Actually I have not done too badly this year in terms of reading more of the classics. Why did I not start sooner--they are so good (generally speaking of course)! I think this is the most I have read since I made a conscious effort to read those authors I missed when I was younger. I started this a couple of years ago, and I suspect it is due to the influence of other book bloggers in part. As some have already started making their reading lists for The Winter Classics Challenge that Booklogged has organized, I thought I would do the same (always happy to look through my piles and bookshelves for new books to read!). The challenge is simply to read five of "the classics" during the months of January and February 2007. This shouldn't be a problem (fitting in five along with my other reading during those months might be, however, but I will do my best).
Recently I posted a list of classics that I would like to read in 2007. Of course my lists are forever changing with my moods and interests, so this new list has only a few of the same titles. I still want to read all the books mentioned previously, but reading five chunky books in two months (seeing as I am a slow reader) is not likely to happen. I had quite a pile to begin with--do I pick Homer's The Iliad, since I asked for it for Christmas? Will I be in the mood right away? I want to read it critically, so perhaps not the best choice for this challenge. Wilkie Collins or Ann Radcliffe (I want to read The Mysteries of Udolpho before reading Austen's Northanger Abbey--and I want to read/reread all of Austen's novels...but in what order?). Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence or Henry James's Washington Square? This is what I have come up with:
- The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (I have the new translation and it has been waiting patiently by my bed). Good holiday reading!
- Armadale by Wilkie Collins (I wanted to read this anyway, but recent discussion has ensured it a place in this list).
- Cheri and the Last of Cheri by Colette (how long have I talked about reading Colette? Now is the time. This seems like a perfect February book).
- Sylvia's Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell (another one I have been wanting to read, but it keeps getting pushed down the pile!)
- The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (I have read this before--a long time ago--and it is a favorite, but it is due for a reread)
- Bonus Read: The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy (because I couldn't decide!)
I know there are a variety of reading challenges going on now. It is hard to resist them. I think this and the From the Stacks challenge work best for me as they fit in with the reading plans I already have. I am always looking for an excuse to start yet another book, but I still want to keep my nightstand pile under control and not let this happen again!