Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Some books to read in 2012

I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to be more disciplined about my reading, because I ended up squandering a lot of reading time on a lot of worthless twaddle last year. I would like to blame Amazon and Kindle for this, but although the Kindle *enables* the reading of twaddle, it's not really to blame for how I spend my time, is it?


I have a number of goals and plans for 2012 (blogging more isn't one of them, but if that happens, okay, fine). I spent a bit of time yesterday and today working on organization. I had nine pages of unclassified items on my Kindle! It's not quite as bad as it sounds--I have two pages of collections alone....

I created a new folder called "To Read 2012", and shuffled 15 books (so far) into there, cleaning up my loose items and my laughable "In Progress" folder. This is what's there so far:

Think: The Life of the Mind and Love of God by John Piper and Mark A. Noll

...because I want to read a bit of Piper and the topic is of interest to me.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

...because what Eva of A Striped Armchair says about it makes it sound like a book I'd enjoy.

South Riding by Winifred Holtby

...because I want to watch the film, and I can't until I read the book.

done: What most religions don't tell you about the Bible
by Cary Schmidt

...because I read the beginning and was completely intrigued.

The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian

...because...because...I can't remember why but I'm pretty sure this author and this particular book sounded like something I wanted to try.

The Faith of Ashish
by Kay Marshall Strom

...because I want to read more books set in India and also by Indian authors.

On Gold Mountain by Lisa See

...because I am very interested in reading about China and Chinese families.

Your Child's Growing Mind by Jane Healy

...because I need to finish this book and see if I can use it to help my youngest daughter.

American Childhood by Annie Dillard

...because I've never read anything by Annie Dillard, and I need to!

A Passage to India
by E.M. Forster

...because it's totally time for me to read another book by Forster, and then something by Edith Wharton.

The Intellectual Life by Philip Gilbert Hamerton

...because...because...again, I can't remember why. Probably the title interested me. This book bears the distinction of "most likely to be dropped from this list."

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

...because....can you believe I haven't read this yet?

The Napoleon Of Notting Hill by G.K. Chesterton

...because I assigned this to one of my homeschool students, and now I need to read it, too. And because I haven't enough Chesterton.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

...because Tolstoy is amazing and I haven't read this yet.

The Crown of Wild Olives by John Ruskin

...because Charlotte Mason thought it was a good book to read for young people "coming of age" intellectually, and I want to see why she thought so.

Now, these are just the books on my Kindle that I want to get to in 2012. I have paper-and-ink books crying, pleading, begging for attention--practically falling off the shelves when I walk by, and increasing in pitch if I so much as glance in their direction. More about those another day.

And if you think it's beyond insane to have Anna Karenina and Les Miserables on the same "to read this year" list, you don't have to tell me. I already know.


At 2:31 PM , Blogger Phyllis said...

I don't think it's insane to have those two on the same list... as long as you read Anna Karenina first! ;-)

At 6:05 PM , Blogger Carol in Oregon said...

Oh. my. goodness. Karen.

Can we just suspend reality and spend a month together reading?

Your lists always set off a firecracker in my soul. This one, the "becauses" have me nodding like a ventriloquist's doll!

Here's my response:

I started an audio version of Think but it didn't grab me. Or perhaps I wasn't very grabbable at the time. I'd like to read it too.

...because I want to watch the film, and I can't until I read the book. YES! On my list to read for the same reason: Trollope's He Knew He Was Right; Dicken's Our Mutual Friend, Little Dorrit; Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford & North and South...

...because...because...I can't remember why >>> yep, this is me!

Books set in India and Indian authors. I have a few of these on my shelf and a few rambling in my head. Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy, Madhur Jaffrey's memoir Climbing the Mango Trees.

**can you see me noddin?**

Likewise I have a growing shelf of Annie Dillard books because I haven't read her either. I have a "reader" but I'm not sure that's the best place to start.

E.M. Forster is another author I've not read. I have A Passage to India on my shelf, but I think it is missing the last two pages. Easily remedied.

I have a book also called The Intellectual Life but it is by Sertillanges. Janie at Seasonal Soundings liked it...probably back in 2007.

Les Mis...ME TOO!! [I've stopped nodding and commenced hopping up and down on my feet] I read a review in 2011 by someone who read the entire book in the month of February. It set a bar of achievement that spurs me on.

Chesterton: I think I've read all the Father Brown titles. I need to stop talking about wanting to read Chesterton and just read him already. The quotes that come from this man...

[Now I'm jumping up and down and waving my arms frantically. If you glance over the horizon you will see me...] You must read Anna K. One of the best books. I'm so due for a re-read. Tolstoy writes so convincingly about the cycle of sin. I've told students that this book so perfectly illustrates Romans 3:23a. When Vronsky flirts, you tingle and blush. He gets how enticing adultery can be. But he takes it through its cycle of pain and broken relationships, etc.

I never heard of the Ruskin title, but your because makes me want to add it to my list.

So if you can get with your people and arrange 30-45 days off, and I get with my people and arrange 30-45 days off, we could bring our Kindle and meet on a Mediterranean island and have a reading feast.

You light me up. Thank you.

I'm game to read more Lisa See titles. I am also interested in Chinese families.

At 6:08 PM , Blogger Carol in Oregon said...

Oops! The Lisa See comment should have been earlier in the novel-length comment. Sorry!

At 8:35 AM , Blogger Karen G. said...

Carol, I would LOVE to run off for a month to a Mediterranean island and just read. Wouldn't that be fun? I read War and Peace a couple of years and realized that Tolstoy is classic because he's *that good*.

Phyllis, I decided Anna Karenina would be my "winter" book" and Les Mis my "summer book," so I read the first few chapters yesterday, and was immediately reminded, that yes, Tolstoy is a fabulous author. I love the fact that his *chapters* are short, too. :-)

At 6:12 PM , Blogger hopeinbrazil said...

Great list. I enjoyed Carol's response to it too. The Ruskin title intrigues me because I have quite a lot of respect for Charlotte Mason. We tried to follow her ideas when we homeschooled.

At 6:31 AM , Blogger Sherry said...

Oh, Les Miserables is my favorite of all time. If I had known you hadn't read it, I would have recommended it first. Just persist through the chapters that seem to go off on a tangent, on the sewers of Paris and the history of French wars and warfare, and I promise the story will shine through.


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