Classic Children’s Literature Event 2015

Another year and another Classic Children’s Literature Event for the month of January, hosted by Amanda at Simpler Pastimes! I’m going to pledge to read two classic children’s books for this event, probably Carry On, Mr. Bowditch and My Father’s Dragon or The Trumpet of the Swan.  Amanda’s chosen read-along is Pinocchio, so I will try to fit that one in too.

Event Basics

  • During the month of January, read as many Children’s Classics as you wish and post about them on your blog and/or leave a comment on the event page on this blog. I will have a link page starting the first of the year to gather posts so that we may share as we go.
  • The optional RAL title: The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. I plan on discussion the weekend of January 23-25.
  • I’m not going to be the “children’s classics” police. Use your own judgement for what fits the category but if you want some guidelines, these are what I’m going by:
  • I think many of us have read more recent children’s books that we may already deem “classics” (for example, many people feel that way about the Harry Potter books), but for this event, I’d preferif we read books that were written prior to 1964. This will still allow a lot of options, and will hopefully avoid the “but what is a classic” dilemma! (And yes, 1964 is rather arbitrary. Rebel if you wish, but 50 years old seems a good age.)
  • Defining “children’s,” especially prior to 1900 or so can be a challenge as some books we think of as “children’s” today may not have been intended that way at the time. Personally, I’d say books appropriate for approximately an elementary-school aged child or preteen (to read or to have read to them) should be fine. I’d personally also count the various fairy tales, even though some of the earliest versions were not exactly family friendly.
  • Feel free to include books from any country, in translation or not. I have limited exposure to non-American children’s lit, so I’d love to learn about books from other countries myself.
  • Feel free to double up with other events or challenges if you wish.
  • And if you need ideas I posted
  • A suggestion list in 2013
  • Some more ideas in 2014
  • There is no deadline for joining or participating (other than, of course, the end of January).

Most important: Have fun!

Last year I was able to complete The Wizard of Oz, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Once and Future King and Prince Caspian.  Wow!  I’m not so ambitious this year so we’ll see how many I can complete.  And please join us if you feel in a children’s books mood!

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The Canterbury/The Brubury Tales Project 2015

I’ve been meaning to read The Canterbury Tales for years but have been too intimidated to attempt them by myself.  I’ve looked for read-alongs and buddy reads but to no avail.  Then suddenly in one of my Goodreads’ groups, a new member joined who has written a book called The Brubury Tales, which is based on Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.  Voilà …… inspiration, and a person who can give me more insight into both reads!  Works for me.

Woodcut from William Caxton’s
second edition of The Canterbury Tales
source Wikipedia

The Brubury Tales, written by Frank Mundo, is a modern version of The Canterbury Tales, and for his work Mr. Mundo won the Poet Laureate Award Nomination from UCLA and CAL, Reader Views 2011 Reader’s Choice Award for Poetry Book of the Year, and the 2011 Bookhitch Award for the Most Innovative Poetry Book of the Year.  The LA Book Examiner said about his work, “a unique and powerful new book, The Brubury Tales draws upon Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and classic stories by Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens, to name a few.  Frank Mundo takes risks with his writing, which is sensitive, thoughtful, and gritty.” 

I have received nothing from Mr. Mundo in exchange for reading his book.  He has been a very valued member in the discussions in my Goodreads group and has never once even mentioned that he was an author, which increased my respect for him.  I can’t wait to start this paired read, probably around April or May of this coming year!

 

Back to the Classics Challenge 2015

For the second year in a row, Karen from Books and Chocolate is hosting the Back to the Classics Challenge.  This is probably my easiest challenge; as I read so many classics, my categories fill up quickly.

