Summer Vacation, Day 5: Big To-Do

Today was not like yesterday. No photo shoots. Today I shoveled rocks – the odd-shaped, slate-colored rocks that surround our house as “landscaping” and attract and show all manner of debris – dried leaves, stray grass clippings, acorns, you name it. They are impossible to clean, and so we’ve decided to remove them in favor of flower beds and shrubbery. Because flowers and shrubbery are far lower-maintenance.

And since Jodi, in her wisdom, pointed out truthfully that summer was not the time for reading challenges, I must devote my time to these appropriate summer chores … which means I’m still reading Don Quixote, a delightful, if overlong, tale, which vexes me because, although I’d like to rush headlong for the end, when I read quickly I miss much of the wit and humor. Coach finished it a week ago and will begin her third novel shortly, if she hasn’t already. At the pace I set for myself, I should’ve finished yesterday. I did not.

Thankfully I have a couple short novels on my list that may enable me to catch up with my peers. Ah, well. The ache in my shoulders and back may also serve to keep me awake, so perhaps I’ll read on tonight (and be oh-so-awake for work in the morning).

Here’s my list for 15 weeks:

  1. Don Quixote by Cervantes
  2. The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald
  3. East of Eden by Steinbeck
  4. Moby Dick by Melville
  5. Pride & Prejudice by Austen
  6. Slaughterhouse-Five by Vonnegut
  7. Blood Meridian by McCarthy
  8. Anna Karenina by Tolstoy
  9. The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway
  10. The Odyssey by Homer
  11. Ulysses by Joyce
  12. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Wilde
  13. As I Lay Dying by Faulkner
  14. The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky
  15. The Violent Bear It Away by O’Connor

If I can knock out Fitzgerald in a couple of days, I may be able to get back on pace … but soccer starts for Gabe and Emma tomorrow, running the same days as Bren’s baseball. So, yeah. Whose bright idea was this?

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