Sunday, December 30, 2012

My 2013 Reading List

It's nearly a new year and you know what that means: My 2013 Reading List!
To be perfectly honest, I love making lists, but have a hard time sticking to them.
This is especially the case with books because I so easily get distracted by another book.
And another book.
And another book.
And so on.
I'm hoping that this year I will be a little better about it.
For my Summer of the Classics, I did actually read a few of the ones on my list!
I was VERY happy with myself.
So now, I am keeping the books on my summer list that I didn't read, and adding to it for this year.
Since this is a year long list rather than just for summer, maybe I'll actually read most of these!
The first book I really should finish is The Casual Vancancy.

My 2013 Reading List

  • Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (I am going to start this one over....)
  • House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton
  • Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen
  • Anthony Adverse, by Hervey Allen
  • From the Earth to the Moon, by Jules Verne
  • Now or Never or, The Adventures of Bobby Bright, by Oliver Optic
  • Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins
  • Tess of the d'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy
  • Quo Vadis: a narrative of the time of Nero, by Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • Ulysses, by James Joyce (Okay, this is more wishful thinking, because I have tried reading this before and just couldn't get into it....but I am so willing to try again!)
  • Utopia, by Thomas More
  • History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, by Henry Fielding
  • Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by Anne Bronte
  • Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
  • The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe
  • The Phantom of the Opera, by Gaston Leroux
  • Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo

  • A Song of Ice and Fire: A Clash of Kings, by George R.R. Martin
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: A Storm of Swords, by George R.R. Martin
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: A Feast for Crows, by George R.R. Martin
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: A Dance with Dragons, by George R.R. Martin
  • Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer
  • The Arctic Incident, by Eoin Colfer
  • The Eternity Code, by Eoin Colfer
  • The Opal Deception, by Eoin Colfer
  • The Lost Colony, by Eoin Colfer
  • The Time Paradox, by Eoin Colfer
  • The Atlantis Complex, by Eoin Colfer
  • The Last Guardian, by Eoin Colfer
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
  • Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
  • The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey
  • The Time-Traveling Fashionista, by Bianca Turetsky
  • The Time-Traveling Fashionista at the Palace of Marie Antoinette, by Bianca Turetsky
  • Battle Royale, by Koushun Takami
  • Casino Royale, by Ian Fleming (James Bond)

  • The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary, by Simon Winchester
  • The Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin
  • The Science of Star Wars, by Jeanne Cavelos
  • Salt: A World History, by Mark Kurlansky
  • Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis, by Michael Ward
  • The Fire and the Staff: Lutheran Theology in Practice, by Klemet Preus
  • Jane Austen: A Life, by Claire Tomalin
  • Wanderlust: A History of Walking, by Rebecca Solnit
  • Tea: The Drink that Changed the World, by Laura C. Martin
  • The German Genius, by Peter Watson (A continuation of reading...)

Note that I have separated the books out into sections. The top section is classics and old books. The middle is newer fiction, and the bottom is non-fiction. I have challenged myself to read ten non-fiction books in 2013. This will be difficult, because I have a really hard time reading non-fiction. But my list is all things that should really, really interest me.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Legend of Holly Claus

The Legend of Holly Claus (Julie Andrews Collection)

When Christmastime rolls around, I break out what have become my favorite books and movies. I don't know about you, but those old movies get me every time. So good. And then there are those books that I adore reading at this time of year, as well. For obvious reasons, I read the Holy Bible; can't forget the Reason for the season, Jesus Christ.

But beyond that, my two favorites are A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and The Legend of Holly Claus by Brittany Ryan. The first one is for obvious reasons, the second is a book that I discovered while working at the library and I fell in love with it.

In the land of Forever, Santa and Mrs. Claus have no children. After all, this is the land of the Immortals. No children have ever been born there. But then, in Victorian New York, a young boy writes a letter to Santa that changes everything. Soon, Holly is born. A huge celebration ensues. But, alas, not all is joyful. An evil magician/warlock puts a curse on Holly. She, of course, once she learns of this curse, is determined to break it, and to do a good deed that will once and for all earn her her place in the land of Forever.

Okay, so that last bit smacks of works-righteousness. But it's a story. And the land of Forever isn't heaven, no matter what anyone might try to say. The point is that this is a gorgeous book that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside and really want to do good. And that's certainly a good thing. Helping others is a wonderful thing to do.

I re-read this book every single December. Not only do I love the story, but it's set in the Victorian Era, and what with that, Christmas, and magic...well, the only thing that would make this book more perfect would be if part of it took place in London instead of New York City. :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

December Classics Club Meme

The Classics Club monthly meme is another way to bring members of The Classics Club together. The post for the month will go up on the main page of this blog on the 2nd of the month, and you’ll have all month to respond over at your blog.

Q: What is your favorite memory of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol? Have you ever read it? If not, will you? Why should others read it rather than relying on the film adaptions?

A: I suppose I ought to say that my favorite memory of A Christmas Carol is actually from many years ago when my aunt and uncle took my sister and me to see the play adaptation in downtown Milwaukee. That is the first big memory I have of the story, at any rate. Since then, I have watched multiple film adaptations and read the book at least once every Christmas. I have also listened to the audiobook. 
Everyone should read the book rather than relying on the film adaptations because the essence of what Charles Dickens is saying tends to be lost on film, especially in the more recent adaptations. Christmas is more than consumerism and stress; it is a time to celebrate family and friends. And of course, the real Reason for the season should never be forgotten.

So this my first time linking up to The Classics Club. I hope it won't be my last and that this helps get more traffic on this blog! :)