So, I’ve come across a number of book-related blogs which reference a “Victober” reading challenge – a focus on reading Victorian literature for the month of October. Given my recent focus on getting back to the classics, I thought this was a perfect challenge for me.
A few books that I have in mind for this challenge:
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Far from a Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Villette by Charlotte Bronte
I had a number of other books I thought about adding to the list, but I tried to be realistic since it is only a month of reading. 😀
As a follow up to my post earlier this year on getting back to reading more classics, I’ve made some good progress over the last few months. I also updated my list with additional books at the bottom of the list. I’ve crossed off the books I’ve read so far this year, and hope to make more progress for the remainder of the year. I forgot how much I do enjoy reading classics – I just have to get back into that mindset and pace of reading.
I thought I would pop in with an update on some of the books I selected from my shelves for 2017. Of the twelve books pictured in the stack, I’ve read five of the books so far, and I’m working on The Wild Places now. As we’re at the midpoint in the year, I think I’ve made decent progress- usually by now I’m sidetracked with some new books or recommendations. I still have a number of classics to tackle, and there are a few books I want to read over the next month that are not on the list (and have yet to be acquired), but I’m planning on picking them up soon. I am easily distracted with new books or newly discovered books. 😀
March ended up being a good reading month – I am now 26% complete towards my goal of 50 books. 😀 I finished Mansfield Park, which I thought was a charming book. The School of Night brought back memories of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I also enjoyed A Moveable Feast, especially after reading The Paris Wife and Hemingway’s Girl. I think in honor of spring, I might try to read a few nature books next month, along some poetry since April is National Poetry Month.
I’ve seen a few popular lists of classics that everyone should read and I started thinking about all of the classics that I have yet to read. While I think I read a variety of books, I clearly have my work cut out for me when it comes to the classics. I’ve read a number of them throughout school and on my own, but as I started combing through lists, I realized that I have a number of books to add to my reading list!
I’ve created a list of classics that I still need to read. I’m going to attempt to update this list a few times a year (hopefully with a few completed books!)
As I think about some of my reading goals for 2017, I am planning to target 50 books again. I’ve been close the last few years (47 books in 2016, 45 in 2015, 44 in 2014, and 53 in 2013). As I mention in my last post, I hope to dive into more classics this year, which I anticipate will slow my reading progress a bit. I’ve pulled a few books below from my shelves that I hope to read in 2017. No guarantees, as I’m sure I’ll be side-tracked with new acquisitions and books. 🙂
I was inspired to get back into reading more classics from a post by The Misanthropologist. When I look back at my completed books over the past couple of years, there have a been a few classics, but I’ve definitely been drawn to more fiction, non-fiction and poetry. And let’s be real here – while I enjoy the classics, I need to be honest with myself and recognize that I need to be more mindful and focused when reading a classic compared to other books. While I feel like I’ve read a number of the more “popular” classics like Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Great Expectations, I have a list of classics on my “plan to read” list that I honestly wonder if I’ll ever end up reading! I’ve also considered re-reading some of the classics that were required in school, as I feel like I would have a different perspective and really enjoy reading them now.
As I look at my shelves, many of the classics that I still need to read are pretty intimidating in terms of size (e.g. Bleak House, Our Mutual Friend, Les Miserables, Vanity Fair, Moby Dick). After taking a look at my shelves and list of books I want to read and/or acquire, I think a few classics that I would like (and would be realistic) to tackle this year includes Mansfield Park, The Age of Innocence, Dombey and Son, and perhaps East of Eden and Little Men. We’re only a couple of weeks into the new year and I’m already wondering how I am going to finish everything I hope to read in 2017!
Before I dive into thinking about books I would like to read in 2017, I thought I would provide some thoughts and highlights from 2016. Overall, not a bad year for reading, although I made up for lost time in the last quarter of the year! I usually have a goal of 50 books and I completed 47 books this year. I had a mix of some non-fiction lifestyle and health-related books, poetry and fiction. I’m a little embarrassed to say that that I didn’t read many classics – just The Secret Garden. For fiction books, I read five of the six books in the Wilderness series by Sara Donati. I also enjoyed reading a number of books about authors, including Fallen Beauty, Call Me Zelda, Hemingway’s Girl and The House of Hawthorne. I also enjoyed reading more about Hemingway and his first wife in The Paris Wife.
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain – enjoyed reading about Hemingway’s time in Paris and the literary scene during that time period.
First Impressions by Charlie Lovett – I wasn’t a huge fan of the love triangle, but overall a charming book because you can really sense the author’s love of books. And you can’t go wrong with writing about Jane Austen! 🙂
Stayed tuned for some thoughts on goals for 2017. Happy reading!