Reading Plan: February 2012

39 comments

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens book cover
Incredibly, I think I actually managed to read just about everything on my list from January – clearly 2012 is off to a rip-roaring start, and I am destined for a year so full of literary nourishment that my elbow patches might spontaneously combust, that or I’ve peaked way too early and it’s all downhill from here!

So, to February: I am starting my year of Dickens in earnest this month, although quite what ‘my year of Dickens’ means is yet to be defined. For the time being, we can take it that I shall be reading as much of good, old Charlie’s writing as I can get my hands on. For starters I’m going to have a little gander at Oliver Twist, which serves the dual purpose of being a gentle introduction to Dickens (musical available if reading becomes too much effort), and a requirement given that myself and my disgustingly-efficient colleague Kim are organising a series of events in March and April, which centre on all things Oliver! Incidentally, you can find details of our events here: Dickens 2012, hosted by Royal Holloway.

I have also decided to finally make a start on Suzanne Collins’s wildly popular The Hunger Games, so have picked up the first instalment and expect to whip through that at some point this month. I’m a little intrigued as I know very little about it, despite its huge popularity but, with the impending film release, I guess it’s time to get in the know.

And then for something altogether more gentle: The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price, Purveyor of Superior Funerals by Wendy Jones. I was sent this a few weeks back and really liked the look of the cover and the blurb included on the press release. Ripped straight from Amazon is the description below:

Everyone has to make decisions about love. Wilfred Price, overcome with emotion on a sunny spring day, proposes to a girl he barely knows at a picnic. The girl, Grace, joyfully accepts and rushes to tell her family of Wilfred's intentions. But by this time Wilfred has realised his mistake. He does not love Grace. On the verge of extricating himself, Wilfred's situation suddenly becomes more serious when Grace's father steps in. Up until this point in his life, Wilfred's existence has been blissfully simple, and the young undertaker seems unable to stop the swirling mess that now surrounds him. To add to Wilfred's emotional turmoil, he thinks he may just have met the perfect girl for him. As Wilfred struggles in an increasingly tangled web of expectation and duty, love and lies, Grace reveals a long-held secret that changes everything . . . Wendy Jones's charming first novel is a moving depiction of love and secrecy, set against the rural backdrop of a 1920s Welsh village, and beautifully told.

Finally, I’ve been wanting to read American Psycho for a while so, if time allows it, I will pick that up later in the month. Oh, and for those who have been waiting for it, my analysis of The Outsider should also be ready this month (very late now, I know!)

Phew, so that’s another month’s good reading planned. Have you read any of the above, or are you celebrating Dickens’s bicentenary in any way? As always, let me know below!

Notable Posts from January
Review: The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman (Book 2, His Dark Materials)
Review: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré
Review: The Swimming Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst
Review: The Guys' Guy's Guide to Love by Robert Manni
Interview: Robert Manni

39 comments:

Petra said...

Haha, I was just thinking that I should probably read The Hunger Games!
Only thing is that for whatever reason I don't enjoy that much books written in the present tense. It's quite OK in English, but in Czech I just don't like it.

Matthew (The Bibliofreak) said...

I would definitely recommend trying Battle Royale first. There's a lot of similarities, but I think you'd probably like it better. Still, you don't want to be left on the outside of the trend, so maybe you'd better read both :P

Emma said...

I celebrate Dickens' anniversary by reading his new biography by Claire Tomalin. that was my best non-fiction book for January. I think it's a must for all Dickens' lovers. here is my Jan recap: http://wordsandpeace.com/2012/02/02/january-wrap-up/

Matthew (The Bibliofreak) said...

Fantastic. I'm planning to read that at some point this year, but I thought I should probably read some actual Dickens first :) Will definitely stop by and read your thoughts on it.

Petra said...

Matthew, why do you think I don't want to be left on the outside of the trend? :P I'm just curious, and want to read it before the movie is out :)
Battle Royale is Japanese, I used to have problems with anything Japanese, for various reasons, it's getting better, but still not that much :)

Matthew (The Bibliofreak) said...

Oh, well in that case be a rebel and don't read either :P

What problem did you have with Japanese fiction? Is it that even the romances have to include girls in school uniform and at least three decapitations? ;)

Petra said...

The problem is that now that you told me not to read it, I just have to read it! ;) Stubborn.

It's not the fiction, but the culture in general. On one hand working obsessively all the time, all work no play, punctuality, everything is very, very strict. And on the other hand they have manga and anime where the girls' boobs take over half the page/screen :) I'm really not a prude, but the problem is the contrast between those two, it strikes me as odd, it's kind of unhealthy, disturbing. I don't know, it just scares me.
And what scares me even more is the obsession with technology and robots. Why do we need a fake plastic dog? I pretty much prefer a real living creature.
Oh well, it's hard to explain while writing, but all in all it's just that there are many things about Japan that seem to me unhealthy and it scares me :) And yeah, it's my very subjective opinion and I'm probably wrong, so I apologize in advance to anyone who might be hurt by this.

