Victober

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.  😀

 

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Classics – An Update

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.

  • Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • Vanity Fair by William Thackeray
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
  • Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
  • The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens
  • Nicholas Nickelby by Charles Dickens
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
  • Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
  • Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
  • The Portait of a Lady by Henry James
  • The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
  • Middlemarch by George Eliot
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nobokov
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • Candide by Voltaire
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • Paradise Lost by John Milton
  • Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
  • Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
  • Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
  • A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
  • Howard’s End by E.M. Forster
  • Far from a Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  • Villette by Charlotte Bronte
  • The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Completed Books – August, 2017

  1. Picnic, Lightning
  2. Power Foods for the Brain
  3. Of Bees and Mist
  4. House of Light
  5. Upstream
  6. Bio-Young
  7. The Little Book of Hygge
  8. Mansfield Park
  9. Yours Truly
  10. 100 Days of Real Food: Fast and Fabulous
  11. The School of Night
  12. Always
  13. A Moveable Feast
  14. Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne
  15. To the Bright Edge of the World
  16. The Art Forger
  17. How to Hygge
  18. Pablo Neruda: Absence and Presence
  19. Delicious!
  20. The Magnolia Story
  21. The Endless Forest
  22. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  23. Where the Sidewalk Ends
  24. The Bookshop on the Corner
  25. The Lake House
  26. Blue Iris
  27. The Wind in the Willows
  28. How Not to Die
  29. The Gifts of Reading (essay)
  30. The Wild Places
  31. Northanger Abbey

Happy Reading!

Completed Books – June, 2017

  1. Picnic, Lightning
  2. Power Foods for the Brain
  3. Of Bees and Mist
  4. House of Light
  5. Upstream
  6. Bio-Young
  7. The Little Book of Hygge
  8. Mansfield Park
  9. Yours Truly
  10. 100 Days of Real Food: Fast and Fabulous
  11. The School of Night
  12. Always
  13. A Moveable Feast
  14. Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne
  15. To the Bright Edge of the World
  16. The Art Forger
  17. How to Hygge
  18. Pablo Neruda: Absence and Presence
  19. Delicious!
  20. The Magnolia Story
  21. The Endless Forest
  22. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Happy Reading!

Completed Books – May, 2017

I’m a little behind in my reading goal of 50 books for the year, but getting close to the halfway mark.  I have a huge stack of books from the library (why do they all seem to be available at the same time?!), so I hope to make more progress this month. I have a couple of books I’m reading at the same time – a mix of non-fiction and fiction and really need to get back to reading some poetry as well!

  1. Picnic, Lightning
  2. Power Foods for the Brain
  3. Of Bees and Mist
  4. House of Light
  5. Upstream
  6. Bio-Young
  7. The Little Book of Hygge
  8. Mansfield Park
  9. Yours Truly
  10. 100 Days of Real Food: Fast and Fabulous
  11. The School of Night
  12. Always
  13. A Moveable Feast
  14. Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne
  15. To the Bright Edge of the World
  16. The Art Forger
  17. How to Hygge
  18. Pablo Neruda: Absence and Presence

Happy Reading!

Completed Books – April, 2017

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.

  1. Picnic, Lightning
  2. Power Foods for the Brain
  3. Of Bees and Mist
  4. House of Light
  5. Upstream
  6. Bio-Young
  7. The Little Book of Hygge
  8. Mansfield Park
  9. Yours Truly
  10. 100 Days of Real Food: Fast and Fabulous
  11. The School of Night
  12. Always
  13. A Moveable Feast
  14. Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne
  15. To the Bright Edge of the World

Happy Reading!

In Honor of National Poetry Month

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!) 😀

Single- or Multi-Tasking?

I’ve noticed that my attention span seems to be decreasing.  Even when I’m reading a book, I can’t help but keep my phone nearby “just in case” I get an important text message, e-mail, etc.  Let’s be real – I don’t have anything that urgent I need to check on where I can’t set aside a solid half hour or more to immerse myself in a book.  However, I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve really lost focus lately – even with a good book!  :-/

I’m not going to point my finger at technology, as I am definitely a user and consumer of technology and love many of its efficiencies and benefits.  However, if I take a step back, I wonder whether I always need to be “connected” and whether I am really more efficient when I am multi-tasking and checking e-mail, listening to a podcast, and bouncing back and forth with text messages at the same time.  Probably not…  It got me thinking about single-taking versus multi-tasking.  It seems like there quite a few thoughts and articles on this topic as of late, and I keep hearing the benefits of taking time to single-task, which creates more mindfulness and awareness.

In a society where we are “on” 24×7, I think it really becomes challenging and more of an effort to single-task and focus on one thing.  Given my recent lack of focus, I am going to challenge myself to single-tasking and try to be more present and “in the moment” which each thing I do, whether it be the mundane like folding laundry to the more important things like a chat over coffee with a friend, or when escaping in a good book.  Anyone else out there encountering similar challenges?

Completed Books – March, 2017

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.

  1. Picnic, Lightning
  2. Power Foods for the Brain
  3. Of Bees and Mist
  4. House of Light
  5. Upstream
  6. Bio-Young
  7. The Little Book of Hygge
  8. Mansfield Park
  9. Yours Truly
  10. 100 Days of Real Food: Fast and Fabulous
  11. The School of Night
  12. Always
  13. A Moveable Feast

Happy Reading!

Completed Books – February, 2017

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!  :-/

  1. Picnic, Lightning
  2. Power Foods for the Brain
  3. Of Bees and Mist
  4. House of Light
  5. Upstream
  6. Bio-Young
  7. The Little Book of Hygge

Happy Reading!