I’ve made up a reading challenge for myself. I have done Goodreads.com‘s challenges where I read a certain number of books per month. This time I’m adding some themes and other specifics to spice things up.
Susan’s 2018 Reading Challenge
January – read a memoir and another book that’ll help me change my outlook (i.e. achieve a resolution)
February – read a 19th century novel and a religious book (for Lent)
March – read a book written by a Russian author
April – read a play by Shakespeare and commentary in a Norton Classic edition
May – read a detective story
June – read a book of historical fiction
July – read a travel book
August – read a humorous book
September – read a book by a Japanese author
October – read something scary
November – read a book a friend has recommended
December – read a children’s book and a story or book with a Christmas theme
No one has to join this, but you’re free to do so.
I am curious about what sort of challenge you’d set for yourself. Share in the comment section below.
One of the most influential experiences in my life was my parents putting me in Junior Great Books. It made me learn to read difficult books and to look more deeply at literature and essays.
Now I’m thankful that Northbrook Public Library offers a monthly Great Books Discussion group. I’ve gone when I can in recent years. Currently we have an exceptional leader who provides excellent background information and keeps us on track. The group includes brilliant people who share perceptive comments and ask intriguing questions that help and challenge me not just as a reader, but as a person.
If you can, give Great Books a try.
With so many To Be Read (TBR) books, I would like to know how to accomplish this. I feel I haven’t read as much this year as in the past. Yes, it’s been a topsy turvy year so that’s one reason.
Also, I haven’t taken the train as much. Whenever I go into the city on the train I get a good chunk of reading done. I always bring 2 or 3 books to switch them up.
By serendipity, I just discovered this smart, engaging woman’s vlog on books and writing. Farah lives in the UAE and is articulate, perceptive and oh so knowledgeable about current books.
After the first video I watched (above) I immediately subscribed. Then I watched her talk about writing and bonded with her because as a screenwriter, I am concise with description and context and get right to the dialog.
According to her Good Reads account she reads 100 books or more a year. Wow. I envy that. I have to update my Good Reads, but I aim for 26 books a year.
Above Farah talks about the 5 classics she wants to read this year. Some she probably finished by now.
Here’s my list of classics I have read this year:
- Dante’s Inferno – a reread and a delight. I got a lot more out of it.
- The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington – just started so watch this blog for a review.
- His Excellency by Émile Zola – the third book I’ve read in the Rougon-Macquart series.
- The Kill by Émile Zola – my goal is to read all 20 of these Rougon-Macuart books.
- Prometheus Unbound by Aeschylus – It was a classic I missed though I knew the legend.
- The Lady of the Camilias by Alexander Dumas, the Younger – it reminded me of The Kill.
- The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. I reread this and discussed it online with a friend, with whom I try to read a classic and discuss it online each summer.
Amoretti I: Happy ye leaves when as those lilly hands
by Edmund Spenser
Happy ye leaves when as those lilly hands,
Which hold my life in their dead doing might
Shall handle you and hold in loves soft bands,
Lyke captives trembling at the victors sight.
And happy lines, on which with starry light,
Those lamping eyes will deigne sometimes to look
And reade the sorrowes of my dying spright,
Written with teares in harts close bleeding book.
And happy rymes bath’d in the sacred brooke,
Of Helicon whence she derived is,
When ye behold that Angels blessed looke,
My soules long lacked foode, my heavens blis.
Leaves, lines, and rymes, seeke her to please alone,
Whom if ye please, I care for other none.
Here’s another reading of Algren’s poetic Chicago: City on the Make.
State Library Victoria, Australia
1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.
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