Things really can change just like that, can’t they? My life’s hardly been turned upside down, but since my last quarterly update I got a second job doing freelance editing, so I’m a heck of a lot busier than I used to be. This has been great in a lot of ways, as I’m feeling more challenged on a regular basis and my skills are noticeably improving. I don’t get to read for fun as often, however, which has had an impact on these challenges. I’m hopeful I can still complete most of them, but there is some tweaking that will need to happen.
I’m happy to report that I’m still ahead of schedule on this challenge, thanks in no small part to a recent burst of reading through volumes of Berserk by Kentaro Miura. As of this writing, I’m two books ahead of schedule, having completed 43 out of 55 of books for my challenge this year. I’ll be thrilled if I can stay on track with this.
So far, 22 of these books have been comic books, one has been a deluxe magazine, another an illustrated compendium, and the remaining 19 have been books. I meant for this last number to be a fair few higher by this point, but as I’ve said, things didn’t turn out that way.
Scrappy To-Read List
Every year I like to assemble a hand-written list of books to read, all for the thrill of crossing them out as I complete them. This year I made the list a more reasonable 12 books, with the condition that each one must be a book that is not part of a series I have already started.
As it stands, here is the list:
Since my last post, my newly crossed out books are Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman and Axiom’s End by Lindsay Ellis.
That’s more stunted than planned, but I wasn’t able to squeeze in time for A Gathering of Ghosts by Karen Maitland in September like I planned, so it will have to wait. I still have every intention of reading The Grip of It by Jac Jemc and ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King as my Halloween reads this year, so hopefully that will keep me on top of the list. I will not let this year’s list go unfinished too.
I will, however, let the remaining leftovers from last years list slide: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis and Moby Dick by Herman Melville. I’m happy I got through Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray, and I really wanted to pick theses back up too, but with the way my reading pace has been going, I just don’t see it happening, especially with Moby Dick.
This is a new personal challenge I started this year, to keep me on top of the series that I’m still in the middle of. The first cluster of books is part of my ongoing read-through of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, which I started back in 2016.
As you can see, this is unfortunately unchanged from my last update. I’m still in the middle of reading Jingo, and thus have failed in my endeavour to read one within each quarter of the year. I’m not sweating it too much, I’m confident I’ll have it done soon, but I am a little regretful too. As it is, it’s cutting into Halloween reading time, and I’m a little worried it will have a domino effect on finishing those on time too.
Fortunately, I have stayed on top of this secondary selection for this challenge, which pulls from various series I’m currently in the middle of. Since my last update, I read through Hellboy: The God Machine by Thomas E. Sniegoski, which was quite good for a non-canon Hellboy novel. It pulled from some lesser-known, bizarre history and did a great job establishing its villains. Just one more book to go from here!
I’m afraid the creative drought has been as dry as ever. With my brain more occupied with new work, I can honestly say I haven’t even been thinking about creative writing as often as I used to. I’m not too saddened by this at the moment, however, as I am feeling very fulfilled by my work, even if it isn’t creative. Who knows, maybe the shift in discipline will help motivate me with creative work somewhere down the line too.
How are your reading challenges coming along? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.
Thank you for reading!