Thursday, January 31, 2019

Reading My Shelves: January Update

I read two and a half books from my January shelf:

Death of a Ghost by Margery Allingham
-This was the first book in the Crime and Mr. Campion volume. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't a keeper...I probably wouldn't read it again. Still, the book stays because I do want to read the other books in the volume.

The Little Minister by J.M. Barrie 
-I loved this book so much! I would never have thought this was by the same author as Peter Pan (which I've never been able to get through yet). A sweet romance with deep insight into a particular cultural context (An Auld Licht church in a Scottish small village). I'm so glad I still have another couple of Barrie books to look forward to next time I visit this shelf.

Eugenie Grandet by Balzac
-I'm about halfway through this one, and I'm debating whether to drop it as I head into February. It didn't grab me the way The Little Minister did. I don't like dropping books, but I also don't want a book I'm only half enjoying to take away from the excitement of exploring my February shelf. 

Also finished this month:
From other shelves:
Who Has Seen the Wind by W. O. Mitchell

Virgil Wander by Leif Enger (very good, but not as wonderful as Peace Like a River)
Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges
Atomic Habits by James Clear (So good! Will read again soon.)
The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker

Borrowed books:
Hallelujah: A Journey through Advent by Cindy Rollins (loved it)
Miss Buncle's Book by D. E. Stevenson (fun bit of fluff)
Educated by Tara Westover (fascinating, worth reading, still thinking about it)
The Benedictine Tradition edited by Laura Swan (excellent walk through church history)
Saint Benedict (Dialogues book 2) by Gregory the Great, trans. Myra Uhlfelder (amazing!)

Total finished: 12 books! (That's a lot for me. I set my goal for the year at 80 books.)
3 from my shelves, 9 borrowed including audiobooks
7 nonfiction, 5 fiction
7 male authors, 5 female
5 written in the last 10 years (Actually, the last 2 years. This is an unusually high number for me.)
2 written more than 100 years ago. (6th century and 1891)

I'll be back tomorrow with my February shelf. I'd love it if you could help me choose what to read next!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Reading My Shelves in 2019: Literature Shelf 1

Every year I say I want to read more of the books that are already on my shelves.
Every year I don't read as many as I would have liked.
This year, I have a plan.

I am planning to focus on one fiction shelf per month (that will be 12 of my 14 shelves in that category). I will read (or begin to read) at least one book from my focus shelf each month.

But first, I have to choose.

January's shelf has 26 books. Of those, I've read 9. Every one of these are books I have re-read and plan to re-read again (I don't keep them if I don't think I'll re-read them.), but that's not what this challenge is for.

Emma - Jane Austen
Mansfield Park - Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
The Rosary - Frances Barclay
The Broken Halo - Frances Barclay
The Lilies of the Field - William Barrett
Jayber Crow - Wendell Berry

These are the books I haven't read yet:

Tales from Watership Down - Richard Adams
Traveller - Richard Adams
Prometheus Bound - Aeschylus
Crime and Mr. Campion - Margery Allingham (volume includes Death of a Ghost, Flowers for the Judge, and Dancers in Mourning)
Meditations - Marcus Aurelius
Francis Bacon (volume includes Advancement of Learning, Novum Organum, and New Atlantis)
The Best Short Stories of J. G. Ballard
Eugenie Grandet - Balzac
The Forgetting Room - Nick Bantock
The Golden Mean - Nick Bantock
The Gryphon - Nick Bantock
Alexandria - Nick Bantock
Nod - Adrian Barnes
The Admirable Crichton - J. M. Barrie
The Little Minister - J. M. Barrie
A Window in Thrums - J. M. Barrie
The Romance of Tristan and Iseult - Joseph Bedier

At the pace I'm going, I don't anticipate reading more than one or two of these this month. I'm not looking for anything really heavy right now, as I have a few heavier books scheduled with my local Schole group.

I am interested in Richard Adams because my husband read Watership Down aloud to me in our first year of marriage and it's a lovely memory.

I think I'll probably pick Margery Allingham up. I've read one of her books before and her hero reminded me a bit of Lord Peter in Dorothy Sayers mysteries.

Balzac looks interesting. I've never read any of his books before.

I am attracted to J. M. Barrie's novels, but I am hesitating because I have never been able to get through his Peter Pan. However, these seem quite different from that, so maybe it will be okay.

I am not particularly interested in Nick Bantock or Adrian Barnes ... those are my husband's books. However, if I have time I may run through the Bantock volumes because they'll be quick reads.

What do you think? Is there anything on my list that you consider a must-read?

What would you read first?