In the High Peaks

Thursday, December 31, 2015

At Long Last! My Classics Club List!

I completed Ken Follett's nearly 1,000-page Fall of Giants by Ken Follett this afternoon. I've been working so non-stop lately that it felt luxurious to allow myself time to settle into the loft bed to spend a couple of hours reading. What a pleasure!

The following is my completed Classics Club List. I've been working on it off and on since September, but finally it's more or less together. I imagine it may alter slightly as the years pass, but it's good to go for now.

The one thing that concerns me about this list is that many titles are exceptionally LENGTHY. My reading plans for 2016 involve reading a number of books on the Classics Club List, but many other books as well.

1. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

2.  Persuasion by Jane Austen

3.  Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

4.  Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (rereading because I last read it when I was barely 15 years of age) Winner, Nobel Prize 1957

5.  Flush: A Biography by Virginia Woolf

6.  Dr. Finlay Stories—Omnibus by A.J. Cronin (Scottish)

7.  Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

8.  The Professor’s House by Willa Cather

9.  The First Circle OR The Cancer Ward by Alexander Solzhenitsyn 

10. Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain

11. German Classic   Heinrich Boll   

12. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

13. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol  finished 09/2015

14. The Professor by Charlotte Bronte

15. Shirley by Charlotte Bronte

16.  Kristin Lavransdatter Vol. 2 The Bride  by Sigrid Undset

17.  Kristin Lavransdatter Vol. 3  The Cross (I read Vol. 1 fifteen years ago—excellent!)

18.  Snow by Orhan Parmuk (Modern Turkish Classic)

19.  Vanity Fair  Thackeray

20.  Poldark by Winston Graham

21  The Adventures of Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

22. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

23. Shirley Jackson   Short Stories

24. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers by Henry D. Thoreau done 10/2015

25. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

26. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

27. Bleak House by Charles Dickens

28. Beowulf   award-winning translation by Seamus Heaney  11/2015 in progress

29. Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

30. *The Painted Veil or Short Stories by W. Somerset Maugham

31. Pilgrim at Tinker’s Creek by Annie Dillard (American classic)

32. Kamouraska  by Anne Hebert   Canadian Classic   Quebecois

33. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather

34. The Emigrants by Vilhelm Moberg   First vol. of Swedish classic (trilogy)

35. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

36. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

37. The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West

38. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carre

39. The Golden Notebooks by Dorris Lessing (South African—English)

40. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

41. The Storm by Margriet de Moor  (Dutch classic about historic storm in early 1950s)

42.  In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

43. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger

44. The Things They Carried and other Stories by Tim O’Brien

45. And Quiet Flows the Don by Mikhail Sholokhov  Soviet Russian classic (Reading Vol. 1 of 4) .

46. The Harp in the Park by Ruth Park (1948 Australian classic)

47. Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden

48. Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym

49. Home of the Gentry by Ivan Turgenev (heard about fr. Danielle)

50. Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya   published 1954

51. Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala   Booker Prize 1975.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

I'm thoroughly enjoying Ken Follett's epic Fall of Giants, the first in his twentieth-century trilogy. The hardest part since Thanksgiving has been finding an hour each day to read. I am doing it at least five days a week, but it's been tricky to manage. I've found that I love relaxing with a book in the late afternoon, from about four to five pm. And that relaxation is key to my well-being, (or so I tell myself). Of course, I walk at least an hour each day, so there goes two hours for the well-being quotient. Still waiting for snow!! So late this year.

And most readers of this blog know of my predilection for books of Christmas Froth. I've read one--The Mistletoe Inn by Richard Paul Evans. It was published this fall, and though I found it restful before falling asleep, it was really very mediocre. Oh dear, yes, I was disappointed. Dull characters--in a romance? ugh.
I have much higher hopes for another because it received two separate starred reviews. It's What Happens at Christmas by Victoria Alexander. I'll be starting it tonight.

For my Classics Club read this month, I'll be reading a volume from Washington Irving's Sketchbook, "One Christmas," published in the early 1800s. More about this title later.