So…that last “in the works post” I wrote up? Yeah, I didn’t do so well when it came to completing much on that to-do list. It looked a little something like this:

  • a post relating to Middlemarch
  • a post relating to Makine’s The Woman Who Waited for the Slaves of Golconda (I will participate in this one, I swear!)
  • get back into the creepy world of Dracula (thank goodness I’m a wimp who can only handle a little bit of peril)
  • get back to Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea (particularly as Jane Eyre is coming up on the syllabus–I love it when my “fun” reading and my “fun school” reading mesh so well together!).
  • Bake some apple cider cupcakes (we’re having a little potluck with the neighbors upstairs this weekend–I love my new neighborhood).

Well, I finished reading the first three books of Middlemarch in plenty of time to discuss it with my 19th-century reading group, but I never got around to posting about it. And I read the first half of Makine’s The Woman Who Waited, but, once again, didn’t actually finish it or write a post. I did enjoy the part I had read however, and he’s an author whose works are worth exploring in greater depth. Dracula is still desperately trying to spook me from the vantage point of my bedside table, but I just haven’t had the energy to get to it, and Wide Sargasso Sea continues to languish as well. I did, however, bake lots o’ cupcakes. I decided not to go with the apple cider cupcakes because it hasn’t felt very fall-like around here (upper 70s and humid in late September? Are you kidding me? Where the hell is autumn?). Instead I went with two different choices: mint chocolate and chocolate stout. The chocolate stout cupcakes are like intense chocolate bombs and they are supremely delicious. And the mint chocolate cupcakes vied with my (in)famous mint chocolate brownie recipe. And because baking is a relaxing activity for me that allows me to think at the same time, I also made pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes with cinnamon icing this past weekend. Pictures will follow…eventually.

Given the fact that I’m a glutton for punishment and I’ve just taken on an additional research project that needs to be completed within the month of October if at all possible, I’m not sure how great I’ll be at getting other challenge reading done. But never fear, I have a devious plan: I’m going to cheat. I know I picked Dracula as my wimpy peril choice for the R.I.P. Challenge, but in the next three weeks I’m reading Ann Radcliffe’s A Sicilian Romance, Matthew Lewis’s The Monk, and Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, all of which could qualify as challenge reads. In addition, in the near future I’m going to see if there’s a way to combine other challenge reads so that I don’t feel like a complete failure. In the meantime, I might make weekly to-do lists in order to give myself a goal to shoot for. So, without further ado, here’s this week’s attempt to keep myself organized (it’s a mix of fun and school stuff)!

  • finish A Sicilian Romance (and write a post)
  • start Lewis’s The Monk
  • write a post on the Russian Reading Challenge I’ve joined for 2008
  • post some pictures of cupcakes in an effort to make my readers hungry
  • September reading wrap-up post
  • post about October’s reading goals
  • start short-term research project (I’ve given myself two weeks to review the previously collected sources I have)
  • continue gathering sources for 2 ongoing research projects
  • post my recent acquisitions (they’re getting out of control)

So bear with me and stay tuned!

12 responses to this post.

  1. Please pass on the stout and chocolate mint cupcake recipes. Or at least the title of the book you got them from. I think I read it somewhere, but can’t find it now. Thanks!


  2. Clair: All of the cupcakes came from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. It is one of my all-time favorite cookbooks. She’s got a great sense of humor, and because the batter is vegan, I don’t have to worry when I lick the spoon! And besides, you gotta love a cupcake recipe that combines chocolate and a good stout!


  3. Waiting anxiously for the cupcake pics!


  4. I just started Northanger Abbey, and it’s a winner. I think you’d like Dracula (check my blog, if you haven’t already seen my review of that book).

    I hope you can participate in the Horror Short Story Short Challenge. It is a SHORT challenge, so that might make it easier.

    Next year: I must read Radcliffe!!


  5. Posted by Harleyman on October 1, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    WHOSE famous chocolate mint brownie recipe…….


  6. Nicola: I’m hoping to get the pics up this week some time, never fear!

    LK: I’m looking forward to Northanger Abbey (and I have to lead discussion on it, so I’m glad it’s a good one–it’s the only Austen I haven’t read yet). And I fully plan on getting to Dracula one of these days, it might have to wait until winter break however (and I loved your review).

    Harleyman: …umm…(in a meek voice) your brownie recipe?


  7. Yum, cupcakes! Sounds like you are so busy! I hope you enjoy all that reading …


  8. Dorothy: I’ve turned into a cupcake-making fiend! It makes for a nice break in between all of the reading (which really doesn’t boil down to much, I just have to get organized).


  9. I thought of you when I saw the Russian Reading Challenge! I’ll be joining too, but I refuse to post about 2008 challenges until December. It makes it seem like I have less of an addiction!


  10. Eva: I figure I’ll post about it as a way of reminding people about the upcoming release of the new War and Peace (as if I haven’t beaten that to death already), but there’s no way I’ll have a list ready until the beginning of the challenge. I’ll change my mind way too much!


  11. I read The Monk for last year’s RIP Challenge and really liked it. Hope you do too!


  12. Stefanie: I’m really looking forward to The Monk. I dipped into it a bit when I bought it, and I had to force myself to put it down at the time, so I think this will be a fun week of reading!


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