Changing The Rules

I’ve decided to switch out a few of the books on my reading lists. There are only three months left in the year, and I keep getting distracted from the books that I’ve ‘challenged’ myself to read. Maybe I’ll get to some of the books I had originally planned to read, and maybe I won’t. So there. I thought of being all sneaky and just changing the list on my sidebar, since no one seems to read my book posts, and the people holding these challenges couldn’t care less if I switch my books or not. But then I thought, hey, I can get a blog post out of this. Why waste that? So, here’s what’s out, and what’s going in in its place.

Casual Classics Challenge ~ This challenge is very lenient in its definition of ‘classics’. You’re allowed to pick any book written before 1970. How’s that for crazy, huh? So, here’s what’s out, and what’s in.


Out: Kim. I tried with this one. I wanted to like it, because I loved Kipling’s Just So Stories. Maybe I’m just not a big fan of adventure tales, because try as I might, I could not get into it.

The Old Man and the Sea

In: The Old Man and the Sea. Believe it or not, I never read this in High School. I don’t know how I got through without it, but I did. So I’m thinking maybe it’s time to go fill in at least one gap in my education.  Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve read any Hemingway at all before.

Mrs. Dalloway

Out: Mrs. Dalloway. I didn’t even give this one a try, and I know I should have. Maybe I’ll try again some time.  I suspect it’s lovely, but the last time I tried to read it, I couldn’t do it.  But there’s a part of me that just really, really wants to have read this book.  Ever feel that way?  Like I’m not sure I want to read it, but I want to have read it.  Odd feeling.

Gift From the Sea

In: Gift From the Sea. This was a gift from my mom when I was a teenager, and I loved it then. I re-read it in my mid 20s, but I don’t think I’ve touched it since then. I wonder if reading it from the ripe old age of 43 will give it new perspective? I know that when I re-read Madame Bovary a few years ago, it was like I was a different person. Which in some ways, I guess I am.

TBR Challenge ~ This is just 12 books that you want to read. Easy, right? I don’t have a real reason for taking the books off of this one that I’m taking, except that between January and now, my interests have changed a bit. So maybe I’ll read some of the ones I originally listed, and maybe I won’t.

Tale of Murasaki

Out: Tale of Murasaki. I kinda do want to read this one. I read Tale of Genji in college, and this is a fictional story of the author. But I’m just not feeling it right now.  I suspect I’ll come back to this one, perhaps next year.  The author is the author of Geisha, and is herself the only westerner to have ever become a Geisha, at least according to the book jacket.  This is a historical novel about the author of what is usually considered the first novel ever written.

In: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I know, I already read this. So what?  My step-mom and I agreed that this was an unfortunate title, and both of us were turned off and almost didn’t read it for that reason.  But enough people told us it was really good, so we both (separately) read and loved it.  So don’t be put off by the dumb title.

The Gargoyle

Out: The  Gargoyle.  I’m vacillating on this one.  Has anyone read it?  Sounds like it might be interesting, but I just can’t seem to motivate myself to read it.  Yet.


In: Neverwhere. I was telling a neighbor how much I enjoyed Stardust, and she suggested I might like Neverwhere, which is also by Neil Gaiman. She then loaned me her copy, which sort of ups the ante on when I need to read it, right?

The Road Home

Out: The Road Home. This one isn’t really totally out. I’m still reading it for Dewey’s challenge.  I was going to read it for two challenges instead of one, but then I decided that I wanted to include the book I just got from the library on the recommendation of my step-mom.  Which is….

Broken For You

In: Broken For You. My step-mom was telling me how much she liked this book, and that a friend of hers said it was one of her favorite books ever. I’m on page 34, and already I like the characters better than I ever did most of the characters in Saving Fish From Drowning.

2 thoughts on “Changing The Rules

  1. I slogged through Mrs. Dalloway, and although as a creative writing teacher, writer, and lover of literary stuff in general myself I thought I’d love it, I was just so irritated as I read it. I definitely APPRECIATED it, but I just felt as if I had to work too darn hard. I am so glad that The Old Man and the Sea is “in.” I teach that book every year, and I absolutely adore it. It is so deceptively simple, yet so incredibly deep and symbolic and beautiful. I don’t like Hemingway’s other novels much (hate his women characters), but this one is a tour de force in every way. I hope you like it.

  2. You’ve never read Hemingway? Not The Sun Also Rises nor Farewell to Arms nor For Whom the Bell Tolls? And you graduated? (*kidding*)

    I agree with Nance, above, that The Old Man and the Sea is adorable, deceptively simple yet deep and beautiful. But as it was written in his later years, after perfecting his craft, some part of me thinks it would be good to start with earlier stuff, and work up to it. But maybe that’s thinking too much. I hope you enjoy it.

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