Next year is the centenary anniversary of the start of World War I. I've already seen a number of new books (mostly history titles) come across my desk at the library where I work. I should really be making a running list of titles and will likely begin to do so. The Virago Modern Classics Group at Library Thing is commemorating the anniversary by doing a year long themed reading project and have set up a Wiki page to organize it. I think I will follow their lead and plan my own reading accordingly. It seems a little strange to think about reading in 2014, but as there are only about six weeks left in the year (yikes) perhaps I am not getting too ahead of myself. (And I have some other reading ideas in mind for next year as well, but more about those later).
I like how they have set up their reading year--one book for every two months to a particular aspect of the war, which doesn't seem too overwhelming. I will also be reading along with Caroline for her Literature and War Readalong and I believe she will be choosing books with the anniversary in mind as well. I tend to read about this era quite a lot already, so the books I choose may not be exactly the same as the group has picked out, but there seems to be plenty of room for flexibility.
So this is my 'Version 1.0' of the project. I'm in the thinking about reading stage right now and toying with possible books (will do this in lieu of coming up with a 'baker's dozen' of books to read in 2014--maybe I'll have better luck actually reading all the books on the list?) to fit in each category. If you have a favorite book that would fit nicely, do let me know as I am open to suggestions. The books with the asterisks are those chosen by the group to read together.
This is what I have in mind so far:
The Beginning of the War (January and February):
**William: An Englishman by Cecily Hamilton
Golden Miles by Kathleen Susannah Pritchard
Fighting: On the Frontline and on the Homefront (March and April):
Dealing With The Human Cost: Nurses and others who cared (May and June):
The Forbidden Zone by Mary Borden
We That Were Young by Irene Rathbone
**Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Kenneally
The Roses of No Man's Land by Lyn Macdonald
Ambulance Drivers, Pacifists & Conscientious Objectors (July & August) :
The Consequences of War (September & October):
Free Choice/Books you Missed (November & December):
I'm sure I'll be adding to my lists. And no time like the present to start reading. I picked up Anita Shreve's newest novel from the library yesterday, Stella Bain, about a woman who wakes up in a field hospital in northern France with no memory, wearing a British Nurse's uniform but speaking with an American accent. I've already started reading. No time like the present, right?