75 Books...More or Less! discussion

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Archive (2019 GR Challenge) > planning book choices for my 'make reading a habit again'

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message 1: by Christine (last edited Sep 21, 2019 12:13AM) (new)

Christine (christine_may) | 7 comments Being new to goodreads and also my very recent discovery of Booktube, I'm bumping up against that scary chasm between me and all those unread books. How do I begin to bridge it and find my footing here I'm asking myself feeling somewhat panicky.
So I've made a beginning plan. (To take place after my initiating journey with Victober next month).
Each month choose some books selected from the following categories.
1. Books listed in Booktuber Steve Donoghue's 'Western Canon Starter Kit'. I love how he makes something that feels so daunting seem actually not only possible but enjoyable. (Starts off, of course, with stories from The Bible)
2. Choice of biography/autobiography. I want to read about the lives of writers and artists mainly but open to any figure that strikes me as interesting.
3. A 20th century classic. Top contender right now is Orwell's Animal Farm.
4. Choose either a 'true' history account or historical fiction. I've never read any history books or historical fiction, so finding what's good in these categories will be a challenge in itself.
5. A foreign literary classic. I've always been curious about Dostoevsky's The Idiot after an unforgettable reading of Crime and Punishment long ago, so now seems to be the right time to tackle it.
6. A contemporary novel. Here again, after being so out of touch with reading, I'm sad to say that I'm very ignorant about contemporary fiction. Anyway I've decided to begin with Tracy Chevalier's 'Girl With a Pearl Earring' because I like art. Could this double as historical fiction?
7. One book that I've previously read, recollected as greatly enjoyed, but now barely able to remember. (Has to be Jane Austen's Emma for first choice)
Plus I intend to intersperse all of this with some poetry and short stories.
Phew! But I'm very excited to do this AND to get re-acquainted with my local library and bookshops.


message 2: by Elyse, Moderator (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) | 7449 comments Mod
I love your plan! Very organized and gives you a nice variety to keep your reading well-rounded. I would include Girl with a Pearl Earring as historical fiction.


message 3: by Juli, Moderator (new)

Juli | 1801 comments Mod
Christine wrote: "Being new to goodreads and also my very recent discovery of Booktube, I'm bumping up against that scary chasm between me and all those unread books. How do I begin to bridge it and find my footing ..."

I like this plan!!!!!


message 4: by Carol (new)

Carol (carol07) | 2623 comments Christine wrote: "Being new to goodreads and also my very recent discovery of Booktube, I'm bumping up against that scary chasm between me and all those unread books. How do I begin to bridge it and find my footing ..."

OK, Christine... forgive me if you listed this somewhere, but what is Victober!?


message 5: by Christine (new)

Christine (christine_may) | 7 comments Carol, Victober is a group that operates every October that is all about reading Victorian literature. There are some optional challenges and a read along. I’ve had great fun choosing my books for the challenges.


message 6: by Christine (last edited Sep 21, 2019 01:00AM) (new)

Christine (christine_may) | 7 comments I knew there would be things I’d left out of this plan, the MAJOR omission being Shakespeare! So now I’ve added in a new goal - to read ALL of the plays. I’ve read and seen some Shakespeare (love Hamlet,Twelfth Night, King Lear and The Tempest) but now my intention is to get to know Shakespeare much better. To do this I’m going to, every weekend, listen to a play and then read it and then do some related critical reading around it. I’ve already started with ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. I’m listening to a BBC production (on Youtube) and it’s SO good. What pleasures lie ahead of me.
I’ll be using opensourceshakespeare.org for all my reading, which I think is very good.


message 7: by Elyse, Moderator (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) | 7449 comments Mod
Christine wrote: "I knew there would be things I’d left out of this plan, the MAJOR omission being Shakespeare! So now I’ve added in a new goal - to read ALL of the plays. I’ve read and seen some Shakespeare (love H..."

