Saturday, 27 December 2014

Victorian Challenge

Either I'm insane or just very ambitious but I've decided to take part in a Victorian Perpetual Challenge. The aim of this challenge is to read a book published for every year that Queen Victoria reigned. This, as you can imagine, is quite an undertaking. I'll be giving myself at least two years to finish this. I've picked my titles in advance but I may change them around as I discover new titles. For instance, I have put down the first and third novels in Emile Zola's Rougon-Marquet cycle but if I happen to really like the Fortune of the Rougon's I may add more as I go.

I've tried to be as diverse as possible with the texts I've chosen. My list includes:
  • Types of Texts: novels, non fiction, poetry, essays, plays.
  • Geography: texts written by German, Norwegian, Dutch, French, English, Russian, American, Italian, Austrian, Finnish and Chinese authors.
  • Genre: Children's, Gothic, Realism, Naturalism,
    Transcendentalism, Existentialism, Philosophy
    etc. just to name a few.

1837: The Little Mermaid - Hans Christian Andersen
1838: The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket - Edgar Allan Poe
1839: Beatrix - Honore de Balzac
1840: A Hero of Our Time - Mikhail Lermontov
1841: The Old Curiosity Shop - Charles Dickens
1842: Dead Souls - Nikolai Gogol
1843: Georges - Alexandre Dumas
1844: The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
1845: Sybil - Benjamin Disraeli
1846: The Village - Dmitry Grigorovich
1847: Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
1848: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - Anne Bronte
1849: Immensee - Theodor Storm
1850: David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
1851: The King of the Golden River - John Ruskin
1852: A Sportsman's Sketches - Ivan Turgenev
1853: Bleak House - Charles Dickens
1854: Ruth Hall - Fanny Fern
1855: The Warden - Anthony Trollope
1856: Olaf Liljekrans - Henrik Ibsen
1857: Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
1858: Phantastes - George MacDonald
1859: Oblomov - Ivan Goncharov
1860: Max Havelaar - Multatuli
1861: Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
1862: Goblin Market - Christina Rossetti
1863: Romola - George Eliot
1864: Notes From the Underground - Fyodor Dostoevsky
1865: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
1866: Miss Marjoribanks - Margaret Oliphant
1867: Smoke - Ivan Turgenev
1868: The Moonstone  - Wilkie Collins
1869: War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
1870: Venus in Furs - Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
1871: La Fortune des Rougon - Emile Zola
1872: The Birth of Tragedy - Friedrich Nietzsche
1873: Le Venture de Paris - Emile Zola
1874: Middlemarch - George Eliot
1875: The Way We Live Now - Anthony Trollope
1876: Daniel Deronda  - George Eliot
1877: Three Tales - Gustave Flaubert
1878: Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
1879: The Egoist - George Meredith
1880: The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky
1881: The Portrait of a Lady - Henry James
1882: New Arabian Nights - Robert Louis Stevenson
1883: The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood - Howard Pyle
1884: Rautatie - Juhani Aho
1885: Idylls of the King - Alfred Tennyson
1886: Tjhit Liap Seng - Lie Kim Hok
1887: Ivanov - Anton Chekov
1888: Wessex Tales - Thomas Hardy
1889: Cleopatra - H. Rider Haggard
1890: The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
1891: Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
1892: The Diary of a Nobody - George Grossmith
1893: Under the Yoke - Ivan Vazov
1894: The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling
1895: Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
1896: The Seagull - Anton Chekov
1897: Dracula - Bram Stoker
1898: The Turn of the Screw - Henry James
1899: Resurrection - Leo Tolstoy
1900: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum
1901: Three Sisters - Anton Chekov

Saturday, 20 December 2014

2015 Challenges

Tis the season of signing up for reading challenges for the fast approaching new year! Is it just me or has this year gone incredibly fast? A few challenges have caught my eye, and I'm planning on doing a 2015 challenge for myself (probably reading the epics - Iliad, Odyssey, the Aeneid, Metamorphosis, etc). I haven't decided yet though. Anyway, here are the challenges I've decided to join for 2015:


Reading England: 

As soon as I saw this challenge I just knew I needed to participate. The aim of this challenge is to make your way around the counties of England by reading novels set in various counties. I'm planning to visit England in 2015 so this will be a good gateway into the literature that has been influenced by the English landscape in some way. There are four levels and I've decided to go for Level Three (eight books). More details about this challenge can be found here. The titles I've chosen are as follows:

  1. Berkshire: Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
  2. Cornwall: Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier
  3. Cumbria: The Tennant of Wildfell Hall - Anne Bronte 
  4. Dorset: Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
  5. Kent: the Canterbury Tales - Chaucer
  6. London: Mrs Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
  7. Sussex: Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
  8. Yorkshire: Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte 

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TBR Challenge:

I participated in Adam's TBR Challenge last year, and failed miserably. I think I managed to read two or three, which is better than nothing. This year I'm determined to read all of the books I set out to read, especially since I've had a few of these titles on my shelves for years. The aim of this challenge is to "read 12 novels from your TBR pile." More details about this challenge can be found here. The titles I plan to read (plus two alternates) are: 

  1. Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier 
  2. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
  3. The Tennant of Wildfell Hall - Anne Bronte
  4. Metamorphoses - Ovid 
  5. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
  6. Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights - Anonymous
  7.  Silas Marner - George Eliot 
  8. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  9. Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe 
  10. The Iliad - Homer 
  11. Tess of the D'Urbervilles 
  12. The Divine Comedy - Dante 
Alternates:
  1. The Odyssey - Homer 
  2. The Aeneid - Virgil 

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Literary Movement Challenge:


The challenge I'm most looking forward to for 2015 is Fanda's Literary Movement challenge. It's a really great concept which will enhance my knowledge of different literary periods throughout the last 600 or so years. The aim is to read one book a month for each of the twelve main literary periods; from the Medieval period in January to the Post Modernism period in December. I'm personally looking forward to the Medieval, Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Existentialism periods. More information about this challenge can be found here. The titles I've chosen for each month are as follows: 

January - Medieval: The Decameron - Giovanni Boccaccio
February - Renaissance: The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli
March - Enlightenment: Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
April - Romanticism: Complete Poems - Samuel Taylor Coleridge
May - Transcendentalism: Leaves of Grass - Walt Whitman
June - Victorian: Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
July - Realism: Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert 
August - Naturalism: The Fortune of the Rougons - Emile Zola
September - Existentialism: The Stranger - Albert Camus
October - Modernism: The Waves - Virginia Woolf
November - Beat Generation: On the Road - Jack Kerouac
December - Post Modernism: Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov


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Pre-Printing Press Challenge:


As I was looking through the books I'm planning to read next year, I realised a lot of the texts I want to tackle were written before 1440, which is why the Pre-Printing Press challenge is ideal for me to join this time around. The aim of the Pre-Printing Press challenge is to read texts released before the printing press was created in 1440. I'm aiming for 10+ books (ambitious I know) . More details about this challenge can be found here. The books I'm planning to read for this challenge are:
  1. The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer 
  2. Metamorphoses - Ovid 
  3. Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights - Anonymous
  4. The Decameron - Giovanni Boccaccio 
  5. The Divine Comedy - Dante
  6.  The Iliad - Homer
  7. The Odyssey - Homer 
  8. The Aeneid - Virgil 
  9. Arthurian Romances - Chretien de Troyes 
  10. Le Morte d'Arthur - Thomas Mallory (let's try this again shall we?)

I think that's all of the challenges I'll sign up for this year! I think I'll sign up for the Victorian Perpetual Challenge but that will take up an entire post by itself, so I shall leave that for another day.