Reading Resolutions 2013 Part 1

15 Jan


Last year, I made a new year’s resolution: read a book by Dickens. And I did! For our Classic Bookclub meeting last March, I and several others, discussed our experiences of reading Hard Times. I found that some of things said about Dickens’ work were true. Hard Times was both sentimental but at times, hilariously funny. Not that it’s meant to be. But with characters like Mr Gradgrind and Mr M’Choakumchild ramming cold hard facts down everybody’s throats, its hard not to giggle. And the female characters were a little limp in parts. But I was moved by Dickens’ clear concern for the downtrodden and disempowered. The whole thing left me wishing I’d chosen something else of his to read, apparently this was one of his weaker works. But whatever, I’d read a whole Dickens!

So under the influence of this staggering triumph, this year’s reading resolutions are far more ambitious! I will read ANOTHER DICKENS! Maybe even Great Expectations!

But not only this, I will have a go at a few more of those ‘authors I’ve been meaning to read’. So this year’s book diet will go something like this:

One book by John Steinbeck, maybe Grapes of Wrath, since everybody says it’s ‘amazing’. I haven’t even read Of Mice and Men. Tut tut.

One book by Thomas Hardy. I tried to read Jude the Obscure some time when when I was under 20, and it didn’t work. But I’m ready for you now, Mr Hardy…

Another book by George Orwell. I’ve done Animal Farm. And at Uni, I read and very much enjoyed – without at all expecting to – The Road to Wigan Pier. So it’s time for 1984 methinks. Or maybe Down and Out in Paris and London.

Another book by James Joyce. I’ve read The Dubliners. And I’ve read Ulysses (OK, I haven’t, I didn’t finish it. But I did read the beginning – repeatedly-, some of the middle, and most of the end. I’ll be taking care of this – see my next post). So now its time to read the lovely copy of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man that’s been sitting on my shelf for years.

One copy of Middlemarch by George Eliot. As a student of feminism and fan of women in general, I really should have read this one already. For shame!

And that’s it. Don’t give me any more books to read for the rest of the year, OK?


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