Here are the categories and rules:

1.  A 19th Century Classic — any book published between 1800 and 1899.
2.  A 20th Century Classic — any book published between 1900 and 1965.  Just like last year, all books must have been published at least 50 years ago to qualify as a classic.  The only exception is books that were published posthumously but written at least 50 years ago.)
3.  A Classic by a Woman Author.
4.  A Classic in Translation. As in last year’s category, this can be any classic book originally written or a published in a language that is not your first language.  Feel free to read it in its original form if you are comfortable reading in another language.  
5.  A Very Long Classic Novel — a single work of 500 pages or longer.  This does not include omnibus editions combined into one book, or short story collections.  
6.  A Classic Novella — any work shorter than 250 pages.  For a list of suggestions, check out this list of World’s Greatest Novellas from Goodreads.
7.  A Classic with a Person’s Name in the Title.  First name, last name, or both, it doesn’t matter, but it must have the name of a character.  David Copperfield, The Brothers Karamazov, Don Quixote — something like that. It’s amazing how many books are named after people!
8.  A Humorous or Satirical Classic.  Humor is very subjective, so this one is open to interpretation.  Just tell us in the review why you think it’s funny or satirical.   For example, if you think that Crime and Punishment and funny, go ahead and use it, but please justify your choice in your post. 
9.  A Forgotten Classic.  This could be a lesser-known work by a famous author, or a classic that nobody reads any more.  If you look on Goodreads, this book will most likely have less than 1000 reviews.  This is your chance to read one of those obscure books from the Modern Library 100 Best Novels or 1001 Books to Read Before You Die.  Books published by Virago Modern Classics, Persephone, and NYRB Classicsoften fall into this category.  
10.  A Nonfiction Classic.  A memoir, biography, essays, travel, this can be any nonfiction work that’s considered a classic, or a nonfiction work by a classic author.  You’d be surprised how many classic authors dabbled in nonfiction writing — I have nonfiction books by Dickens, Trollope, Twain, and Steinbeck on my shelves. 
11.  A Classic Children’s Book.  A book for your inner child!  Pick a children’s classic that you never got around to reading.  
12.  A Classic Play.  Your choice, any classic play, as long as it was published or performed before 1965.
And now for the rest of the rules:  
  • All books must be read in 2015.  Books started prior to January 1, 2015, are not eligible.  Reviews must be linked by December 31, 2015. 
  • All books must have been published at least 50 years ago; therefore, 1965 is the cutoff date.  The only exception is books published posthumously, but written before 1965. 
  • E-books and audiobooks are eligible!  Books may also count for other challenges you may be working on.  
  • Books may NOT cross over categories within this challenge.  You may NOT count the same book twice for different categories in this challenge.  One book per category — otherwise, they won’t count.  
  • If you do not have a blog, you may link your review from Goodreads or other publicy accessible online format.  
  • Please sign up for the challenge using the linky below BEFORE MARCH 31, 2015.  If possible, please link to your sign-up announcement post, if possible or applicable.
  • You do NOT have to list your books prior to starting the challenge, but it’s more fun if you do!  You can always change your list at any time.  Books may be read in any order.
  • Please identify the categories you’ve read in your wrap-up post so that I can easily add up your entries for the prize drawing!  Adding links within the post would be greatly appreciated.
  •  The prize will be awarded the first week of January, 2016.  All qualifying participants will receive one or more entries, based on the categories completed, and will receive a $30 (US) gift card from Amazon.com or The Book Depository, as long as they live in a country that can receive shipment.  See herefor list of countries.  

As usual, I don’t have particular books planned for each category but I have a few in mind:

  1. The Plague – Albert Camus
  2. Orlando – Virginia Woolf
  3. one of Jane Austen’s works
  4. Ulysses – James Joyce (we’ll see — it makes me quake ….)
  5. Notes from the Underground – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  6. Framley Parsonage – Anthony Trollope
  7. Confessions – Jean Jacques Rousseau
  8. Hamlet – William Shakespeare

It’s entirely possible that my list will be completely different at the end of the year, but it will be fun to compare!

