Friday, January 1, 2016

2016: The Women's Classic Literature Event: Check-In 1

I mentioned this a while back and then forgot it was happening. Mostly. There was definitely a reason I had in the back my brain when I picked up Nimona at SF Bokhandeln, though at the time I couldn't articulate it any better than: "I think I want to read that."

But 2016 is the year of the woman writer! According to who? Well, just me, I guess. And the good people over at The Classics Club. I have been quiet since I found the Classics Club a couple of years ago, and this year will change that. Love to book bloggers, but a lot of you have tastes that diverge almost completely from my own. That's okay; The Classics Club is there to fill in the gap.

My first read this year, as I just mentioned a couple days ago, is going to be Mrs. Dalloway. Lucky me, right, that my Internet book club's first book of the year is by a female author? First and second books, even!

Anyway, let's move on to the questions that this check-in post is supposed to answer:

Do you have a preset list?

Not for this particular event, no! I am always working on my TIME Top 100 list, and some of the remaining titles might in fact overlap with this one, but I'm not making much of a list. I'm totally cheating a bit and including contemporary graphic novels with stories and/or art by women, because I miss reading graphic novels. I do have a short list of titles I'd like to read in that genre, but it wouldn't be enough for a year's worth of reading.

Are you pulling to any particular authors or titles? Any particular genres or eras?

Not any particular titles or authors. The Price of Salt is the next book in my book club, so hopefully I can find that in time for February. I've also been eying Hannah Arrendt's Life of the Mind, which has finally come back into circulation at the Stockholm library! And, finally, Nimona is sitting patiently, waiting for me to dig into it.

As I mentioned before, I'm going to be focusing on the graphic novel/comics genre for this challenge, since I think it's better to promote and discuss and mindshare a living female writer than a dead one, and graphic novels are fairly contemporary. One day I would like to make a survey of the lesser-known 19th century women writers, but it remains to be seen if this is going to be the year.

Have you already begun your list, & if so, how much have you read?

Only in a very minimal way, as I described above. So far I'm still reading the introduction to Mrs. Dalloway.

I normally leave introductions and forwards for the end, but since I've already read Mrs. Dalloway, there's nothing that commentary can really spoil for me. And like a true English literature student, I'm always thirsty for commentary and insight on a text. It helps enrich my understanding of the novel and, ironically enough, to form my own opinions.

Any favorite titles?

We'll see! I know for a fact that I loved Mrs. Dalloway when I read it in college. But I was also bitterly disappointed by To the Lighthouse later on, so who knows? Are they drastically different books, or did my tastes change in the intervening years?

Are you EXCITED? 



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