How could I possibly not join A Classic's Challenge, created by Katherine Cox of November's Autumn? If nothing else, you've got to love that button you see here and that I get to put on my sidebar (if I can remember how to do that. If you don't see it there, someone in the know, please tell me how to do that in Blogger). What's really great about this challenge, though, is that it doesn't necessarily involve writing individual posts on each book (although I'm free to do so if I like). Instead, on the 4th of every month, I'm going to be responding to a prompt as it pertains to the book I'm reading (or have just read). That's a great idea, and I'm very interested to see how it goes. I'd never gone blog hopping until I joined the R.I.P. group read of Fragile Things, and I discovered that I really enjoyed it. It's more fun than bar hopping, for an introvert like me, and there are no hangovers to fear.
And now, without further ado: here is the list of seven books I will be reading in 2012. We are to read seven, three of which can be rereads. I've listed them alphabetically by author (I'm such a librarian).
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (a reread). When reading classics in the winter, one must read Austen. I have a suitably old, old copy of it to read, although I'd be tempted to buy one of those new Penguin hardcover editions like the copy of Emma Zoë's Mom gave me for Christmas last year. I can't justify doing that, though, in this house overflowing with books, especially when I have my grandmother's copy (in two volumes, nonetheless).
The Arabian Nights by Husain Haddawy (based on the text of the fourteenth-century Syrian Manuscript edited by Muhsin Mahdi). I actually have a three volume set of the tales, but I thought I'd start with this single-volume first. I've been wanting to read these tales for a long time (obviously, since I have acquired both a single-volume and a three-volume set), but recently reading Neil Gaiman's "Inventing Aladdin" has moved them from the "want-to-read-one-day" category to a "must-read-soon" category.
Heaven to Betsy and Betsy in Spite of Herself by Maud Hart Lovelace. This is actually two books in one, but I'm counting it as one, because each one is relatively short, and they're both in this one volume that I got on sale at Borders before it went out of business. I never read the Betsy-Tacy books when I was a kid, but I read an article about Maud Hart Lovelace not long ago that got me interested. In these two books, Betsy has gotten to high school. If I like them, I'll go backwards and read about her childhood years.
The Company She Keeps by Mary McCarthy. I got this one at a library book sale ages ago. I read The Group when I was in my twenties, loved it, and have been meaning to read something else by her ever since. This will keep me from waiting another twenty years to do so.
1984 by George Orwell (a reread?). Maybe I will discover once and for all whether or not I actually read this one in college. Then again, maybe I won't. Anyway, I've become more and more interested in it as of late, given the "Big Brother-like" world we seem to live in today, and, really, I just think it's something I ought to have read.
The Oedipus Cycle by Sophocles. Believe it or not, I've never actually read the whole thing, only Oedipus Rex, so, it will sort of be a reread but not really, and since 1984 may not be a reread, I figure I'm still well within my limit of three. A friend of mine has been reading Greek tragedies lately and has gotten me interested in doing so.
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein. Litlove wrote about this one some time ago, made it sound great, and I figure it's probably one of Stein's most accessible works, so I thought I'd start with it and see if I want to explore her further.
I reserve the right to swap out any of these titles with something else that comes along and interests me more, but right now, this is my plan. Join the challenge, if you'd like, or just enjoy it vicariously through all the other participants.