CurrerBell gets out the shovel for 2017
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Ended 2016 with 77/75, so I'm going to stick with my goal of 75 for 2017. Might be a little difficult, though, because I may do some heavy-duty effort to cut into my Library of America via the 2017- BIG FAT BOOKS CHALLENGE and those are doorstoppers.
As in 2016, my big goal is to get through treeware, hence Kindle reading doesn't count (unless it's a case of using my Kindle for convenience on books that I've also got in treeware). A volume of treeware is eligible for 2017 ROOTs inclusion if owned by me by the end of the calendar year 2016, but I'm going to make some special effort to cut through older acquisitions.
I count volumes, not individual works, so a multi-title Library of America volume counts as a single ROOT (but I don't have to reread titles in the volume that I've already read, just the unread titles). And I claim credit for a ROOT when the volume is completed, so books that I started in 2016 will be credited for 2017 if completed in 2017.
Sounds like your goal will be a stretch with those chunksters. Good luck with your ROOTing.
2 ... Elizabeth Gaskell, Ruth 2½** review
2 ... Mark Twain: Historical Romances (Library of America) 5*****
11 ... James Fenimore Cooper: The Leatherstocking Tales I; The Pioneers, The Last of the Mohicans, The Prairie (Library of America) 3½***
26 ... The Leatherstocking Tales, Vol. 2: The Pathfinder / The Deerslayer (Library of America) 3½***
1 ... The Journals of Lewis and Clark (abridged Anthony Brandt)
8 ... Herman Melville: Typee, Omoo, Mardi (Library of America)
12 ... Thomas Mann, Death in Venice (Norton Critical Edition)
18 ... Herman Melville: Redburn, White-Jacket, Moby-Dick (Library of America)
27 ... Elizabeth Strout, My Name Is Lucy Barton
28 ... Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady (Norton Critical, 1st ed 1975)
28 ... John Leland and Alan Baragona, Shakespeare's Prop Room
All hail to any reader who undertakes and completes a J F Cooper marathon! You are a better bibliophile than I am. I read several of his novels when I was MUCH younger, but have no desire to tackle his style ever again!
What door-stop reads do you see on your horizon?
Best of luck in meeting and exceeding your ROOT goals.
>14 Limelite: I'm finishing up the Library of America Herman Melville: Typee / Omoo / Mardi, currently about two-thirds of the way through Mardi. Typee and Omoo are fairly decent travel books of the South Pacific, which I read for January's First Encounters theme in the Reading Through Time Group, but I hadn't had time to get to Mardi.
I'm obsessively-compulsively finishing Mardi for the sake of adding the LoA volume to the Big Fat Book challenge, but it's one of the worst things I've ever read (and was the book that did a great deal to destroy Melville's literary reputation during his lifetime.) I'm not so much "reading" it as I am skimming – sort of a "speed read" skimming – but I am going to complete it.
ETA: Also currently reading Jenny Uglow's excellent biography of Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories, which also meets the Big Fat Book challenge @ 690 pp. It's a major project because I've also been reading or rereading Gaskell's novels and novellas as needed, and I've got to read Wives and Daughters (another 600+ page doorstopper), which is now her one novel that I've never yet read.
>15 CurrerBell: I'm just reading Gaskell stories during lunch breaks and like them much better than I expected (I'm not a short story person). I've been eyeing the biography by Jenny Uglow, would you recommend it?
>16 MissWatson: Oh yes, definitely the Uglow biography, though it would help if you read along on the novels. The one novel that's pretty awful is Ruth (review) and that you might want to avoid unless for the sake of completeness.
The one Uglow bioraphy that I've read in full is Nature's Engraver, and I've got her biography of George Eliot in some TBR pile somewhere. Nature's Engraver is a biography of Thomas Bewick, the late-18th and early-19th century woodcut artist who's most famous for his History of British Birds, the second volume of which (Water Birds) was the book that Jane Eyre was reading as the novel opens.
ETA: Bewick's "History" means "natural history."
I don't have a masochistic gene in my body and wouldn't think of doing what you're doing. I read strictly for the joy of it. No moral drive in me, no conscience when it comes to casting aside dreadful books.
But if you lack a title for your door stop reading program, I suggest Norman Mailer's Selected Letters of Norman Mailer, edited by J Michael Lennon. 700 pp of scriving by a not very likable man.
>19 Limelite: I'm very fond of Mailer. Personally, I think The Naked and the Dead is the greatest American war novel, greater even than The Red Badge of Courage. That's not my only Mailer doorstopper; I've read Harlot's Ghost as well, and I need to reread The Executioner's Song, which I read when it was first published and remember loving it even more than The Naked and the Dead. I have Selected Letters of Norman Mailer and do want to get around to it eventually. I'm even more anxious, though, to read Mind of an Outlaw (selected essays) and Michael Lennon's Norman Mailer: A Double Life, two other doorstoppers I also have.
I think he's one of the greatest American writers since the Second World War (although I consider Invisible Man the third greatest American novel after Huckleberry Finn and The Scarlet Letter, but without rating Ellison as highly since he was too much a one-book wonder).
