A new year, new challenges and some resolutions! The beginning of the year started, not with reading, but ………… a “Polar Brrrr Swim”! Brrrr, is right! I didn’t join the swim (my husband did) but I did dip my foot in, just to get a taste of what I was missing. However, after the excitement of the morning, I have come home (well, to our temporary home —— we’re dog-sitting for a friend, but we do have a wonderful view) and have curled up in a comfy chair to start the momentous task of my January reads.
I started The Great Gatsby, which is the January read for my Dead Writers Society group on Goodreads, and also began the Children’s Literature Event, hosted by Amanda on Simpler Pastimes, with The Wizard of Oz. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe will count for that event too, and I also have plans to begin Daniel Deronda and Mrs. Dalloway. Marian at Tanglwood is hosting a Eugene Onegin read-along which I will participate in. As for books still in-progress from 2013, I am right on schedule with David Copperfield, The History of the Ancient World, Son Excellence Eugène Rougon and Once and Future King . War and Peace is still not finished but I am close. The depth and breadth of Tolstoy’s novels always entrance me and I don’t want to rush this one, though I know I should be done by now. Wharton’s, Tales of Men and Ghosts is left over from October 2013 —– even though I liked the stories I have read, I am not feeling the urge to pick it up, so it may take awhile for me to get through it. Add to the above, two other read-alongs, I’m considering: Maggie’s Wuthering Heights Read-Along and a Paradise Lost Read-Along hosted by Carolyn at Rosemary and Reading Glasses. I have never read Wuthering Heights and need an event like this to push me. Why this book has remainder on my TBR shelf for so long, I’m not quite sure. While I have loved most of the Brönte novels, this one has not had the appeal of the rest. Am I doing it an injustice? Perhaps I should find out! In the case of Paradise Lost, I have been wanting to read it for ages but the intimidation factor stopped me. This read-along is exactly what I need.
As everyone can see, I am completely overloaded for January and perhaps need professional help. Not to mention that I’m already failing in one of my new year reading resolutions. Ah yes, resolutions ……. Shall we talk about those? My reading resolutions for the year are:
a) to read less books. I have challenged myself to read 60 which is down from 68 in 2013 and 78 in 2012. The reason I have resolved to read less is because I want more time to sit with a book, to converse with it, to get to know it better. Yes, I am not off to a great start with this resolution. :-Z
b) to journal about some of the books I read. Following The Well-Educated Mind questions, I’d like to take the time to summarize chapters, note items of interest or annoyance, list characters, etc. I will get much more out of a book that way. Ruth of A Great Book Study is my example for this resolution so I just have to keep reading her blog for inspiration. Of course, I don’t want to journal every book. I think I managed to journal three books last year, so if I can improve on three, I will be happy.
c) expand my reading choices — I love reading old books! Period. But I do realize I need some reading choices to connect me to reality, so for this year I’d like to concentrate (a litttle) on reading books that pertain to present social, health and environment issues, such as The Omnivore’s Dilemma, The 100-Year Lie, The World Until Yesterday (I loved Collapse by the same author), and perhaps I can even throw a classic into this group …… Walden by Henry David Thoreau.
As you can see, I have a host of hopes, wishes, dreams and books on my plate for 2014, a smörgåsbord of reading and learning. Whether I realize all of my goals, remains to be seen, but the fun is in the trying! All best to everyone for 2014!