Monday, August 17, 2009

New Reading Goal

I was inspired by the survey on Facebook to try and find the original BBC list. I don't know if I found the correct list, but I was able to find the BBC Big Read Top 200 they published a number of years ago.

I've decided I would like to be better acquainted with the "classics" of literature. I used to be an avid reader (by avid reader, I mean I used to read several hours nearly everyday) but reading has kind of fallen by the wayside as I grew into an adult and we got involved in other hobbies. I do still do a fair amount of reading, but usually I'm reading news articles and blogs on the internet, not books.

So, now I've put together a list of books I'd like to read, pulling primarily from the BBC list. I went through the complete 200 books and I added a few and checked off all the books that I remembered reading. Then I went to Wikipedia and looked up books I didn't recognize to see what kind of book they were. I mostly deleted children's books from the list; I'm not going to read another lame Harry Potter-type series (what a waste of time that was). As of today my list includes 111 books, but I'm steadily chipping away at it. (I'm very thankful for the Redwood City Library in this venture.) My long term goal is to read a book a week, but at the moment I'm getting through the list at a much faster pace.

Since last Friday I have read:
  1. Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen. A lot like the movie I've watched over and over. There were some additional characters and some extra scenes not in the movie.
  2. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. This one was a bit of a weird story, obviously not her best. And the ending was very rushed. But I did enjoy the book.
  3. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. This book seemed like a dud about half-way through, but it pulled out a good finish.
  4. Persuasion by Jane Austen. I really liked this book.
  5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. OK, I have to admit I didn't actually finish this book; I tried. Yuck. I got about halfway through and the main characters were just mean and unpleasant. I am at a loss for why this book is in the Top 20. Obviously lots of people have a liking for tragic love stories resulting in bitter, unkind people.
  6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Another excellent book. I realized while reading it that I had read it before, but hadn't remembered when filling out the original survey.
I'm trying to select my next book to read. My choices are Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks and The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I was hoping to read a more upbeat story next, but it doesn't look like either of these will fill the bill. (In fact, having now looked up the plot synopsis for Catcher in the Rye in Wikipedia, I'm not actually sure I'll read it; it sounds like a lame story. Some college drop-out has wayward adventures with alcohol and a prostitute as well as others. But since I've already checked it out, I will give it a start and see how it goes.) I might have to go to the library again and trade my finished books with some new ones from my list.

My leg is still really messed up. This is proving to be an excellent time to do some reading... =)

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