Reading Plan: April 2012

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua book cover
March has been a pretty busy month in my personal life, so my ramblings have been in short supply over the past few weeks; I do hope no one has felt too deprived. One of the most exciting things that I've been involved in during March was a series of events that a colleague and I put together to celebrate the bicentenary of Charles Dickens's birth. Some of you have already expressed an interest in these, and wished me well, so for those that have taken an interest, I will try to write a post this month describing how we organised our events, and throw a few photo-snaps out there for you to enjoy. Back in the blogosphere, I've been neglecting poor old Charley D. a bit and, whilst I've now read Great Expectations, I haven't got around to writing a review for it yet; expect this in the next couple of weeks. To atone for my wandering reading habits, I will also start working my way through Bleak House this month. I can't promise to get it done by the end of April, but I'll give it a shot.

Also exciting in my everyday life is the fact that I have joined my first ever book group. Hopefully this will help me broaden my reading horizons and, if nothing else, will give me the opportunity to pinch other people's ideas and pass them off as my own; a very good plan. The first book we'll be reading is Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother - a memoir about raising your children the 'Chinese way' - I'm not sure I'm the target demographic, but I'm ready to jump in and see if I can develop my inner Chinese mother. In honour of my first book group read, I'm making this my book of the month.

With the film having been released worldwide March, I'm planning to polish off The Hunger Games trilogy this month, with Mockingjay. I'm still very split about the series and I'm hoping the final book is going to give me some closure one way or another. 

To read Ulysses has been a long-term reading ambition and, once I've finished Bleak House, I should have a clear run at the book over the summer months. As a warm up I'll read Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man this month. Portrait was the winner in my informal Twitter poll, when I asked for advice on where to start with Joyce; so if it stinks, I'm blaming you guys - you know who you are.

Let's see, I've also been meaning to re-read Nineteen Eighty-Four and write a review for that, so I think I might try and squeeze that in sometime this month. 

So there we go, another hectic reading month planned. Any thoughts on my selections, am I going to love Mockingjay, will Joyce defeat me? Let me know below.

Notable Posts from March
Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Book 2, The Hunger Games)
Review: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
Review: Time's Arrow by Martin Amis


Petra said...

I still think Dubliners would be a better choice! And not only because I've read it, and so I could enrich your life with my valuable and very clever comments! ;)

Bleak House is a pretty long book, I was surprised when it arrived! Also, I discovered The Mystery of Edwin Drood while browsing a bookstore. I had no idea Dickens wrote it.

Two more things I wanted to tell/ask you.
First, have you ever heard about Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes? I only heard about it while reading another book where it was mentioned. It even won the Pulitzer Prize.
And second, have you ever read anything by Chekhov?

Matthew (The Bibliofreak) said...

Haha, but you were on your own with that one. Maybe after Portrait and Ulysses, or maybe I'll be so sick of Joyce by that point that I'll never want to see any of his books again!

Bleak House is indeed a very long book - it's the Dickens novel that I've been eying up for a while, that and Little Dorrit - I'd love to do both this year.

As for the questions, simple: no and no :) What's made you ask about them?

Petra said...

Galileo was also on his own! :)

I was just curious, not many people know this book. The only place where you can get it is eBay and it's only old hardback (!) copies. I got it, and it's kind of romantic to own a book not many people know about. :)
I think you'd like Chekhov. I read one of his plays long ago and then I was really annoyed with the characters. But recently I've read other two plays, and loved it. Now I think he's an amazing writer.

Petra said...

Oh and one more thing! Have you read The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain? I think you'd like that too! :)

Matthew (The Bibliofreak) said...

Ah, that is a romantic idea. I love the thought of owning books that you can't find anywhere. In the Amazon age it's even more special and unusual!

Hmm, perhaps I would. I've never really read plays outside of education. The idea always strikes me as a bit odd; reading something that was written to be performed. It's probably all linked to my not really reading poetry. Still, I'll put that right someday!

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