The impossible feat

This has been a very hectic day, and although I had a good reading session over my morning coffee, the numbers are not quite there.

With a few hours left on this Saturday this is how things are, on Dune: The Butlerian Jihad, I’m near at the halfway point , on page 280 of 619, and with the intention of finishing tomorrow, there’s a lot of ground to cover.

On the total of the week, there’s still 472 pages ahead of me, with a pretty decent pile of graphic novels to read this number can go down pretty fast.

It’s time to chip away on the book to try and be close to 200 pages left for tomorrow.

Off to read.

azr.

52.16%

As I enter the weekend, my reading can be only describe as underwhelming.

I just read 650 of the 1,246 goal for the week, hence the 52.16%, and on this week’s book, Dune: The Butlerian Jihad, currently on page 177 of 614, the progress is not quite what it should be, close to 450 pages.

Considering that thanks to the other weeks amazing reading there’s almost a week of cushion to keep the 52 books in 52 weeks project in time, there’s still not a red flag, but for my vision and comfort, this book should be done my Sunday night.

Today I’ll close out as strong as I can, probably leave around 200 pages for each of the weekend days, and in between squeeze some of the new graphic novels from this week’s loot.

Let’s see how this day closes out.

Off to read.

azr.

Fear is the mind killer

“I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

Lithany against fear, Dune by Frank Herbert

I read the original novel around 2006, and although I loved it, as well all of its incarnations in the silver screen, the time was not right for me to jump into what us considered the Science Fiction counterpart of Lord of the Rings.

Well that time has arrived, and I have the full intention of going thru every single piece of story I can get my hands on .

For this particular endeavor my decision was to go chronologically, and with the help of a very handy list provided by the official website of the series, dune novels.

Image taken from https://dunenovels.com/chronological-order-of-dune-books/

As you can see in the picture above, my journey starts some 10,000 years before the original novel with the short story Hunting Harkonnens, in my case is contained in The Road to Dune, and the novel Butlerian Jihad, both written by the dynamic duo of Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.

Off to read.

azr.

8 down, 44 to go

I was supposed to start reading the latest collection of stories by the brilliant Ted Chiang today, but as my reading has caught quite the rythm, I jumped right into the next task.

Needless to say this amazing collection just flow through my hands like water, and all the hype around it is, in my humble opinion, not even close what these beautiful stories are.

My first contact with a story by the highly awarded writer was thru the movie The Arrival, which consequently thus not appear in this particular collection, I was so intrigued by the use of time as one of the characters in the story that I had to read more.

I was not disappointed, and in a way the fact that Mr. Chiang has written so few stories is even more endearing, it makes them precious little rare jewels that shine brightly.

My personal favorite story was the Exhalación, which also give its name to the collection, the self awareness of fragility and hopefulness is not only for human beings, and that tough fills me with hope for the future.

To finish this book is even sweeter because thanks to it I just crossed the 10,000-page mark, and with a whole week of extra time for the next book, this year is only just started.

So what’s next for my reading?

I’ll literally, keep you post it.

Off to read.

azr.

Numbers: July 26, 2021

Is it Monday again? This last few weeks have been passing me really quickly, fortunately, this has not affected my reading progress.

For the third week in a row my reading has come out in green number, this has giving me a positive balance of pages, 952 to be precise, this. Once again I finished my weekly book early, this week’s book was the final chapter of the Saga of the Seven Suns, The Ashes of Worlds, which I posted earlier how this amazing saga finish. Today I should start the eight book of the year, Exhalación by the four time Hugo award winner Ted Chiang, as with the previous books of this year of reading, trying to make it a tradition, I am well under way with its reading, currently on page 239 of 345, not a bad way to start the week.

Now let’s get down to business, my current total is 9,704 of the 64,952 pages of this year’s goal, that’s 1,184 more than last week, it’s a bit under the 1,246 pages projected for each week, but this are registered pages not net pages, you can find a quick explanation about this concepts here, still the long term focus is to make the last five years a little bit more accessible, having a minimal total under 50,000 pages for each year.

For the passed two weeks I have been making a mistake when it came to my projection for the total at the end of the year . Last week was at 63,999 pages, but that was only the pages I could potentially read from that point, the real total that I already have wasn’t being sum-up to this quantity, correcting this little mistake my projected total jumped to 71,033 total pages, that’s almost 7,000 pages over my goal of the year. My reading schedule stayed pretty much the same , now it is 5 days ahead , at one point in the middle of the week I was 7 days ahead, but with the weekend being full of power naps, my reading when down a little bit.

