Thursday, December 22, 2011

2012 - A Personal Reading Challenge

I've always been an avid reader.  Or so I thought of myself, at least.  It was after a discussion with Sarah and Caro (@portraitofawoman) that I've come to realise that I have huge gaps in my reading, especially "foundation" books most people have read growing up.

After careful consideration, and fooling myself into a grandiose idea of doing this as research I've gone and bought myself a batch of these books to read and no doubt, enjoy.

Here they are, in no particular order (mostly as they came out of their Amazon box / Waterstones bag)

I have had The Weirdstone of Brisingamen on my shelf for a long time.  An embarrassingly long time.  I'm really looking forward to meeting Alan Garner via his writing.  I have a copy of his gorgeous Collected Folktales too, which I am keen to read.

The Secret Garden I nabbed from W'stones Oxford Street.  You will note that it says "Penguin Threads" on the spine.  That is because the cover is embroidered.  For real.  By this incredible lady.  How can books this beautiful not want to make you read them??

Sarah bought me a copy of The Dark is Rising some time ago - I read part of it and then got distracted by the movie which was awful.  And I'm a sucker for good vs evil and I know this is a seasonal read, so I'm tucking into this over the Christmas holidays.

The Giver is something I remember the girls at The Booksmugglers mentioned so that naturally went onto my list of classics to buy.

The Sword in the Stone by TH White - I know, I know - as someone who loves mythology and legends and fairy tales, how I've bypassed this classic is beyond me.

The Little White Horse - My friend Sue sang its praises and of course, I am an easy sell, so there it is, on my pile.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase - again Sarah being the enabler recommending it to me, along with half the people I speak with on twitter.

Tuck Everlasting looks like a snack-sized book but one that I suspect I'll fall in love with.

The Indian in the Cupboard - it's sort of always been on my radar, but I've never read it.  Now's my chance.

Storm Catchers - I can't remember why I bought this one, I think I just liked the sound of it...

The Phantom Tollbooth...mysterious packages in the post? A strange land...? Count me in on this ride!

The Children of Green Knowe appealed to me because I am fickle and I had to own it because of the cover.  It is so pretty.  But the story sounds good too.

And there we have it - these are my personal challenge for 2012.  I suspect I should be able to get to them all within a couple of months and I will no doubt bore you to tears by telling you how fabulous they all are.   Because most of you have probably read them all growing up and know this already.

I am keen to continue reading more books of similar ilk so please do leave comments here to recommend more books for me to look at.  I will honestly say that books you may think I've read, I probably have not read.  When I say I grew up reading cowboy books / Westerns, I'm not joking. Books of the classic bent for kids that I have read are:

King Solomon's Mines
Prisoner of Zenda
Journey to the Centre of the Eath 
Black Beauty 
Peter Pan

Uhm.  I think that's it.  See how much I'm lacking? Hit me with those recommends.  I've given myself a gift card for Crimbo so will be using that during the year to purchase more titles.


Jo Wyton said...

Actually I haven't read a few of those! Might have to treat myself to a new year's shop...

My absolute favourites growing up were Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton, but I'm guessing you've read those. Apart from that, have you read Michelle Magorian's Goodnight Mister Tom? Then there's Anne of Green Gables, another favourite, and Terry Pratchett's The Bromeliad series (Truckers, etc) - maybe those aren't old enough to make your list though!

Elen C said...

There are some treats there!
Have you read 'Tom's Midnight Garden' and also 'The Little Princess'. Both brilliant.
Happy Christmas!

maryom said...

Surely you also have to plough through Famous Five and Secret Seven adventures as well? Though I don't think they appeal to anyone over 10! I loved Alan Garner's books and still have my very battered copies of Weirdstone and The Owl Service. I actually meant to re-read Weirdstone this year but it's still sitting on the TBR pile.

Unknown said...

I'm so excited you're going to read The Little White Horse! And there are a few on your pile that I don't know but now have to check out! I read the Narnia books over and over and over again but you know those. Stig of the Dump? I remember loving that one.

Anonymous said...

I love The Wolves of Willoughby Chase so I hope you enjoy it. I've been meaning to read The Dark is Rising sequence too but still haven't ;P My favourite books growing up were the Narnia books but I think you've probably read them. I'm not sure how they'll read as an adult though.

Unknown said...

You are a far better woman than I. I am actually limiting my scope lol. do you need a copy of Black Beauty I have a lovely Hardback I can send you :D

Unknown said...

Tim Bowler's an excellent author, and Storm Catchers is one of his good ones.

Camille Gooderham Campbell said...

Excellent books on your list, and excellent suggestions above too. In addition, my growing-up years would not have been complete without Arthur Ransome (Swallows and Amazons series) and Noel Streatfeild (the best-known being Ballet Shoes but I loved them all).

Friendly Neighbourhood Bookseller said...

My favorites growing up were The Little Wooden Horse and Gobbolino, the Witch's Cat. Hard to find, but worth it. After that, A Little Princess, Heidi, Watership Down...Little Women?

Anonymous said...

I loved Alan Garner and I'm totally inspired by the Secret Garden's embroidered cover.