I like reading. I don’t often read as much as I would like because…I don’t know. I guess the days just get away from me after I’ve worked, studied, written a blog essay, prepared dinner, done chores, engaged in real life ministry…and if after all that when I sit down to read usually either my eyes are too weak or my body and brain is too tired.
I have to remedy this.
Reading is WHO I AM. It sustained me through a difficult childhood, carried me through a painful divorce, consoled me on lonely post-divorce evenings, provided inexpensive entertainment and travel as a rejuvenated carefree adult, allowed for mind expansion (Read Flatland, just read it!) as a new Christian, and generally offered lots of fun hunting up the next book. There’s always books.
I found this blog called The Classics Club. The About page for this blog states its purpose:
The Classics Club was started on March 7, 2012 by a blogger who wanted to see more people posting about classics literature in the blogosphere. Her goal was to, “unite those of us who like to blog about classic literature, as well as to inspire people to make the classics an integral part of life.” She thought about several ideas but finally settled on inviting people to make out a list of (at least 50) classic titles they intend to read and blog about within the next five years.
I’ve often wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) a challenge where a person is challenged to attempt to write a 50,000 word manuscript between November 1 and November 30. Just write! But I’ve written close to 4000 essays almost every day for the last 9 years, issuing millions of words, so I think I’ve got the writing habit well cemented in me.
So, on to reading.
Come up with a list of 20 classics still on your to-be-read list and post these books on your blog before Nov. 17. This is your “spin” list! You can choose any books that you actually already have or books you’ve been waiting too long to read or books you really want to get through before the new year. Then, on Friday, Nov. 17, the Classics Club will randomly select a number from 1 through 20 and post it on their blog. The challenge is to read whatever book falls under that number on your Spin List by Dec. 31, 2017. It’s all for fun so no pressure to participate but thought it would give me a boost to get reading done with others.
Specifically, here is how to participate:
Go to your blog.
Pick twenty books that you’ve got left to read from your Classics Club List.
Try to challenge yourself: list five you are dreading/hesitant to read, five you can’t WAIT to read, five you are neutral about, and five free choice (favorite author, re-reads, ancients — whatever you choose.)
Post that list, numbered 1-20, on your blog before Friday, November 17th.
That morning (11/17), we’ll announce a number from 1-20. Go to the list of twenty books you posted, and select the book that corresponds to the number we announce.
The challenge is to read that book by December 31, even if it’s an icky one you dread reading! (No fair not listing any scary ones!)
My list of 20 classics I’d like to read are as follows. Some I own already, some I bought for free on Kindle today, and some I’ll wait to buy or borrow until it is by chance announced. Sometimes I wonder, wouldn’t it be nice just to go to my Amazon WishList and just buy everything on it all at once? Sigh. But poverty avails.
- Austen, Jane: Northanger Abbey
- Baldwin, James: Go Tell it on the Mountain
- Bengtsson: The Long Ships
- Braddon, Mary Elizabeth: Lady Audley’s Secret
- Buchan, John: The Thirty-Nine Steps
- Burnett, Frances Hodgson: The Making of a Marchioness
- Equiano, Olaudah: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano
- Faulkner, William: As I Lay Dying
- Jewett, Sarah Orne: The Country of the Pointed Firs
- Jerome, Jerome K: Three Men in a Boat
- Kipling, Rudyard: The Man Who Would Be King
- le Carre, John: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
- Melville, Herman, Redburn
- Milton, John, Paradise Lost
- Mitchell, David: Cloud Atlas
- Muir, John: Nature Writings
- Pound, Ezra: Personae: The Shorter Poems
- Proust, Marcel, Within a Budding Grove
- Wharton, Edith, The Decoration of Houses
- Wright, Richard: Native Son
We’ll see how it goes.
Meanwhile I have frittered away my day. On the good side, I listened to two Sinclair Ferguson sermons. He is a man whose knowledge of the Bible is solid and his pulpit demeanor is calm and assured and comforting, even when he speaks of convicting things, as he did in the first sermon I listened to: The Priority of Worship. The second was Christ’s Message to the Church, from Revelation 2.
I made split pea soup with carrots and peppers, field pea hummus, eggplant and peppers in tomato sauce, gluten free strawberry cobbler, and 2-ingredient oatmeal banana cookies. The cobbler rocks. I will get more of Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour!
I’m still in my jammies and probably will head back to bed for a short nap. When I get up I’ll take a shower and then read for the evening. I’d like to finish Moby-Dick since I put another Melville on my list, one that RC Sproul had recommended, called Redburn.
I hope there is a nice mix on my Reading Challenge list. I have a few about the Black experience, some poetry, female literature, an adventure or two. I do like an adventure story. Farley Mowat, Jack London, Jon Krakauer… Into Thin Air and Grey Seas Under are two great adventure stories that come immediately to mind. Also London’s To Build a Fire. I also like a good marine tale but I didn’t see any on the list, though admittedly I’m not familiar with every single title.
Television and movies have increasingly been disappointing. I hope this is an indication of increased sanctification and not simply a lull in tv programming that entices my fleshly desires, only to be re-ignited if some other program comes on.
I didn’t watch Project Runway this week, even though it is part 1 of the finale. I also stopped listening to Tom & Lorenzo post-mortem on PR, since they take the Lord’s name in vain too much. I’ve started and stopped watching several movies for similar reasons. So books it is. That’s a good thing! I’ve noticed I’m calmer when I don’t consume too much media.
I have 5 more days of school then we are out for the week of Thanksgiving! I can’t wait! Here is Principal Gerry Brooks on the long month of November. It is long. Really long.
Enjoy, and till next time, ponder this:
It’s the week before Thanksgiving. Why did the turkey cross the road?
To prove he was a chicken!