coffee with book on cozy bed

2021 Reading Challenge – Week 3

Can you believe we’re already 3 weeks into 2021?! Goodness gracious, times sure does fly when you work full time. I love it! There’s a lot to be said for the powers of staying busy. Between working security, the 5 books I’m writing, learning CSS, and creating content for Freshly Stale, its no wonder that time flies!

“If our friendship depends on things like space and time, then when we finally overcome space and time, we’ve destroyed our own brotherhood! But overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now. And in the middle of Here and Now, don’t you think that we might see each other once or twice?”

Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach

I never updated you on the issue I was having with my Kindle, did I? And what about that painting I mentioned 2 weeks ago? Well, as for the Kindle, it’s still changing words for no apparent reason. No, Amazon Kindle, ‘around’ does not need to be changed to ‘spherical.’ Seriously, it’s giving me sentences like “She looked spherical for her reading glasses.” Support claimed to have solved the issue, but they most certainly have not. As for the painting, well, I’ve been busy! It’s maybe halfway done, but I’m a little stuck for colors at the moment.

But you didn’t come here for all that! This is about the 2021 Reading Challenge. I’m happy to tell you that I’m still ahead of schedule!

Books and Stories Read

Okay, so I didn’t really read many books this week. Just short stories and plays. So sue me! It’s a good thing I’ve been ahead of schedule so that I won’t need to try and catch up. I hate playing catch up!

Chestnut Review

Lately, I’ve been reading more literary journals and short stories. First, I’d like to recommend the literary journal the Chestnut Review. They publish some really wonderful stories and poems. Check out their latest edition here! I’d highly recommend reading Word Problems, a short story by Sarah Pirckle that won her first prize in the Chestnut Review’s 2020 Short Fiction contest. It won first prize for a reason; it’s seriously worth the read!

Jonathan Livingston Seagull – Richard Bach

white and brown bird on air
Photo by Simon Matzinger on Pexels.com

Then there’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. I’ve heard this one referred to as both a short story and as a book. It’s good either way. I was lucky enough to have a friend recommend this book to me, and I’m so glad that he did! A rather quick read, it’s a philosophical story about, you guessed it, seagulls. For some reason or another, reading this story left me very sad by the end of it. I’m excited to read it again! It covers themes such as inner peace, the search for truth, freedom, transcendence, and the power of kindness. And there’s probably a whole lot more packed into the story than just that, which is why I need to reread it.

One of the quotes that really stuck with me was

“If our friendship depends on things like space and time, then when we finally overcome space and time, we’ve destroyed our own brotherhood! But overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now. And in the middle of Here and Now, don’t you think that we might see each other once or twice?”

Anyone I mentioned this book to who’s read it has only had positive things to say, and I think you will too. ☺️

Read Jonathan Livingston Seagull here!

The Frogs – Aristophanes

aerial view of ancient ruins

I finally finished reading The Frogs! And I’m so glad I did, too, because it was hilarious. Not because I understood the jokes about ancient Athenian culture and politics, and not because the wording was particularly clever; oh no, this play was funny to me because it stands as a testament to humanity’s sense of humor.

See, the whole play is full of fart jokes and phallic jokes. Political jokes, too, but there’s so many jokes about bodily functions. Humans have really been laughing about butts and boners for thousands of years and that just cracks me up!

Read The Frogs here!

What’s Next?

I’m not sure what to read next. Virginia Woolf novels have been recommended, and I’ve been meaning to read Lucky Jim by Kingsly Amis. I’d really like to finish reading Loren Eiesley’s anthology The Star Thrower, though I’ve lost my copy of it.

After going through all these books and stories this year, I’ve come to realize something. I have some favorite genres of books! Before this year, if you asked me about genres I would’ve just shrugged and said that I read whatever strikes my interest. DUH! Of course I’m gonna read what I’m interested in, who would read anything different(in their free time). Its just that I’d never taken the time to step back and consider what those interests were. Thinking back on all my favorites, it’s clear that I’m a big fan of sci-fi/horror/gothic fiction. Why couldn’t I ever see it before?

Frankenstein, Dracula, War of the Worlds, The Brothers Karamazov, and The Phantom of the Opera are books that I’ve found myself reaching for again and again over the years.

Which is why I thought I would enjoy Dante’s Inferno. But that book, that epic poem, wasn’t horror. It wasn’t sci-fi, or gothic fiction, either. It was just morals and gore. Yuck! Sure, I knew I liked classics, but that’s such a broad category. It feels good to have figured out the words to talk about my literary interests! Should I have been able to recognize my interest in these genres earlier? Yeah, probably. But hey, better late than never!

Tune in Saturday for a brief review of H.G. Wells’s Invisible Man. And keep an eye out for that painting I mentioned!

P.S. One of the books I’m working on is gonna be a sci-fi horror novel! Or maybe just a short story; don’t wanna get too ambitious too quickly. Baby bites.


Thank you so much for reading! Don’t forget to like and subscribe for more Freshly Stale content ☺️

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