Sunday, August 31, 2008


We all need goals. I need goals. Sometimes I need to set them and sometimes I need to let them die already. Today I will set them. I was looking at my List of Books Read in 2008 and feeling the tackiness of it. I haven't read a lot of meaty stuff like my friend Calon Lan and I haven't thought as many deep thoughts as it feels like Sherry has. I'm mildly disturbed, even though I know that we ought not compare ourselves. I'm not really thinking of myself next to them in a "let me compare us" sort of way. I'm choosing to think of them in terms of how to motivate myself to read something that has stood the test of time and will make me think a little deeper than I feel like I have been lately.

My reading list is sorely missing in great classics this year. I had great intentions but didn't get around to any of them. The year is almost over with (believe it or not) and I'm determined to "beef up" my reading list. With that I shall announce my Beef Reading for the remainder of this year. (How elegant and delightful a term is that?)

In the month of September I am GOING to read:

Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

(Because of Sarah. See her review here.)

In the month of October I am GOING to read (along with Sarah):

Bleak House, by Charles Dickens.

(Nw I would like to ask both Mirlandra and my mother to withhold their shouts of jubilation and glee. . .)

If I'm not dead by the end of Bleak House, (I'm quite sure Dickens has killed people off with boredom), in the month of November I am GOING to read:

The Faerie Queen, by Edmund Spencer

(I have to read this because Anne quoted and loved it.)

In the month of December I am GOING to read:

. . . ? How about I let you all pick? Name a classic that you think is imperative that I read. I'll leave it to my blog readers to decide what I spend my time reading. BTW, I've already read A Christmas Carol by Dickens and since I'm reading Bleak House in October I must say to you: Be nice. Be creative. Be fun. I, on the other hand, will be willing. Choose well.


Sarah M. said...

Have you read all Jane Austen?

Oh and how weird is this... the book club I belong to is discussing reading The Faerie Queen in early 2009. They'll be reading Milton's Paradise Lost, Wives and Daughters in Nov and Dec/Jan.

And really... Bleak House is going to be good! I LOVED the movie -- the story has so many twists and turns.

Anonymous said...

Are you going to read the entire Faerie Queen? Cause it's huge!

I have Wives and Daughters sitting on my TBR pile, too - and you're making me feel guilty. ~wink~

Sarah M. said...

Ok, here are some more you need to put on your list for 2009 or some time in the future. :) That is if you haven't read them already, because they are really good!

The Woman In White
He Fell In Love With His Wife (I know, cheesey title, but it's really sweet story)
Random Harvest
The Little White Horse

Ok, I could keep going, but those are all "fun" books that you might consider for Dec... though I guess Random Harvest and The Woman in White might not really fall under "fun" as they are more drama - but they're good still.

Sherry said...

I really think Faerie Queen is more likely to kill you than Dickens.
I haven't read any of your three Beefy Books for September, but Bleak House and Wives and Daughters are both on my very long list. Faery Queen is not. I don't want to die young.

Anonymous said...

Gone With the Wind, any Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte - I'm guessing you've read these, but you never know. I have a horrible repertoire of classics myself....

Anonymous said...

Frankenstein, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Fellowship of the Ring, Red Badge of Courage, and/or Call of the Wild. :)

(I got more...) haha

B said...

I'm going to have to agree with Carrie and Sherry about The Faerie Queen -- I think it's about 1000 pages unabridged. I've only read a few sections of it. (And thank you for the shout-out! I don't think your book list is tacky at all. You read such a great variety of books, and I tend to stick to the same old, same old.)

As for a recommendation...Moby Dick (if you want a different kind of meaty)? The House of Mirth? The Grapes of Wrath? A Handful of Dust? (That one will give you a new reason to dislike Dickens :)

Lisa Spence said...

Great Beef Reading list! I think I too want to read more great classics, but always draw a blank while standing in the library aisles! I'll join you on reading Wives and Daughters, but reserve the right to bow out of Bleak House (I tried once, really, I did...).

Ronnica said...

Dickens is NOT boring! I haven't read Bleak House, but I've highly enjoyed what I have read of his...he can sure get me laughing!

A non-Dickens, non-Austen classic that is a must read is G. K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday. It's an incredibly fast read, but SO good. I can't wait to re-read it (and I've already loaned it out to a friend).

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