Around this time last year, I signed up for a lot of challenges for 2010. After a few months though, I discovered that challenges don’t really work for me. I prefer to just read whatever I feel like reading without being under any pressure – so I’ve been trying not to be tempted by any of the 2011 challenges. However, I couldn’t resist the Victorian Literature Challenge as I was planning to read a lot of Victorian classics next year anyway.
* The challenge is hosted by Bethany at Words, Words, Words and runs from 1 Jan 2011 to 31 Dec 2011.
* There are four levels to choose from:
Sense and Sensibility: 1-4 books.
Great Expectations: 5-9 books.
Hard Times: 10-14 books.
Desperate Remedies: 15+ books
I’m signing up for the Hard Times level, but hopefully will read enough for the Desperate Remedies level. I prefer not to make lists because I have trouble sticking to them, but here are some of the authors and books I’d like to read in 2011.
I’ve only read two of Dickens’ books so far: A Christmas Carol and Bleak House. I have a copy of Our Mutual Friend on my shelf so I might read that one next, but I’d also like to read Great Expectations. Hopefully I’ll have time for them both next year.
The only two Thomas Hardy books I’ve read so far are Tess of the d’Urbervilles and A Pair of Blue Eyes, both of which I read this year and loved. I would welcome any suggestions as to which one I should read next. I’d like to read them all eventually!
I love the Brontes – all three of them. I’ve read Emily’s Wuthering Heights and both of Anne’s books, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Agnes Grey, but only Jane Eyre by Charlotte. I’ll definitely read Villette in 2011 (I was hoping to get to it this year, but I’m not going to have time now) and would like to read Shirley and The Professor too.
Mary Elizabeth Braddon
Aurora Floyd is definitely on my list for 2011 as I’ve really enjoyed both Lady Audley’s Secret and The Doctor’s Wife
I enjoyed The Warden, and Barchester Towers was even better (I’ll be posting my review of that one soon) so I can’t wait to read more Trollope. I just need to decide whether to continue with the remaining four books in the Barsetshire series or to try one of his other books.
I read Middlemarch this summer and loved it, so I want to read another George Eliot book in 2011. Not Silas Marner though, because I read that at school and although I can’t remember much about it, I know I didn’t like it.
I’m not sure about including Oscar Wilde on my list. I read The Picture of Dorian Gray a few years ago and The Canterville Ghost in October, and most of his other works are plays. I don’t usually read plays and the few that I have read I haven’t really enjoyed, but I’d be prepared to give one of his a try, probably The Importance of Being Earnest.
I feel guilty about not having read any of Elizabeth Gaskell’s books yet, despite reading so many glowing reviews of her work. I did read one of her short stories and liked her writing style, so I’m looking forward to reading some of her novels next year.
What do you think? Any Victorian classics I definitely need to read in 2011? Will you be reading some Victorian literature next year too?