List COMPLETED!!!:

  1.  Persuasion – Jane Austen
  2.  East of Eden – John Steinbeck
  3.  Orlando: A Biography – Virginia Woolf
  4.  The Plague – Albert Camus 
  5.  Confessions – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  6.  Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton
  7.  The Narrative of the Life and Times of Frederick Douglass
  8.  Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
  9.  The Club of Queer Trades – G.K. Chesterton
10.  Meditations – René Descartes
11.  The Adventures of Pinocchio – Carlo Collodi
12.  Hamlet – William Shakespeare

The Pre-Printing Press Challenge 2015

For the second year in a row, I’m going to participate in The Pre-Printing Press Challenge hosted by Elena at All Booked Up.  I believe books written before 1440 are largely under-read, so anything I can do to support these works, I will.

Last year I planned to read 4-6 books and I’ve made it to 12.  My success makes me want to branch out but, knowing that I have challenges that will keep me reading newer books —- Reading England Challenge, Jane Austen Project, etc. ——, I’ll reign myself in and aim for the trusty 4-6 books, hoping to read more.  What do I have in mind?  Well, from my Classics Club list, I hope to get to Herodotus’ Histories, The Republic by Plato and The Cantebury Tales.  Otherwise, I’d like to read Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Plutarch’s Lives, but these are two chunksters that I don’t see myself being able to fit in this coming year.  However, one never knows ………

The rules of the Pre-Printing Press Challenge:
  1. All books must have come out before 1440, when the printing press was first invented.
  2. Books chosen for this challenge can overlap with other challenges.
  3. Books can be translated into the language of your choice.
  4. All the books you’ve chosen must be read by December 31, 2015.
  5. You can read 1-3 books, 4-6 books, 7-9 books or 10 or more books if you’re feeling particularly ambitious.
  6. The choice of books is up to you. There are no set reading lists, and you don’t have to set one when you join.
  7. Post your blog address where you’ll be posting your comments on your choice of books in the comments of this post when you join, and tell me how many books you’ve chosen. I’ll set up a link to participating blogs from here.
  8. Above all, Have fun.

The challenge starts January 1st.

Are there any other ancient and early medieval literature enthusiasts out there who are planning to join this challenge?

2015 TBR Pile Challenge

It is once again time for the TBR Pile Challenge hosted by Adam at Roof Beam Reader and once again, I’ll be a participant!

This is by far my hardest challenge for the simple reason that I have such a difficult, insurmountable, arduous, overwhelming problem with following lists. When it comes to reading, I’m more of a free spirit who would like to flit here and there as the mood or read-along takes me.  Being trapped in a schedule is not my thing.  HOWEVER, I do realize that it’s beneficial to work on the areas that are challenging for me, so this challenge reflects my effort at balance.

I still have a couple of books to finish for last year’s challenge.  If I can get to them, I’ll be more than a little pleased!

Here are Adam’s rules:

The Goal: To finally read 12 books from your “to be read” pile (within 12 months).
Specifics:
1. Each of these 12 books must have been on your bookshelf or “To Be Read” list for AT LEAST one full year. This means the book cannot have a publication date of 1/1/2014 or later (any book published in the year 2013 or earlier qualifies, as long as it has been on your TBR pile – I WILL be checking publication dates). Caveat:Two (2) alternates are allowed, just in case one or two of the books end up in the “can’t get through” pile.
2. To be eligible, you must sign-up with Mr. Linky below – link to your list (so create it ahead of time!) and add updated links to each book’s review. Books must be read and must be reviewed (doesn’t have to be too fancy) in order to count as completed.
3. The link you post in the Mr. Linky below must be to your “master list” (see mine below). This is where you will keep track of your books completed, crossing them out and/or dating them as you go along, and updating the list with the links to each review (so there’s one easy, convenient way to find your list and all your reviews for the challenge). See THIS LINK for an idea of what I mean. Your complete and final list must be posted by January 15th, 2015.
4. Leave comments on this post as you go along, to update us on your status. Come back here if/when you complete this challenge and leave a comment indicating that you CONQUERED YOUR 2015 TBR LIST! Every person who successfully reads his/her 12 books and/or alternates (and who provides a working link to their list, which has links to the review locations) will be entered to win a $50 gift card from Amazon.comor The Book Depository!
5. Crossovers from other challenges are totally acceptable, as long as you have never read the book before and it was published before 2014!

