Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Getting ahead

I love my online bookclub, Bookfest, but I don't always enjoy everyone's pick for what we're going to read. I'm sure they don't always enjoy mine. But that's the beauty of it -- we expand our comfort zones and discover new authors. Some we like, some we don't.

We're about to start our third year of reading together. In January we are due to read Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe. Amazon reviews pretty much assured me that I wasn't going to get into this book so I decided to go ahead and read it, and get it out of the way. So I did. I was right in that I didn't love it. However, it did have a surprise twist that makes it intriguing. I'm going to hold off talking about it until January though.

In the meantime, I'm now set up to launch into my reading challenge for the coming year. There are several authors whose works I would really like to study and compare in more detail. However, I'm a good one to forget details and only remember the gist of the story (unless, of course, I love it). I'm getting better at remembering story lines and characters but I usually do not object to re-reads if I found that I really enjoyed a story. Something is always new and fresh to me.

This coming year I'd like to spend each month focusing on a different author. I don't know how this will go and I don't know if I'll stick this plan. What I'll probably end up doing is just selecting three authors and reading a lot of their "stuff" this upcoming year.

First things first, I'm starting with C.S. Lewis. I really have not read very much of his work until recently. Since I just read his biography recently, I'm even more intrigued by the man and his writings. Bookfest is starting January out by reading Surprised by Joy which I am very much looking forward to. Along with that I'm going to read The Great Divorce, Letters to Children, and I'd really like to re-read the Narnia series. That's the plan.

Other authors I'm tossing about for consideration of in-depth reading: Jane Austen (because I really don't remember the details of any of her books although I think I have read most, if not all, quite some time ago), Mark Twain (only read a few and what few I read I enjoyed) and Louisa May Alcott (barely scratched the surface).

Any thoughts or suggestions? I'm willing to consider books and authors if you make the suggestion now! =D Also, I'd love to hear what your reading plans are for the coming year (if you have any).

In the meantime, enjoy the Christmas season!


Sky said...

I am going to delve back into old favorites;
CS Lewis, Tolkien, Austen, Montgomery, Sayers,Alcott,Walter Farley....
And post reviews on my book blog.
Seems we have a few authors in common!

Laura said...

If you're going to compare authors, what about comparing Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer? Or Dickens and Trollope? Maybe Dorothy Sayers and P.D. James? Or compare C.S. Lewis's Surprised by Joy with Frank Barker's biography, Flight Path.

I hope to come up with a dozen books to read next year - one for each month. It's the same thing I did last year. Then I also end up reading other books I see/hear/read about, but I have one "Special" book to look forward to each month.

I like your plan a lot, and look forward to reading about what you read.

return home gnome said...

Where are the lists for the last two years? I have some suggestions, now that I"m reading more and think I can jump back in (YAY!), but I want to make sure they aren't ones we've read before.

I would be delighted to read more Lewis. I believe I've only read Screwtape Letters and Chronicles.

B said...

Well, you know me. I'm happy to make suggestions, but I suspect they might not be everyone's favorites. Most of all, I'd recommend that you attempt some variation in period: maybe choose authors working forward through history. That way, you get a fascinating look at influences over time. Another option is to play around with genre. There are so many different kinds of books and styles out there that a single year wouldn't even cover a small fraction.

Mirlandra said...

If you do end up doing Alcott, make sure you catch her darker novels! I have one that I enjoyed. The name slips my mind, but you are welcome to borrow it!

- M

A Pilgrim said...

In reading Twain I would suggest three of his least known: Innocents Abroad (about a world tour he took), Roughing It (his ride on a stagecoach to Nevada and what life was like in a silver mine, etc.), Puddin Head Wilson (you will not believe all the twists and turns this plot makes!)

Could Mirlandra share the name of the dark Alcott book when she has a chance? I've wanted to read one for several years now, but never gotten around to it.

An interesting comparison is Sir A.C. Doyle vs G.K. Chesterton...Sherlock's sleuthing vs Father Brown Mysteries.

Carrie said...

I'm wondering if it isn't "A Long Fatal Love Chase" which I also own but haven't read yet. ??

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