Tuesday, January 01, 2008

First Day of 2008

<------ Oh yeah. Try to out-stare those cute kitty eyes. I dare you. :)

I heart CuteOverload!

Happy New Year, Everybody!

Did anyone stay up for the New Year countdown? If you were at a New Year's Eve party or something, you would probably be doing that.

This year I was counting down to something else. At 12:10am on the 1st of January 2008, I finally started reading War and Peace (translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky). The Russian Reading Challenge has officially begun, and this year will be the year I try to read War and Peace -- again. I think I'll take Danielle's advice and read it as though it's 4 books. I've only just finished the introduction. I was a little surprised to stumble unto so much French on the first page -- the last translation I tackled translated all the French. Pevear and Volokhonsky kept the French in the dialogue, keeping the translations in the notes.

I've also been reading Cyteen the past few days. I am still barely 100 pages into the book and it seemed I missed a lot of the more subtle politics and exchanges the first time I read it. It is a heavy, complicated book, and I am constantly in awe of the mind that could write something like this.

All these were done listening to Jacqueline du Pré. Since I finished The Spanish Bow I've been on the look out for cello music. Sometimes, a book has that effect on you -- long after you close the pages, the story -- or the music in this instance, is still playing in your head.

Meanwhile I have a few new library books sitting at home: Orhan Pamuk's Other Colors, Robert Macfarlane's The Wild Places and Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air. I doubt I will be able to finish reading them before the end of January. Argh! So many books, and so little time.

Has anyone else started a new book just for the new year?

Damn! The big-eyed kitty is cute!

12 comments:

Nymeth said...

I was up at midnight, but I didn't do the countdown. I have mixed feelings about New Year's Eve, ever since I was little. It's hard to explain :P

I didn't start a new book today, but that does sound like a lovely way to welcome the new year.

Dark Orpheus said...

More than 5 years ago, I would be spending New Year's Eve at parties or the pub - usually drunk by that time. These days, I'm just staying home. Quiet time.

How we change.

Carl V. said...

We were up, watching the ball drop and the inane musical performances...did anyone see Mariah Carey in her Victoria's Secret outfit? Jeez!

I was half listening as I was trying to finish Speaker for the Dead. I was unsuccessful, though I will finish it today. What a great first book to finish in 08! I then plan on reading Fritz Leiber's 1958, I believe, Hugo award winning novel The Big Time. A friend and I are both reading this simultaneously. After that it is a toss up. I have so much great sci fi to read (and like you, so little time). Plus I'm itching to get started on Goldfinger for Annie's challenge.

Cute kitty, by the way.

I hope you have a wonderful New Year, D.O.!

Melanie said...

I stayed up until midnight then hopped into bed and started a Boris Akunin mystery I've been saving as a light read for the Russian Reading Challenge! Could hardly wait until 12:01!

Stefanie said...

The kitty is cute! I did not manage to stay up to welcome the new year. Instead of starting a new book today, I finished one - Yukio Mishima short stories. Already a book on my read in 2008 list!

jenclair said...

I just started Consequences by Penelope Lively.

I hope you liked the Spanish Bow and think maybe you did, since you are interested in cello music.

My celebration included waking up for the 4 hour feedings of Bryce Eleanor so that Amelia and Chris could go out and celebrate with friends. I had a great time.

Bookgirl's Nightstand said...

I think this is the perfect way to ring in the new year. I started and finished my first book for the graphic novel challenge. I can't wait to blog about it - it was fantastic.
Happy 2008 to you and hope you get lots of great reading done this year!

Dark Orpheus said...

Carl I read "Speaker for the Dead" a long time ago - I like how it departs in mood a little from "Ender's Game" - but both books left me a little sorrowful. Not the cheeriest read for a new year.

Melanie Hee. Know what you mean. "War and Peace" was in plain sight the awaiting 2008 the last few months. Finally!

Stefanie You win - you're the bigger bookworm. :) First day of the new year and you have one book down.

Jenclair New Year with a new grandchild - it's so sweet.

Oh yes, I definitely enjoyed "The Spanish Bow". It took a while to finish because I would often stop halfway to play some music. A lot of the reading was done with music in the background.

I love how the book described (through the character of Edward Elgar) that the cello is the instrument closest to the human voice. The cello has always been the most evocative of stringed instruments for me.

Iliana Haha. I couldn't wait, so I finished 3 of the graphic novels on my list in 2007. Oh well, not like I have a shortage of comics to read. ;p

Darla D said...

I was out in the country, no TV, only a laptop clock to let us know when the big moment came. We were outside on the back porch, looking up at an amazing sky full of stars. The Milky Way was splashed across the sky, and I've never had a better backdrop for welcoming in the New Year. Oh, and the champagne wasn't bad, either!

I read Cyteen years ago, and I felt just as you say, in awe of a mind that could not just conceive of it but execute it so well. I've been meaning to reread that at some point. Enjoy your W & P effort!

Is that your kitty? Awwwww.

Dark Orpheus said...

Darla I wish it was my kitty -- *sigh* But you guys have the right idea on how to spend the countdown. :)

I'm coming back to C.J. Cherryh -- after Cyteen I'm going to pick up her Foreigner series. I've only read Foreigner, Invader and Inheritor. Going to read Precursor next. It's been a long time -- but I still remember how reading Cherryh's books makes me feel humbled. The way she builds her world and her brutal characterisation.

And it is exciting to find out Cyteen 2 has finally been written. Yay!

You have a happy year ahead, too. :)

Darla D said...

Oh, and I have Downbelow Station burning a hole in my bookshelf. I think doing a massive Cherryh reread is going to be on my list of things to do in 2008!

I missed the link to cute overload the first time. I guess it's a good thing that's not your kitten, or we probably wouldn't be getting many blog posts from you. Who could kick that cutiepie off the laptop to get anything done!

I'll be looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Cyteen - and the sequel (but I can't read those till I've reread Cyteen).

Dark Orpheus said...

Darla I have a few of the Cherryh paperbacks somewhere at home too. Downbelow Station. Gehenna. Cuckoo's Egg. And the Morgaine series -- that's another epic. They're all among the stacks. Somewhere. ;p

I'll try to pull toegther something coherent and meaningful about Cyteen -- but Ari (Prime) just died and Ari II is still in the womb-tank. This is where the fun starts.