Florence in the spring -- taken at the Buboli Gardens
While I've recently been making long-term reading goals with my epic length Classics Club list, I thought it prudent to also conjure up some short-term plans so as not to feel buried under an ever growing TBR pile. Serendipitously, this week's Top Ten Tuesday prompt from The Broke and The Bookish is all about spring reading. Therefore, I have whipped up a list -- oh, how I adore making lists -- of books that I'm hoping to get to as the sun and greenery emerge from their wintry hibernation.
Since I plan on participating in a Victorian event during June and July, I intend to spend the next couple of months concentrating on texts written outside of that sixty-odd years of Victoria's reign. By which I mean, this list contains only two Victorians, so I've reined myself in nicely. I even feel a bit guilty for not including more of them here and have this nagging feeling that I've done something wrong or illicit. Ah, Victorian guilt!
It's highly doubtful I'll complete the list (particularly since I'm not including titles through which I'm currently wading), but it's nice to have an idea of where I'd like to direct my literary attention over the coming weeks.
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
This classic children's novel seems like the perfect read for spring! Just thinking about the lovely pastoral representation of rural England makes me eager to spend time outdoors, one with nature.
Perhaps I shall read it over a picnic! (I won't. But it's a nice idea.)
And while this doesn't have anything to do with anything, I loved Lady Violet's protestation to Edith's driving in an episode of Downton Abbey, stating that granddaughter wasn't 'Toad of Toad Hall.'
Adam Bede by George Eliot
Suffice it to say I'm a fan of John Thornton in Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South. So when I heard that readers possess the similar attachment to the eponymous Adam Bede, I knew I had to read it. I hope it's as fabulous as I've heard it is.
Does anybody out there harbour a crush on this fictional character?
Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz
A dear friend and kindred spirit chose this novel for my book club's March read. The group is definitely enjoying it, so I'm looking forward to immersing myself in its pages.
Do I get bonus points for reading a contemporary novel?
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again.' I know the opening line. I know it's inspired by my beloved Jane Eyre. Yet I have not read it. My head hangs in self-reproach as I type this.
Seriously though, I'd love to properly dig into Du Maurier's fiction. My grandmother just lent me beautiful copies of My Cousin Rachel and Jamaica Inn, the latter apparently reminiscent of Wuthering Heights. But I have to read Rebecca first.
The Witches by Roald Dahl
My recent post on this fantastic author produced great feelings of childhood nostalgia. I'm hoping that experiencing a never-before-read Dahl text will result in the same feeling of wonder I felt when reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or James and the Giant Peach as a wee one.
The film adaptation terrified me when I was young. Perhaps this is why I've never bothered to read the book.
Victorian London by Liza Picard
I'm heartily enjoying my attempts to incorporate more non-fiction into my reading this year and would rather like to continue the practice. Liza Picard has written several portraits of London at various time periods in British History (I've read bits of her Restoration London), so I'm looking forward to experiencing that foggy Victorian metropolis through her words.
Question: will I need an umbrella? No, a gas mask, I think, would be the order of the day -- the odour.
Patronage by Maria Edgeworth
A contemporary of Jane Austen, Maria Edgeworth was wildly popular in early-nineteenth-century England. Patronage apparently sold its first run within hours. It's now largely out of print, so I snapped up this new edition by Sort Of Books at a Waterstone's in Leeds.
Known for her progressive views on race and gender, I'm excited to compare her representation of Regency society with those by Austen.
Sometimes a girl needs a good escapist read. I enjoyed Matched, the first in this young adult trilogy.
Hopefully the second installment will maintain the narrative momentum the author's got going.
Bring on the love triangle!
The Mating Season by P.G. Wodehouse
I haven't read a Wodehouse novel in nearly six months! Naturally, this leads me to believe I am slowly dying on the inside and must restore a healthy balance to my anatomy with another Wodehouse text. As everybody knows, Wodehouse makes everything right in the world.
As I've previously confined myself to Blandings Castle stories, The Mating Season will be my first Jeeves novel. Such joy! (Click here for a hilarious passage from a Blandings novel.)
The Professor by Charlotte Brontë
So...I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I've never read The Professor. Like so many books, I started this assigned reading for my Brontë module at Leeds. However, I arrived in England a week late due to visa delays and other bureaucratic delights. Consequently, I never finished it. Shame! This is the only Brontë novel I haven't fully read, and I need to get on it. I can't wait to witness what I've termed Charlotte Brontë Syndrome in full swing!
Do you have any fun reading plans for spring? What are your thoughts, if any, on the titles I've listed above? Are you currently engrossed in a good book right now? Pass on the recommendations!