week fifty two

Year in Review!

Books Read!
I did not read 95 books. I don’t think that I will ever read 95 books in one year. Even if they are all poetry books. I’ll keep trying though. Here’s the complete list of books I read this year. Or in the case of one or two titles, mostly read.

1. Fifteen Dogs — Andre Alexis
2. Clean Sails — Gustave Morin
3. God in Pink — Hasan Namir
4. The Weather — Lisa Robertson
5. Submission — Michel Houellebecq
6. Magenta Soul Whip — Lisa Robertson
7. Burqa of Skin — Nelly Arcan
8. species branding — Danielle LaFrance
9. A Sport and a Pastime — James Salter
10. Poetryworld — Louis Cabri
11. Pillage Laud — Erin Moure
12. Open City — Teju Cole
13. Airborne Photo — Clint Burnham
14. Open Text: Vol 1 Ed. Roger Farr
15. The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner — Alan Sillitoe
16. Martin John — Anakana Schofield
17. IKMQ — Roger Farr
18. Transmitter and Receiver — Raoul Fernandes
19. The Motorcyclist — George Elliot Clarke
20. Men Explain Things to Me — Rebecca Solnit
21. Lemon Hound — Sina Queyras
22. The First Bad Man — Miranda July
23. Erec & Enide — Amy De’ath
24. The Shadow of the Wind — Carlos Ruiz Zafon
25. For Your Safety Please Hold On — Kayla Czaga
26. The Apothecary — Lisa Robertson
27. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running — Haruki Murakami
28. The Hatch — Colin Brown
29. The Trouble with Brunch — Shawn Micallef
30. M Train — Patti Smith
31. Ticknor — Sheila Heti
32. Pound @ Guantanamo — Clint Burnham
33. Poverty Creek Journal — Thomas Gardner
34. Serpentine Loop — Elee Kraljii Gardiner
35. Ignite — Kevin Spenst
36. The Elegance of the Hedgehog — Muriel Barbery
37. Jackals and Arabs — Franz Kafka
38. The Men — Lisa Robertson
39. Cinema of the Present — Lisa Robertson
40. Oryx and Crake — Margaret Atwood
41. The Queue — Basma Abdel Aziz
42. Mercenary English — Mercedes Eng
43. The Strange Case of Rachel K — Rachel Kushner
44. Injun — Jordan Abel
45. Davie Street Translations — Daniel Zomparelli
46. Guapa — Saleem Haddad
47. Installations – Nicole Brossard
48. Hysteric – Nelly Arcan
49. The Missionary Position Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice — Christopher Hitchens
50. In the Garden of Beasts — Erik Larson
51. XEclogue — Lisa Robertson
52. Tropic of Cancer — Henry Miller
53. Once in Blockadia — Stephen Collis
54. H is for Hawk — Helen Macdonald
55. You Are Not So Smart — David McRaney
56. Wenjack — Joseph Boyden
57. Yellow Dog — Martin Amis
58. The Woods: A Year on Protection Island — Amber McMillan
59. Friendly + Fire — Danielle LaFrance
60. Read This if You Want to Take Great Photographs — Henry Carroll

Poetry books: 25
Non-fiction books: 11
Books in translation: 7
Books by women: 27
Books by straight white dudes: 18 (I put Joseph Boyden in here….)

Kilometres Ran!
I added another 39 kilometres this week, which brings my total for 2016 to 2,088 kilometres ran. I set what I believed a year ago to be a very ambitious goal and I’m really rather proud to have accomplished it. On to 2017 and 2,600 kilometres!

Total number of runs: 162
Average distance: 12.89 km
Pairs of running shoes: 4
Fitness trackers: 2
Seagulls shat on by: 1
Flies swallowed: Lost count
Flies in eyes: None since buying hideous running sunglasses

Keep doing this blog, but actually write something once per week
Read 95 books (or at least 61 books)
Run 2,600 kilometres
Start exercising above my waist
Figure out why I’m sick all the time and fix it
Complete half a dozen witchy/devily/satanic needlepoints
Learn to needlepoint

week fifty one

Books Read:
59. Friendly + Fire — Danielle LaFrance
60. Read This if You Want to Take Great Photographs — Henry Carroll