One Mailer doorstopper I've never managed to make much progress with is Naked Evenings. Most Mailer aficionados say its beginning is magnificent prose but then it really sloughs off. I agree, but one of these lifetimes I'll engage in another masochistic effort.
ETA: Mailer's The Gospel According to the Son (fortunately not a doorstopper) is a complete triviality, however. All it is is a very reverent hodgepodge of the four canonical gospels with Jesus himself as the first-person narrator, a very silly waste of time. Mailer had a tendency toward greatness accompanied by complete flops. Since my copy of The Gospel According to the Son is my only autographed Mailer, I did get around to reading it.
5 ... Nova Ren Suma, The Walls Around Us
6 ... Elizabeth Hand, Generation Loss
10 ... Henry James: Novels 1881-1886 (Library of America)
13 ... The Brontës: A Life in Letters (ed. Juliet Barker)
14 ... Diana Wynne Jones, The Islands of Chaldea
14 ... Antonia White, Three in a Room
16 ... Michael Gorra, Portrait of a Novel
24 ... The Complete Greek Drama (vol. i), ed Whitney Oates & Eugene O'Neill Jr
25 ... Shirley Jackson, The Road Through the Wall
28 ... Ray Bradbury, The Illustrated Man
28 ... Maria Frawley, English Authors Series: Anne Brontë
8 ... Charles Dickens, Bleak House
9 ... George MacDonald, At the Back of the North Wind
12 ... Elizabeth Von Arnim, Love
13 ... Sheela Chari, Vanished
18 ... Hawk Mountain: The World's First Raptor Sanctuary
27 ... Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House The First Five Novels (BN Classics Edition) (The Little House on the Prairie)
30 ... Elizabeth Von Arnim, Vera
3 ... Leslie Feinberg, Drag King Dreams
7 ... Willa Cather: Later Novels (Library of America)
17 ... John Milton, Paradise Lost (Norton Critical, 2d ed)
17 ... Penelope Fitzgerald, At Freddie's
22 ... Lauren Owen, The Quick
24 ... Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (Norton Critical Edition)
29 ... Milton's Sonnets: The Texts with an Introduction and Commentary
>27 connie53: Thanks, Connie. I just finished one more, which now brings me to 50% before the halfway mark. And I've got at least one more I should finish by the end of June.
Not to break my arm patting myself on the back, but 10 of those 38 are doorstoppers, 7 of them Library of America's which I've been wanting to get to for years. I've still got a long way to go on my LoA collection though (which includes the entire LoA set of Henry James, and the only writer I know with a larger canon is Joyce Carol Oates!).
4 ... Anna Beer, Milton: Poet, Patriot, and Pamphleteer
10 ... Rumer Godden, Kingfishers Catch Fire
12 ... Rumer Godden, Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy
18 ... Rumer Godden, The Peacock Spring
20 ... Sara Pennypacker, Pax
25 ... Gordon Campbell, John Milton: Life, Work, and Thought
28 ... Shirley Jackson, Hangsaman
>28 CurrerBell: I like doorstoppers. I committed to reading 10 of them this year, 2 more to go!
Seeing this discussion about doorstoppers I had to go back and check my own efforts in that department! - five, which isn't bad, and I'm nearly finished another. All have been audiobooks or paperback-with-audiobook which feels a bit like cheating but I wouldn't get through them otherwise. Well done with the chunksters, Mike and Connie, and good luck with The Gulag Archipelago, Tess!
>35 connie53: I'll look at that this evening. I always have an audiobook on the go and usually it's a chunkster because I like to get my money's worth from my £7.99 monthly Audible subscription ;)
>36 floremolla: You're very good - I was too tightfisted to commit to £7.99 a month!
>37 Jackie_K: ours is $14.95 per month and only get 1 book. I do better bargain shopping at Audiblebooks.
5 ... Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of the Island and Tales of Avonlea
8 ... Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Windy Poplars
12 ... David McCullough, John Adams
14 ... Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin (Second Edition) (Norton Critical Editions)
19 ... Jane Dunn, Antonia White: A Life
24 ... Nathaniel Hawthorne, Nathaniel Hawthorne's Tales (Norton Critical)
24 ... Kate Wilhelm, Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang
26 ... Norman Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth
28 ... Melissa Scott, Night Sky Mine
30 ... Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams
3 ... Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Annotated Secret Garden
7 ... Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden (Norton Critical)
13 ... American Fantastic Tales: From Poe to the Pulps (ed Peter Straub)
14 ... Emily Holmes Coleman, The Shutter of Snow
19 ... Margaret Kennedy, Together and Apart
23 ... Margaret Kennedy, Troy Chimneys
26 ... Sarah Orne Jewett, Lady Ferry and Other Uncanny People
27 ... Daphne Du Maurier, My Cousin Rachel
31 ... John Updike, The Witches of Eastwick
>43 connie53: Somehow I messed up and managed to post two "Septembers" by misteak, so rather than have an oddball "delete" hanging around on the thread I created an "October" post early.
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