I seem to have made the mistake of giving Jillian the idea of a reading challenge for next year. Well, no, that’s not true; the mistake would have been offering to host it myself, as that would be a guarantee that I wouldn’t get a thing read next year. Instead, Jillian’s off and running with her “Books I Started but Didn’t Finish” Reading Challenge. (See the link for details.) I’ve already broken my self-promise to not join any year-long challenges for next year with the TBR Challenge, but here I am again, joining in. Last one, I swear.
I think the original idea for this is all those books that we try so desperately to finish before a New Year begins but don’t quite make it. Instead of stressing over it, the challenge invites us to finish them next year. I’m not gonna do that. (Rebel!) I’m in the middle of four books right now. One I should finish today or tomorrow, another next week, and one has a high probability that it will simply be ignored and returned to the library next week after my renewals run out. Which leaves Walden—I’m really hoping to finish it before the end of the year because I do want a clean slate, but if I don’t I won’t fret over it and will finish it in January. I’m just not going to count it for this challenge.
No. We must go further back than that. Much further back.
Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra) – There’s an added layer of guilt here: DQ was assigned summer reading for my high school sophomore year Spanish class. I read about half of it before school started and I ran out of time.
The Silmarillion (J.R.R. Tolkien) – When my brother and I were little, our dad read to us almost every night. To avoid frequent “what to read” questions, he liked to choose long books, or series. Thus, he chose The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings even though he hadn’t liked them when he read them previously. Not only did my dad discover that he actually liked Tolkien, my brother and I became devoted fans. I read (or does it count as my first reread?) the series in seventh grade and the following summer discovered that there was another book set in Middle Earth. Published posthumously, the opening of The Silmarillion is not as engaging as the earlier books and I abandoned it due to a combination of dryness and school starting. (Common theme.) This has the oldest start date for the books on my list.
The Italian (Ann Radcliffe) – Another book started in high school but never completed. I don’t remember why for sure, but I suspect it has something to do with the fact that my copy is part of a volume which also contains Northanger Abbey—I’m guessing I decided to read the Austen instead!
It seems like it should somehow be bookish, doesn’t it? Buying myself a book doesn’t quite seem right, as I seem to do that too often anyways, so it won’t really be a good reward. However, successfully completing this challenge seems like the perfect excuse to buy a bookish related TV adaptation. I’m thinking the first series of Sherlock, a contemporary adaptation of the famous detective stories.
You may notice that two of my titles are also on my TBR challenge list (and for anyone who might wonder, I’ll be starting all of the books from the beginning—no cheating on the TBR Challenge). So step one is doubling the reasons I have to read some of these. Step two: just read them!