Thursday, February 28, 2013

#NaNoReMo Ends

Today ends February, and so goes 2013's National Novel Reading Month. I've seen several people knocking off their classics in the last few days, and I've got particular pride in Tony Noland for finally conquering Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. I really ought to get to that, especially after how much I enjoyed The Crying of Lot 49.

Middlemarch's 1,000 pages too me twenty days, including the two I spent stuck in trains and depots. Having an enormous classic is a great way to pass long waits and, it turns out, to keep strangers from talking to you. It's easily one of the most ambitious novels I've read and has made me question many of the conventions of satire and social criticism. There's an essential empathy, a mandatory understanding behind any unkind action, that makes most conflict-writing feel... well, "lazy" is a nice way of putting it. You can read my full review right here.

I'll pitch that we run it in January next year, 2014, for a few reasons. January would let everyone start the year off with conquering a classic, and there's a little New Years power to such things. January also has three more days than most Februaries, and there would be no unintentional slight against Black History Month, one of the few "official months" I hold in serious reverence.

If you have a National Novel Reading Month wrap-up post, please link to it in the comments. I'll create a junction post here for fellow readers to blog hop across.

1. Cindy Vaskova's tremendous closing on Frankenstein.
2. Eric Krause finishes Princess of Mars.
3. Tony Noland finishes Gravity's Rainbow.

So, who's finished? And what are you reading next? I'm deciding between Brandon Sanderson's The Final Empire and Joe Abercrombie's Red Country.


  1. That's a mighty big book in so short a time. Good on you, John. And Tony!

  2. Reading "Gravity's Rainbow" was like running a supermarathon blindfolded over unfamiliar rough ground, while being intermittently tickled by octopi and slapped by BDSM fiends who misinterpreted your acceptance of their way of life with an unspoken desire to join it.

    Exhausting, exhilarating and the kind of thing I'm proud of having finished. I'd brag about it if I thought anyone would care.

  3. I've still got a little less than 200 pages to go and while I plan on going straight home after work today to read like the wind I'm pretty confident i'm not gonna knock that out in a single night. But I vow to keep reading till I'm done, hopefully by Saturday so I can pretend that if it had been Janurary I would have finished within the month.
    And although it'll be dated March, I'll still link my review here once I write it.

  4. Congrats to you all for your persistence and dogged determination.

  5. Congrats on finishing Middlemarch, John, and congrats to everyone else who conquered a classic this month. I'm currently in the middle of The Phantom of the Opera, and though I won't finish it today, I'm glad I picked it up after I finished A Princess of Mars. I'm all for January next year, though whatever month is chosen, I'm in. I need to read more classics, and with all of the newer books on my to-read list, I need motivation to do so.

  6. Congrats to all finishers! I did not end up finishing my book. I'm only halfway through, since I've been reading it while I eat lunch. :( I will finish, its just slow going.

  7. I am glad that you not only finished but enjoyed and appreciated Middlemarch. It is years since I have read it, but I was blown away by it and, after reading your review, think that I should go back to it. I am almost certain I would get more out of it this time around.

  8. Congrats John, Tony, Eric! Perhaps next year I might conquer one of the classics you battled with this year.
    John, it's good to read Middlemarch came to your liking and you appreciated the novel and were able to gain from it rather than suffer. It does sound like a long, but great read.

  9. I didn't finished either of my books and I posted about it. ;)
    As slow as I read, Middlemarch would probably be a year-long project no matter how many trains, planes, or automobiles. My mom has great regard for it as well. I'll have to give a go one of these days.

  10. This is my second attempt to post this, I don't know what happened the first time. My finishing review of Nicholas Nickleby:


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