Thursday, January 11, 2018

2018 Challenge - Books and Movies

I have to admit it — my challenge for last year was mostly a bust. I abandoned it pretty early in the year mostly, I think, because I made the list out of a sense of duty. I'd done all those other yearly challenges, after all. Why stop now?

2017 turned instead into a year of reading and watching whatever I picked up and that morphed, surprisingly, into series. You can see some of that in My Year of "In Order."
  • I read Terry Pratchett's books in order of publication, stopping only short of when his Alzheimer's began manifesting in bad books.

  • We are just two movies shy of watching all the James Bond movies. It's been very interesting.

  • Star Trek still has about a season and half to go before we can move on to The Next Generation. (Yes, this "in order" may take the rest of my natural life, but what a way to go!)

  • We began watching The Avengers. They have proven to be just as whimsical and clever as I recalled. We're halfway through the second season and then will sample some Wild, Wild West to see if it is as spy-fy-ish / steampunk as I recall.

  • I finished reading the Bible in chronological order. That began in 2016 but became a treasured habit. So much so, in fact, that I promptly began all over again. I'm using a different translation — Knox edition — as well as my study Bible which has become the place where I put all my notes from commentaries and studies. 
The result is that I've got a different approach this year which is much looser.

Once we finish James Bond, we're going to begin watching Billy Wilder's movies in order. We will also sprinkle in a little Akiro Kurosawa (in order, natch) through the year as we go.

I have a couple of series I'd like to reread:
  • Slough House (begins with Slow Horses)
  • Night Watch (which I've reviewed quite a few of, if you check the Book Reviews page, beginning with Night Watch)
Mostly, I have a big list of books that I began but never finished. Some are really long and I just dip into them occasionally. This is especially the case with Paul Johnson, Louis L'Amour, and Sense of Wonder.  Others, though, were put down when the next shiny new book came along. They're too good to abandon but I need to stop adding new books and finish them.
  • A History of the American People by Paul Johnson
  • Lone Star: A History Of Texas And The Texans by T.R. Fehrenbach
  • Heroes & Heretics of the Reformation by Phillip Campbell
  • Heroism and Genius: How Catholic Priests Helped Build — and Can Help Rebuild — Western Civilization Hardcover by William J. Slattery
  • The Big Book of Adventure Stories edited by Otto Penzler (rereading)
  • Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling
  • Sense of Wonder: A Century of Science Fiction by Leigh Ronald Grossman
  • Acts of the Apostles (Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture) by William S. Kurz SJ
  • Hebrews (Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture) by Mary Healy
  • The Gospel of John (Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture) by Francis Martin and William M. IV Wright
  • God or Nothing by Cardinal Sarah
  • Meditations Before Mass by Romano Guardini
  • Theology and Sanity by Francis Sheed
  • The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton (rereading)
  • Louis L'Amour's complete short stories
  • Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts: Twelve Journeys into the Medieval World by Christopher de Hamel
You've got to admit, that's a pretty big stack of great books — tragically unfinished. It could take a year. Especially since I've got some other "assigned" reading as I go for various podcasts and my book club. For example, Kristin Lavransdatter (1,100 pages) is taking up most of my reading time now. But we shall see how it goes for whittling this list down!

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