The more I read, the more I want to read. There is an endless supply of books out there waiting to be consumed. Recently, I began downloading a few classics off of project Gutenberg (novels that are in the public domain). I have read quite a few classic novels in my life time, and yet the more I read, the more I discover more books to read. Reading is a never-ending hobby. There is no way a person will read all the books they want to read in their lifetime, it is just impossible. So, every book that we read should have our undivided attention if we made a commitment to read it.
And so, this brings me to my spring-summer reading challenge. I will probably end up reading more than ten books, but I wanted to try to challenge myself to read every book on this list from now until the end of the summer. Here is the list:
- To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (finished reading in 2017)
I should have finished reading this book over two years ago. But alas, it is on my spring-summer reading list. The reason why I did not finish To Kill a Mockingbird is not because I found the book boring. It’s because my electronic library loan ended before I had the chance to finish the book. This book always has a long “Holds” list. Ever since Harper Lee’s second book, Go Set a Watchman came out, as well as because of Harper Lee’s recent passing, To Kill a Mockingbird has increased in popularity even further.
I have been meaning to read this book for years. Very often I hear people say “hey, that (insert current event here) is just like the society of Orwell’s 1984.” The cultural significance is undeniable. As an English major, I am almost embarrassed to say that I have never read this book before.
I first read the first Hunger Games book when I was in middle school after a friend had lent it to me. I was a bit of a wimp back then. I adored reading the book until… the arena scenes. Then, I just couldn’t finish it. Actually, I ended up getting nightmares. A few years ago, I was able to complete reading the first Hunger Games. It wasn’t until I watched the second movie that the series piqued my interest. If The Hunger Games had been one stand-alone book without Catching Fire or Mockingjay, the series probably wouldn’t have been as popular.
- Shirley – Charlotte Bronte
This is probably Charlotte Bronte’s least well-known novel. It is the only novel of the three Brontë sisters that I have never read. As a Brontë fan, it is about time that I read this book.
- Prince Lestat – Anne Rice
A novel about Lestat de Lioncourt, enough said.
6. Notre Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) – Victor Hugo
I promised myself that I would brush up on my French literacy skills. I have already attempted to read a little of this massive book. I realized that my knowledge of complex French vocabulary used in the 1800’s is very limited. With my luck it may take me years to finish this book…
7. Atonement – Ian McEwan
This book is always featured in any “Best books of the 21st century” (so far) list. It appears to have all the key ingredients of a novel that I would enjoy. Romance, check. The main character is a writer, check. Historical fiction, check.
8. Suite Française – Irène Némirovsky
After hearing about the story of its publication, I felt a profound desire to read this book. Suite Française was published in 2004 after being locked away for fifty years. Irène Némirovsky was a French novelist, as well as victim of the holocaust. Her daughter, Denise kept the manuscript and did not read it, thinking that it was a private journal. In the late 1990’s, she finally read the notebook containing her mother’s novel and decided to have it published. Suite Française was supposed to be a series of five novels, only two were completed and published in a single volume.
9. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
Friend: Did you read Gone Girl?
Me: Not yet.
Aunt: Did you read Gone Girl?
Me: Not yet.
Random Person: Oh! You’re an English major! Well, I just read an amazing book! It’s called Gone Girl. Have you ever read it?
Me: Not yet.
I am generally not very picky when it comes to books. I will read pretty much anything. I mean anything. While I do not have an overwhelming desire to read this book, I will try to read it just to see what it is like.
10. Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them – J.K Rowling
I cant wait for the movie adaptation of this novel! This is the only Harry Potter related novel (or novella?) that I haven’t read. I have read J.K Rowling’s other Harry Potter related novels: Quidditch Throughout the Ages, The Tales of Beedle the Bard.
Until next time,