Friday 1 January 2010

2010: new reading challenges.

Last year I failed miserably in my target of reading 100 new books, managing only 82. This year, I am setting myself another challenge. All those books I intend to reread and never seem to manage more than one or two, I'm going to try to read this year. 2010 will be the Year of the Reread. Not that I am limiting myself only to this task. I want to read widely and around my chosen books, so, for example, as well as rereading Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, I intend to read, at the minimum, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and a biography of the Bronte family. My reading will come into several categories:

Category A. Classics:
I plan to reread all of Jane Austen's novels. Also, something by Georgette Heyer. That one shouldn't be a problem as I've got one on loan from a friend. Regency Mills and Boon novels are not included on the reading list.
As I mentioned, something by each of the Brontes.
A Tale of Two Cities, as one of my favourite novels of all time, plus a new Dickens that I've not yet read. I have the complete set, second hand from my Grandma, who was given them as a present from her first boyfriend's mother during World War 2. So should see that they get some love.

Category B. Children's:
The Chronicles of Narnia. These I've already made a start on, and I've got as far as The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
All of my LM Montgomery books: I have the Anne and Emily books and The Blue Castle. Also intend to add Pat of Silver Bush novels to the collection.
All the Little House on the Prairie books.
Swallows and Amazons, Swallowdale, Winter Holiday, Pigeon Post and The Picts and the Martyrs, my favourites of Arthur Ransome's sailing books.
All of the Katy books.
Things like The Railway Children, A Little Princess and The Secret Garden. Also Alice in Wonderland. In short, most of the books that make it onto the "classic" shelf of my children's books' bookcase.
School stories: all of the Chalet School that I've got, plus Malory Towers and St Clares.
Selected Famous Five and other adventure stories by Enid Blyton.
And of course, Harry Potter.

Category C. Gothic Fiction
Most of the reading list of the course from university, though I won't bother with the "male and female" gothic of the last couple of weeks, as they weren't quite the same. I will, however, include The Historian and Interview with the Vampire in relation to Dracula, as well as John Polidori's The Vampyre that was missed off the reading list. Also I will add Ivanhoe, or possibly start of with that, which was pre-gothic, but links in quite nicely. Will read a couple more Poe stories, and reread The Little Stranger, which already makes itself quite at home in the Gothic canon.

Twilight is not compulsory reading for this module.

Category D. Fantasy
A few years ago, rereading Lord of the Rings was required reading every winter, first in preparation for the films, in 2002 and 2003, then for a couple of years just out of cosy habit. But as it came to the truth of So Many Books, So Little Time, it lay neglected for a few years. I picked it up again in December, and am currently mourning Gandalf outside Moria. I don't read much within the fantasy genre nowadays, but have a few series which I was fond of back when I was in the sixth form.
David Eddings' Elenium trilogy. If you've read one Eddings story, you've read them all, but this was my first .
Julia Gray's Guardian Cycle. Prophecies, madness (of a generally benign kind,) long-lost twins, floating islands, valleys buried beneath cloud... this was a wonderful world, and I lost two days of study leave for my A-Levels reading the last two books in the series.
Robin Hobb's Farseer, Liveship and Tawny Man trilogies. Also to read her Soldier Son trilogy, which I have not yet read, preferring to wait for the entire series to be published and in paperback.
At least two Pratchett rereads, plus one I've not yet read.
Also, I intend to finish Cecelia Dart-Thornton's Crowthistle Chronicles. I loved her first series, long-winded and verbose as it was, but when I came to read her second series, I had to take it one book at a time, as she was still writing them. When the third book came out in paperback, it had been so long since I had read the predecessor that I couldn't even finish the first chapter. The series is finished now, and I really ought to see how it ends!

Robert Jordan's twelve-volume Wheel of Time is not required reading.

Category Ei: Books I've been meaning to read for ages:
The Gormanghast trilogy

Category Eii: Wide reading
More generally, I aim to read books in various genres, including non-fiction (aiming for one travel, one biography, one history book and one literary criticism.) Also, books from all over the world, as most that I read seem to be written by authors from and set in the USA or England. This year I'm after books from or about Australia, Canada, Ireland, Africa, Asia and historical USA.

Finally, I intend to have less unread books on my shelves by the end of the year than I have at the moment. To read more than I buy new.

Now, I'm sure this is several reading challenges rolled into one. I don't even know if it would be physically possible to read and reread all that I've planned, but I'll give it my best shot. And if New Year's Eve comes along and I'm only half done, then I'll give myself another year. Or two.

In the meantime, I'd better get back to my book.

1 comment:

  1. I ought to get on write one of these. Then put it ina prominent place, because I did one on the computer last year, and found it last week.


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