February 22, 2013

The Classics Club: Check-In #2

It's been a very cold winter with lots of snow and blizzards. Do you see what the girl's doing on the painting by Briton Rivière? This is pretty much how I spent those long winter days. No, my dog wasn't a naughty boy and I didn't force him to read. However, I spent even the moments when I was reading with him; I was holding him in my arms while I was reading. I did so because, as I mentioned in an earlier post, my dog had some major health issues over last autumn and this winter and underwent a surgery. But now, it seems that spring is approaching. Our garden is full of singing birds, the first snowdrops are popping up at last, and my beautiful Vizsla is feeling much better. Also, the Classics Club emerged from hibernation and asked us to check in again. In other words, they ask us to write a progress report. :-D So, here is mine.

Naughty Boy or Compulsory Education
by Briton Rivière
© The Bridgeman Art Library
Past: I joined the Club at the beginning of September 2013 and since then I have read two classics from my list of 50: Fadette by George Sand and The Danube Pilot by Jules Verne. I was also able to share my thoughts on the former; my review of the letter is still a draft, but coming soon... Since I wasn't happy with my progress, I decided to give up my original idea of reading the books on my list in chronological order. Instead, I read the books in an almost random order. I'm saying "almost," because I broke up my list into five smaller lists consisting of ten classics each. That is to say, I put ten classics each onto my TBR lists for the next five years and each year, I plan to read approximately the same amount of pages. So, I tried to distribute my reading load equally over the five years. I didn't want to end up in the last year with chunksters only and I also wanted to spare time for other kind of books. I also made myself a reading schedule for this year's chunkster, which is The History of Tom Jones by Henry Fielding.

Present: Currently, I am reading three classics—Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter, Ballet Shoes by Noel Straitfeild, and The History of Tom Jones by Henry Fielding—concurrently, and I'm sticking to my reading schedule. So, I'm very happy. According to my plans, I will have finished the former two by the end of this month and the third one in three weeks.

Future: My spring TBR list is full with classics and what I'm particularly happy about is that I will spend my favourite season reading Jane Austen. I have four novels by Jane Austen on my list: Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and Mansfield Park. They are not completely new to me; they are re-reads. Nevertheless, I'm sure that I will be surprised, because in my experience one always gains new insights upon re-reading a book. I also hope that I will like the latter three more than the first time I read them. But, before I am allowed to immerse myself in Austen, I have to read The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I didn't plan to read it this year, but the Classics Spin game "forced" me into reading it, and I don't mind. Though I'm afraid that Austen will need all her magical power to heal my heart afterwards...

So, that has been my progress so far. And, how are you doing? Are you on schedule? I hope you didn't give up completely! My tip: try to find a schedule that suits you and stick to it! It has worked for me; it will work for you!


  1. Hello! I am visiting via a twitter link. Wanted to let you know that The Picture of Dorian Gray is my Classics Club spin selection, too. It's been on my shelf for several years and I'm not quite sure what to expect. It's short, but also a little intimidating. I plan to start in early March. Good luck!

    1. Hi JoAnn! Sorry that I haven't replied to your comment until now. Anyway, it's funny that we both have had to read The Picture of Dorian Gray for the Classics Club spin game. In the meantime, I've finished it, and I liked it. (Review coming soon!) So, I'm happy that it got selected! Wish you luck too!