Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge

My reading challenge of 2015 was one of my favorite adventures of the year and as I approached the end I knew that I had to find another one this year.  I decided pretty quick to read the 'Best Novels Ever Written', but soon found that there are A LOT of book list that do not agree.  There were common denominators on every list, and then I stumbled upon a website called 'The Greatest Books'. It takes 107 different lists and crunched the numbers and came up with a compilation of the Top Books list.  You can even break it down by decades if you choose.  Below is a link if you are curious and want to check it out....

Now, onto my challenge, I decided that if I had read the book in the last 5 years, I did not need to read it again.  My challenge of last year added to the list of the book I do not need to read now.  :)  I'm going to continue my 'book reports' of last year as well....

#1.  In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust  COMPLETED 6/25

#2.  Ulysses by James Joyce     COMPLETED
        Since I finished my challenge early last year, I started in on this list and chose this to start me out, and realized something really quick, it's a LONG book, but not that hard to read.  I ended up describing it this way, it's the Seinfeld of books.  There are episodes you love and quote and think are hilarious, there are some that are ok and you think it could of been better, and then there are the episodes that you just slog through.  I probably won't ever read it again, but it was a mostly enjoyable 900 plus page read.

#3.  Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes COMPLETED 1/26

#4.  Moby Dick by Herman Melville  COMPLETE 8/27

      I read 'In the Heart of the Sea' last year that was the true story that inspired Melville to write Moby Dick, so it's a nice continuation this year.

#5.  Hamlet by William Shakespeare       COMPLETED

       I read Hamlet periodically, for reasons I don't really understand, so I am counting it read.  I can quote parts of Hamlet's speech that I learned in high school, so needless to say this play has impacted my life.

#6.  War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy  COMPLETED 6/7

#7.  The Odyssey by Homer    COMPLETED 2/21

#8.  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald  COMPLETED 2/14
        I can't believe it's been over 5 years since I read this book!!!  I put it on the list happily.

#9.  The Divine Comedy by Dante Alleghieri  COMPLETED 7/20

#10.  Madame Bovery by Gustave Flaubert      COMPLETED

        Read during my challenge last year.  :)

#11. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky  COMPLETED 10/30

#12 . One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez COMPLETED 1/11

#13 . The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain  COMPLETED

         I might reread this for the challenge if I have time.  I love this book...

#14 . The Iliad by Homer  COMPLETED 2/13

#15 . Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov DID NOT FINISH, NOR WILL I EVER attempted 6/10

#16 . Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy     COMPLETED

         Read during the 2015 challenge

#17 . Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky  COMPLETED 3/17

#18 . Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll  COMPLETED 4/16

#19 . The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner   COMPLETED

          My first Faulkner read that made me a fan of his.  I just read this again two years ago..

#20 . Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen     COMPLETED

         Love the book, Love the adaptation with Kiera Knightley, Love Jane Austen....

#21 . The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger  COMPLETED 5/3

#22 . Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë   COMPLETED

          I unaffectionately call this book, 'Moping Thru the Moors' and tried it again a couple of years ago to see if my opinion had changed, it hadn't....  This book is the reason behind the 5 year rule, I couldn't bear the thought of having to read it again.  The only acceptable version of this book is by Monty Python and is done with nautical flags (trust me, it's hilarious)....

#23 . Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell  COMPLETED 5/4

#24 . Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad  COMPLETED 1/17

#25 . To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf  COMPLETED 5/17

#26 . Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner  COMPLETED 9/14

       Wait a Faulkner book I haven't read?  This is the reason I do these things...

#27 . Middlemarch by George Eliot     COMPLETED

         Another 2015 Challenge book.

#28 . The Trial by Franz Kafka  COMPLETED 6/8

#29 . One Thousand and One Nights by India/Iran/Iraq/Egypt  COMPLETED 6/26

#30 . The Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov  COMPLETED 7/23

#31 . The Red and the Black by Stendhal  COMPLETED 9/29

#32 . Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift  COMPLETED 4/23

#33 . Catch-22 by Joseph Heller  COMPLETED 4/29

#34 . The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck      COMPLETED

        The first paragraph of this book is one of the best, in my opinion, descriptive paragraph in literature.  You can feel the dryness and hopelessness of an area destroyed by drought.

#35 . Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison  COMPLETED 4/17

#36 . The Stranger by Albert Camus  COMPLETED 5/30

#37 . Great Expectations by Charles Dickens  COMPLETED 3/31

#38 . The Aeneid by Virgil  COMPLETED 10/10

#39 . David Copperfield by Charles Dickens  COMPLETED 12/23

#40 . Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf  COMPLETED 8/5

#41 . Beloved by Toni Morrison          COMPLETED

         Oprah either gets the blame or credit, depending on how you look at, for my reading this already.  Before I found challenges, I tried to read all of the Oprah Book Club books.  I am strangely ambivalent about this book...

#42 . The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer COMPLETE 11/10

#43 . Collected Fiction by Jorge Luis Borges  COMPLETED  8/16

#44 . Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman  COMPLETED 3/31

#45 . Candide by Voltaire  COMPLETED 4/2

#46 . Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë  COMPLETED 10/18

         I read this a long time ago, so it's on the list to read....

#47 . As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner     COMPLETED

         A third Faulkner book and an incredible read...  If I have time, I'll read this again.

#48 . The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway      COMPLETED

         When I visited Key West in January of 2014, my first priority was to go to Sloppy Joe's and then to the Hemingway House, so yes, I've read this book and yes, multiple times.

#49 . The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka by Franz Kafka  COMPLETED 11/21

#50 . Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne  COMPLETED 12/26

If you did the math and subtracted the completed books, you know that I have 37 books on the list to read.  I will be reading other books this year as well, since I should have the time, with H is for Hawk leading that to read list.  I thought I would put them in the book reports as well...

It's an intriguing list to me.  There are some books that are long, but others are pretty short...  I have a feeling I will discover some new loves and put others on my why is this a classic list, but that's the whole point of reading, to me, to discover what you love.....

Well,  I'm off to read....
see you at the end of the first quarter!



  1. I've read a good lot of them. I'm going to keep the list to complete too. The most intriguing book to me was #12 . One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I read it twice because I forgot I read it but couldn't stop the second time. I think I surprised myself that I got it. Or at least for me.

    1. That's the first one for me on the challenge to read as soon as I finish my book club book. I'll be looking forward to discussing it with you!


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