in Reading challenge, November 2020

41 minutes

More "Family". Still enjoy reading dialogue between characters. This is a longer chapter than some of the others. I guess the remainder is for tomorrow.


71 minutes

More 《平如美堂》today. The pictures are wonderful and the descriptions of everything are so detailed and vivid. It's amazing that these are a collection of memories.

72 minutes

35 mins of《平如美堂》
37 mins of《家》
Definitely read too slowly in both cases. I had to reread paragraphs due to a lack of focus. I usually read at least a chapter of Family, but I didn't want to force myself to today. I love reading and definitely don't want to suddenly make it a chore. Seems like it was the right decision for me.


27 minutes

I almost finished with volume 2 of “The Prince of Tennis", gotta fish out volume 3 from my box of books sent from China that didn't have space on my bookshelf. Giving myself a small rest from Family today.

45 minutes


66 minutes

Chapter 23 and 24 of "Family". I'm trying to reassure myself that even picking up any reading material, no matter how long is already good enough. We are getting there (yes, the royal "we" haha).


That's the spirit! We're all getting there :)

29 minutes

I only had time for the NYT article 中国发射嫦娥五号,前往月球“挖土”, you know I had to read about this while the news is pretty fresh.

Tomorrow there is another reading challenge starting on IG, so I think I will need to allocate strict times while I work on finishing off “Family" for this challenge and continue with "The Three-Body Problem"/start [insert title of one of the one opened books on my self] for the other.

24 minutes

《文言文启蒙读本》: This is a book we used to study with in Shanghai. I'm going through it slowly to consolidate what I learn and try and make some translations because I don't know how to prioritise, (jk, kind of). The first story was 《鳝救婢》

51 minutes

Volume 1 of 《新网球王子》 completed. It's a nice pleasant read after a tough day. Of course, lots of tennis is involved and it is great.

78 minutes

Chapter 21 and 22 of Family. The whole tone of the novel has completely changed.


76 minutes

Chapter 20 of Family.
Yup, the last chapter had a cliffhanger for a reason.
Another twenty chapters to go.

59 minutes

Chapter 19 of Family, which ended on a cliffhanger!!!! Everything seems hunkey-dory with a lot of talking between the younger members of the family and then AHHH! I'm sure I will find out what is up in the next chapter.



P.S. I have upped my goal from 15 hours until 20, which I think I will make and when the time come will up again.

50 minutes

Hehe I'm working on Folding Beijing, but I've promised myself to get back to Family today. (To be fair, I think I have read at least a chapter of that a day, so I don't think I should worry about not reading it.)

58 minutes

After seeing Olle Linge's post about "Folding Beijing", I checked out the first chapter.
I also read chapter 18 of Ba Jin's "Family". My takeaway quotation is, “你以为一个人应该把自己的快乐建筑在别人的痛苦吗?”
I was also able to make a start on another manga called “The Prince of Tennis" because I have the physical copy of the series (to be honest, I have a stack of unread books that I need to make my way through). Apparently, it was/is? very popular. So far so good.

30 minutes

I played the Escape game (I saw that some of the others had). It was a lot of fun.

31 minutes

Read Chapter 17 of 《家》. There was mention of a piece called 《梅花三弄》, I am listening to it now as I type this.


57 minutes

Chapter 16 of 《家》. I feel like I have just overheard a gossip session about who their crushes are, thanks to the eavesdropping of one of the characters. When put in context, the implications of what is being said is a lot more serious than that, but it nonetheless still felt light and easy to read.


10 minutes

A very short BBC article on the Space X launch: SpaceX任务再升空: 美国近地航天飞行正式进入商业时代. I watched closely the first time, but this time I just relied on commentary from my dad; I've been a little bit too busy to pay attention to the recent news regarding space exploration.

I'm glad I was able to read again. I used this article as a short break from a task I am working on.

65 minutes

I'm officially over a third of the way through 《家》. I'm definitely going to need to commit to at least two chapters a day if I am going to finish it by the end of the month. We shall see. Either way,I am enjoying the story. I am getting to know the main characters a lot, but sometimes get confused by random people that pop up here and there (there are many family members in the book). I have serious notes now as to who is who and they are related to another who.


14 minutes

I finished Chapter 14 of Ba Jin's "Family".


45 minutes

I got to page 100 of "Family", but I haven't yet finished the chapter. It is my dad's birthday today I'm gonna hang out with him and mom today. All the while hoping that I will have enough to finish the chapter tonight.


28 minutes

Finished Vol.1 of Ajin: Demi-Human 《亚人》 (繁体字). Still getting by on good guesses with unfamiliar traditional characters. Still hoping to catch up to the anime ASAP. Noted 诱饵 because even though the meaning could be gleaned from the context, I want to remember how to say it in future. I'm going to look up a few example sentences before bed.

30 minutes

For chapter 12 of 《家》, the slogan seems to be “我是青春,我不是畸人,我不是愚人,我要给自己把幸福争过来。”
I read through this chapter faster than usual because I tried reading along with the audio. Even though I've liked this process when reading other books, I really don't like doing it this way for this book in particular. I think it's because I have already developed the habit of reading it for myself over the last few days -- I dunno, can we develop habits that quickly? Or at least, it feels more enjoyable; so I going to go back to reading in my own voice (whether that be in my head or out loud).

