The Challenge and The Box
I enjoy reading book blogs or lit blogs. The book bloggers like to have challenges to read so many books during a certain period, or so many books on a topic or genre, or sometimes a bunch will read the same book together and have a discussion about it. Lots of fun all around, although I rarely join in.
However, I decided to join this challenge to read five books that I already own by January 30th. I don't know if it's cheating to include books I've already started, but I am because I need to finish them. These are my selections:
1. War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy -- I've been working on this since June and it would be nice to complete it before the year's end.
2. W pustyni i w puszczy, by Henryk Sienkiewicz -- It's probably risky to put a time-table on my Polish book, but I might be able to do it if I work at it consistently.
3. Sanditon, by Jane Austen and Another Lady -- I've just barely started this, and I want to read it and see if it compares favorably to the rest of Austen's books, even though only the first 11 chapters were written by her.
4. Nathan Coulter, by Wendell Berry -- I've been wanting to read something by this author for several months, and although this particular book is not one of the ones that I've heard recommended, it is the one that was available to me, so I'm going to sample it first.
5. The House of Exile, by Nora Waln -- This was given to me by a Polish friend who has collected a few English books over the years in the hopes that she might read them to improve her English. She gave her whole collection to me recently when she was organizing and cleaning at home, because she says they are too hard for her to read. This is a very old Penguin travel book, published in the 1930's, about China.
And after I selected those five, and posted them at the challenge, I got The Box.
All of the books in the The Box were selected and collected by me when I was in the States last year. I collected them during the summer while I was in Florida, left them with a friend while I traveled for a few months, and returned to Florida in October with plans to bring them to our temporary home in Pennsylvania. There were simply too many to take (and I already had a lot of books stashed in Pennsylvania), so I mailed The Box to Poland, to a colleague who also enjoys reading. I told her The Box was coming, and that she should open it and read anything that looked interesting to her.
When we returned to Poland in February of this year, I brought a lot of books with me, and I asked my colleague to keep The Box a bit longer (she didn't mind!) It was returned to me this week, and only after I selected those five books to read and finish by January 30th did I open it.
It may have been a mistake to choose my five books before I opened The Box! I haven't seen these books since I packed them up and mailed them over a year ago. I've already read some of them, and a few of them were intended for my kids, but mostly they are books I chose for myself because I wanted to read them, but I saved them to read in Poland. There are four or five titles in The Box that I'd like to jump right into, but I'm trying to restrain myself.
I certainly am not going to lack reading material for the next year or two. The Box, alone, probably has 20 books in it, although I didn't take the time to count them.