Sunday Salon: Reading Projects

Sunday Reading Notes

Am extremely tired, so will write in bullet point.

  • Too hot to read or study in garden today
  • Skies bring promise of rain; overcast for days now but hot and dry – lawn is parched, dad’s lemon tree dead, gardenias as good as dead
  • Two weeks until exams over; need to read notes instead of novels
  • Devouring A Suitable Boy. Most delicious book I have read in a while – it’s as gargantuan as Les Miserables but without the despair, and without lengthy digressions on the structure of the Parisian sewer system
  • Steadily making my way through The Aeneid. Thoughts? Knight’s translation is alike to munching cardboard. Look forward to reading Fagles’ translation in verse

Reading Projects

This week I decided to participate in four more of these. I know they’re challenges, but I like to refer to them as ‘projects’, because it sounds so much friendlier. Two were discovered through A Novel Challenge, and one is a personal challenge that I created for myself. I have a feeling I’m going to be signing up for a lot more of these in the near future, so I’ve made a separate page for them.

9 Books for 2009

The purpose of this project is to read nine books from your bookshelf that you have not yet read. One book must be read from each of the following categories: long, free, dusty, used, letter, strange, distance, alive or not, cover

Genre Challenge

I liked the idea of a project based around genres so I’ve set up my own personal genre challenge – one that is designed to be as unchallenging as possible.

The so-called ‘challenge’ is to re-read old favourites throughout the year, and I’ll be reading three books from each of the four genres that I’ve chosen for myself. Here’s the list:


  • Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
  • Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte


  • Around the World in Eighty Days, Jules Verne
  • The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
  • The Island of Adventure, Enid Blyton


  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Caroll
  • The Lord of the Rings, J R R Tolkien
  • The Harry Potter Series, J K Rowling


  • Marie Antoinette: The Journey, Antonia Fraser
  • Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
  • The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory

German Literature

German Expressionism is one of the most fascinating Art movements of the 20th century. However, despite familiarising myself with the art of that period, I’ve never read any German literature. That’s pretty much why I joined; but finding these books is going to be a challenge in itself. I’m not limiting myself to the 1920s – 30s period, so any recommendations are welcome

Read the Nobels

This is an ongoing challenge, so there’s no pressure to finish within a time limit.

I’m quite happy with the list I’ve compiled.  Reading Patrick White will allow me to continue my exploration of Australian literature (which was put on a rather long hiatus by Les Miserables). I’ll finally make myself read Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I’ll be able to give poor Ernest Hemingway another try. I’ve also been wanting to read Saul Bellow and V S Naipaul for a while now.

Click here for the full list of Nobel Laureates in Literature (


4 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Reading Projects

  1. I spent an entire summer trying to read ‘A Suitable Boy’ and eventually gave up not because I wasn’t enjoying it but because I needed to live in a different narrative world. It was all taking just too much time. Maybe now I’m retired I should try again.

  2. I’ve made my way through two-thirds of it over the last few days, because I’m so immersed in the world of the characters. I think half the reason is because reading time has become more precious since I’m in the middle of exams, so I try to savour whatever I can.

  3. I’m acing the historical category but lagging in fantasy!

    I’m very excited that you’ve got Anna Karenina next in line! I have, by coincidence, A Suitable Boy on my shelf. I hope to get to it soon. But I stay put for your review.

  4. Oh well, I’m not that inclined towards fantasy myself, but I adore Harry Potter.

    I’m also quite excited to pick up Anna Karenina again, now that I think about it. Hahah! Thanks for motivating me, and please reproach me if I try to give up half-way – I’m determined to finish it this time, no matter what.

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