Oooo, maybe I could get to page 100 before the weekend is over; that would be nice.


40 minutes

Chapter 13 of "Family" -- It's New Year's Eve and the whole family is there to eat 年饭 and generally have a good time. Some of the characters end up playing drinking games 行酒令 (after reading, I had to look up the rules to 飞花令) and generally having a good time. Everything is described so vibrantly, I can imagine the scene quite clearly in mind. Which then complete changes by end of the chapter and that is reflected in the tone and description.


37 minutes

After a short break, I finished the second half of 《侠女》. This went quicker than the first half because I decided to stop writing out an English translation and just enjoy the story, which ended being a lot more violent than expected, and to be honest, I should have expected it. At least, I will make it to bed before midnight today.

22 minutes

Vol 1 Ch 4 of "Ajin: Demi-Human" 《亚人》 in traditional characters. I really want to catch up to the anime so that I can find out what happens beyond then. I almost didn't record this session here, because I want to go to sleep. I think I may have to reconsider reading so late, or allow myself to record my session in the morning.

51 minutes

So I interrupted reading my usual material this evening to read “The Magnanimous Girl” 《侠女》from Pu Songling's "Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio" 蒲松龄的《聊斋志异》. I am part of a group that reads one of the short stories every week (we used to meet in a London bookshop). I haven't been attending for several months, but today, I don't know why (probably because I miss the others) I have been thinking about whether I should join them tomorrow or not. While I deliberate, I thought I should read the text that will discuss just in case. So that is what I have done.
I enjoy this sentence a lot, "长得虽艳如桃李,性情却冷如冰霜".

47 minutes

My morning reading was delayed by bad dreams, a call with my friend, and a two-hour Crosstalk performance that a different friend was performing in. This chapter of “Family" included a diary entry and the only thing that was not allowing me to read it smoothly was the use of “底” instead of “的”. I kept tripping over this character and wasn't able to adjust quickly which I could do for “罢” and “吧”. However, this is great, because this is something I can be aware of going forward.

The author of the diary entry feels trapped (in a metaphorical sense but also literally arguably) and is looking to escape so that he can live his own life.


61 minutes

Chapter 10 of "Family". Wow. The chapter was very simple in terms of plot, but I got to know how some of the characters feel about each other as well as the complexity of their situation. I feel like I should start a list of "things I should know how to say but don't" because such phrases seem to pop up in every chapter, which I am loving. Today's was “她的面庞占据了他的全部思想”。

I'm enjoying the picture that is forming in my mind as I read. I guess I'm just enjoying the reading process in general as I should be, I guess.


30 minutes

I read the second 章 of the manga 《亚人》 while waiting for a video to download haha. Because it's in traditional characters, I am reading a lot slower than if it was in simplified, but I am rarely coming across new vocabulary. I think it helps that I have also seen the anime.

41 minutes

Another chapter of Family. At this point, I am understanding the character's personalities a lot more and how their approaches to different situations. I am definitely seeing some themes running through (for fear of spoiling, I won't say here, but I'm making notes of for my eventual 观后感, so it’s all good.) Still really enjoying the read. Had an easier time of it compared to this morning.


38 minutes

Another chapter of Ba Jin's family. Ah so much is happening and it's still early on the book. I found the phrase 他把两手围着嘴唇大声说 useful (another one that may have taken me a while to come up with myself.) The chapter was shorter this time, but I found myself losing focus and having to reread paragraphs. I'm not sure why.

I'm aiming to read another chapter later on today, but no matter if not (don't want to put unnecessary pressure on myself.

65 minutes

This month, I would like to make good progress with Ba Jin's "Family" 《家》 (starting from Chapter 7) and Liu CiXin's "The Three-Body Problem" 《三体》(from Chapter 10). I also have started the manhua "Yajin: demi human" 《亚人》but I am getting through that rather quickly.

Today I read until Chapter 8 of "Family". I am enjoying the plot so far; I can sense some drama on the horizon. I also came across useful phrases of which I previously would have had to spend time on formulating how to say in Chinese, e.g. 他生错了时代了. It seems simple, I know. Now, I am going to review my notes and summary of the novel and look up additional example sentences.

I think a good start to Day 1 of the challenge. I'm probably going to read some more this evening. (44/333)

I have 三体 in both english and mandarin on my table, waiting for my language proficiency to catch up so I can finally read it ...

It so happens that I have read book 1 & part of book 2 of 《三体》and just recently finished reading 《家》! I liked both. I found《家》 really interesting and yes, drama to come.

With 《三体》, I really wanted to buy the English translation of it, but I had just started learning Chinese then. I promised myself no matter how long it takes, I have to read the original first. It's been hard waiting because I keep hearing how good it is (and what I have read so far is not bad at all!) Ahh, I'm glad you enjoyed all the books. I'm looking forward to getting through them all.

Challenge time progress:100%
Goal progress:124.1%
Hours reported24.81