Thursday, January 14, 2010

Classic Reads and Icicle Impalement

I've been accused of reading "How to Make a Meatloaf" and that may be because I did in fact read "How to Breastfeed Your Baby" three times, but give me a break - I had three babies. Because I tend to lean towards non-fiction and that can make for a dull, boring person, last year I resolved to lean heavy on fiction. I made it through about 20, mostly 'popular' reads and it was a fun reading year!

This year I'm going with the same resolution (fiction), choosing classic books, with a goal of 12 - one a month - surely The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin counts as much as two of the typical fiction? I went to this website to get a list of the top classic books. There are 108 and I'm happy to say I can check off 22 of them, 1/5 of the way! (I pulled up Random House's 'modern classics' but was pretty turned off when I investigated some of the books - either too futuristic or bordering on obscene - don't get me started on Gravity's Rainbow!)If I'd attended college it's likely more would be checked off this list, but alas that's spilt milk and no use spending time there.

So as soon as I finish People of the Book (leftover from 2009), I'm jumping into my first classic read of 2010. Here's my list for the year, and since January is already half over I better get hopping to it.

Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton (starting with this one - it's 70 pages long)
The Autobiography of Ben Franklin (Ben Franklin)
Daisy Miller, Henry James
Frankenstein, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Howards End, E. M. Forster
The Iliad, Homer
Ivanhoe, Sir Walter Scott
Kidnapped, Robert Louis Stevenson
Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad
My 'Antonia, Willa Cather
Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe
Walden, Henry David Thoreau

They're in no order. I'll mix up heavier and lighter, and if I finish more than one a month I can grab a popular read to enjoy too.

What are you reading? Feel free to share non-classics as I'm hoping to squeeze in a few of those too.

BTW, that's the scene outside our window this morning - the front page of the newspaper had a 'chicken little' warning to watch for falling icicles up to four feet long - crazy winter - but that means it's warming up today!


Fonda said...

Thanks for sharing your list. I always enjoy seeing what you are reading. I am reading "Up for Renewal" right now. (More language than I am used to...but it has me thinking about a few areas of my life that could use a little attention.) Next up is "Through the Looking Glass". I want to read the classic before I see the musical 'Wonderland' in February. Enjoy your classics!

Becky said...

I am reading, "Same Kind of Different as me." It was a slow start because of how busy I was when we were moving. I started it just before Christmas, and as a result of moving, it is not the book that has taken me the longest to read EVER. I am about 2/3 the way through. It is good, and I need to read it all over again in another year when I can respect it more and give it the time it deserves.

I have not made my list for 2010 (I say twenty-ten, what do you say?) but I expect to go to the library on Sat to start a pile.

Leah in Iowa said...

I'm with you on the classics - I'll be thinking about my list. Thanks for your email!

Melissa said...

I guess I've read quite a few of those on your list for this year and I can't say I want to tackle the ones I haven't!! I read a biography of Frankling a few years ago - it was wonderful, even if it was very long. It lead me to read up a lot more on our founding fathers, especially Washington!!

I'm finishing up a quick read called "The Angels of Morgan Hill" by Donna VanLiere and it's wonderful. I think I'll check out some more of her books.

I also just finished Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" which I liked although not as much as his previous. And before that I finished "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" which I liked the premise of, but thought it could had been written a little better.

Always love to hear what other people recommend. That's how I always have a list of things to check out at the library!!!

Val said...

Ethen Frome is an interesting book...I just read it again last year. I really need to make a point of reading David Copperfield some day. I like most Dickens (except for a Tale of Two Cities), but the size of the book, and the miniscule size of the print, keep turning me off. And this is coming from someone who actually read War and Peace and enjoyed it....

If you want something different, try Crime and Punishment. Just make sure you get an edition that explains all of the names in the front...they can be challenging, and each one has very specific meaning in the original Russian.

Happy Reading!

pendy said...

My book club is reading Frankenstein for our January meeting (which is actually a weekend at the beach, so we like a meaty book for our weekend event). I'm about 2/3 through with it and it's not my cup of tea (the DRAMA) but I will be glad to have read it and know our discussions will be marvelous.

The Autobiography of BF was on my high school reading list and I chose it because it DID count as two books! I remember enjoying it, though.

If you ever want to see my book club's list, the link Bluestockings is on the sidebar of my blog. When you click it, you can see current reads and below, everything we've done since we started in 2004.