Top Ten Cosy Reads for Winter

source Wikipedia

Brrr!  After an unusually warm autumn, the temperature has dropped and today I woke up to a chilly -4ºC morning.  However, the sun is shining brightly and while there is a nip to the air, there is warmth in front of the fire and what better day to list my top 10 winter reads for those frosty days of winter.

1.  The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

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Preparing for Summer – Which Books?

Inspired by Ruth at A Great Book Study, I am going to place aside my fear of having a list or goals to follow, and put together a pile of books that I hope to read during the much anticipated summer months.

Books To Complete:

The Chronicles of Barsetshire: I should be at Framley Parsonage for my Chronicles of Barsetshire Read-Along.  I’m in the middle of Barchester Towers at the moment and I hope to get through Doctor Thorne before summer.  I’m enjoying this series immensely.  Trollope captures the characters beautifully …… all their human faults and foibles as well as their kindnesses.  There is no better introduction to a small English village.

The Saying of the Desert Fathers:  another stalled book that I need to finish.  Not to mention that it’s in my TBR Pile Challenge.  I must admit, I’m not doing very well with this challenge.

Defence Speeches:  and another stalled one.  And another on my TBR Pile Challenge.  I don’t know why I stopped reading this.  I LOVE Cicero’s defence arguments; so logical and crafty!

The Decameron:  a long scheduled read.  Because of its style (a collection of stories), it has been easy to read and keep up with.

The Morte d’Arthur:  I am trying to slog through this.  I don’t know what is the matter with me.  This is a book I should be eating up but I just don’t care for it.  Perhaps it was my bad experience with Once and Future King, which I read prior to starting Le Morte.  Or maybe I haven’t had the attention span to devote to it.  Or perhaps I’ll never become enamoured with it.  In any case, I’m determined to finish it so I will do my best to get through a good portion of it in the summer.

The History of Napoleon Buonaparte:  yet another stalled book.  I really liked reading it; the history was fascinating and the author paints a very real picture of Buonaparte.  Other books just took over.

If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler:  ah, Calvino!  Will I gain an appreciation for your unique style and structure, or will I want to strangle you when I finish?  I guess time will tell ……

Summer Day
Volodymyr Orlovsky
source Wikiart

New Books To Read:

Ovid’s Metamorphoses:  one of my books that I attempted to read last year but didn’t get very far.  I anticipate that I’ll have time in the summer to concentrate on it property.

Russian Thinkers:  This book intrigues me.  By Isaiah Berlin, a Russian-born Jew, a social and political theorist and philosopher, these essays explore Russian thought and the idea of freedom, while exploring the minds of great Russian personages such as Herzen, Tolstoy and Turgenev and the political and social changes that stemmed from their influence.  And I can count it for my Russian Challenge!

Arthurian Romances:  This will count for my Arthurian challenge.  I need to get a move on with this challenge because so far I have only finished Once and Future King.  How shameful!

The Book of Margery Kempe:  for my Well-Educated Mind Biographies Challenge.

Surprised by Joy & A Grief Observed: for my C.S. Lewis Project

Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche & Kafka:  “…. one of the most straightforward and easily understandable introductions to the whole modern experience of existentialism.”  Let’s hope so.  My poor brain can only handle an easy introduction.

The Universe Next Door:  a classic book for understanding the philosophy of different worldviews.  It looks very interesting.

Le Bretonnerie in the Department of Indre
Gustave Courbet (1856)
source Wikiart

For Fun!:  (Ooops! That doesn’t sound good.  Perhaps I should say, “for more fun.”)

The Terror:  I received this book from Andrea from Tasseled Book Blog during her wonderful give-away contest and can’t wait to get to it.  A relaxing day on the beach will be a perfect time to read it!  Thanks, Andrea!

The Little World of Don Camillo:  an Italian classic based on the real life priest Don Camillo Valota.  It is supposed to give an excellent portrayal of the rural Italian countryside after WWII.

Porterhouse Blue:  I bought this book for no particular reason ….. on a whim, really, which is not like me, so I thought I’d see how my rash action turns out.  I am also humming-and-hawing over whether to try to start reading some books on the Guardian’s 1000 best book list.  Porterhouse Blue is on it.

Le Petit Nicolas:  for my Language Freak Summer Challenge

Ausgewählte Märchen:  German fairy tales for my Language Freak Summer Challenge.

Stories of the East From Herodotus:  really, I should just read Herodotus’ Histories but this old children’s book is on my TBR Pile Challenge list and the last thing I need is another tome to read.

Death By Living:  my brother-in-law gave me this book and said I would enjoy it.  I usually trust his judgement but, then again, this book is not a book I’d usually choose to read.  I’m stepping out of my comfort zone!

Summer Landscape with Fishermen
Efim Volkov
source Wikiart

No, I am not delusional.  I don’t expect to finish ALL of these books.  I also can see that if I don’t finish some of my “in progress” books soon, I won’t have time to read any new books, which is good incentive to focus on some unfinished reads before summer begins.  It will be interesting to see my progress at the end of the summer.  I do have one glorious month off, where, if I wanted to, I could read all day long, but I usually end up doing lots of hikes as well.  Last year I read 13 books during the months of July & August so hopefully I can either meet or beat that number.  I can only try!

What are your reading plans for the summer?

An Enthralling Novel (1885)
Julius LeBlanc Stewart
source Wikiart