50 Book Challenge: 1 – 5

Maybe you’re familiar with this one?  You basically challenge yourself to read 50 books in one calendar year.  I’ve decided to retroactively take on this challenge for 2010 because I’m fairly close to where you need to be in the year in terms of books read.

I have finished 18 books (it’s week 20 of the year) and gotten at least halfway through 4 more, and started 2 more than that.  So, if I finished all of that in the next 2 weeks (possible) I’d be at 24 and ahead of the game!  Plus, it means I get to keep lists, which I like to do.  And I’ve got an absurd number of books waiting to be read (Over 50).

If I got through all the Terry Pratchett audiobooks, which I started in February and have gotten through 12, I’d be at 36 for the year.  Frustrating that I have so many books on my hand and not the time to read them!  I think I’ll do updates with every five books and a brief review or thoughts, approximately in order of when I finished them.

1. A Religious Orgy in Tennessee – H.L. Mencken

I ordered this while following the Prop 8 trial because, basically, no one is a snarky about fundamentalists as H.L. Mencken and the parallels between Prop 8 and teaching creationism in school seemed obvious to me.  It was both uplifting and wholly depressing.  H.L. Mencken reads to me a lot like Hunter S. Thompson.

2. The Scopes Monkey Trial Transcript

PDF is not the best delivery mechanism for a book when you don’t have an e-reader.  I mean, I’m not sure if it’s the best if you do have an e-reader, but I’m guessing it’s better.  Anyway, I was heavy into transcripts because I was reading the daily transcripts of Prop 8.

3. The Colour of Magic – Terry Pratchett, read by Nigel Planer

Long ago I was given Wyrd Sisters from this series by my friend Nicol.  I couldn’t get through it for any number of reasons (cramped typeface, world I was unfamiliar with).  After I saw a couple of the BBC adaptations of Terry Pratchett stories and therefore had a Rincewind in my head that was solid, I decided to listen to the audiobooks, especially since Good Omens is a fantastic book.  Colour of Magic was great.

4. The Light Fantastic – Terry Pratchett, read by Nigel Planer

Second in the Discworld series, direct sequel to the previous one.  Good as well.

5. Equal Rites – Terry Pratchett, read by Celia Imrie

Third in the Discworld series and by far my favorite of them all.  This introduces Granny Weatherwax, who is my favorite Pratchett character, followed closely by Death.  Pratchett’s greatest skill as a writer, in my opinion, is that none of his characters are particularly attractive and they all have terrible flaws, but you like them and they never get over their flaws.  People don’t become pretty, or overcome their inherent selfishness or cowardice, they’re just regular people.