Just for fun and to help me plan I have made in the spirit of the Sunday Salon a tentative account of my reading plans for the next 45 days or so-If anyone has any suggestions or comments I would love to hear them and if anybody wants to read along let me know.
Canon Works I Hope to Read
The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy- I want to read a Hardy novel soon and I have this work
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol-been a long time coming!
A George Sand novel-to be determined
A Balzac novel-to be determined
Pending Canon Status Works
This is a category I made up for the purposes of this post. I think all of these books have a good chance to become part of the canon one day.
Spring Snow by Yukiro Mishima-part one of the Sea of Fertility tetrology
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov-I loved his Pale Fire
The Fifth Queen by Ford Madox Ford-part one of a trilogy-third best Ford work?
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Marquez-I have six of his novels -saving best for last?
Loving by Henry Green-maybe also Living and Party Going
The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen-said to be her best novel-set in WWII London
Asleep by Banana Yoshimoto-I love her work
The Children's Book by A. S. Byatt
Help by Kathryn Stockett-super well regarded in the book blog world-this is a maybe-would like comments-all who post on this book seem to love it but is it just "classy chic lit?"
I hope to read between 30 and 45 short stories in this period. Among the writers I will read more of are
- Colette-I just got a collection of her stories-100 of them-core GLBT writer
- Thomas Hardy-read on line
- Elizabeth Bowen-I have a 900 page collection of all her stories-100 or so-no I wont post on all!
- Kafka-at least "The Hunger Artist"
- Kate Chopin-one or two more at least-
- James Joyce-one or two more
- Willa Cather-a short story is a great way to try a new to you writer
- Louisa May Alcott-same as Willa Cather-
- Guy du Maupassant-one or two
- Anton Chekhov-one or two more
This still leaves me plenty of time for "impulse reads" or to take part in Book Blog events. It assumes if I continue reading at my normal pace that I will read about 25 novels in this period of time and a short story at least every other day. I read most of my short stories online so I am restricted to older works, by and large. Assuming I do read 25 novels and as things happen I only read nine of my 13 planned books (which I find ok) I will then have 16 books I can decide on as I go along.
I may also begin to read through the Annotated Edition of Ford Madox Ford's Parade's End
Any suggestion for other ideas or comments on my selections would be greatly appreciated-
I hope you enjoy 'Lolita'. I can't get on with Thomas Hardy myself, but I've never tried the one you plan to read.
I should read Lolita! Have only seen the movie...
Your plans are ambitious, but not unrealistic...I think it's great to allow space for "impulse" reads.
Hope you enjoy your reading.
Here's my Salon:
What a great, interesting and inspiring list, Mel! I have two whopping books with the complete stories of Colette and Elizabeth Bowen respectively. Have not yet read the Bowen novel you cite, but loved The House in Paris and Eva Trout.
Just promise me that you will read all of Joyce's stories. Someday ;)
Best of luck with this plan!
You should definitely read this great review of The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt @ Reading While Female. Emily's take on the book made me drool over it :)
Perhaps I'll join you for a George Sand novel. And perhaps Henry Green as well. I do hope you love the Byatt as much a I did. It is long and leisurely, overly loaded sometimes with symbolism and foreshadowing--but it has stayed with me in a way few contemporary novels have lately.
I'm just discovering Elizabeth Bowen and think she is a remarkable writer. Glad you've included her in your reading plans.
Sam-thanks for the well wishes-you might try getting into Hardy through some of the short stories you can read online
Creations by Laurel-thanks for stopping by my blog
ds-we have the same Bowen and Collete collections of short stories-I will start in on another of the Joyce stories soon-
Teacher/Learner-thanks for the reference to the post-I will read it and am very happy to have The Children's Book in my read soon list
Life Time Reader-I will be starting the Henry Green soon-I read Sand's Indiana not long ago and after a 100 pages or so I really liked it-
Vintage Reader-I discover Bowen through her association with VW
I recommend Cousin Bette for the Balzac. It is one of my favorite books and in my regular re-read pile.
I also enjoyed The Children's Book and was surprised because I am one of the few people who did not like Possession.
I am also one of the few people who did not like The Help. I think it is badly written and in need of some serious editing.
I like your list - I hope to read a lot of James Joyce next year.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Help and definitely wouldn't classify it as 'classy chic lit'. It is strong historical fiction.
I may join you for Return of the Native -- Amanda from the Zen Leaf chose for me this year in a book swap. I was underwhelmed by Tess of the D'Urbervilles but she assures me RotN is wonderful, so I'm looking forward to it. I'm also reading The Mayor of Casterbridge with my IRL classics group this year so there'll be lots of Victorians this year!
pburt-I think I will read Cousin Bettie as my Balzac
Karenlibrarian-I will be starting return of the native soon-I also have Mayor of Casterbridge so may read that next year also
Marg-I am near ready to try Help-thanks for your input
I read The Help and it is not "chick lit" at all (unless your definition of "chick lit" includes books written by women whose main character is a (young) woman). In many ways it is the story of our childhood, although life in big city FL was, I think, not quite so bound as small town MS of the same era. Maybe I'm viewing the past through rosy glasses, but I don't remember my family or my friends' families treating their black maids this way (although I do remember the maids to a certain extent behaving this way -- e.g. my mother's last maid would never come in the house through the front door but always used the back door, and I'm certain that was not on order from my mom). The arguably "chick lit" part of the story -- the romance -- serves more to illustrate the times -- the emphasis on the necessity of being married to be considered to have a happy life. I don't know if you'll like the book, but it does give some insight into the time period.
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