Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What To Read...

Most of my books currently live at my parents' house due to the fact that the husband and I live in a tiny little apartment and, well, I have a lot of books.  Thus, every visit to my parent's house usually includes the transport of books in both directions: those that I have read and reviewed return to their home on the bookshelves of my childhood and those that I have any sort of inclination to read in the near future come home with me.  My trip to their house a few days ago was no different.  I was dropping off some books I read recently and intended to bring back A Christmas Carol, which I bought years ago and still have yet to get around to reading.  Alas, to my distress, Dickens's Christmas classic was nowhere to be found.

I searched the shelves above the desk.  I searched the folding bookshelf bought to supplement those shelves when I was in middle school.  I searched the deep drawer of the end table that my mother stuffed a pile of my books into for some unfathomable reason.  Nothing.  So I moved on to my mother's even more massive collection which comprises multiple generations worth of books: two small sets of shelves and two shelves thats stretch to the ceiling.  Nothing.  Throughout all of this I did, however, find several books by Virginia Woolf, Barbara Kingsolver, Jack London, John Steinbeck, George Eliot, and more that I've been meaning to read for years and never seem to get around to.  By the time I found A Christmas Carol in the under-bed storage container, I had filled a bag with about a dozen other books that I now plan to read in the not-too-distant future, meaning that I moved them from my long-term to-be-read pile at my parents' house to my shorter-term to-be-read pile at my apartment.  The husband was not pleased.

All of this is, in a addition to a demonstration of how ridiculous my book addiction is, a lead-up to a post about what I will be reading in the coming year!  So far, I have joined two book challenges that I'm very excited about: The Victorian Literature Challenge and the Back to the Classics Challenge.  For the former, I have committed to read ten to fourteen Victorian-era novels over 2011, the specifics of which have yet to be determined.  For the latter, I've come up with an incomplete, possible reading list based on the given categories, to be completed by the end of June:

1. A Banned Book: Animal Farm by George Orwell
2. A Book with a Wartime Setting: ????
3. A Pulitzer Prize Winner: The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
4. A Children's Classic: Peter Pan by JM Barrie
5. 19th Century Classic: Silas Marner by George Eliot
6. 20th Century Classic: The Waves by Virginia Woolf
7. A Potential 21st Century Classic: ????
8. A Book From High School: The Odyssey

Except for The Odyssey, which I never actually read in high school, these are all books that I've owned for years and never gotten around to reading.  My problem is that I can't decide on a wartime novel or a potential 21st century classic!  Help!  I welcome any suggestions.  The problem with the 21st century classic is, I have no way of knowing if it's worthy of that title without having already read it and I want it to be a new-to-me book!  So that category I'm definitely in need of advice for.  Any recommendations for the Victorian Reading Challenge would also be welcome!

I've also made a Challenges! page at the top of the blog where I'm going to track my progress in these and any other challenges I attempt.  Of course, I've also retroactively added my NaNoWriMo triumph because, well, why wouldn't I?

So what's everybody else planning to read in 2011 or will you just be winging it?


  1. For the wartime setting, I really enjoyed "All Quiet on the Western Front". It's short, but very hard-hitting. I read it when I was about 15 or 16 and it's stayed with me ever since.

  2. I might have to join the Back to the Classics Challenge as well, I like the sound of that one. I hope you find the Dickens book! :( I can't stand it when I can't find a book that I just know is right around here somewhere...