Apparently, my RSS feed has been broken for some time. I realized it yesterday and righted the wrong, so if you received two months of posts at once, I apologize. I am still here. I am not posting as frequently. I am still reading, but not as much. Life is very busy!
Baby Strawberry celebrated her first birthday this weekend. Raisin is well in to his kindergarten year and I’m already making plans for next year. My involvement with his homeschooling is bringing me into a new community of educators. I even started a blog about homeschooling, learning, and teaching. It is a much more personal blog. If you are interested, come check it out.
My logo for Line upon line, my homeschooling blog, echos the logo for Rebecca Reads, but now there are three faces peering over the book
In terms of reading, I tackled Dead Souls by Gogol for my Classics Book group last week. I thought it was hilarious in its subtle humor. I have lots of thoughts about it, but I am once again not certain how to put my thoughts and feelings in to words in the limited time I have. I also read another parenting/teaching book, a nonfiction book via netgalley to review, and I have more review books in progress.
I am still reading a nonfiction book about Shakespeare for my “Begin with the Bard” project. If I manage to finish that before the end of February, I will have gotten to two plays and two nonfiction books for Shakespeare in January and February. Those are pretty low numbers for that project, but since four books is a huge percentage of what I read in the last two months, it isn’t too shabby!
What are you keeping busy with these days?
In 2012, I enjoyed starting off my year with a Shakespeare reading month. I have decided to go for it again, and I would love to invite other friends to join in!
In January and February 2013, I plan on starting off my 2013 classics reading year with reading books by and about the Bard. I hope to get 6-10 different things read: plays and poetry by William Shakespeare, books about the man or his plays, or adaptations for children. This last year I decided to focus on the Henry VI plays. I really enjoyed them. I am planning on dedicated a month or a month and a half to this project. I’ll read until I get ready for something new!
I have not decided yet what to focus on for his plays, but I do have a few nonfiction books I have had my eye on. In the beginning of January, I’ll post my reading plans, and I’ll invite anyone who wants to join in to do the same.
I’m hoping, somehow, I’ll find a way to make it worth your while if you do join in. A prize, perhaps in the form of books, for one of our participants? I’m still pondering the feasibility of offering a giveaway to you, my friends.
Would you like to join me in starting of with the Bard in January and February 2013?
Jillian from A Room of One’s Own has started a group to encourage bloggers to read a set number of classics (you choose — at least 50) to read in the next five years (or you choose a different length of time). Because of the hiatus of the Classics Circuit and given my interest in the classics, I hope you are not surprised that I decided to join in!
- See the introduction post
- See the “join” post, with links to other participant’s lists.
I’ve decided to make my list of 50 books mainly books I own because I’ve struggled to get my own books read in the past years! About ten of the books on my list I do not own, but I wish I did. The rest are ones I’m eager to read but they’ve been sitting neglected for far too long!
I am going for a list of just 50 because, let’s face it, since my daughter was born last month and I became a mother of two, my time for reading has disappeared. I’m hoping to read my 50 books by Strawberry’s fifth birthday: February 22, 2017. That sounds like so far away from now, but my experience is that it will go fast!
To be honest, however, I hope to finish much sooner than five years. I wanted to say two years, but I’m more realistically thinking three years. My reward for when I finish is that I”ll make a list of 50 books to reread … and then I’ll get to reread them! I can’t wait for that. I love rereading.
My list is here. I’ll update it as I finish books. I am heavy on the Victorians because they are my favorite. But I also added a few ancient classics and some modern ones (although I’m keeping my list of “classics” pre-1950). If it looks like there are authors omitted from a must-read classics list, it’s because I’ve probably already read them. This is a list of books I have not read yet. I love rereads, but this project will stay with new books. I am most excited to read Vanity Fair (which I may start next month if I ever finish the dragging Erewhon by Samuel Butler that I’m reading now). I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Vanity Fair! I’m most scared of The Tale of the Genji which is huge and I’ve heard it drags!
You’ll notice I also have a few other lists I’m working on. I’ve made steady progress on the 101 Great Books for College-Bound Readers since I started my blog four years ago. I’m not crazy excited about some of those books, so I didn’t make those a priority per se. (I can’t image a teenager getting through all of those before college!) I also have favorite authors I want to read the complete works of. Shakespeare is a must, but I left him off my 50 in 5 list because I want to spontaneously decide which play to read next over the next five years. Reading his complete works is my life goal, not a five-year goal. I am also about to embark on the wonderful project called home schooling, so I plan on working on a list of classics to read with my son (and daughter) for that.
What books on this list are you excited for me to read?
Today is the announcement of the Cybils 2011 winners! See all the winners here.
The Fiction Picture Book winner is Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell. It’s not the one of the seven I personally would have chosen (although, I’m glad I didn’t have to try to make that call!) and yet it is a fantastic book. I wrote about it here. I found the Nonfiction Picture Book winner (I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat) the most funny of the seven (thoughts here). I have not read all the early reader finalists, but I always love Elephant and Piggie. Other winning books I’ve read include The Cheshire Cheese Cat (thoughts here; I really didn’t like it that much. I found the writing stilted and the plot meh.) and Anya’s Ghost (thoughts here; I really liked this one!).
I am looking forward to reading the nonfiction winner, Amelia Lost, which I’ve heard is fantastic, and I think Raisin and I may give the early chapter book winner a try as well. I’m curious about the volume of Poetry (I actually want to give all the finalists a try some day), and the middle grade fiction is now on my radar. I’m not sure Middle Grade Fiction and the Young Adult novels are my thing, though, as I often find it rather unexciting and get frustrated with the general writing style.
Which books are you most excited to see on the Cybils winning list?
A note: I have not been posting reviews as frequently as I’ve been reading! I have recently finished about four books (The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, a history of the world from the perspective of Islam, A Bear Called Paddington, and a review book on medieval children’s poetry).
I’d really liked to write posts on all of these, but I am sitting here 38 weeks pregnant and not finding my brain very cooperative. As much as I want to sit up and type up my thoughts, my body and brain say “just go read some more, this is your last chance.” And “Ugh. You feel miserable. Go to sleep.” So not much energy left for reviewing. When my little one does come, I will probably disappear for a little while, so in short, this blog may be rather quiet for a while until I get my groove back.
I am trying very hard to not be too ambitious in my reading plans for the year. That said, I really enjoyed how my January has been focused on Shakespeare and Charles Dickens this month, reading both biographies of the men and some of their works.
I decided to revisit the Harlem Renaissance during the month of February. I am not currently running the Classics Circuit, but one of my favorite Classics Circuits of the past was February 2010 when I learned all about the great literature of the Harlem Renaissance. I have not been very diligent at revisiting those works I really want to read, so this year, I’m going to try to read a few novels. I have a volume of five Harlem Renaissance novels out from the library. (more…)