Well, April was not a great reading month for me. Between being sick and getting side-tracked on a few things, I didn’t make much of a dent this month. However, I am actually making some good progress on reading some of the books I picked out for 2017 (more to come on this). I enjoyed reading To The Bright Edge of the World as it was full of outdoor adventures and exploration of new territories – it inspired me to get out in nature more often! I’m also in the midst of reading The Art Forger and I’m really enjoying learning more about the infamous art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston.
In honor of National Poetry Month, I had a stack of poetry books I hoped to read this month. Unfortunately, I ended up getting side-lined with the flu, so reading progress came to a screeching halt for a couple of weeks. I read Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne. I enjoyed reading the letters and poetry, especially after watching the movie Bright Star a few years ago. I really didn’t know much about John Keats before the movie, outside of some his more famous poems, and for whatever reason, that movie really struck a chord with me. Perhaps because he was so young when he passed away, struggling to make his poetry known to the world. Perhaps it was the love story. I digress, but it helped me rediscover John Keats and his poetry.
Here a few poetry books I have set out on my reading table and hope to tackle over the next month or so (for belated National Poetry Month!) 😀
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.
So far, so good in terms of my reading progress – 14% of the way towards my goal of 50 books. I completed two non-fiction books this month, and I’m about halfway through Mansfield Park and also working on some poetry. I think this is the maximum amount of books I can juggle at one time!
I’m going to strive for a goal of 50 books in 2017. I’ve selected a few books that I hope to read in 2017 – I’m sure I’ll get side-tracked by new books, so we’ll see how well I do with completing the stack. 😉
I thought I would round up of some of my favorite poems for the winter season. Is it just me, or do you conjure up images of Robert Frost and some of his poems, like Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, when thinking about winter poems?
Snow-flakes by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Snow flakes by Emily Dickinson
Winter Stars by Sara Teasdale
A Winter Morning by Ted Kooser
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
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!
2016 is a wrap! I made some progress towards the end of the year with reading and overall, had a good mix of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. After reviewing my list, I was surprised to see that I ended up reading five of the six Sara Donati books from the Wilderness series. I’ll plan to read the final book, The Endless Forest, in 2017. I will have to reflect on some of my favorites from 2016. Did you have any reading highlights or favorites in 2016?