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Personal Challenges > Kathleen Loves Lists

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message 1: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments I could put lots of lists here—believe me, I have them! But instead, in the spirit of giving in to more impulse reading in 2018, I’m attempting to combine my love of planning with a more open type of challenge.

So I decided on the seven categories below that I want to read more from, and will list the books I read under each one. I’ll make a sort of game out of it, and at the end of the year see which category has the longest list of books read.


message 2: by Kathleen (last edited Jun 03, 2018 10:37AM) (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments My Go-to Girls
You know those writers who you just know you’re going to love? You pick up their books with absolute confidence that they’re going to be for you. For years I had a short list of these go-to girls: Margaret Atwood, Fay Weldon and Margaret Drabble. They had imagination, smarts, and attitude.

I’ve been craving me some Fay Weldon, so hope to read something by her soon. But I also want to consider adding to this list. Some prospects: Penelope Lively, Barbara Pym, Elizabeth Trout, Elizabeth Berg. And who will I discover this year?

Jan 2018
Margaret Atwood, The Year of the Flood, **** Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Jun 2018
Margaret Atwood, MaddAddam ***** Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 3: by Kathleen (last edited Mar 19, 2018 05:42AM) (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments Why are you going to the library?
The books I already own are speaking to me. They’re saying “Remember when you found me, and you couldn’t wait to take me home and read me? You set me down and looked at me lovingly for a day or so, and then you started setting library books on top of me. I’ve been sitting here, full of potential--the one you picked special--for years! Please don’t forget about me.”

Jan
The Woman in White *** Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Mar
Doctor Zhivago ***** Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
The Iliad **** Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 4: by Kathleen (last edited Mar 19, 2018 05:21AM) (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments The St. John’s College Curriculum
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Joh...
I’m a sucker for syllabi, have long wanted to read all the “Great Books,” and I particularly liked this curriculum. It goes from The Iliad to Mrs. Dalloway, and will take me the rest of my life plus a few more lives to finish, but I can’t let that stop me!

Curriculum Books read prior to this year
The Odyssey
The Aeneid
Don Quixote
Middlemarch
Pride and Prejudice
Emma
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Metamorphosis
The Brothers Karamazov
War and Peace
Mrs. Dalloway
To the Lighthouse

Curriculum books I have temporarily abandoned
The Canterbury Tales
Faust

Curriculum books read this year
Feb:
Macbeth **** Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Mar:
The Iliad **** Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 5: by Kathleen (last edited Jun 24, 2018 10:17AM) (new)


message 6: by Kathleen (last edited Mar 19, 2018 05:25AM) (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments The Man Booker Prize
I tend to like these more than some of the other prize winners, and would love to read them all eventually.

Prize winners read prior to this year
Hotel du Lac
The Remains of the Day
The God of Small Things

Prize winners read this year


message 7: by Kathleen (last edited Mar 19, 2018 05:25AM) (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments Shakespeare
I hope to take part in some group reads and do some catching up on the Bard.

Jan
Romeo and Juliet, **** Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Feb
Macbeth **** Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 8: by Kathleen (last edited Dec 26, 2017 05:46AM) (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments Music
I’m discovering there are lots of good novels out there with a music theme. Can’t wait to read more of them.


message 9: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1600 comments Your list challenge is awesome. I love that you have categories but are not planning the books ahead of time. I have a similar goal with your WOC list next year. Best of luck and I look forward to seeing what you read.


message 10: by siriusedward (new)

siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 2011 comments I love your lists and your explanation for it Kathleen.


message 11: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments Thank you Laurie and Elena! I'm anxious to start. :-)


message 12: by Leni (new)

Leni Iversen (leniverse) | 1190 comments Great lists! Looking forward to seeing them grow with titles. And I need to have a close look at that St. John's College Curriculum! They're not kidding around!


message 13: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments Thanks, Leni! Nope, they aren't kidding around. I actually have The Iliad to read with another group in January. Nothing like starting at the beginning. :-)


message 14: by Kathleen (last edited Feb 10, 2018 09:41AM) (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments Time for an update!

To my Go To Girls, I added Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood. I'm loving this series, and will read MaddAddam soon.

To my Writers of Color, I added two authors I've never read before, but now want to read everything they wrote: Octavia Butler's Kindred and Gloria Naylor's The Women of Brewster Place.

To Shakespeare, I added Romeo and Juliet, and thanks to this group, will be reading Macbeth this month.

Having a wonderful time! Reviews above if anyone's interested.


message 15: by Kathleen (last edited Mar 19, 2018 05:40AM) (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments I did some updating and added reviews above. As predicted, the writers of color challenge is in the lead, possibly helped a little by Black History month. I was surprised at how much I loved Passing and The Women of Brewster Place.

Biggest surprise though was that I've actually read two Shakespeare (thanks to this group), and two from the college curriculum!

And from my "Why am I going to the library?" challenge, I must say I'm very happy to have finally read my beautiful, cloth bound Doctor Zhivago, which was more like an experience than a book, and probably my favorite so far this year.


message 16: by Pink (new)

Pink | 6556 comments Wow, I haven't looked at your challenge so far this year, but they're all great and you're doing so well. I could do with a 'Why am I going to the library?' category myself!


message 17: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments Thanks, Pink! Yep, no shortage of books, but still, the library always calls to me ...


message 18: by Kathleen (last edited May 22, 2018 06:11AM) (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments I am way behind in updating this! Will start with a quick note about my first list category, my Go to Girls.

Hopefully in the next few weeks I'll finally get to Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam. I hope I haven't waited too long to start the last book in the trilogy, but actually, who cares--know I'm going to enjoy it anyway!

I also picked up a Fay Weldon: Worst Fears, to give me my long awaited FW fix.