So I hope that you (or anyone who's going to read this) are Japanese culture lover :P

And don't get my wrong, there are many unhealthy things I find fascinating, like Wuthering Heights and stuff. (Being chased by your dead lover's ghost over the marshes is my kind of romantic!) But Japan is just not for me.

Matthew (The Bibliofreak) said...

Haha, fair enough - hope you enjoy it then. But be warned - it's addictive!

Nothing wrong with a little healthy repression coming out in cartoon form ;) I am slightly fascinated by the culture in a lot of Asian countries like Japan. I don't think I'd enjoy living there, but I find it very interesting; worth a visit at least :)

I like Wuthering Heights, but any ghosties can stay firmly in the ground and leave me be I reckon, no matter how lovely they might be.

Petra said...

One of my friends couldn't continue with the second book, because it was too depressing for him. I think I'm going to like it :)

Well, if you say so ;) No really, I don't mind unless someone tries to make me like it even though I said clearly "no, thank you". This actually happened and I guess it formed my attitude towards it as well.
There are other parts of Asia that I find more fascinating.

No ghosts for you then! :)

Matthew (The Bibliofreak) said...

Too depressing? I'm not finding that, and it's only YA so it's not too horiffic or emotionally waring at the moment.

Oh dear, sounds like you've had a bad experience! But you're right, most cultures are fine so long as they don't want to impose there chosen lifestyle on others. One of my friends spent a year in Japan, and found the whole thing fascinating - he absolutely loved it - but me, I like the quiet life, I think there'd be too much going on all the time for my liking. That's the impresion I get anyway.

Petra said...

Maybe he's just in an oversensitive mood :)

Yeah, but it's actually quite funny when I think about it now.
True, but it's probably human nature to tell others that our ways are better. And it doesn't have to be different culture but your own, because how often people tell other people how they should live etc.?
Well, I guess especially the Japanese cities are very busy. Quiet life? Really? I suppose you've got a rich inner life? :)
BTW, what do you think about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator?

Matthew (The Bibliofreak) said...

Yes, I suppose that’s the gross arrogance of people, always to think of themselves as embodying the best way to live and interact with life – if only there were more enlightened people like me around life would be a lot easier ;)

And yes, a very rich inner life – quiet happy in my own little delusions.

Myers-Briggs, why do you ask? I don’t remember doing a lot of work on it (could be my own ignorance), but I just remember doing a lot of stuff with the Eysenck Personality test (possibly on account of being lectured by Mike Eysenck).

Petra said...

Haha, yeah, that's for sure ;)

Nothing wrong about that! I hope.

The rich inner life reminded me of that. I'm not sure how seriously should I take the test. I've taken it five-times over the last seven years and always got the same result, so I'm curious about its validity.

Petra said...

I just checked, and I know the Eysenck Personality test, too. I have to look into it properly tomorrow!

Matthew (The Bibliofreak) said...

Nope, far happier in my own little world, it's nice in here. Although we don't take kindly to interlopers.

Sounds like it's pretty reliable if nothing else. What do you come out as?

Petra said...

I know that well.
We? Are you referring to all the people with rich inner lives, or to your multiple personality disorder? :P

INFJ.

Matthew (The Bibliofreak) said...

All my personalities. And that sounds like a pretty good result to me.

Petra said...

Well, I guess it is.

Anonymous said...

buy xanax online xanax pills online - long does take 1mg xanax work

Anonymous said...

cheap diazepam diazepam rectal tubes 5mg - diazepam 5mg tab

Anonymous said...

valium diazepam diazepam 10mg prices - where to buy diazepam 2mg

Anonymous said...

buy ativan ativan with alcohol withdrawal - ativan withdrawal shortness breath

Anonymous said...

diazepam for dogs get diazepam online - diazepam 2mg when pregnant

Anonymous said...

buy diazepam diazepam 10mg tablets pictures - valium en diazepam

Anonymous said...

cheap alprazolam xanax side effects treatment - mixing vicodin xanax and alcohol

Anonymous said...

buy xanax online no rx illegal buy xanax online - xanax bars in your system

Anonymous said...

xanax mg xanax side effects reviews - generic xanax round blue pill

Anonymous said...

ativan anxiety ativan withdrawal mayo clinic - ativan onset of action

Anonymous said...

buy xanax xanax overdose in cats - buy xanax vancouver

Anonymous said...

buy ativan taking 6 ativan - buy ativan online no prescription needed

Anonymous said...

buy ambien online ambien urine test - ambien side effects in children

Anonymous said...

ordering ambien online price of ambien without insurance - legal to buy ambien online

Anonymous said...

buy ambien online generic ambien cr 12.5 mg - ambien 10mg images

Anonymous said...

zolpidem 10 mg where can i buy ambien online - there generic drug ambien

Anonymous said...

buy somas online can i buy soma online - soma side effects liver

Anonymous said...

ambien sale ambien overdose how much - ambience mall gurgaon pubs

Anonymous said...

buy ambien online will overdose ambien kill you - cheap ambien

Anonymous said...

buy valium online pics of generic valium - buy valium online reviews

Anonymous said...

diazepam drug where can i buy valium online uk - mixing sleeping pills valium