Ten Books for Spring – Classics and Beyond

It’s only taken me several days, but I think I’ve come up with a good list for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday:

1. The Kill, by Émile Zola
Making an exception in my “no more reading challenges” resolution – I plan to read The Kill for Fanda’s Zoladdiction event next month.  It’s one of Zola‘s shorter novels and, from what I hear, an interesting one!
2. Ben-Hur, by Lew Wallace (re-read)
I just started Book 2, so I have a ways to go yet.  🙂
3. North Korea’s Hidden Revolution: How the Information Underground Is Transforming a Closed Society, by Jieun Baek
How do people share information that’s illegal, and what information would a person risk their life to access?  This topic appeals to me for both historical and universal reasons.

4. The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea, by Bandi
“Bandi” is an author in North Korea, whose short stories from the 80s and 90s were smuggled out and published recently.  Saw this while browsing my library’s ebooks and thought it would be interesting.
5.  Picnic at Hanging Rock, by Joan Lindsay
Found out about this through O’s review… has it been nearly a year ago?!  I like a good psychological mystery.

6.  The Castle, by Franz Kafka
Spring takes me back to college days, when I was stereotypically discovering Kafka instead of reading my textbooks.  The Castle is, I believe, the last work of fiction I haven’t read by him.
7. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë (re-read)
Though I read this book two or three times, many years ago, I never properly understood or reviewed it.  Perhaps it will propel me to finish the Brontë sisters’ novels as well (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and The Professor are still TBR).

8. The Island of Dr. Moreau, by H. G. Wells (re-read)
I was recently reminded how relevant this little sci-fi/horror classic is.  Need to read it again and review it in full.

9. George: A Novel of T. E. Lawrence, by E.B. Lomax
What if Lawrence’s accident wasn’t fatal?  From what I’ve seen, this is the best-rated historical fiction novel written about Ned, and the concept intrigues me.

10. (wildcard)
Lately I’ve stumbled across a variety of books that I want to read soon, some of them quite random.  Hopefully I’ll get to at least one of them this spring!

Reading Goals for 2018

Meet Ned, a new resident of the Bookcase.

Wow, it’s already New Year’s Eve Eve!  Christmas festivities are sadly winding down…  Tomorrow, people will wait outside in the freezing cold to ring in 2018, and I’ll be in my snug, warm house, probably curled up with Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night, thus attempting to relive a New Year’s memory from three years back.  Though surprising at times, 2017 has been a good year for me, and as someone who gets post-holiday blues, a book can help ease the transition into the next one.

I’ve talked already about 2017 in review, and how I’ve decided not to take on any more reading challenges, as tempting as they are.  That said, a few goals for 2018 have been floating around in my mind (I love the word “goal” because, for some reason, it sounds more flexible to me than “plan”).   Here’s a few of my open-ended reading goals for next year:

  • Bring back Book Journals.  I have quite a few chunksters on my TBR list… War and Peace, Moby-Dick, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Ben-Hur, to name a few.  I ought to be ready for another book journal by now!
  • Read more non-fiction.  With a new T. E. Lawrence biography on my shelf (thanks Mom & Dad!), I’m sure I’ll be reading more history in 2018.  However, I hope to extend my reading beyond Lawrence to include other historical figures/times, as well as current events and other non-fiction categories.
  • Escape the comfort zone.  In the past decade, I’ve been quite content to focus my reading on classics from specific countries, time periods, and genres (I’m sure you’ve noticed!).  Contrary to appearances, I really value the vast range of classics that exist, most of it free on the internet, and my favorite book blogs tend to cover that range in great depth.  I’d love to get outside my comfort zone next year and explore more areas of classic literature.  I kind of did that with dystopian fiction this year, and it was one of the highlights of 2017!
  • Revive the blog.  Since I started this blog back in 2010, I have stuck to pretty much the same style of posts, over 7 1/2 years.  With the start of my podcast, Classics Considered, I’ve considered quitting blogging, since public speaking is a challenge I both enjoy and want to get better at.  However, I still believe there’s great value in written reviews, and this blog has been one of my few writing pursuits that’s amounted to anything whatsoever.  I love Noonlight Reads, and to keep it alive, I think I need to do a couple of things in 2018:
    • Have a posting schedule, with weekly features
    • Share more candid, personal posts about reading
    • Continue to find other inspiring blogs and interact with other readers.  

If you have any feedback or suggestions for the blog, please let me know!