Friday, 13 January 2012

Classics and other reading goals

Nymeth over at things mean alot had a wonderful post on her reading goals back on Dec 29, which I somehow missed.  I caught up on it today, and it has inspired me to think about some of my reading goals for this year.  Care also has a post up today on her blog, Care's Online book Club, about new to her authors that she wants to read this year. This is also something I want to do.  I have, at last count, 32 first books in series that I haven't read yet, on my shelves.  That's an awesome figure of books I've been collecting over the years!  Obviously I am a sucker for series. And while they aren't all new to me authors, many of them are. 

One of my main reading goals is to continue to read whatever I want, when I want to.  I discovered that I had been hoarding new books coming into the house, for a rainy day I guess, and I decided last year to read the new books I was really anticipating.  It worked wonders for me, and even better, I haven't run out!  There are even more new books I want to read!

Another reading goal: read more classics. Period.  I was really ashamed to see I had read only one classic last year! And that was at Christmas - A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (which I loved, by the way.  One of many reviews to come).
1. Ulysses - James Joyce (I bogged down last year after I hurt my knee.  I can blame the pain for only so much, though!)
2. The Diary of Samuel Pepys (I was really enjoying this two years ago, and then I got sidetracked)
3. Bleak House - Charles Dickens - I love, love, love the BBC series and got it for Christmas last year. So let's just read the book now, Susan!!
4. North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell (I love love love the BBC series of this one too.  I watch it every year. So I have got to read the book and compare.  Surely the book is better, it usually is, so more of Margaret and John can only be good, right?)
5. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons - (my mother loves this book, everyone in the blogging world loves it, what am I waiting for?)
6. Foundation - Isaac Asimov
7. Hrolf Krakis Saga - Poul Anderson
8. The Famished Road - Ben Okri
9. Oh Pioneers - Willa Cather
10. The Gathering - Anne Enright
11. The Mabinogion
12. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
13. The Mill on the Floss - George Eliot
14.Where Late the Birds Sang - Kate Wilhelm
15 Barchester Towers - Anthony Trollope
16. Montaigne's Essays
17. Sir Thomas Wyatt - poems (am looking for an edition of his work currently)
18. Voltaire - Letters on England
19 Shakespeare - anything

I'd better stop there. Considering I've never read more than 5 classics in any one year willingly, if I complete half of what I've listed, it will be fabulous.  I have a hankering for Thomas Hardy, who I haven't read since my university days. So the above is a tentative list of classics I'd like to read this year.

It's late so I will save the "new to me authors first in a series" list I was planning.  The 32 books I'd pulled out two weeks ago were awesome!!!  and kind of frightening.  Seconds in a series I was expecting, but I didn't have many.  Apparently when I get through book one, if I really like it, I continue to read the series through after.  So I think it's time I looked at those first books in a series! List to come later this weekend.


Cath said...

I so love this post! I read exactly two classics last year, The Warden and Barchester Towers, both by Trollope of course. It's really not enough.

In my little notebook I keep where I list books I want to read next year I've written: Thomas Hardy (of whom I have read absolutely nothing) Return of the Native, The Mayor of Casterbridge and The Woodlanders. So we seem to be thinking very much along the same lines!

My Dickens for this year will hopefully be Our Mutual Friend. I think it's set around the Thames so maybe I should treat myself to that Peter Ackroyd book and read them back to back. LOL. (Actually that's not such a silly idea...) I also want to reread Great Expectations after watching the Christmas BBC production which was excellent. The BBC have done well with Dickens this year.

I also want to read something by George Eliot but have no idea what. And I *really* need to get my dvds of North and South out and watch them. Oh and I also have O Pioneers on my list to read for next year... and more Edith Wharton. Loads of plans...

I'm such a sucker for a series too, and have far too many on the go. Suspect I'll start even more this year and am excitedly wondering which new ones I'll discover. Last year it was Anna Pigeon and Merrily Watkins that excited me. But I also want to get back to old ones started but not finished, Matthew Shardlake for instance.

Good luck with everything and I look forward to your lovely thoughtful posts on what you read, Susan.

Memory said...

