Monday, January 1, 2024

2024 Reading Challenges -- Or Lack Thereof


Happy 2024!!
Every year I update this graphic and make a post listing all my fun reading challenge plans for this year. Therefore, I felt like it just wouldn't be January 1st if I didn't do that for 2024! 
However, I've decided I'm going to change up my plan for reading challenges this year. 
Because this, my friends, is going to be a no-obligation reading year!

This is not to say I won't participate in any challenges at all. But rather than joining year long reading events that I may be in the mood for now but won't be in three months, I'm just going to join monthly stuff. That way I can be a little more choosy, depending on my interests and schedule each month. I'm also going to keep up with my lifetime challenges of reading from the 1001 list, as well as the Classics Club, 100 Best in 1899, and Children's list.

I've set my overall reading goal at 80 books for the year and have these loosely defined genre goals:

*Read more American history
*Read from 10 poets (In the past, I've really despised poetry)
*Read 1 play (almost or maybe as or maybe worse than poetry)
*Read more short stories, fables, and fairy tales

I would also like to quit books faster that aren't meeting my standards or that I'm just not enjoying and I'd like to listen to more audiobooks, rather than just meaningless videos. 

So that's what I'm settling with this year and it's gonna be good. 
Happy New Year!! 

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Nathanuary 2024 -- Nathaniel Hawthorne Reading Challenge at Belle's Library


Hey friends! It's time to start thinking about our 2024 Reading Challenges and I've got a new one for you this year! If you've been around here long enough, you know my obsession for Nathaniel Hawthorne (if not, see side bar link!) so it's high time he gets his own reading challenge here at Belle's Library, don't you think?

This one is easy --- just read one book or short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne in the month of January! Come back and tell us about it or leave a link and we'll all be the better for it! For more info, watch my video about the challenge here: BookTube

Link up your blog, Goodreads, announcement video, or however you make your participation known to the world, and I'll add you to a sidebar list to make Hawthorne hopping easy for us all!

Have a great time friends!


Monday, December 11, 2023

Wuthering Heights AND What My 2024 New Year Goal SHOULD Be...

I love making goals for the new year, but wouldn't it be great to make a goal to keep this blog updated? Ha! We'll see... Ever since I started my BookTube channel, I have neglected this poor book blog. I'll try... really, I will...

I've read a LOT lately. I'll just leave one review here and try to stay caught up in the future. Hope everyone is having a great end of year reading time!

I read Wuthering Heights for the billionth time but realized I'd not left a review here since this essay I wrote in 2009.

Here are some really important things to understand about Wuthering Heights: 1--it is one of the most depressing books ever written, 2--most every character is easily hateable, and 3--it is NOT a love story. These elements were likely all written in on purpose and that's ok. If you can grasp these things, you will have a much easier time reading it and might even find yourself coming back to it again... and again... and again...

2023 review: My favorite book of all time. I was definitely in the mood for it this time around and relished every bit. Nothing annoyed me, as it seemed to have in my 2019 review. This is the most depressing book ever written, I think, but it has a happy ending so all is well. (This time I read a different edition --- Catherine I (or is it Emily?!!) on the moors... I'm up to nine different copies in my collection now.

2019 review: I finished this yesterday afternoon---this first time I'd read it in several years. I came away with a different impression on several counts. Firstly, I had a better image in my head of the setting, having visited Yorkshire and the Brontes' Haworth in 2016. I also found that I sympathized more with Heathcliff than I had in the past---probably because I now have grown sons and can imagine a relatable anguish. I was also surprised at how annoying I found the dialogue to be. While I think Emily Bronte was brilliant with language and description, her dialogue often seems trite, childish, and ridiculous. Surely Victorian young people didn't really cry and fall all over one another with multiple kisses at every change of emotion.

I love the cover of this book, even though it's about 100 years too late for the setting. It's only upon this reading that I realized most of it was set in the late Georgian period. That means Heathcliff and Cathy would have been just a few years older than P&P's Lizzie and Darcy.

Wuthering Heights fulfills the following challenges: The Victorian Reading Challenge, The Alphabet Challenge, and The Historical Fiction Reading Challenge