Since I am on such a classics binge of late, it has put me in the mood to think about which books I want to read in the near future. Doubtless normal people concentrate on what they are reading, finish it, and then contemplate what sounds good next. But I like to plan things out. Not that on a whim I won't drop everything and read something completely different, but these (not in any order) are the books that have been on my mind lately, and from which I plan to draw from as I read the classics in the near future.
When I was in high school, one of my english teachers would tell us incessantly that we needed to read Willa Cather, and particularly that My Antonia was absolutely superlative. I proceeded to ignore these suggestions (perhaps in retribution for being told not to read Oscar Wilde--humpf). Eventually I did read O Pioneers, but My Antonia is considered to be her masterpiece. As a Nebraskan I really should read more native literature than I do. When I pulled out my copy to read the blurb, I realized that I really didn't even know what the story is about. It had been my intention to read Mary Wollstonecraft's biography (and I have been slowly working on the Tomalin book), and then some of her writings, and eventually work my way into Mary Shelley's book Frankenstein and hopefully some biographical material about her. Well, I am a tad bit behind. But this is perfect fall reading, so who cares if I don't read in any sort of order. I am already rereading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (third time) for this book club (how can I possibly resist rereading this? Though I should give some of her other work a try as well--haven't read any of her other books!). I think Henry James' Turn of the Screw is going to be next up after Robinson Crusoe! Louisa May Alcott's Little Women may be the next choice for this book club, which would be fine for me since I have never read it! Something by Colette--not sure what, but perhaps The Vagabond (is there a good starting place with her?--I am sure all her books are good). I have never read Dickens. I need to read Dickens, and I think I need to start with Great Expectations. After I finish Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own I had planned on reading A Voyage Out, but lately I have thought I might tackle To the Lighthouse instead. This looks like it might be depressing (tragic ending), but the setting is perfect. I have long had Sylvia's Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell near the top of my TBR pile--what am I waiting for? And how long have I been contemplating reading Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth? This is one of the reason's I decided to just start reading the classics routinely rather than fitting them in here and there. And I think since a long weekend is coming up I will pull out Bram Stoker's The Mystery of the Sea, since I am in the mood for something set at the seaside (and it is likely to be cool and rainy, so this will be perfect). Yes, I know, ambitious as always. Sometimes I feel like I have so much to get caught up with--how does one read all these books in one short lifetime?!
I also thought I would share a few interesting links as well. The first two are thanks to Janelle at The Eclectic Closet. Yet more prizes will be awarded...The Guardian recently announced their longlist for the "Guardian First Book Award 2006". Yet more books I am completely unfamiliar with. But it is always nice to discover new authors. Did you have any idea that Elle Magazine has a book club? These days my money always goes towards books rather than glossy magazines. You can apply to be an Elle reader-juror however. And I thought this post from The Penguin Blog looked interesting! And lastly a new imprint from Hyperion--for women! Hmm.