Sunday, 1 January 2012

2012 Reading Challenge

A happy new year to anyone reading this.  New Year's Day has turned my thoughts to good resolutions.

While adding my Christmas book bounty to LibraryThing, I've been made forcibly aware of the number of unread books in my collection.  There are 138 of them in a library of just under 1100 books - so about 13% of my books have yet to be read.   I've selected 50 of these titles to read during 2012.  Some of them are relevant to my PhD studies; some of them are linked to holidays I hope to take during 2012, in Venice and Suffolk; others are just things I thought it was really time I read.  I've included a few novels by male writers, definitely a neglected category in my reading.

The other side of this challenge, of course, is to acquire fewer books during 2012 so that the percentage definitely goes down as a result of my efforts, and to Make Better Use of the several libraries at my disposal.  We'll see how that goes.

There's a widget showing a random selection of the chosen 50 on the right, and I'll post quarterly updates, but here is the full list:

Karen Armstrong, A Short History of Myth
Julian Barnes, Arthur and George
Deirdre Beddoe, Discovering Women's History: A Practical Manual
Adrian Bell, Corduroy
E.F. Benson, Secret Lives
Edward Frederic Benson, The Oakleyites
Ronald Blythe, Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village
Elizabeth Bowen, The Heat of the Day
Elizabeth Bowen, The Last September
Patricia Fortini Brown, Art and Life in Renaissance Venice
A. S. Byatt, Ragnarok: the End of the Gods
A.S. Byatt, The Biographer’s Tale
Patricia Craig, Elizabeth Bowen
Denis Diderot, The Nun
U.A. Fanthorpe, Selected Poems
Joanna Field, A Life of One’s Own
Tibor Fischer, The Collector Collector
H.W. Freeman, Joseph and His Brethren
Stella Gibbons, Conference at Cold Comfort Farm
Stella Gibbons, Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm
Stella Gibbons, Westwood
Sandra M. Gilbert & Susan Gubar, No Man's Land v.1: The War of the Words
Sandra M. Gilbert & Susan Gubar, No Man's Land v.2: Sexchanges
Sandra M. Gilbert, & Susan Gubar, No Man's Land v.3 : Letters from the Front
Henry Green, Loving; Living; Party Going
Radclyffe Hall, Adam's Breed
Barbara Hardy, London Rivers
Gerry Holloway, Women and Work in Britain since 1840
Sheila Kaye-Smith, Susan Spray
Molly Keane, Young Entry
Madame de Lafayatte, The Princesse de Clèves 
Beatrix Lehmann, Rumour of Heaven
Penelope Lively, City of the Mind
Margaret Llewellyn (ed), Life as We Have Known It
Michael Longley, Snow Water
Rose Macaulay, Keeping Up Appearances
Keith Miller, St Peter's
John Julius Norwich, A History of Venice
V.S. Pritchett, The Essential Pritchett: Selected Writings of V S Pritchett
Angelique Richardson (ed), Women Who Did: Stories by Men and Women, 1890-1914
E. Arnot Robertson, Cullum
Joan Shelly Rubin, Middlebrow Moderns: Popular American Women Writers of the 1920s
Robin Skelton (ed), Poetry of the Thirties
Liz Stanley, Life and Death of Emily Wilding Davison
Andrea Weiss, Paris Was a Woman: Portraits from the Left Bank
Dorothy Whipple, Greenbanks
Evelyne White, Winifred Holtby as I Knew Her
Leonard Woolf, Autobiography: Volume 1
Leonard Woolf, The Village in the Jungle
E.H. Young, The Vicar's Daughter


  1. A wonderful list! If you fancy doing a joint-read of Cullum, I'd be interested - a friend gave it to me a couple of years ago, and I still haven't read it.

    Other wonderful titles there - Keeping Up Appearances, Secret Lives, Westwood...

  2. Thanks Simon, a joint read sounds good - I'll let you know when I plan to start.