Book Project 2012

Monday, March 26th, 2012 | Posted under Books

Late last year I mentioned that I had started a book reading project that required me to read most of Jane Austen’s novels. I finished in time for the end of 2011. I asked for your help for my book reading project for 2012.

Thanks to Grace for her suggestion! My reading project author for 2012 is Mark Twain.
I’m currently reading through some of his major works and travel writing. I realized that I’d never read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which many consider to be one of the greatest American novels ever. I’ve finished both of those books so far this year.

Right now, I’m slowly making my way through A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, which is highlights Twain’s more political side. I wasn’t expecting that. After this book, I”ll be starting either The Innocents Abroad or Following the Equator, some of Twain’s major pieces of travel writing.
I’ve got a lot of travelling coming up in the next few months, and I’d like to ask for your help again with some reading choices. This time I’m looking for light reading. I’m still not interested in the Hunger Games (sorry!), but I like romances (quality stuff like The Time Traveler’s Wife, which I wasn’t interested in finishing but thought was fine), memoirs, food writing and just good storytelling. If I’ve seen the movie, it might be hard for me to want to read the book (I’m lazy). This means no Water for Elephants because we just saw the DVD. I just started using Good Reads, so any tips on how to use that effectively would be great, too (I just started using the app, but I haven’t had much time to play with it).
What do you recommend for some lighter reading? What are you reading right now?

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My Year of Austen

Thursday, December 1st, 2011 | Posted under Books, Personal

So, um, this post has nothing to do with food or travel. 🙂

Around this time last year, I was feeling a little odd. I like to read. I read a lot. I read a lot of blogs, magazines and news (it’s the way I prefer to get news unless it’s PBS Newshour, which I LOVE (and don’t watch enough)!! Support PBS*!!). HOWEVER, I was realizing that I didn’t read books. I was also reading all of these blog posts last year from many fellow bloggers mentioning all of these books that they were reading. Books? Err? I think I maybe read one or two books all of 2010. ***Hangs head in shame*** It’s not because I don’t like books. I just find it hard to figure out what’s out there, and I feel annoyed if I’ve invested in a book that I end up not really liking. Plus, buying books can add up (getting an e-reader doesn’t necessarily help this either), and they take up space in an already full apartment.
Unlike this year, where I have no idea what I would even ask for for Christmas, I knew last year that I wanted an e-reader. I hoped that by getting an e-reader that it would at least get me to read more than two books for the year. At least I hoped. Well, I can safely say that not only have I read more than two books, I will have read at least nine by the end of this year (maybe ten if I push it a little)! That’s a fairly big increase if I do say so myself. 🙂 I know for many of you that’s nothing; but for me, that’s probably the most books I’ve read since grad school!
Not me and just swap in a Kindle, but I do smile when I read

One of the first books that I read after getting my Kindle from Husband J was Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. While I love the 2005 movie remake (I know there are many people who prefer the 1995 BBC version with Colin Firth), I realized I hadn’t read the book since middle school. I enjoyed it so much that I thought, “Why don’t I read all of Jane Austen’s novels except Emma?” Why not Emma? Well, I am a lover of English period movies, and I had just seen a newer PBS Masterpiece Classic production. While I loved the movie, the Emma character bothered me. I know she’s supposed to bother you, but I didn’t think I could make it through a few hundred pages of her.
As of last week, I’ve completed my goal of reading Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion with a few other books thrown in. I really feel like I learned so much about early nineteenth century England. After reading each book, I treat myself to the movie version. I’m currently looking for a good version of Mansfield Park, since I hated the one I tried to watch last weekend.
I’m thinking that maybe I should set some other literary goal for next year now that I’ve gotten into reading again. I have a copy of the Complete Works of Shakespeare (who I love)…should I plug through that? Some Anna Karenina or War & Peace from Tolstoy? Is he hard to read? They’re making a movie version of Anna for next year starring guess who…
Keira Knightley (as Elizabeth Bennett) reads, too. 🙂

I would love to hear what book reading project you think I should take up next. If you’re interested, I can post my progress throughout next year (can you believe we’re talking about next year already? Sighh…). Also I’d love any book suggestions in general, although I don’t want to read or I’m not sure I want to read the following: The Help, The Hunger Games trilogy, or books that are very violent and preferably nothing super sad. 🙂
What books have you been reading this year? Have you ever done a reading project?

*For those of you that don’t know, PBS is the U.S. public broadcasting station. It tends to have a more educational and cultural focus in its programming.

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