And so, of course, now I have to come up with a list.  Since I’m being even more unfettered with my planning this year, a list is certainly going to be a challenge.  Let’s see what I can come up with:

  1. Meditations –  René Descartes
  2. Orlando –  Virginia Woolf
  3. The Plague – Albert Camus
  4. Confessions  –  Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  5. Hamlet  –  William Shakespeare
  6. Ivanhoe  –  Sir Walter Scott
  7. Walden  –  Henry David Thoreau
  8. Framley Parsonage  –  Anthony Trollope
  9. If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler  –  Italo Calvino
  10. Persuasion  –  Jane Austen
  11. Notes from the Underground – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  12. The World’s Last Night and Other Essays – C.S. Lewis

Alternates:
  1. The Cantebury Tales  –  Geoffrey Chaucer
  2. Ulysses  –  James Joyce

Whew!  I think I have a list I can stick to.  Ivanhoe and Ulysses are monster reads but I should be able to accomplish at least one.  I hope!

Best of luck to everyone on their TBR Pile Challenge!

Jane Austen Project 2015

Plethora @ Plethora of Books is doing her own Jane Austen Project for 2015 and I’ve decided to join her.

Isn’t the button lovely?  In any case, I’ve read most of Austen’s works, only having the last half of Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion left to read. Plethora’s described her challenge as this:

February: Sense andSensibility [1811] (409 pg.)

My addition: Pride and Prejudice [1813] (254 pg.)
July: Mansfield Park[1814] (507 pg.)

August: Emma[1815] (474 p.)

October: Northanger Abbey[1818] (254 pg.)


December: Persuasion [1818] (254 pg.)

I’ll probably switch up the months a little.  I’ve heard rumour of a Persuasion read-along in January that I’d like to join and, while she hasn’t included Pride and Prejudice in her challenge, I’m going to slot it in.  This should be my fifth time reading it.
So if we have any more “joiners”, please go to Plethora’s blog, grab the button and sign up!

Back to the Classics Challenge Wrap-Up

I can’t believe that it’s already time to wrap-up for the year.  This challenge was probably my easiest by far and I actually finished it on August 25th.  Oh, if they all were so easy!

1.  20th Century Classic   The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
2.  19th Century Classic   David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
3.  A Classic By A Woman Writer  Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
4.  A Classic In Translation   Son Excellence, Eugène Rougon by Émile
                                                  Zola
5.  A Wartime Classic  War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
6.  A Classic by an Author Who is New to You  The Warden by Anthony 
                                                                                 Trollope

Optional:

1.  An American Classic   The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
2.  A Classic Mystery/Suspense Thriller  The Big Sleep by Raymond 
                                                                        Chandler
3.  A Classic Historical Fiction Book  The Once And Future King by E.B. 
                                                                       White
4.  A Classic That Has Been Adapted into a T.V. or Movie Series  Othello
5.  Extra Fun Category – Write a Review of #4   Othello Movie Reviews 

This challenge was hosted by Karen at Books and Chocolate (what a great blog name, huh?) and she did a wonderful job!  I hope the challenge continues in 2015!

Reading England 2015 Book List

For a general and very handy reference, I’ve included O’s list of books by English county, copied from her blog.

