Deborah, is using a BBC list of 100 books for her 52-books-in-a-year goal, and Dana Huff is sponsoring the "Books I Should Have Read in School, but Didn't" challenge. I think I'm going to combine Deborah's approach of using the BBC list with Dana's challenge to read a set number of books that I think I should have read in school. Considering the ambitiousness of my other reading and writing goals, I'm going to strive for the lowest level of Dana's challenge, which is to read two of these books sometime between now and the end of next year.
I've gone through the BBC list to determine which books I haven't read (or finished) and have chosen a handful that qualify as books I feel I should have read by now. As an aside, I couldn't find this list anywhere on the Internet except as the meme that bloggers and Facebook users are doing, so I don't know how "official" it is, or if it's even been compiled by the BBC. It's a lovely list, though, because I've read a lot of the books and can thus feel learned, literary, and oh-so-smart. Ha.)
Anyway, here are the finalists:
1. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (Actually, I think I might have read this before. But, since I can't remember anything about it, I'm including it in the "haven't read" list.)
2. Complete Works of Shakespeare (I actually read quite a bit of Shakespeare in school; that tends to happen when you're an English major! But I've only read about 65% of the plays, so there's (happily) still more to read!)
3. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (All former English majors have that one major literary work that they're embarrassed to admit they haven't read. For me, it's The Great Gatsby. Shh ... don't tell!)
4. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
5. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
6. Animal Farm - George Orwell
7. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
8. Moby Dick - Herman Melville (I've tried to read this one several times and am thankful that no teacher ever required me to read it. I can't get past the first 100 pages. It's definitely not on my list to read in 2011, or any other year!)
9. Dracula - Bram Stoker
10. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert (This one's been on my nightstand for ... a long, long time. I think this will definitely be one of the two "should-have-read-by-now" books that I finally read in 2011.)
So, my goal in this little reading challenge will be to read (or finish) two of the nine books listed above. (Well, ten books are listed, but Moby Dick doesn't count.) I'm thinking those two books are going to be Madame Bovary and The Great Gatsby, unless I can be convinced otherwise (or decide to fly through Animal Farm or a Shakespeare play one night when I can't sleep).
Suggestions? Recommendations? Warnings? Let me know!