My main focus is always the broader picture, and so far this year, each and every week my numbers show the kind of momentum that was lacking from passed years .This is reflected directly on the amount of pages I have to read on the second part of my journey, specially on trying to have the average per week under 2,000 pages, right now it sits sits at 1,955 pages per week with a daily average of 279 pages, this is still a titanic endeavor, but each week the task becomes more feasible.

On the first 500,000 pages, I have only 139,719 pages left, and the new date of reaching that goal is July 13, 2026, 12 days sooner than last week, still my sights are pointed at March 20, 2023 as the desired date to reach the first half of the challenge, the magic numbers are 3,000 days to read and a daily average of 170 pages.

Now for the golden prize of 1,000,000 pages, to my delight, the projections puts it 8,301 days away, a 30 day gain from the last week, making the end date is April 17, 2044, that’s 4,700 days after the original plan, 23 days less that the last projection, this kind of gigantic leaps gives me the momentum to keep on pushing to reach that coveted goal. The goal is to each and every week bring down the end date by at least 1 month.

To summary the numbers from my Journey Back.

  • Pages to reach 500,000: 139,719 pages
  • Days to reach 1,000,000: 8,301 days
  • Days behind schedule: 4,700 days

Numbers Monday is definitely my new favorite day of the week, and to celebrate, let’s day drink.

Off to read.

azr.

7 down, 45 to go

I have just finish what was the perfect finale of such an amazing series.

With The Ashes of Worlds, all the tension and conflicts building thru-out six books come crashing down, being honest, and not quite sure in how being one of the shortest books in the series, 512 pages, Mr. Anderson handles all the lose ends beautifully, without feeling the conclusion is rush or for sake of closing out the story.

My favorite parts of the series are the ones involving the idea of the keepers of the memory or history of the various civilizations, the name of the series comes from the grand epic of the Ildiran Empire named Saga of the Seven Suns, were the Rememberers, the equivalent of the human historian, pour all the great deeds of their vast history for all the population to learn, this is kind very similar to the Poetic Edda of the Norse Mythology, full of figures that time have transform into long lost memories.

It’s only fitting that the series finish with the creation of a new record of an ancient civilization’s story, I will not spoil anything further that that, you should really give read this amazing story.

The thing that I think reverberates the most is that inside the keeping and telling of this stories there’s the ever present phantom of the “fabricated reality”, all thru-out the books, and from all the civilizations involved, there’s some time of manipulation of information to create animosity against what is perceive as foreign or different, something that affects our world so deeply, and even in the face of imminent destruction, they can’t put their differences behind and fight the common threat.

That is what makes this type of stories feel so real and hopefully more of us can learn that there are more things that binds us as sentient creatures, and that being a green priest from Theroc, or a Roamer from Kanaka is merely circumstantial.

I highly recommend any work from Kevin J. Anderson, but this saga in particular will hold a special place in my heart, those types of books that eventually you come back to them or share with your grandchildren.

Now I am off to read my next book, Exhalación by the master of Science Fiction Ted Chiang.

azr.

First milestone of the year

Last night I finished reading a very interesting volume of the Justice League written by Robert Venditti, anything involving the Spectre or any other oddball character like Detective Chimp, is a must read for me.

This 224 pages put me over, by a measly 14 pages, of my worst year of reading, which was year number four and the total for the entire year was 8,730 pages.

This is always something I have really present, each new year at least has to surpass than really slow year. The next goal is to have a better total than last year, lets go get those 16,290 pages.

Off to read.

azr.

Looking for some Science Fiction book suggestions

This year of reading is moving at lighting speeds, fortunately, I have been hitting all my weekly goal like clockwork. This has made me come to the realization that my Science Fiction TBR pile will not be enough to read the 52 books in 52 weeks.

So I come here in search of some suggestions, given that Sci-Fi is not a genre that I’m that familiar with. My list right now has 26 total books, 6 that are on the read pile, 1 that is what I’m currently reading, and 19 that were already on my shelves or my digital library on my Kindle.

The list is as follows, the books in read letter are the one I have already read, the one with yellow is what I’m currently reading, and the rest is what is coming up next, in that particular.

