|Trotwood feels as festive as he looks.|
Last night I put the Christmas trees up! We have one downstairs in the living room, and one up here in the study. So far, Trotwood is the only one to go near it (I tried to get him to pose, but he was having none of it). Myshkin is reacting to it as though it was some kind of hawk, and Oliver, well, Oliver dodged me and I don't think he's actually seen it. But, unlike the budgets, I'm feeling rather festive, and I'm ready to start thinking ahead to the 2013 Challenges!
There are four, so far, that have caught my attention: Adam's TBR Pile, Lemon Tree's Narrative Poem Reading, Literary Escapism's New Author Challenge, and finally Words and Peace's Books on France Challenge.
- The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Lawrence Sterne. I've had this book for at least eight years!
- Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy.
- Scoop by Evelyn Waugh.
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I've never been so embarrassed about not reading a book as this.
- The Journals of Sylvia Plath.
- On The Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin. We studied a paragraph of this for my A' Levels, Lower Sixth I think, and I went straight out and bought it. Thirteen years later and I still haven't read it.
- Atonement by Ian McEwan.
- Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks.
- Herzog by Saul Bellow.
- The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
- Tales from the Arabian Nights translated by Sir Richard Burton.
- Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott.
- Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.
- Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.
- The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spencer. On my list of "intimidating literature"!
- Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan.
- Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained by John Milton.
- The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. I have made a start, but I would like to complete this in 2013.
Next, Books on France - I'm signing up for the third level, "beaucoup" - six books by a French author, set in France, or about France. I want to focus on French authors, but you will see I'm not including Émile Zola. This is because Zola is not a challenge but a vocation :)
- Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos.
- Selected Short Stories by Guy de Maupassant.
- The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal.
- Eugénie Grandet by Honoré de Balzac.
- The Three Muskateers by Alaxandre Dumas.
- Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
So there it is - twenty-two books, a little less than the seventy plus I chose last year! I think it's sensible, I got far too bogged down with them last year and they became a chore, plus I do want to focus on some of my own challenges this year: finishing the 'ought to have been read' pile, Chaucer, and the 100 Greatest Novels, as well as another twelve titles from my Penguin Greats. Leaving out the latter, and the titles I've already listed, I would be reading -
- Alborn, Mitch - Five People You Meet in Heaven
- De Bernieres, Louis - Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
- de Beauvoir, Simone - The Second Sex
- Freud, Sigmund - The Interpretation of Dreams
- Hosseini, Khaled - The Kite Runner
- Irving, John - A Prayer for Owen Meaney
- Marquez, Gabriel Garcia - One Hundred Years of Solitude
- Martel, Yann - Life of Pi
- Mistry, Rohinton - A Fine Balance
- Mitchel, David - Cloud Atlas
- Pasternak, Boris - Doctor Zhivago
- Pepys, Samuel - The Shorter Pepys
- Pullman, Phillip - His Dark Materials
- Rushdie, Salman - Midnight's Children
- Seth, Vikram - A Suitable Boy
- Shute, Nevil - A Town Like Alice
- Swift, Jonathon - Gulliver's Travels
- Toole, John Kennedy - A Confederacy of Dunces
- Wolstonecraft, Mary - A Vindication of the Rights of Women
Anyway, there are my challenges for 2013, the official reading ones, anyway. I am a long way off making any New Year's Resolutions. It's not even Christmas, to be honest I'm more reflective of 2012 right now than I am excited for 2013 (not that I'm not excited), although I have enjoyed looking over my shelves and picking out some new books!