New Year’s Resolutions are always tricky for me. I don’t like to make resolutions that don’t mean anything or are so vague and broad that I’m guaranteed to fail. So I try to make resolutions I know are meaningful enough that not only can I keep them but I will want to keep them.
In previous years, I have vowed to read every book I own. This has never worked because I don’t actually like every book I own, and I buy books faster than I can read them. And I use the library excessively.
This year, however, I’ve come up with a literary resolution I think I can keep, and I hope that by publicizing it on the blog and committing to write about it throughout the year, I’ll actually follow through.
I love to read. I have always loved to read, ever since I can remember. In high school English classes I began to be introduced to the classics, and this continued throughout my college classes. However, I remember feeling like there was something wrong with me, as a professed lover of literature, because I disliked most of the books I was required to read. I hated to think that I was too stupid to grasp the deeper meanings of these books or that I preferred silly, shallow romances over some of the greatest pieces of literature ever written. But the fact remained that I just could not get into most of what was considered “classic” literature.
But after college, all of that changed. I started picking up classics I had either skipped or not enjoyed in high school and college, and lo and behold, I found myself enjoying them. So for the past 5 years or so, I’ve been doing my best to play catch up and get a good amount of the classics under my reading belt.
The purpose of this year’s resolution is to advance that aspiration: 12 classics in 12 months. I know that one month has already passed, but I’m not worried about that. I’m not going to stick to a stringent schedule or anything. I just want to be sure to get 12 done before December 31.
Here is a list of classics I have not yet read and am considering taking up in the following year. You will see that the list has not reached 12, and none of these are final, so if you have any suggestions, please share them. (I’m gonna go ahead and say right now, though, that War & Peace is not happening.)
Emma, by Jane Austen
Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen
The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, by Mark Twain
The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens
The list is sparse because I have, indeed, read several of the most popular and well-known classics out there. But please list any suggestions you think I ought to consider because I don’t think all the books on this particular list are going to make the cut. For instance, I’d rather not have to read Dostoevsky or Dickens twice if I don’t have to. Jane Austen I’d consider reading more than once, only because I’ve been wanting to go through several of her books for a while now, but in general, I’d like to get as much variety as I can.
I plan to blog reviews about the books as I finish them, so if there’s a classic you particularly want my opinion on, please do suggest it. I will consider anything I haven’t already read. (I know you have no idea what I’ve read and haven’t read, so just take a shot and I’ll let you know!)