Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mount TBR Challenge Checkpoint #2


I joined the Mount TBR Reading Challenge quite late, long after Checkpoint #1 was passed. Now I'm late for Checkpoint #2 as well -- so I'm picturing myself being airlifted onto the mountainside, backpack fully loaded, ready to start climbing as soon as the skids touch down.

(For the purposes of this fantasy, let's all ignore the fact that I would never in a million years want to ride in a helicopter, shall we?)

I'm making about as much progress as expected toward the peak of Mount Blanc represented by 24 books: I've read 5 books since I joined in June. It helped that we spent a week at a remote cabin recently, where I had lots of uninterrupted reading time. Now that I've returned to the sometimes hectic schedule of regular life, if I can keep up this pace I should finish in time, without rushing. No last-minute dashes at high altitude for me (if I can help it).

It's been a few years since I did any challenge reading and I am enjoying the focus. Having a reading list is like having a trail map. There are plenty of surprises along the way -- but it's nice to know where you're going.

So far the surprise has been how much I enjoyed the two Man Booker Prize winning books by Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. They came out years apart but I read them back to back and despite the fact that they total about 1,000 pages, I couldn't get enough of them. Usually I find historical fiction rather too full of needless period details, slippages of modern tone, and dull court intrigues, but this was a gripping story right from the get-go and I enjoyed every page. (Full review here, in case you want to know more.)

Thank goodness Mantel has a third novel in the works to finish the tale of Thomas Cromwell. I know he's going to come to a bad end, and in England in 1540, "bad end" means having your head chopped off in public. I'm already feeling a bit sad about that. Mantel has made him an extremely likeable character, whether he deserves it or not, and I've thoroughly enjoyed his company so far.

2 comments:

  1. Congrats on your progress! Doing great for the late start. Thanks for checking in. Next progress report will be in September.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'll try and stay on the trail. :-)

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