Bedfordshire
                The Two Sisters by H. E. Bates
                My Uncle Silas by H. E. Bates
                Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan
Berkshire
                The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
                Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy 
                Tom Brown’s School Days by Thomas Hughes
                Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
                The Merry Wives of Winsor by William Shakespeare
                The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde
Bristol
                Evelina by Fanny Burney
Buckinghamshire
                Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson
Cambridgeshire
                The Longest Journey by E. M. Forster
                Maurice by E. M. Forster
                Jacob’s Room by Virginia Woolf
                Glory by Vladimir Nabakov
Cheshire
                Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
Cornwall
                Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier
                Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
                Basil & Rambles Beyond Railways by Wilkie Collins
                Basil & Rambles Beyond Railways by Wilkie Collins
Cumbria
                The Tennant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
                The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices by Charles Dickens & Wilkie Collins
                The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
                Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
                Lady Anna by Anthony Trollope
                The Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth
Derbyshire
                Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë [uncertain]
                Adam Bede by George Eliot
                Uncle Silas by J. Sheridan Le Fanu
                The Lair of the White Worm by Bram Stoker
Devon
                Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
                Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore
                The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
                Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley
                He Knew He Was Right by Anthony Trollope
                Rachel Ray by Anthony Trollope
Dorset
                The Worm Forgives the Plow by John Stewart Collis
                Moonfleet by J. Meade Faulkner
                Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
                The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
                The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
                Tess of the D’urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
                Two on a Tower by Thomas Hardy
                Thank you, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
Durham
                  (see Tyne & Wear)
Essex
                Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
                Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens
                Nightingale Woods by Stella Gibbons
                The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Gloucestershire
                Cider With Rose by Laurie Lee
                The Tailor of Gloucestershire by Beatrix Potter
Hampshire
                Watership Down by Richard Adams
                The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Herefordshire 
                On The Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin
                The Diaries of Francis Kilvert by Rev. Francis Kilvert
Hertfordshire
                Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
                Howard’s End by E.M. Forster
Huntingdonshire
                To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Kent
                The Darling Buds of May by H. E. Bates
                The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
                Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot
                Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
                The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens
                Cakes and Ale by W. Somerset Maugham
                Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
Lancashire
                Hard Times by Charles Dickens
                Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
                North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
                Redburn by Herman Melville
                The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell
                Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
Leicestershire
                The Right to an Answer by Anthony Burgess
Lincolnshire
                John Marchmount’s Legacy by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
                The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
                Pamela, or, Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson
London
                Emma by Jane Austen
                Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
                A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
                The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Buttler
                The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton
                Fanny Hill by John Cleland
                No Name by Wilkie Collins
                Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
                A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
                Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens
                Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
                The Nether World by George Gissing
                New Grub Street by George Gissing
                The Diary of a Nobody by George and Wheedon Grossmith
                Hanover Square by Patrick Hamilton
                Esther Waters by George Moore
                The Diary of Samuel Pepys
                Vanity Fairy by William Makepeace Thackerary
                Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
                Night and Day by Virginia Woolf
Norfolk
                The Big Six by Arthur Ransome
Northamptonshire
                Mansfield Park by Jane Austen [uncertain]
                Mistress Masham’s Repose by T. H. White
Northumberland
                Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott
                Ruined City by Nevil Shute
Nottinghamshire
                Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
                The Rainbow by D. . Lawrence
                Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
                The White Peacock by D. H. Lawrence
Oxfordshire
                The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford
                Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Shropshire
                Howards End by E. M. Forster
                A Shopshire Lad by A.E. Housman
Somerset
                Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
                Persuasion by Jane Austen
                No Name by Wilkie Collins
                The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding
                Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer
                The Belton Estate by Anthony Trollope
                Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen by P. G. Wodehouse
Staffordshire
                Anna of the Five Towns by Arnold Bennett
                The Old Wives Tale by Arnold Bennett
                Adam Bede by George Eliot
Suffolk
                Celia by Fanny Burney
                No Name by Wilkie Collins
                We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea by Arthur Ransome
Surrey
                The Watsons by Jane Austen
                A Room With a View by E. M. Forster
                The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
Sussex
                Sanditon by Jane Austen
                The Worm Forgives the Plow by John Stewart Collis
                The Last Post by Lord Maddox Ford
                The Collector by John Fowles
                Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
                Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
                The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell
                The History of Mr. Polly by H. G. Wells
                The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells
Tyne & Wear (formerly Durham)
                Afternoon Off by Alan Bennett
                The novels of Catherine Cookson
                The Stars Look Down by A.J. Cronin
                Rokeby by Walter Scott
Warwickshire
                The Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden
                Tom Brown’s School Days by Thomas Hughes
                Kenilworth by Walter Scott
                As You Like It by William Shakespeare
Wiltshire
                The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
                The Chronicles of Barset by Anthony Trollope
                Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Worcestershire
                Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
                The Well of Loneliness by Radcyffe Hall
Yorkshire
                Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë [uncertain]
                Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
                Shirley by Charlotte Brontë
                The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
                No Name by Wilkie Collins
                Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
                The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith
                A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines
                The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne
                Dracula by Bram Stoker

For those who would like to learn where the counties are situated in England, some handy references are: this link to a map of the counties; as well as this quiz; and this quiz; and this jigsaw puzzle.

