Whilst I may have read quite a lot so far this month, May has been suddenly very directionless. At the very beginning, I was all about Zola, then very quickly it turned into reading as much by or about as I could of Ted Hughes. Consequently, the books I started, the books piled high next to my bed, have been more or less forgotten about and I feel the need to declare a false start on all of them. Too much time has lapsed, I've forgotten what I've read, and besides, I would rather like a clean slate right now. For the past ten days or so, I've abandoned my 2012 Challenges, and now I'm ready to get back into them.
The problem with the 2012 Challenges is this: I drew the list up November / December 2012. I've moved on a little from the frame of mind that dictated the list, so as I read through what's left on it, a lot of books make me think, "Why on earth did I pick that?" But, I still do believe on the whole they are good choices, and I still do want to read them all, so the motivation is there, even if it did weaken a little during the first part of the month.
So, I'm ready for a little focus again, and conviniently, there's a week-long read-a-thon at Bout of Books that I've just signed up for! As I type this, I'm not so sure what my goals are, however I feel a need to get some direction back into May, so I'm thinking as I type.
This month, I did want to read another Dickens, and whilst I was enjoying Dombey and Son, too much time has lapsed since I last read it, so I would prefer to return to it at a later date. So, instead, I'm going to go for Nicholas Nickleby. No particular reason why, other than I feel quite drawn to it.
I also want to read a few more of the Penguin Greats, however my problem I think in going through them is they are of a rather odd length and are a little dissatisfying. They are long enough to spend a reasonable amount of time on, but not long enough to get into. That said, I do still want to read them, and I still would like to get at least the fourteenth or fifteeth book by the end of the month. Because I had a little spurt with them at the beginning of the month, I would only have to read three or four, so I will give it my best shot to aim to read those this week. Unfortunately, I'm not particularly drawn to any of them, so they'll be picked entirely at random.
As for the rest of the 2012 Challenges: aside from wanting to read Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis, I'm more in the mood for non-fiction at the moment. I haven't got a vast amount of non-fiction titles on the list, but I am excited by what I do have, namely Freud, Foucault, St. Augustine, Aristotle, Marx, and Plato. This week, I would like to aim for Foucault - Discipline and Punish. Finally, for no other reason than it keeps catching my eye, I would like to read some of Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo.
So, to re-cap - this week for Bout of Books read-a-thon, I'd like to read seven books, three of which would be the very short Penguin Greats. Of the four 'full-length' books (if that's a fair description!), I'd like to complete at least two, most likely Lucky Jim and Discipline and Punish. Finally, I'd like to make some headway with Nicholas Nikleby and Hunchback of Notre Dame. Because I have all day to read today and no plans (and, indeed, no 'currently reading' pile!) I'll make a start with Hunchback, but of course I won't count what I've read as part of the read-a-thon because it doesn't start until tomorrow.
Usually, I would say that I will go where I'm drawn to go, however I think it might be a good thing this week for me to stick to the plan. Things are still rather difficult at the moment, and I always find one good way of surviving difficult times is routine and planning, so I do intend to stick to this list. I'll post every day with an update.