  1. Saga Seven Suns Book 1: Hidden Empire (Kevin J. Anderson)
  2. Saga Seven Suns Book 2: A Forest of Stars (Kevin J. Anderson)
  3. Saga Seven Suns Book 3: Horizon Storms (Kevin J. Anderson)
  4. Saga Seven Suns Book 4: Scattered Suns (Kevin J. Anderson)
  5. Saga Seven Suns Book 5: Of Fire and Night (Kevin J. Anderson)
  6. Saga Seven Suns Book 6: Metal Swarm (Kevin J. Anderson)
  7. Saga Seven Suns Book 7: The Ashes of Worlds (Kevin J. Anderson)
  8. Exhalación (Ted Chiang)
  9. The Road to Dune (Frank Herbert)
  10. Dune: The Butlerian Jihad (Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson)
  11. Dune: The Machine Crusade (Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson)
  12. Dune: The Battle of Corin (Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson)
  13. The Fifth Season (N.K. Jemisin)
  14. The Obelisk Gate (N.K. Jemisin)
  15. The Stone Sky (N.K. Jemisin)
  16. Hyperion Cantos (Dan Simmons)
  17. El juego de Ender (Orson Scott Card)
  18. La voz de los muertos (Orson Scott Card)
  19. Ender el xenocida (Orson Scott Card)
  20. Hijos de la mente (Orson Scott Card)
  21. La sombra de Ender (Orson Scott Card)
  22. La sombra de Hegemon (Orson Scott Card)
  23. Marionetas de la sombra (Orson Scott Card)
  24. La sombra del gigante (Orson Scott Card)
  25. Sombras en fuga (Orson Scott Card)
  26. Journey to the center of the Earth (Jules Verne)

There it is, I know that my reading material can last me until December, but the anxious part of me sees that only half the required material is available, so it kicks into overdrive.

Any suggestion is greatly appreciated, you can leave it the comments.

Off to read.

azr.

Numbers: July 19,2021

Is it time again for my Monday weekly update.

And for the second week in a row my reading was far greater that I expected. Once again I finished my weekly book before the Sunday deadline, this week’s book, Ashes of Worlds, the last volume on the Saga of the Seven Suns, is well under way, currently on page 108, not bad considering I should have started today , each week there’s some room to breath and perform better that the last.

Now let’s get down to business, my current total is 8,520 of the 64,952 pages of this year’s goal, that’s 1,811 more than last week, giving me a surplus of 565 pages on the 1,246 pages projected for each week, this will add-up at the long term to reach the goal of the year, but most importantly it will contribute to make the next year’s total a little bit more accessible, being the goal that the last five years having a minimal total under 50,000 pages for each year.

With this surge of reading my projection for the total at the end of the year jumped 2,500 pages from last week’s projection and now sits at 63,999 pages, only 949 pages away from the ultimate goal for this year. My reading schedule gained a little bit of room , now it is 5 days ahead , exactly as I wanted to be at the start of this week.

The current pace keeps impacting in a huge way the broader picture, each and every week my numbers show the kind of momentum. I keep a particular inquisitive eye on the number of pages I’m going to have to read on the second part of my journey, and as last week the number is under 2,000 pages, with a improvement of 216 pages, the current weekly total sits at 1,778 pages per week with an daily average of 281 pages, this is still a titanic endeavor, but each week the task becomes more feasible.

Speaking of the first 500,000 pages, I have only 140,903 pages left, and the new date of reaching that goal is July 25, 2026, 24 days sooner than last week, still my sights are pointed at March 20, 2023 as the desired date to reach the first half of the challenge, the magic numbers are 3,000 days to read and a daily average of 170 pages.

Now for the golden prize of 1,000,000 pages, to my delight, the projections puts it 8,331 days away, a 47 day gain from the last week, making the end date is May 10, 2044, that’s 4,723 days after the original plan, 40 days less that the last projection, this kind of gigantic leaps gives me the momentum to keep on pushing to reach that coveted goal. For me this numbers are of particularly importance, there are the endgame of these whole deal, and until the numbers of days behind are in red, I will not rest.

To summary the numbers from my Journey Back.

  • Pages to reach 500,000: 140,903 pages
  • Days to reach 1,000,000: 8,331 days
  • Days behind schedule: 4,723 days

I think that with numbers like this each week, Monday will become my favorite day of the week.

Off to read.

azr.

Last volume of The Saga of the Seven Suns

As I start the last book of this fantastic saga, Ashes of Worlds, one question pops immediately into my mind, on in the hell is everything going to close-out in 512 pages?

The last book finished with some twists, seriously how did I took so long to jump into this amazing universe created by the extremely talented Kevin J. Anderson. After this book comes an compilation of short stories by multi award-winning author Ted Chiang.

Then, I’ll come back to Mr. Anderson, and is collaboration with Brian Herbert, continuing the monumental legacy of probably one of the best stories created, Dune, with the trilogy Legends of Dune, the prequel stories to the science fiction classic by Frank Herbert.

To top things, I’m not only ahead of schedule with my 52 books in 52 weeks project, but my page total for the week has been achieved, right now sits at 1,266 of the 1,246, and with the weekend ahead off me, this can only get better.

I’ll jump right into the book, there’s a long night ahead of me.

Off to read.

azr.

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