Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The next batch of dead guys

My reading adventure with dead guys is turning out to be more fun that what I had expected. Yes, there are bumps along the way, but I am enjoying these books. I am almost through with George Eliot's Middlemarch yet, but I somehow accidentally started Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary. So, in a way, the first batch of dead guys, letters A to F, will be over and done with in a few more days.

For the next batch, letters G to L, I made a rough selection of the books that I have on my shelves. A confession though: The Washington Irving short story collection is a new purchase; I found out that I have no authors whose surnames start with I in my shelf. And I'm terribly excited for this batch, as I've never read a Golding, Hardy, and an Irving.

Choosing an author for letter G was a happy problem. Way, way, way too many options. Should I go with Graham Greene's The Heart of the Matter or Brighton Rock? How about Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South or Wives and Daughters? And then there's this short ghost story by an unknown European writer which I'm terribly curious about.

Also, what Hardy should I begin with? I have Far from the Madding Crowd and Jude the Obscure. What made me choose the latter? The yellow Penguin cover. When I posted the same photo on Facebook, some of my friends mentioned that Hardy can be terribly depressing. I don't mind that at all. We can't always pick up happy books, yes? Besides, it's yellow, so it's a happy book in that aspect.

But even though I've somehow chosen the books that I'm going to read next, I'm still not closing any doors and allowing room for serendipitous book finds. Just as long as the authors are dead. Who knows whether my letter H would turn out to be Nathaniel Hawthorne? The Scarlet Letter seems to be a quick read. Or maybe I'll decide on drama for letter I and go with Henrik Ibsen.

For next year, I'm already thinking of another challenge. A Dickens reading of all his novels perhaps?

7 comments:

ram said...

i got my madame Bovary last Christmas as a gift but never started it until now.,hehehe

Kaz said...

I like this challenge of yours, Peter... I've thought of appropriating it, but I'd have to buy books to do it - seriously... I've read just about everything on my shelves - most of them more than once, and they include a lot of 'dead guys'... Not that I couldn't find more if I went shopping, of course! But, I do like the idea of a particular theme for reading. And the Dickens thing...yes, methinks I should perhaps do that - of all of them, I've only ever read Oliver. Time to address that, and I DO have a few of those on the shelves, in nice fat vintage hard covers!

Peter S. said...

Hello, ram! Read it! And let me know what you think!

Hi, Kaz! I'm curious about your Dickens collection! I'm sure they're so damn gorgeous on the shelves!

Louize Gonzales said...

Hi, Peter!
I read Washington Irving more than 3 years ago, but I remember enjoying the stories. They were surprisingly readable and witty.

I hope you'll enjoy them as well.

Peter S. said...

Hi, Louize! Thanks! I hope so too!

Stepford Mum said...

I'll join you for Dickens, Peter! And you're doing wonderfully with this challenge so far. The Heart of the Matter is in my TBR too, as I read Brighton Rock last year.

Peter S. said...

Yay! Can't wait for Dickens next year, Stepford Mum!