I love your list of classic lit! I also want to read more of the stuff this year. Ditto Classics (Greek and Roman literature and history). I've already started on THE HISTORIES by Herodotus, something I've read excerpts from but have never tackled in its entirity. My plan is to read at least ten or twenty pages per day until it's done. Herodotus usually relates one or two complete stories in that amount of time, so the reading doesn't feel fragmented. It's been a lot of fun so far; so much so that I hope to start in on another ancient text once I finish.

Court said...

As far as N&S goes, there are parts of the miniseries that are so much better, and parts of the book that are so much better. The endings are different, and I love both of them so much. :) I hope you enjoy reading the book - it's one of my faves!

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

I love the idea of reading what you want and not waiting on books you're excited about just in case. That's a great goal.

Susan said...

Cath: thanks so much! It is rather shameful, how little classics I've read lately. I wanted to read Barchester Towers after you and Eva (I think it was her who read it recently too) posted about it last year.

I have a little notebook too! I don't have a reading plan listed though, just an ongoing list of books to look at or read when I can find them. I like making a list for what you want to read in the next year, too. I use my blog here for that, I think.

Hardy, Dickens, Eliot, we are thinking along the same lines! I have read some Hardy, though I think now I'm old enough to appreciate what he was trying to say, better than in my twenties.

I have to get back to Matthew Shardlake too. I'm stuck on book 2, and I want to get to the York-setting book!

I look forward to your posts, too, Cath. You write such enjoyable posts about books, and life.

By the way, I'm reading The House at Sea End today, and loving it!

Memory: thank you! I liked that I had to curtail myself - though now I have to go read some of them, too! I've wanted to read Herodotus ever since The English Patient. I always think of the book the main character (can I call him just the Baron?) pulls out, with the notes and postcard that hold his secrets, and how she fell in love with him. Wonderful. So the book has always pulled at me. How are you finding it?

Court: Thank you so much! I wondered if that was the case, for the book and movie being different, as well as the ending. I'm really looking forward to reading it this year. Glad to know you love it so much! :-)

Kim: It's taken me many years to stop hoarding good books for some rainy day! lol I treat them like treasure, and I wanted to stop being like Smaug and just looking at them. I want to read them and let them in.....I'm really enjoying this new way of reading, too.

Care said...

Huh - I thought I commented on this already. oops...
Oh, just HAPPY NEW YEAR and HERE's TO READING GOALS. I'm positive that I had a more insightful comment the first time I read this post. :D

Care said...

Huh - I thought I commented on this already. oops...
Oh, just HAPPY NEW YEAR and HERE's TO READING GOALS. I'm positive that I had a more insightful comment the first time I read this post. :D

Nymeth said...

You definitely need to read Cold Comfort Farm! And North and South too. And *I* have to watch the BBC adaptation, which I've owned on DVD for over a year but still haven't watched.

Sam Sattler said...

Susan, I found that I'm so bad at making goals and meeting reading challenges that 2012 is the first year in a long time that I don't have any stated goals...but I can't get rid of the concept and it's still in the back of my mind, especially the one about reading more classic lit.

I really like your goal of reading new books as you get them rather than "hoarding" them for later...I'm very guilty of that. It has gotten so bad that "once-a-year-authors" have now gotten two years ahead of me in some cases. That's just stupid on my part.

Bybee said...

Cold Comfort Farm is so much fun! I'm so glad you have it to look forward to as you are recuperating.

Susan said...

Care: lol! thanks for replying again. I hate that too, when I think first time around I had something good to say, and then forget what it was....

Nymeth: I know! I can't believe it's taken me this long to get it in the house. Everyone I know has really enjoyed it.

The BBC adaptation of North and South is good, although if you've read the book first, I've been warned the adaptation is a little different, as it always is. I hope you still enjoy it when you see it.

Sam: I know, when I realized that I was falling years behind in my favourite authors, I thought, this is stupid!!! They're the ones I want to read!It really made a difference this past year, in that I read even more what I wanted to read, and really enjoyed this year. Not that I didnt' any other year, it's that I made a point of reading what I liked, not just to expand my horizons. I'm curious to see if I can keep it up this year, with the goals I do have in mind.

Bybee: See? You're another one who loved it! lol! I'll let you know when I've read it, fingers crossed I enjoy it as much too.

Cheryl @ Marvelous Tales said...

I love that your goal for Shakespeare is "anything"! You can't really go wrong with the Bard. :) That said, I'd recommend Much Ado About Nothing or Taming of the Shrew--two of my favorites! Good luck with your goals!