As I Contemplate Books I Want to Read…

Before long, it will be that time of year when all the reading challenges will start popping up for 2020. This year, I started out planning to continue with the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge but then decided not to. I then came up with my own reading challenge. But…….I haven’t done so well with it honestly. Ha! I will post a review of that closer towards the end of the year. I’m already thinking this coming year will be NO reading challenges – not even my own. 🙂

Anyhoo….I’ve been thinking about books I might like to read once I finish Les Misérables and The House Of Mirth (more on that below) as well as potential read-alongs I might like to participate in.

Snippet of my Classics Bookshelf

A Little Glance at Part of One of My Classics Bookshelves

I’ve come to really appreciate and love the read-along format…even more than a book club. *gasp* When I say book club, I mean the format where you read the whole book yourself then meet up at the end of the month (or whatever date is set) to discuss the entire book. These are great and I do enjoy a good book club. But what I really appreciate about the read-along format is the opportunity to discuss the book *as* you are reading it. Especially a book like Les Misérables that I’m doing a read-along for right now – there is so much in this book that I can’t even fathom trying to discuss it all in one sitting after having read the whole book. Every single time I’ve sat down to write about the section I’ve read for the week, it has turned out to be a long post. I even split the first section into three posts! And there was still more that could have been talked about!

But even before my current Les Misérables read-along was Silvia’s read-along for Don Quixote Book I. That was really my first time participating in a scheduled read-along. And it was so great! (I have done a book club in the blog format but the structure was different.) I loved the insights Silvia shared and I loved sharing thoughts and comments on the book as we read along. I really believe that Silvia’s read-along helped me appreciate the novel even more. So Silvia, thank you for such a wonderful experience with my first scheduled read-along. I am looking forward to your Don Quixote Book 2 read-along!

I think the read-along format is especially helpful for the really long classics. I think about when I read War and Peace by Tolstoy and can’t help but wonder if I would have liked it better if I had read it as a read-along with others. I’d love to see some of the other longer classics done as read-alongs – like maybe East of Eden by Steinbeck or Anna Karenina by Tolstoy. Or even The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck (it isn’t quite as long as some of the other really long classics).

don quixote          The House of Mirth

So in looking forward at what I might want to read and what read-alongs I might want to join in, I know there are three read-alongs right now that I want to participate in.

  • The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton Read-Along hosted by Cleo. This starts in November so it is taking place during my reading of Les Misérables. But I am going to do my best to read along. I even bought the book this week! So I’m all set to get started. 🙂
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Read-Along hosted by Silvia and Ruth. My local library has this on audiobook but I will probably just buy a print copy when it gets closer to the time of the read-along.
  • Silvia’s read-along for Don Quixote Book II whenever she plans to do that.

I also have my continually growing classics TBR list I will continue to work on. There are a few titles that are at the top of my list though. These are ones that I really want to prioritize right now (once I finish Les Misérables and The House of Mirth):

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  • The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien – I finished The Two Towers recently and decided to put reading The Return of the King on hold to read Les Misérables. I am really looking forward to reading this last one in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
  • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky – I have slowly worked on this book for what seems like for-ev-er. I want to get this finished. I actually only have probably about 1/4 of the book left…maybe less.

And…..if I come across other read-alongs of books on my TBR list or of books that sound interesting to read, I might join in. 🙂 Maybe someone will do a read-along for Anna Karenina by Tolstoy or Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert at some point. I would love to be able to read those with a read-along! I had Madame Bovary on my TBR list at one time and have put it back on there. Silvia mentioned it as one of her favorite books which got me interested in putting it back on my TBR list.

That’s it for now. Being that I definitely have the tendency of being a mood reader and also because you never know when someone may do a read-along you would be interested in joining in on, I don’t want to make a ton of plans. Ha! My reading plans are always flexible. 😉 And when 2020 rolls around, I know more book reading plans will be made.

10 thoughts on “As I Contemplate Books I Want to Read…

  1. Like you, I also have not done well with my reading plans this year and last. I completed the Back to the Classics Challenge 3 years in a row but fizzled out last year and this. Doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading though. So far I’ve read or listened to more books than any previous year. But I’m reading what I want and when I want, as the spirt moves; classics and modern, nonfiction and fiction!

    And just my two cents… I thought Madam Bovary was one of the worst books I ever read! I appreciated none of it. To me it felt like a complete waste of time; depressing, with no redeeming value. I am quite opinionated wouldn’t you say? I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. That said, I’m sure there are books that I love and appreciate that others would turn their noses up at! We all see life differently don’t we?


    • Linda, you should do a reading update on your blog. I’d love to see what all you have been reading! 🙂 Regarding Madame Bovary, I remember you talking about it on your blog that you didn’t like it. And somewhere around that same time, I took it off my TBR list. But then I saw that Silvia had listed it as a favorite of hers and she talked a bit about it in that same post and that got me interested in putting it back on my TBR list. I wonder if it’s a book like Wuthering Heights where people either really like it or really don’t like it.


  2. Woo hoo, loved this post! I’m so interested to hear about other people’s reading plans!

    I know that you’ve NEVER heard me say this before (lol!) but I’m SOOOO glad that you’re joining The House of Mirth read-along. I just hope I can keep up! 😉

    I’m definitely in for Don Quixote Part II!

    So, from your Classics List here are the books I haven’t read but would like to soon:

    The Grapes of Wrath (no surprise, I know! December plans!)
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    Oliver Twist (sort of)

    And books that I’ve read but I’d love to read again:

    Jane Eyre
    The Odyssey (I’m leading a discussion on it in 2020 on Goodreads, I believe)
    I Capture the Castle

    So perhaps we can link up for a few books in 2020!


    • Ooooo yes! We should definitely look at reading some of these books together! I think I feel the same as you about reading Oliver Twist. I’m not exactly looking forward to it per se, but it’s one that I feel I need to read. It’s such an iconic story. It is definitely one that I would love to read with others and be able to discuss it as we read. Ivanhoe I actually started a couple of years ago but never finished. So I want to just start it all over at some point and read the whole thing. I definitely want to try to join in with you for The Odyssey! I read about half of it a few years ago but never finished. Then I read The Iliad last year and so I want to try to tackle The Odyssey again. I’m not a big epic poetry person so it would be great to read The Odyssey with others. I’m really looking forward to trying to read The Grapes of Wrath with you all!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, Oliver Twist is a “meh” for me. I am looking forward to Bleak House and Great Expectations though!

        I already participated in an Odyssey read-along years ago and got TONS out of it. I was just going to lead a discussion on a Goodreads group this time for The Odyssey but perhaps I’ll consider re-posting my posts on my blog. I’ll have to think about it. Homer’s poetry is definitely on my top ten list!

        I’m grateful to be reading The Grapes of Wrath with others. After East of Eden, I need a push to read another Steinbeck. 🙄


    • So glad you stopped by! I do believe Les Misérables is going to rank as one of my all time favorite classics. 🙂 I am actually really glad I have watched all the movie versions I have watched of Les Mis first – because knowing the storyline first has helped me get even more out of the book this first time reading it.


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