Since it is already mid-February (how did that happen?) I thought it would be a good time to take stock of my progress in the challenges I signed up for at the beginning of the year.

For the Classics Challenge, I’ve already finished one book, Great Expectations, and am a couple of chapters into my next novel, Anna Karenina. I expect Anna K will take me through April to finish and then next up is Howard’s End. Reading Forster in May sounds like a delightful proposition.

The Victorian Challenge has not gone as well. I’d originally planned to read Jane Eyre for my first book, but I think I am Jane Eyred out. I’ve read the novel a couple of times and have seen every single movie adaptation that’s come along and I don’t think I can muster the enthusiasm to jump into the familiar story right now. So, with Lisa’s encouragement, I have substituted The Warden by Anthony Trollope and expect to complete it by April. Then I will dive into Vanity Fair.

Also in April I want to participate in the Muriel Spark Reading Week, co-hosted by Simon and Harriet. I have only read one of Spark’s novels, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and am excited at the prospect of reading another of her novels. The only ones my library carries are The Mandelbaum Gate, Aiding and Abetting, and The Finishing School. Has anyone read any of these? Which would you recommend?

And finally…the Month of Letters Challenge. Well, it has been an UtTeR failure! I have only written two letters and am having a hard time making myself write more. Don’t fear if you’ve sent me your address, though – I plan to catch up this weekend so keep on the lookout for a letter from me soon!

How about you?Are you participating in any challenges? How are you doing with them?

9 Comments

  1. Ooh, Howards End is wonderful! I’m a big E. M. Forster fan 🙂 Vanity Fair is also an excellent choice!
    With regard to the Month of Letters Challenge, you still need to give me your address so I can send you tea (I think I’ve found some you will like).
    Looking forward to hearing from you…
    xx

    • I also like E.M. Forster. A Room With a View is one of my favorite books. I’m a little intimidated by Vanity Fair, but I’ve always wanted to try so I am going to stick to the plan!

  2. I see you’re also 7 books into your 50-book challenge!

    I have never read any Murial Spark, though I have had The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie on the TBR shelves for ages. Do you think she would count for the Classics Challenge, or is she too modern? I know Thackery does count – and I have Vanity Fair on the TBR pile as well but haven’t been inspired to read yet.

    I’m still sticking with the TBR dare, though I’ve been really tempted a couple of times – and I just found out about a book that Claire over at Captive Reader described as “Trollope with dragons,” which sounds like something I want to read Right Now.

    • Oooh, Trollope with dragons sounds so intriguing! I so admire you for sticking to the TBR dare while you are reading blogs and getting ideas for other books to read. Very challenging!
      I think Muriel Spark would count for the Classics Challenge – she isn’t a contemporary author and I do believe many people consider The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie a classic novel.
      And thanks for reminding me about the 50 book challenge – totally forgot about that!

  3. Gosh you are well-organised! I’m a bit behind with blogging and replying to comments so I’ve not taken on any challenges at the moment but if Book Snob does another Austen challenge I will participate. I know what you mean about being Jane Eyred out, I actually abandoned my umpteenth read of Mansfield Park because I knew it so well. Never thought I’d be Austened out!!

    • I’m surprised at myself, Nicola! I’m usually terrible at challenges.
      I guess it is true that there can be too much of a good thing, even with books! I’m sure I’ll want to read Jane Eyre again someday, but I need a break right now.

  4. Belated thanks for posting about Muriel Spark Reading Week!
    Howards End is the only Forster I’ve really loved (of the three I’ve read) – simply wonderful.

    • Thanks for hosting Muriel Spark Reading Week, Simon! I’m looking forward to it.
      I know many who love Howard’s End so I am also looking forward to reading that.

  5. I liked Vanity Fair quite a bit. Howard’s End was one i just wanted to underline all over (but I refrained – of course- ms. librarian).
    I hate Anna Karenina with great passion. Both her and her novel. Phhhhh

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