|Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash|
Sometimes in this blogging life, the words just won’t come.
I have several posts on the back burner waiting for inspiration, time and for the right words to appear. In the meantime, I will fill the gaps with housekeeping posts and lists.
Once upon a time, I used to join in a ridiculous amount of reading challenges.
I’d read books with colours in the titles, from every country around the world, or all the counties in England! I read by numbers, by lottery, in large groups and small. I filled out bingo cards and joined reading challenges to decrease my TBR pile, my classics pile, my Aussie author pile and my award winning books pile.
They were all fun at the time, even as I knew I had no chance whatsoever, in following through and completing them.
Over my decade of blogging, I’ve finally learnt what works for me and what doesn’t.
Even though all those other challenges were fun, a great way of meeting other bloggers and working through my TBR pile, they ultimately made me feel guilty, obligated and bogged down by the end of the year.
I’ve learnt that I love:
- a readalong.
- a slow read.
- historical fiction and classics.
- Australian lit, Japanese lit and award winning books.
- memoirs, history and travel books.
- cook books and my kids books.
Which brings me nicely to my 2020 plans.
Together we’ve read, Les Miserables (very successfully), Don Quixote (less successfully – I bailed halfway through), The Count of Monte Cristo (another big success) and now we have War and Peace to look forward to.
This will be a reread for me.
I first read W&P in the Antipodean summer of 2001. I had just bought my first home and I spent all of the January school holidays either ploughing my way through W&P, painting, gardening or decorating my new home.
My edition was a 1942/1970 Sandstone Publishing one, translated and abridged (yikes! how did that slip by me at the time?) by Princess Alexandra Kropotkin. I raced through the 696 pages, skim reading a lot of it. I can now barely remember a thing.
Between now and January 1st, I will hunt out an edition that has the 361 chapters, as recommended by Nick, and a better translation. The Princess AK and I did not gel at all last time round.
Your recommendations for translations are greatly appreciated.
I will then read a Gen III AWW book for Bill in the middle of January. I haven’t decided which one yet, but no doubt it will be one of my slimmer options! Maybe The Pea Pickers by Eve Langley, The Dye House by Mena Calthorpe or one of my Thea Astley’s.
January is also the beginning of three months of reading Japanese Literature with Meredith.
I have so many options to chose from, I’m not sure where to even start! But I’ve been craving Murakami recently, so I may go there and I also a number of new releases that I wouldn’t mind getting to whilst they are still new!
In February I will complete my own slow read readalong of Moby-Dick.
Now that I have (finally) learnt how to schedule tweets, I feel that the next readalong I host will feature a consistent quote tweeting strategy.
Whatever book I choose for my next hosted readalong, won’t be until the second half of the year. Why, I hear you ask?
The reason why should become abundantly clear as you keep scrolling down!
March through to mid April is a One Hundred Years of Solitude Readalong with Ruth and Silvia.
For the life of me I cannot remember if it’s this Marquez that I’ve read or Love in the Time of Cholera. I guess I will find out on the 6th March!
April, of course, is always saved for Fanda and her marvellous Zoladdiction month. I’m reading my way through the Rougon-Macquart series chronologically.
In 2020 I’m due to read the fourth book, La Conquête de Plassans.
July’s reading commitment is for Lisa’s Indigenous Literature Week early in the month. I plan to read one from my TBR pile and a new release.
However July is also Paris in July with Tamara, when I love to pull out a Maigret or two and maybe a Balzac.
I finish the year with my very own AusReadingMonth in November.
I do enjoy reading non-stop Aussie books for a month, but I find the blogging schedule exhausting. After talking with Meredith, I’ve been wondering if a more relaxed three month reading challenge would be easier on me, and also easier for people joining in all around the world.
What are your thoughts on an AusReadingSeason from September through to the end of November?
Naturally, new and unexpected reading opportunities will come up throughout the year.
I may try to use Rachel’s History Reading Challenge to read The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple. A specific challenge may the only way to get through this chunkster in a timely fashion.
Rachel is also hosting a Wolf Hall Trilogy Readalong for those of us wanting to reread Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies before the final book, The Mirror and the Light is published in March.
I’m very, very tempted, except that my dance card is already pretty full for January and February!
Erica has created a Reading Classic Books Challenge for 2020.
- Reading War and Peace will give me a classic over 500 pages and a book in translation.
- The Zola will be a classic that takes place in a country other than where you live.
- My Gen III AWW book will count as a classic written by a woman.
- And no doubt my 2020 CC Spins will help me fill out a few more slots on her list.
Our Jan/Feb read will be Marcus Zusak’s Bridge of Clay and our March read is Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.