Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ready, Set, READ!

Challenge #1:

I LOVE historical fiction.  If I had to pick one genre to read for the rest of my life, it probably would be that (sorry, paranormal romance, but you’re trendy and flighty.  I’ll stick with a solid and reliable and fantastic genre).  But so many teens today don’t feel the same way as I do- read some of my babbling on the fact that historical fiction should come back, and my thoughts that it won’t, at least, not this year (scroll to the very bottom of that post). But, to promote the genre and prove that there are AMAZING historical fiction picks out there, I’m going to be joining the YA Historical Fiction Challenge that the blog, YA Bliss, is hosting.  I’m going to be participating at a ‘level 2’, which means reading 10 YA or MG historical fiction books in 2011- that’s just under one a month.  I can do that!  Anyone can do that!

Up first is Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (yes, I know some of it takes place in the present and there are fantastical elements, but it still counts!), then I’m thinking finally reading Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen (I’ve read the first couple chapters in Browse Inside and loved it) or maybe What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell.  I’ll keep you updated!

P.S. Run over to YA Bliss and check out the timeline they have of post-Civil War Historical Fiction (or click here).  It's pretty awesome!  If only there was one for earlier, as my favorite historical periods are Tudor England and Revolutionary America.  Perhaps I see a project in my future!

Challenge #2:

I really love classic literature, even long before taking very academic/literary criticism classes in college.  I fell in love with Thomas Hardy at 17, Charlotte Brontë at 18, Jane Austen at 19, and so on.  In college, I became aware of even more wonderful authors and novels: I had the wonderful opportunity to take an entire class devoted to Jane Austen’s works, another that looked at the Brontë sisters, one that focused on 17th and 18th century French and British literature and another that looked at Victorian lit (and was taught in London by a Brit, which added a nice layer to discussions). 

There are very few of the most classic of classic novels that I outright dislike (As a general rule, Russian lit and I haven’t gotten along, but besides that, we’re all friends).  Some novels, though, take me a while to read, even if I like them.  I didn’t love Pride and Prejudice until my second go-round (and now I’m a huge Janeit!).  Anna Karenina took me an entire summer (amidst other easier reads). And then there’s Middlemarch by George Eliot, Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray, and Tess d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy all sitting on my bookshelves, half read.  The BBC Book Challenge made me embarrassingly aware of that fact, and I know I can’t read all the remaining books on that list this year.  But I CAN finish those three- and that is my reading goal #2 for 2011.

Will you join me in these challenges or create one of your own?  Creating goals is always a great way to works towards achieving something (it feels so good when you can cross it off your to-do list!)…and with an aim to read more, everyone wins!

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