And what are we up to today?
Remember that time when John met Sherlock???
Title: A Study in Scarlet
Status: Read it already
Spoilers in this post? Nope
Memorable quotes: We can thank A Study in Scarlet for the following popular Holmesian phrases...
"It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence." (Holmes, warning Watson not to make an ASS out of U and ME.)
"I have made a special study of cigar ashes--in fact, I have written a monograph upon the subject." (Holmes, challenging Watson to write a more gripping read than he does. Gauntlet=thrown.)
Now. Quotes that should be memorable. (This is the section where I expound upon what did not go viral but maybe should have. I'll be doing this for every story.)
"You sum up the difficulties of the situation succinctly and well." (Holmes to Watson)
I chose this quote because it is, in a single line, the crux of this partnership. Notice I do not say the crux of the friendship. We'll get to that. No, this is the foundation of Holmes' appreciation for Watson, not as a detective, but as a lens through which the raging torrent of Holmes' observations line themselves up like nice little school children. Watson may not have the chops to solve the case himself, but he can frame the miasma properly so that Holmes sees straight through. Love it. ILU<3.
"There's the scarlet thread of murder running through the colorless skein of life."
Guh. WHY did you not go viral. Whyyyyyyyy.
"There are vague memories in our souls of those misty centuries when the world was in its childhood."
Yes, that was Sherlock Holmes speaking. Another beauty of a line, and quite poetic for a character who doesn't go in for all that romantic drivel.
"What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence. The question is, what can you make people believe that you have done?"
This is Holmes, kvetching halfheartedly about certain police inspectors taking public credit for solving certain cases. Going a little deeper, it speaks to Holmes' unique form of sleight-of-hand: misdirection, exaggeration, and physical disguise are some of his greatest tools. But I chose this quote because there is a chilling quality to Holmes' observation. Ponder these words in a world where it's getting harder and harder to find unbiased, unslanted, uneditorialized coverage of anything that goes on. It is so easy to be convinced by what is on the surface, to just believe what we are told by whoever tells it. It reminds me to keep my Critical Thinking Goggles close at hand, and to take a second or even third look at whatever I see.
Next up: The Sign of Four. ^_^
The other day, Goodreads poked me in the email and said, "HEY. HEY, YOU. Wanna make a reading goal?"
I of course said yes, having a very specific goal in mind. But then I clicked the helpful link and saw that I couldn't do anything more detailed than pick a number of books! How devastating, as my Very Sekrit Goal involves a grand total of...
Two books. Ooh, Grete, there's a finish line to strive for.
But I'm going to do it, in light of last year's successful accomplishment of another specific goal - I walked the length of Hadrian's Wall in Northern England, a longtime bucket list item for me (and who even cares if I'm "too young to have a bucket list"? I say the earlier you start, the more you get done!). This goal was only half realized in one respect, however, as it initially included 12 hikes in 12 weeks, complete with bloggy coverage. On Hike #2, I very ignobly fell coming down the steps from my apartment, overextended some tendon somewhere, and promptly bid goodbye to the 12 weeks part of the goal. I kept to my 12 hikes, but then lost the blogging part as well due to laziness uploading my photos.
Clearly I need to work on some aspects of my goal-setting.
HOWEVER. I did in fact meet the Ultimate Goal by hiking the Wall, a scary, gorgeous, mind-blowing, enriching, and utterly satisfying experience, despite the lack of blogging about it afterward. Ergo, this year I have decided to tackle another very different bucket list item.
I'm a Sherlock Holmes nut. I like just about every version I've come across for one reason or another, but for the average Holmesian, this last decade has been an absolute smorgasbord. We've got the Guy Ritchie films (for the first time, I see an actual VictorianDruggieBumHolmes, and I can't get over the RIGHTNESS of it, plus a kick-ass Watson)... Elementary (if the cases aren't always super clever, the relationship building is top-notch, and of course the gender-play, OH, the gender-play, plus a kick-ass Watson)... and BBC's Sherlock (near-perfect transposition into a modern setting, with hilarious scripting from a few of the most unapologetic Holmes geeks in the world and wonderful acting, plus, you guessed it, a kick-ass Watson).
(Finally, Watson! You are no longer being crammed into the Bumbling Idiot Box! Where you never should have been in the first place! Don't get me started!)
That's not even mentioning the Russian television series, the genderswitch sHERlock series, or the myriad other versions that have been bubbling up. Succinctly put, it's a great time to be a Holmes fan.
Hence, the goal: I intend to read the entire Sherlock Holmes repertoire by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the year 2016. And I intend to blog about it. I have recently gotten my hands on these two beauties,
which include, among other things, a spreadsheet running the lives of Holmes, Watson, and Doyle side by side from year to year (!!!).
But mainly I will be indulging in this compilation:
the books of which house every novel, short story and essay in order of (generally) chronological occurrence, are very pretty, and are much easier to pack into my shoulder bag than those other two.
Being a Holmes fan, thanks to my even crazier Holmes-fan of a mother, I have read a lot of these stories already, but I have woefully under-represented the novels and I intend to remedy that.
So! Two books. Twelve months. 1392 pages. The game, as they say, is afoot.
Hello! My name is Grete and welcome to my writing blog! I am a writer or romance, horror, and general observation