Reading Journal (28 December): Reading Plans for the New Year

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I hope everyone had a lovely holiday week! I sure did, and it was rather freeing to be away from the blog from a little while. I decided it was time to just let it rest.

Our Christmas is always rather low key in terms of gifts. My husband and I don’t exchange gifts, and somehow, no one else I knew gave me any books either. I know, incredible, right? I got nary a book for Christmas; in the book blogosphere, that is quite odd, I think. That said, my husband and I did get me an ereader — a Nook Color — back in November and that was my big gift of the year. I love it! We’re also getting a new door for our patio one of these days. It’s been ordered and a deposit has been paid!

Santa brought Raisin books this year because that’s what he said he wanted most of all. He must be my child. Raisin was delighted with the handful of picture books. I also got him an inexpensive Magic School Bus Microscope kit and an inflatable globe. The grandparents sent toys and puzzles. Other than that, we try to keep Christmas not too materialistic. I think I spent more on other people’s gift cards, holiday fudge, and other small presents than I did on our own family’s presents (new door and nook not included in that general estimate). We enjoyed spending lots of time together at home and at my parents’ home, which is about an hour away from our home.

My baby girl is due in two months now, and I realize I will probably have more unplanned breaks from the blog as I finish off this pregnancy and welcome her into the world. Bear with me: even when I’m not posting, I’m still reading!

This week I finished reading Hugo’s Notre-Dame de Paris (March book club read) and Enchanted Hunters by Maria Tatar (about children’s literature). I’m in the midst of a popular science book about newborn babies, and I want to read my February book club book in the coming weeks too (The Heart is a Lonely Hunter). There are many other great books on my to read list for the coming year.

For January, I’m planning on joining in two classics events. First there is Allie’s Shakespeare Reading Month. I plan on reading the three Henry VI plays (I’m almost done with part 1). Everything I’ve read indicates these aren’t the best of the Bard’s plays (and I’m not wowed yet by part 1), and so I’m hoping I’ll also have time to read or reread some of his better works as well so it will be more satisfying. I also have a nonfiction book called The Shakespeare Thefts I received from LibraryThing EarlyReviewers that I plan on reading and posting about during January.

The next classic event is Fig and Thistle’s Charles Dickens month. I am currently reading Bleak House for my January book group, so I will plan on writing update posts on Tuesdays through January. If that goes well and I finish early, I may read Hard Times (which looks short) or I may find something else to read by or about Dickens. Any suggestions for shorter nonfiction books about Charles Dickens’ era?

I also have a few netgalley books I’d like to read before baby comes in February, but we’ll see. Many aren’t published until after the baby’s due date. I’m trying not to plan too much, given the unknowns in the coming months.

What are you planning on reading first in the New Year?

Reviewed on December 27, 2011

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  • I’m to the one month countdown for my pregnancy, and I have to say I’m starting to see how people slack off a bit in the final stretch. πŸ™‚ And I got a nook Color too this year!

  • Our Christmas was fairly low-key this year too, mostly because we’re saving up for our honeymoon this spring. Jason made most of his gifts for other people home-made, including several for me, which was lovely. I wish I was as crafty as him!

    Good luck to you in the next few months as you get near to having another infant with you. πŸ™‚

  • I’ll also be joining in for Allie’s Shakespeare Month in January. I’m planning to devote February to Dickens, since his 200th birthday happens on Feb 7.

    Take it easy as you await your daughter, Rebecca. Sending good thoughts. πŸ˜€

    • Jillian Β» Fig and Thistle’s Charles Dickens month is pretty low-key and it’s going until Feb 7, actually, when she’s going to do a big round-up of what participants read. Yeay for birthdays so we can celebrate great authors!!

      • Oh, that’s a great idea! I didn’t realize it was wrapping up on Dickens’ birthday. Now I wish I could take part. I’m all booked with Shakespeare, though, so I’ll be a lone wolf in February πŸ˜‰

  • I don’t know if you’ve read Oliver Twist yet, but that is a quick Dickens read. It might be a good choice for more Dickens if you finish up Bleak House. (I plan on participating in this as well.)

    • Becky Β» I really enjoyed Oliver Twist! I grew up watching the musical Oliver! so I just loved finally reading the novel. It’s been more than two years; I could always reread it πŸ™‚

  • Congratulations on your new baby coming soon! Enjoy the last of this time, with two it’s always busier. Though, eventually I found time to read again! Now my family are all used to seeing me with a book, and the eldest has started buying me books for Christmas!