Kilometres Ran:
this week — 48.4
to date — 2,049.15

I’ve been casually looking for a decent book on photography for a long time and this is definitely the best one that I’ve come across. I found it in the gift shop on the modern art museum / architecture and design centre in Stockholm. It seems a weird choice of souvenirs, but I bought it anyway. The best part of the book is that for each tip and lesson there is a photograph that exemplifies what is being taught, but not some crap pic from iStock. Rather some of the best photographers and some of the most iconic photos. Anyway, it’s a good book and I want to take better photographs. I’m not sure it’s working but that’s mostly because I don’t bother practicing enough. PS most of the photos on here are, ahem, appropriated. I’m avoiding writing about LaFrance’s book because it is amazing and I love it and people way smarter than me have written smart things about it. You should get it though. And follow her on Twitter because she is very entertaining.

Sending the Christmas holiday in the provincial capital and cruising people’s Strava activities for running route ideas (thanks Karmen Jay). Today I ran by the legislature and over the blue bridge, forever to be under construction. It’s very cool and crisp and there’s little wind and so far no rain. I don’t think it’s cold enough to snow. I’m not sure Victoria can handle snowfall any better than Vancouver, who sucks.

week fifty

Books Read:
58. The Woods: A Year on Protection Island — Amber McMillan

Kilometres Ran:
this week — 66.95
to date — 2,000.75

I’m not going to get 95 books this year. I’d wanted to read The Woods because I’m a fan of McMillan’s poetry and I tend to have good luck when a poet I like ventures into prose (Flynn’s Another Bullshit Night in Suck City comes to mind) and I picked up a copy finally at the Real Vancouver Writers Series event a couple weeks back. It’s a fine read, a collection of events and experiences over her year living on Protection Island just outside of Nanaimo, B.C. Oh and apparently they’re suing her. All of them are, or something. There’s a story about it in Quill & Quire but it’s behind a paywall, and I (haven’t looked very hard but) haven’t found anything else about it. McMillan did mention it a couple times during her RVWS reading. I really liked this book. I thought it was funny and relatable and really shows that people can be pretty awful for no real reason off of social media too. Through it all McMillan seems to be ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

On a snowy Sunday with Yaktrax strapped to my feet I passed my goal of 2,000 kilometres this year. It feels pretty great and I’m very pleased with myself and now I’ve been contemplating what to do about next year. I had wanted to swim more but I found that I would often forego swimming in order to run instead because of my running goal. And that said I’m contemplating aiming for 2,600 next year for an average of 50 km per weeks. Not sure what to do about the books though.

week forty eight + forty nine

Books Read:
57. Yellow Dog — Martin Amis

Kilometres Ran:
week forty eight — 42.67
week forty nine — 38.98
to date — 1,933.8

Seems that a lot of people did not like this book and then it went on to get long-listed for the Man Booker so what. I’m an Amis fan, though it’s been a long, slow slog through his library. And I still like his memoir Experience the best. Maybe I should reread that. You know, since I’ve nothing to read or anything. In spite of the warmth from the roaring flames of the CanLit Dumpster Fire 2016 I decided to go to the Real Vancouver Writers Series year end party and as usual bought a bunch of raffle tickets and expected to not win anything as I’ve been going to RVWS events for years and always buy raffle tickets and never win anything but this time I won (Sad Mag subscription) and then I won again (a pair of very hipster, ahem, artisan ceramic cups) and then I won top bid on the Chuck Tingle t-shirt for his Hugo Award nomination, which if you don’t know the back story then read it and hilarious.

I bought myself Christmas presents and Christmas came early in the form of a new Garmin Vivosmart HR+ and a couple pairs of Adidas Adizero Boston 6 runners and everything is better. I’m still getting used to the Garmin interface and the iPhone app, but I’m already much happier with its distance and tracking accuracy. New shoes are really great. After logging 1,145 km (oops…) on my Nike Air Pegasus 33s it was time for something new. To say the least. The Boston 6s are lighter and fit my narrow feet better than the Nikes. So far, no complaints. Which is weird for me. I complain about everything. I’m a marathon and a half or so away from my goal of 2,000 km for 2016 and with three weeks to go to cover 67 km I think I’m going to make it, barring illness or injury and I better not have just jinxed it.