November 12, 2010

New Year

Already. It is only November, but I have come up with a reading project for next year.

Each month of 2011, I will read that book. You know the one that you were supposed to read in high school or in college and that is referenced and referred to in other classic and modern works of literature, but that just somehow got away from you. Yeah, THAT book. Here are the 12 I have chosen:

Madame Bovary
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Mrs. Dalloway
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Absalom, Absalom!
Moby Dick
Vanity Fair
Invisible Man
Doctor Zhivago
Farewell to Arms

Most of these, by the way, are sitting on my library bookshelf. Two just arrived this week from Amazon.

All of these, except Doctor Zhivago, are on The Novel 100 list, but that is not why I picked them. Interesting to note however, that a number of books that I finished this year are also on the list including, Middlemarch, Great Expectations, Don Quixote, and War and Peace. Some are long time favorites including Huck Finn, Lolita and Pride and Prejudice.

Oh yes, lest I forget, my 11 yo son and I will also be reading The Hobbit. Yet another one that got away!

Hopefully, I will have time to throw in some lighter reading as well. You know, The Atlantic or The Bible? Please tell me you get the sarcasm.


  1. Reading the Hobbit with your 11yo son; I look forward to that! But 12 Classics with a capital C is daunting. What about six, rather than twelve? Don't set yourself up for disappointment, is all I'm sayin'. Also, Madame Bovary, 100 Years, Their Eyes, Moby Dick, and Invisible Man were all challenging reads for me, the kind that I try to put some space between. May I suggest reading Jeeves and Wooster stories in the interstices? That's what I'm doing in the midst of a bunch of non-cheering fiction.

  2. It is daunting, isn't it. And that is what I love about it. It is a big challenge. Like Kilimanjaro of reading lists (Everest would include War and Peace).

    I have built a reading list like this every year. I never, ever finish it. I laughed as I put Ulysses on my list. Yet again. It has been there for 6 years and I have never finished it. I might not finish it this year. But then again this might be the year. Who knows.

    Without a list like this last year, I would not have finished War and Peace, Pride and Prejudice, The Brothers Karamazov and Great Expectations. If I get 4 of the 12 I will be happy. Six would make me delirious.

    That is what I love about my reading life ... and any book I get through is an accomplishment and every one I don't is another journey to look forward to.