    I think I am going to join the Shakespeare Challenge for 2012, not just the reading month, since I want to read more by him. I’m also planning on reading Dickens through the year, since I have to increase the total of one book by him that I have ever read. *hangs head in shame* I wish you happy reading the next months while you near your due date, Rebecca! And happy Christmas and New Year.

    • Susan Β» I think I read one Shakespeare in the past 18 months, so no worries on the Dickens either. It’s hard to get to all the great authors in a timely fashion. They wrote a lot!

      My son is very accustomed to seeing me with a book (and now my nook). I think it’s why he’s such an interested and good reader at age 4!

  • Sounds like you had a nice Christmas. I like it when the focus is on spending time together, rather than on gifts.

    I didn’t receive any books for Christmas either. I think most of the people who give me gifts are reluctant to give me books because they’re afraid it’ll be something I’ve already read and because I tend to be persnickety. So it’s probably just as well. My parents did get me something called a “book seat,” which is a weirdly shaped pillow that props up your book and has a little bar that holds the book open. I’d never seen one before, and I like it a lot!

    • Teresa Β» I think that is exactly why people don’t give me books either. I’m particular, they don’t know what I already have or want, and they figure I’ll find what I want myself at the library, etc. I’m okay with it too. I’d rather people not spend money on me for things I don’t want! And yes, it was so nice that my husband and I didn’t put any stock in “gifts” this year but rather had a great time making dinner together and breakfast, and just enjoying family this weekend. Isn’t that what the holiday SHOULD be about πŸ™‚

  • My husband and I didn’t exchange any gifts this year either. Our little one got new clothes and that’s about it, for now. We intend getting him a few toys later on this week. And I’m still trying to convince my husband to get me an e-reader!

    You seem to be doing a lot of great reading. I can’t wait to read your thoughts on The Shakespeare Thefts…the title sounds intriguing. I’m guessing this has something to do with the authorship question?

    I’m also taking part in Allie’s Shakespeare month. I’m thinking of reading a few sonnets and one or two of Shakespeare’s longer poems. I’m also part of A Midsummer Night’s Dream read-along in January. We’re reading a Shakespearean play a month next year. πŸ™‚ And, I’m really looking forward to picking up my first Narnia!…and then maybe some Bronte as well in January. πŸ˜€

    Anyway, you have a lovely time reading!

    • Risa Β» As for “convincing” my husband, he still doesn’t think I need one! but he consented to letting me get myself one! lol

      The Shakespeare Thefts is not about the authorship question but rather about the first folio’s existence and history. Apparently, it’s a target for being stolen, etc. I really don’t know as I haven’t read the book yet!

      I can’t really join in a year long challenge, as I will probably be AWOL for a while after Baby comes. But oh I love Narnia! And Jane Eyre is my all-time favorite! Enjoy your reading, sounds like a great line-up.

  • Two months to go! That went by fast! πŸ™‚ How does Raisin feel about having a little sister?

    I’m getting revved up for Shakespeare month too. I actually haven’t started anything yet, but I have been eying Antony and Cleopatra, so I might start it when I finish The Age of Innocence.

    I might have to join in on the Dickens month. I have two of his books on challenge lists for 2012, so it might be an easy way to read them (both are bigger titles-Nicholas Nickleby and David Copperfield). I really enjoyed Hard Times! It is a little shorter, but I rather liked it. I was also a fan of Oliver Twist. πŸ™‚

    • Allie Β» at times it sure hasn’t FELT like time is going quickly! Raisin is so very excited to have a little sister. After Christmas, he asked, “so is sister coming tomorrow, then?” because he knew he had to wait until AFTER Christmas. At least I can say “just two more months!” which apparently doesn’t mean much to him, but then, ah well, it will come soon enough!

  • Ohhh: I read both Notre Dame and Enchanted Hunters this year and loved them both! Hope you did too. πŸ™‚

    I definitely want to read The Heart is a Lonely Hunter next year: I had it out twice this year but kept being thwarted.

    • Eva, I’ve figured out that gothic lit is just not for me, but once I got through the slow spots, I did really enjoy Notre-Dame! And Enchanted Hunters was simply delightful reading. Still working on my thoughts about that one.

  • I am trying not to plan too much, since I know I will be failing at every plan I make. I think your plans are quite ambitious! I hope 2012 will be a wonderful year for you. Good luck on the last part of your pregnancy!

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