Readerly Rambles: 01/01/2014 Edition


This is my intro post to my year of getting my reading mojo back. Let’s dive in!

What I’m reading: I’m a little over a quarter of the way through Middlemarch. I love this book even more than the first time I read it. Eliot’s characters are so distinctive and intriguing and I love that her authorial voice slips in from time to time to let the reader know what’s really going on in the hearts and minds of our Middlemarch characters.

What’s up Next: On Sunday I will begin my project of focusing on reading short stories one day a week. My first collection to work through is Rebecca Lee’s Bobcat. Comprised of seven stories, this World Book Night collection looks promising. I also might throw Margaret Atwood’s Year of the Flood in the mix to break up some of the Victorian novel reading.

First Quarter Books: I’ve selected 12 books to focus on completing between now and March 31st.

  1. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  2. Bobcat by Rebecca Lee
  3. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  4. Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
  5. MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood
  6. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
  7. The Nice and the Good by Iris Murdoch
  8. Public Image by Muriel Spark
  9. William — An Englishman by Cicely Hamilton
  10. A Dance to the Music of Time, vol. 1 by Anthony Powell (contains three novels)
  11. The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins
  12. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Reading Challenges: Last year I vowed to do no challenges excepting Classics Club events and RIP. Guess what? I read a measley 29 books and the only books I completed at least started out as Classics Club Challenges, RIP reads, and read-alongs. Sure, I finished late most of the time, BUT AT LEAST I FINISHED. I’m back to plunging headlong into reading challenges and fully prepared to not complete most of them. I’ve already posted about my TBR pile challenge  and the other challenges you can view over in the left-hand side bar. I’ll be reading for Wilkie in Winter, historical fiction, chunksters, classics, Victorian works, and vintage mysteries, and The Dance to the Music of Time. I’m also participating in a Great War theme read and Classics Club events. I’ll also being doing a focus on Iris Murdoch in the spring and some annual events. Oh, and I am reading — chronologically — all the female Man Booker winners at a pace of six a year with a fellow library employee. Sam is on board to handle kids for Readathons and I’m gushing with reading excitement.

Wilkie in Winter: Are you participating? I will be discussing The Frozen Deep on January 7th. Ali has already posted her review of The Frozen Deep if you’d like to take a read. 

A final word on 2013 reads: I read the lowest number of books ever last year (like, since high school). I still wanted to post my top reads. In no particular order, here are my top 10 reads of 2013:

  1. The Law and the Lady by Wilkie Collins
  2. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
  3. Rough Magic: A Biography of Sylvia Plath by Paul Alexander
  4. Bird by Bird: Some Advice on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
  5. A Very Private Eye by Barbara Pym
  6. The Solitary House by Lynn Shepard
  7. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  8. The Victorian Chaise Longue by Marghanita Laski
  9. The Asylum by John Harwood
  10. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

GoodReads: I’m in! I’m going for at least 5o books this year.

Let me know, what reading plans do you have for the new year? 






  1. I’m with you on making lists and thinking big for my reading this year. I have the first 2/12 Anthony Powell books and all this chatter on reading through the series this year has me debating about reading along. Haven’t quite made up my mind because the stack for January is already pretty high. That said, it’s always more fun to read along with others…

  2. I’m the weirdo who lowballs the number of books read goal. My goal this year is 24. Ha! 😉 Plus with those big chunker classics I wouldn’t worth about the amount!

    Enjoy Woman in White. I really liked that one. Happy New Year!

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