I haven’t even finished one book yet. I started One Hundred Years of Solitude, which I hoped would be one to check off several of those “You’ve-Gotta-Read-This-Before-You-Die” lists (including The Well-Educated Mind, which I’m trying to read through), and I’m giving it up. There are just too many other books I want to read. I thought I would love it — I tend to love books that follow a family for several generations, sagas about civilizations (like some of Ken Follet’s books), and I love both fantasy and realism. I guess I don’t enjoy books that don’t make it clear what they are supposed to be. I can’t say exactly what it was about this book that made me give it up.
So since I’m behind, I decided to spend this week reading some shorter books I have on hand. Before our trip to the Bahamas, which we took right after my last post, my husband checked out several books from the library. Some of them seem interesting, so I’ll try and rip through those this week. Here is what I have:
Malcolm Gladwell’s What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures. Malcolm Gladwell is probably my husband’s favorite author, and he is always reading blurbs to me. I have enjoyed those blurbs, so I’m going to read this one for myself.
Ford County, a book of short stories by John Grisham.
The Family Fang about parents who are performance artists and make their kids a part of their project. It looks quirky and interesting.
I’m also reading Macbeth for Literary Odyssey’s Shakespeare Reading Month challenge. I’ve already started this.
That should get me caught up.
Also for January, I’m planning to start Oliver Twist for my goal of reading Dickens this year. It is also on The Well-Educated Mind list and will count for that and for the 12 classics in 12 months challenge.
For the rest of the year, these books are on my list:
In January, the following Shakespeare plays:
Throughout the year, the following Dickens books (my goal is one per month):
The aforementioned Oliver Twist
A Child’s History of England
The Pickwick Papers
The Old Curiosity Shop
Our Mutual Friend
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
For December, his various Christmas-themed short stories.
Four plays by Sophocles, for the Greek Classics Challenge at Howling Frog Books:
Oedipus the King
Oedipus at Colonus
Walden, which has been on my shelf for years.
Adam Beade by George Eliot. My mom got me this for Christmas one year. I was about halfway through it and then got swept up in something else and never came back to it. I can’t for the life of me figure out why I didn’t.
For fun, more of The Coffeehouse Mysteries and The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries.
Parnassus On Wheels and its sequel, The Haunted Bookshop. I just found these when getting the link for the Haunted Bookshop series (different author, different century), and they look like my cup o’ joe. On the list they go!
A biography of Dickens. Don’t know which one yet. There are a multitude. I’ll have to read some reviews.
A biography of Shakespeare, and maybe a history of Elizabethan England.
A biography of Jane Austen, because I just don’t want to be done with her yet. And maybe something more general about the culture of which she wrote.
(For those last three, suggestions are welcome.)
That still leaves plenty of room for other discoveries. I’ll include books I read to the kids, as long as they’re fairly substantial (they usually are) and I haven’t read them within the last ten years or more than once. Right now I’m reading Understood Betsy to Megan and That Glorious Cause to Zach. Other read-alouds on my list for the year are:
The Great Brain
The Pyridian Chronicles
The Twenty-One Balloons
Bud, Not Buddy
The Chronicles of Narnia
Let the Circle Be Unbroken
The Watsons Go to Birmingham
Paddle-To-the-Sea, Minn of the Mississippi, A Tree In the Trail and other Holling books
For Zach (yes, I still read aloud to my almost-14-year-old, although he is perfectly capable of reading and comprehending college-level material, which I attribute to the fact that I still read aloud to him):
Fahrenheit 451. We enjoyed Something Wicked This Way Comes, so I think he’d like some more Bradbury.
The Invisible Man (the H.G. Wells one)
Whatever Shaara books we can find. We have The Last Full Measure and Gods and Generals here that we haven’t read yet.
The Hiding Place
Watership Down Gosh, this was one of my FAVORITES when I was his age. I’m nervous that he won’t love it. I hope he does! I think this one will be next, as soon as we’re done with That Glorious Cause
The Return of the King
I was going to put Tuesdays With Morrie and The Five People You Meet In Heaven on this list, but I think I’ll allow dh to share those with him. Mitch Albom is another of his favorites. Besides, I can’t include them in my list of 52, since I’ve read them more than once and within the last 10 years.
I’m still taking part in The Well-Educated Mind challenge, the 12 Classics in 12 Months challenge, and the Read Around the Globe challenge. Many of my books listed above count towards those, and I’ll list them as I complete them. I’m also reading through the Bible again following a one-year plan.