to write this one off as one of your lesser known (and, um, I'm sorry to say, less succesful) witticisms.

 

 

F.   Will I stay within my book budget in 2019? (page 98, line 5)

Jane Austen's response (from Sense and Sensibility):

"... pleasure at seeing them in London, making the usual enquiries about their ..."

William Shakespeare's response (from Henry VI, Part III):

"And were I strong, I would not shun their fury."

Uh, oh.  I think this doesn't bode well for my book budget.  Miss Austen has me touring my usual London book haunts (which invariably ends up disastrously as far as any budgetary plans are concerned).  And Will Shakespeare thinks I'm just going to cave in to pressure ... which, I'm afraid, just may turn out a rather astute assessment, when faced with shelves and shelves of shiny, sparkling new books in a favorite store ... or on the website of an online seller.  OK, I guess I had better rethink the size of that book buying allowance ...
 
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review 2018-02-03 09:38
The Oxford Shakespeare, William Shakespeare (and his collaborators)
The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare,John Jowett,Gary Taylor

It was fitting to end with Shakespeare's Epitaph on Himself, right?

 

I feel kinda weird; I started on my 18th Birthday but only made a serious push to get the job done much more recently. It's occupied the last couple of years, roughly, to make a concerted push to finish. And now I'm done. Weird.

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text 2018-01-31 17:57
Reading progress update: I've read 1310 out of 1344 pages.
The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare,John Jowett,Gary Taylor

I finished all the plays!
I have circa three pages of short lyric poetry to read and then I'm done!
One more review to come: Sonnets, a Lover's Complaint and "Various Poems."

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review 2018-01-31 17:51
The Two Noble Kinsmen, Shakespeare & Fletcher
The Two Noble Kinsmen (Oxford World's Classics) - William Shakespeare,John Fletcher

Shakespeare's final play, a collaboration with Fletcher, is more show than substance and allegedly often stolen by the Jailer's Daughter, who plays a small but crucial role in the main plot but ends up the lead character in a bizarre and controvercial subplot that even on the page is in some ways more interesting than the main action of two knights who fall instantly in love with their enemy's sister and fall to rivalry and rancour despite being cousins and also best pals five seconds earlier... Apparently one such modern day show stealer was Imogen Stubbs, which, given what I've seen/heard her do in other contexts, I find not so much plausible as inevitable.

 

So this is typical of late Shakespeare - an insubstantial Romance, this time based on Chaucer's Knight's Tale, with a silly plot and thin characters that can probably be made into a lively stage spectacle, at least, but far distant from the works that made his name echo down over four hundred years of history.

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