Sunday, December 20, 2009

Our Mutual Read (2010 Challenge)

Usually, I just mention challenges on my Behind-the-Scenes blog, but now and then I get so *very, very* excited about a new challenge, that I can't help mentioning it here too. Such is the case with Our Mutual Read. It is for reading Victorian literature. (Though neo-victorian is okay too, within limits). Anyway, it sounds super-fun. I'll be participating at level 2. I really want to say level three. But I'm afraid that may just be enthusiasm talking. (I think I approach reading challenges like I do pizza at the buffet.) So level two is where I'll be. For now at least!

~ Level 2: 8 books, at least 4 written during 1837 - 1901. The other books may be Neo-Victorian or non-fiction.

And I'll be doing the Period Film Mini-Challenge as well.

Period Film Mini-Challenge -- watch at least 6 films that take place between 1837 - 1901 (they don't necessarily have to be based on a book) and post a review.
I hope to read some Trollope, Bronte, and Dickens. And maybe reading other reviews will help me find other authors to try from this period!

What I *PLAN* on reading this year:

  • Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope. (1858)
  • Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope. (1861)

I *really* loved reading the first two books in the Barsetshire series (The Warden, Barchester Towers)

  • Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope. (1865)
  • Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope. (1869)

I hope to start the Palliser series this year. I have loved all the Trollope I've read so far. (I've also read The Way We Live Now.)

  • He Knew He Was Right by Anthony Trollope. (1869)

I'll throw in this stand-alone novel as well. I love Trollope so much--he feels like a friend--I don't know if I can honestly get to all five of these Trollopes or not in one year. But we'll see!

  • Miss Majoribanks by Margaret Oliphant (1866)
  • Hester by Margaret Oliphant (1883)

I've not read any of her books before. But I'm looking forward to trying a new-to-me author.

  • Adam Bede by George Eliot (1859)
  • The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (1860)
  • Romola by George Eliot (1863)
  • Felix Holt, The Radical by George Eliot (1866)
  • Daniel Deronda by George Eliot (1876)

I don't know which Eliot I'll get to this year. I read two last year (Middlemarch and Silas Marner) and it would be nice to read a few more this year.

  • Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell (1853)
  • North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (1854-5)
  • Sylvia's Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell (1863)

These are my three remaining Gaskell novels. I hope to read them this year. (I've read Mary Barton, Cranford, and Wives and Daughters.)

  • Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens (1855-1857)
  • Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens (1864-1865)
  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (1837-1839)
  • David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (1849-1850)

Dare I venture into Charles Dickens???? I've always been so intimidated by the books--though not the movies. So maybe I can try again?!

  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (1860)
  • Armadale by Wilkie Collins (1866)
  • The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (1868)

I do want to read some more Collins. I did enjoy (despite the fact it was so didactic) Man and Wife. I am planning on participating in The Big Read with Leila of Bookshelves of Doom for The Woman in White.

January 6: The First Epoch: The Story Begun by Walter Hartright, Chapters I-VIII

January 8: Walter Hartright, Chapters IX-XV

January 11: The Story Continued by Vincent Gilmore; The Story Continued by Marian Halcombe

January 13: The Second Epoch: The Story Continued by Marian Halcombe, Chapters I-V

January 15: Marian Halcombe, Chapters VI-X; Postscript

January 18: The Story Continued by Frederick Fairlie, Esq.; The Story Continued by Eliza Michelson

January 20: The Story Continued in Several Narratives (This is a really short section, which will allow for any needed catching up.)

January 22: The Third Epoch: The Story Continued by Walter Hartright, Chapters I-VI

January 25: Walter Hartright, Chapters VII-XI

January 27: The Story Continued by Mrs. Catherick; The Story Continued by Walter Hartright, Chapters I-VII

January 29: The Story Continued by Isidor, Ottavio, Baldassare Fosco; The Story Concluded by Walter Hartright, Chapters I-III

And now for the Brontes...

  • Shirley by Charlotte Bronte (1849)
  • Vilette by Charlotte Bronte (1853)
  • The Professor by Charlotte Bronte (1857)
  • Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte (1847)
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848)
I've read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.

And last but not least, just one more to add (so far):

  • Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1862)

This would be a new-to-me author, but it looks like a good read!

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Amanda 8:24 PM  

I'm excited by all the reading prospects. And I'm super excited that you're excited!

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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