Very cool! I like that you're pairing listening and reading to better understand. I should do that. Because I have a hard time just reading Shakespeare.


message 8: by Carol (new)

Carol (carol07) | 2623 comments Christine wrote: "I knew there would be things I’d left out of this plan, the MAJOR omission being Shakespeare! So now I’ve added in a new goal - to read ALL of the plays. I’ve read and seen some Shakespeare (love H..."

I have slowly been reading Shakespeare's works and enjoying them. Usually I read his work, and then I read a modern retelling of it. Hogarth Shakespeare series has been producing a new book every year. Then, I watch the movie.

https://www.goodreads.com/series/1586...

I just read New Boy, which is a retelling of Othello. It was great. This story takes place at a school and the cast is 5th or 6th graders. Highly recommend.


message 9: by Stacie (new)

Stacie (stacieh) | 1739 comments Christine wrote: "I knew there would be things I’d left out of this plan, the MAJOR omission being Shakespeare! So now I’ve added in a new goal - to read ALL of the plays. I’ve read and seen some Shakespeare (love H..."

SmartPass puts out a series called Shakespeare Appreciated which are unabridged, full cast audio productions with commentary of many of the 'big' plays. You might be able to find them through your library (they are considered an educational resource) or you can get them on Audible. I've got several and enjoyed them- ok, I didn't enjoy King Lear, but I could at least appreciate it, so... truth in advertising, right? ;)


message 10: by Christine (new)

Christine (christine_may) | 7 comments Carol wrote: "Christine wrote: "I knew there would be things I’d left out of this plan, the MAJOR omission being Shakespeare! So now I’ve added in a new goal - to read ALL of the plays. I’ve read and seen some S..."

Carol, thank you for this. I never thought of reading retellings. I’m curious about Jeannette Winterson’s Gap in Time though I see it has very mixed reviews from GR readers. (I’ve never read any of her work). Othello is one of the plays I feel daunted by, I’m not sure why but to have a retelling to go to afterwards will work to keep me motivated.


message 11: by Christine (new)

Christine (christine_may) | 7 comments Stacie wrote: "Christine wrote: "I knew there would be things I’d left out of this plan, the MAJOR omission being Shakespeare! So now I’ve added in a new goal - to read ALL of the plays. I’ve read and seen some S..."

This sounds like a great resource. I hope my library can get hold of them. Thank you for this.


message 12: by Christine (new)

Christine (christine_may) | 7 comments I've just made a start on The Bible. I've only got as far as Chapter 4 of Genesis and the Cain and Abel story. I came to a stop there with my own perplexity. What odd behavior from God. (I don't hold to any faith and only vaguely knew of Cain and Abel). Now I want to read Steinbeck's East of Eden which I understand relates to this biblical story. I've looked at GR reviews and it seems the book is either hugely admired or hugely disliked. The five stars have the much greater majority though. Curiosity means I'll have to read it.


message 13: by Elyse, Moderator (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) | 7449 comments Mod
Christine wrote: "I've just made a start on The Bible. I've only got as far as Chapter 4 of Genesis and the Cain and Abel story. I came to a stop there with my own perplexity. What odd behavior from God. (I don't ho..."

I couldn't get very far into the Bible and then I deleted it from my Kindle because it took it way too much space. This was before I had a smartphone or tablet so space was limited to my original Kindle. lol.


message 14: by Carol (new)

Carol (carol07) | 2623 comments Christine wrote: "Carol wrote: "Christine wrote: "I knew there would be things I’d left out of this plan, the MAJOR omission being Shakespeare! So now I’ve added in a new goal - to read ALL of the plays. I’ve read a..."

I think the Gap of Time was one of my least favorite of the books. I gave it three stars, but it was probably more like 2.75. I LOVED the rewrite, New Boy. Like you, I feel a bit daunted by Othello... so heavy. I figure if I enjoy the rewrite, I may be able to get into the original.


message 15: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4070 comments Mod
This is a great plan! How's it going so far. Are you feeling more motivated. I'm embarrassed to admit I have not checked out booktube yet!


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