Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My 2013 Personal Book Challenge

My 2012 book challenge was so rewarding, making me pick up books I would just keep skipping over in favor of lighter reading. I'm doing it again this year. Some books are carried over from last year and some I dropped because they just didn't look interesting to me right now. But you can see I have plenty of others to fill in the gaps.

As before, I may not get through all of them in a year, but I will be trying always read one of them despite other distractions. In no particular order.

  1. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (required of self after seeing musical)
  2. Middlemarch* - Eliot
  3. Belly of Paris* (Emile Zola)
  4. Wuthering Heights* - Charlotte Bronte (began this in 2012, finishing it in 2013)
  1. Momento Mori - Muriel Spark
  2. Last Call* - Tim Powers (not a true classic, I know ... but still a "challenging" read which is what all these are for me)
  3. Galactic Pot Healer - Philip K. Dick (I wanted to try a novel instead of short stories and this was recommended as being one of the most complete stories told in a novel.)
  4. Journal of the Gun Years - Richard Matheson (I'm so curious to see what sort of Western Matheson writes since he was such a science fiction award winner)
  1. Introduction to the Devout Life* - St. Francis de Sales (began this in 2012, finishing it in 2013)
  2. The Way of Perfection* - St. Teresa of Avila
  3. A Song for Nagasaki - Glynn
  4. The Scarlet and the Black - Gallagher
  1. The Sand Pebbles*
  2. Nine Princes in Amber - Zelazny
  1. Tolkien's Letters
  2. The Inklings - Humphrey Carpenter
  3. H.V. Morton travel book
  4. King Peggy

* Carried over from the 2012 Book Challenge.


  1. Les Mis has 365 chapters, so you could read one per day and finish in a year. I tried it that way but gave up halfway through and just finished the darn thing.

    I have an old child's copy of the Zelazny (with a unicorn bookplate!) but still haven't read it.

  2. A Song for Nagasaki (along with A Memory for Wonders, which you should *absolutely* read if you haven't) is one of the books that has impacted me most in my adult life. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Happy reading!

  3. Thank you for your list.

    Humphrey Carpenter's THE INKLINGS is a wonderful book; I didn't know it was still in print. My copy is much marked and stained and loved. H. V Morton's travel books are treasures; he unintentionally layered his rambles around the Middle East within the context of the French and British Mandates that, though not as chronologically distant as ancient Rome and ancient Israel, are just as distant culturally in our very short-sighted milieu.

    - Mack in Texas

  4. Middlemarch is a must - a book about marriage, obligation and responsibility. Not to mention that I find Eliot's characters much fuller than Austens'.

    Skip Les Miserables - it's not worth the whole tome, or all five tomes. The movie did a much better job than the long dronning book.