But here's what I have read: The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence. I just finished it, and think the author might be a new Go-to-Girl. Yay! I have to read more to know for sure if she'll be in this category, and plan to read A Jest of God next, but I have a feeling she is going to be a favorite. Loved this book. Here's my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 19: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie | 1548 comments Kathleen, I have read almost every book by Margaret Laurence, and they are all good!


message 20: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments Rosemarie wrote: "Kathleen, I have read almost every book by Margaret Laurence, and they are all good!"

Oh, I am thrilled to hear that, Rosemarie. Not surprised I guess, but thrilled--thanks!


message 21: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments Catching up with updates to my Writers of Color category. Some great reading. Full list and reviews linked above, but here's the latest with a quick opinion:

Hotel Iris by Yōko Ogawa--way too disturbing;
White Teeth by Zadie Smith--funny and wickedly smart;
The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story by Edwidge Danticat--touching and helpful;
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi--epic!

I recommend all, except Hotel Iris, which was TMI into a very twisted relationship, in my opinion. Beautiful writing though.

I keep thinking about the Gyasi book. She wraps so much history into this saga, and you just look at everything different after you read it.

And now, I've picked up the last of Margaret Atwood's Maddaddam series. I love it of course. There's a reason Atwood is my original go-to girl!


message 22: by Lotte (new)

Lotte | 196 comments Great that you liked three of the four! I've been wanting to read something by Zadie Smith for quite some time now, but I've just noted that the first five reviews say the tone of voice in the novel is too ironic or too smirky. Can you relate to this?

Homegoing also sounds very interesting :). I like books with a big (historical) scope.


message 23: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments Hi Lotte. Yes, I do relate to White Teeth being ironic and smirky. It bothered me a little bit, but only when I first started the book. Then that tone either changed, or I found so much more there to enjoy that I didn't notice it anymore. :-)

And I'd say Homegoing is for you! There are not many novels with a bigger historical scope than this one, and for me it was lots of new and fascinating information I'd never heard. Hope you can read it sometime.


message 24: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3098 comments Kathleen wrote: "Catching up with updates to my Writers of Color category. Some great reading. Full list and reviews linked above, but here's the latest with a quick opinion:

Hotel Iris by [author:Y..."


This is the first I've seen of your lists. I like this way of doing a challenge, great idea Kathleen! You've read a lot of good ones already.

I never heard of White Teeth until it was on PBS's Great American Book read list. I'm glad to know you liked it.


message 25: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments Thanks, Sue. I'm doing okay on some of these and totally neglecting others. No surprise, I guess!

White Teeth is excellent--so glad I finally read it.


message 26: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 4789 comments Mod
You have convinced me to put White Teeth on my TBR, Kathleen. I feel exactly as you do about Atwood...she never disappoints. Hope you LOVE the MaddAddam series.


message 27: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments I hope you like White Teeth, Sara! I'm curious to try her other books now.

And, oh, I did love the MaddAddam trilogy!! So much. Just finished the last and linked my review above. The last was my favorite. Now that's storytelling. :-) I'm still on a after-read high. *sigh*

And Sara I so appreciate you encouraging me to read the whole series without too much time in between each book. I'm so glad you did, because I could have easily put it off. Thank you!!


message 28: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 4789 comments Mod
I'm so delighted that you loved them as I did. I thought they were amazing. I read them as they were released, so I found myself re-reading the prior books each time there was a new one.

I've put White Teeth at the top of my short-list.


message 29: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments Added another to my writers of color category:
Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich. What a compelling read! I linked my review above.

This is my first Erdrich, and I'm thinking she's a candidate for my Go-to-girls list. I've been wanting to read LaRose, but wondering--does anyone have any recommendations of a book of hers they've particularly liked?


message 30: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 4789 comments Mod
Haven't read Future Home of the Living God, but I did like LaRose and have The Round House on my short-list. It has been recommended to me several times by others whose opinions I trust.


message 31: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments Ooh. The Round House actually sounds good in similar ways that Future Home of the Living God was good. Think I'll check that out before LaRose. Thanks so much, Sara!


message 32: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9312 comments Mod
Louise Erdrich is one of my favorite authors.


message 33: by Brina (new)

Brina Mine too. I enjoy her earlier work as Love Medicine and The Beet Queen.


message 34: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3098 comments I've been wanting to read both The Round House and Love Medicine for awhile and now you guys are adding more that sound great too. I have to try and fit her in this year!


message 35: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments Katy and Brina, I can see why she's a favorite. I'm excited to read more. I think you'll like her too, Sue!


message 36: by Brina (new)

Brina Sue, I think you will like her style. If you read Love Medicine, I will gladly read The Beet Queen with any of you later on. It's been a tough reading year but I can fit in time for Louise Erdrich.


message 37: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments I have my heart set on The Round House now. Brina or Sue, if either of you would be interested in a buddy read of that one later in the year, let me know!


message 38: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3098 comments Kathleen wrote: "I have my heart set on The Round House now. Brina or Sue, if either of you would be interested in a buddy read of that one later in the year, let me know!"

I'd be up for a Buddy Read of Round House in Oct or Nov or Dec Do any of those months work?


message 39: by Brina (new)

Brina Between late October and early November. After that I might not have time to read the rest of the year.


message 40: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments This sounds great to me. How about we shoot for October and November, and keep it flexible? Thanks you two--looking forward to it. :-)


message 41: by Brina (new)

Brina Me too. It has been a mainly nonfiction year for me so that will be my fiction book of the last quarter. Hopefully next year I can pick the pace back up.


message 42: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 4789 comments Mod
If you guys get up a group read for The Round House I'd love to join. It has been sitting on my shelf, calling my name, for a couple of years now.


message 43: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 3694 comments Perfect! So glad, Sara. This will be fun.


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