So, how's it going? I'm doing pretty alright, I suppose. I can't really complain. I'm glad you could make it for this little State of the Blog meeting. I appreciate your punctuality in the face of my own slothful pace in reading 100 books in a year. Here's the story right now. Ulysses has consumed my life. The professor changed the way he was teaching the novel after the first week, resulting in a weekly quiz so grounded in minutia (Who is random character with one mention in Chapter 6 and why is he so important to the plot? What color is the napkin and what does it represent?) that I'm spending three times as long as I normally would on an initial close reading practically memorizing entire passages of the book in anticipation of the quiz. Let's see: so far I failed two of them forthright. The first he didn't think my answers were specific enough; the second, too specific. Fantastic. Then Persuasion jumped in. Apparently, maybe three people actually read the book for the class. I didn't even reread it, anticipating that maybe I wouldn't be the only one who knew that Anne Elliot was the main character of the novel and that it took place in England. Not so. So now I'm on about my fourth read of that book, and it's just because I feel bad for the professor. She is the go-to Austen expert at the college and deserves better. Hopefully her Victorians class will go better, but I doubt it. At least she has her Children and Adolescent Lit class that keeps her going every year to fall back on. So there are two books I'm stuck pushing up the hill through December that I will not count for my Cannonball Read. "OK," you say. "What about The Dark Chamber? You started that well over a month ago already. It's not that long. What gives?" What gives? Why the fact that I'm going wacky again and simultaneously reading: Dark Delicacies 2 (decent follow up to an excellent short story collection, six shorts left to go before completion); Salem's Lot (stupid IMDB book club voting not only to have a Stephen King Month, but opting not to include Carrie or Misery on the ballot; don't blame me, I voted for Dolores Claiborne); and Dracula (I suppose this was a gift for me, since I had mentioned many times I wanted a Gothic month for the book club; too bad the man in charge picked one of my least favorite novels to supplement King's modern version of the vampire myth). So, I have, respectfully, 100 pages, 6 stories, push me to the brink of throwing up pages, and gosh when does this book end pages left in four books that do count. Hopefully something will be done within the next week. One of them has to be, right?