Picture me rubbing my hands together gleefully.  I just can’t wait!

Reading England 2015

Ah, my first commitment to a challenge for 2015!  O at Behold the Stars is hosting a Reading England Challenge for this coming year and how could I not participate?  Not only should this challenge be particularly easy because of my love for English literature, it will also give me an education in learning the counties of England.  While I’ve had exposure to various English counties through reading, I have no idea on a map where each is located (except I know that Surrey is in the south!) so what a chance to further my knowledge of the country!

The Rules:
  • This challenge begins on the 1st January 2015 and ends on 31st December 2015, but of course if you really get into it then keep it going 🙂
  • You can sign up any time between now and the end of 2015. Only books read after 1st January 2015 count, though.
  • Choose a level (below), but do not feel obliged to pick your books or even your counties beforehand. 
  • Because this is a classics blog, I’d encourage people to read classic novels, but how you define classics is up to you.
  • You are not limited to English authors. Henry James, for example, is American but his novel The Turn of the Screw is set in Essex, and so he counts for the challenge
  • It would be grand if you blogged about the books you read for each county but you don’t have to. If you do, you don’t have to feel obliged to give any information about the county in general other than, maybe, “This is my review of x which is set in the county of x“. You could also include a description of the landscape in your posts, but again you don’t have to.
  • You do not have to read the books in their original language, translations are accepted (I only read in English so I would never dream of making other people read in their second language!)
  • Audio books, Kindles, and whatnot are accepted too.
  • Poetry, plays, biographies, and autobiographies count as well as novels. 


The Levels:
  • Level one: 1 – 3 counties
  • Level two: 4 – 6 counties
  • Level three: 7 – 12 counties
  • Level four: 12 + counties

The English books I have on my slate for 2015 are:

Orlando Virginia Woolf
Framley ParsonageAnthony Trollope
The Cantebury TalesGeoffrey Chaucer
Grace Abounding to the Chief of SinnersJohn Bunyan

I’m notoriously bad at making lists and sticking to them so while my list is short, I’m certain I’ll be able to add many more books to it.  Level Two is my goal but I’ll probably be able to get to Level Three easily.

O added a wonderful list of English books sorted by county, so I’m planning to do another post just on this excellent reference.  I’m going to need it!

Russian Lit Challenge 2014 – Check-In

Another challenge check-in and another challenge going along well.  My, it’s nice to get these check-ins on near completed challenges instead of the ones I’m struggling through.  My challenge goal was to read three Russian novels and so far I have read three, so my challenge, theoretically is complete.

Both Eugene Onegin and Doctor Zhivago were re-reads.  I think I’m becoming a re-read advocate because each book that I’ve re-read has given me such a deeper understanding of the work, which, of course, increases my appreciation of it.  This quote pretty much sums up my experience:

“In truly good writing no matter how many times you read it you do not know how it is done. That is beacause there is a mystery in all great writing and that mystery does not dis-sect out. It continues and it is always valid. Each time you re-read you see or learn something new.”                ~ Ernest Hemingway

Palace Square in winter
source Wikipedia

But, of course, I’m not done; I’m going to continue with the challenge.  At least before the end of the year I have Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev planned and in the summer I want to read Russian Thinkers by Isaiah Berlin.  The latter would count as a book for this challenge too ……. wouldn’t it ……????

Does anyone have any other suggestions of Russian books that I simply must read?  Any suggestions are welcome!