Saturday, January 04, 2014

The Reading List That Ate New York

I don't normally make a real reading list, but this year some of my booky internet buddies have been talking about making lists, so I thought I'd give it a try! Generally I read mostly things that relate to the history and literature we are studying, with a generous dash of things that just appeal to me, plus the juvenile fiction I read to the kids at night. It seems as though a List might help me stay a little more focused (i.e. not spending a lot of time reading biographies of Victorians when we are in the Middle Ages). Anyway, I made a list. It got out of hand. Very out of hand. My Goodreads target for this year is one hundred books, and that is pretty realistic, but once you figure in the read-aloud books (which don't go on the list because the kids prefer more spontaneity) and the family-book-club books (which don't go on the list because, again, we are picking them as we go), my list should be somewhere between sixty and seventy, I think. Which this list isn't.

Part of the problem is that this year's history/literature studies cover so much that I love and find interesting. Many of my history choices will appear redundant, but each one appears to me to have some particular charm. There is a lot of Shakespeare, too, but, well... Shakespeare! Plus, Shakespeare falls on the cusp, in our next school year's studies, between the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015, so I expect I'll carry some of his stuff into next year.

Once my list was clearly getting out of hand (after the first hundred books or so), I decided that I would think of it as more an "establishment of parameters." A "within this list you may read, but not beyond." Sounds pretty draconian, if you believe it! Unfortunately, of course, thinking about the list in this way tended to expand it. If I am to be limited the list, the list should include everything I might possibly want to read! Thus, for example, Strong Poison, by Sayers, and Bring Up the Bodies, by Mantel. I've only ever read Sayers' nonfiction, and I haven't read Wolf Hall, so I may not want to read the second on my list by either of them, but I wanted to give myself the option!

Actually, I will be reading off the list. I'm sure I've missed some of the books I'll need to read along with Travis for school, and the kids will pick their read-alouds, and my mom will pick our book club books. And, just occasionally, a book may turn up that I just have to read. Still, I am going to try to stick to the list. After all, with luck, I can make another list in 2015!

I've arranged my list into categories of "Fiction," "History," "Literature," "Philosophy," "Science," "Religion," "Biography," and "Writing." Some of the books are placed a bit arbitrarily, but it shouldn't really matter, since I am not reading by category. Some of the books I've read before, but many I've not, or at least, not for many years. 

Reading List for 2014

The Warden – Anthony Trollope
The Nine Tailors – Dorothy Sayers
Strong Poison – Dorothy Sayers
The King of Schnorrers – Israel Zangwill
Uneasy Money – P.G. Wodehouse
Post Captain – Patrick O'Brian
H.M.S. Surprise – Patrick O'Brian
Winter's Tale – Mark Helprin
Reaper Man – Terry Pratchett
Good Omens – Pratchett and Gaiman
Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman
American Gods – Neil Gaiman
Doomsday Book – Connie Willis
To Say Nothing of the Dog – Connie Willis
The Sunne in Splendour – Sharon Kay Penman
When Christ and His Saints Slept – Sharon Kay Penman
Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel
Bring Up the Bodies – Hilary Mantel*
Kirsten Lavransdatter – Sigrid Undset
Cordelia Underwood – Van Reid
The Promise – Chaim Potok*
Sharpe's Tiger – Bernard Cornwell
Dr. Wortle's School – Anthony Trollope
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo (Julie Rose trans.)
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
Galileo's Daughter – Dava Sobel
On the Road With the Archangel – Frederick Buechner
Persuasion – Jane Austen
The Small House at Allington – Anthony Trollope
The Last Chronicle of Barset – Anthony Trollope
The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
The Silmarillion – J.R.R. Tolkien
The Children of Hurin – J.R.R. Tolkien

The War That Killed Achilles – Caroline Alexander
In Search of the Trojan War – Michael Wood
Helen of Troy – Bettany Hughes
Essays, Ancient and Modern – Bernard Knox
A World Full of Gods – Keith Hopkins
The Spartans – Paul Cartledge
Thermopylae – Ernie Bradford
The Hemlock Cup – Bettany Hughes
The Greek Achievement – Charles Freeman
The Peloponnesian War – Donald Kagan*
The Classical World – Robin Lane Fox
The Classical Tradition – Gilbert Highet
Cicero – Anthony Everitt
The Roman Empire – Colin Wells
Pagans and Christians – Robin Lane Fox
The Punic Wars, 264-146 – Nigel Bagnall
Augustus of Hippo – Peter Brown
The Anglo-Saxons – James Campbell, editor
The Norman Conquest – Marc Morris
The Britons – Christopher Snyder
The World of King Arthur – Christopher Snyder
The Reign of Chivalry – Richard Barber
1215: The Year of Magna Carta – Danny Danziger
The Forge of Christendom – Tom Holland
Civilization of the Middle Ages – Norman Cantor
The Great Mortality – John Kelly
Life in Medieval Times – Marjorie Rowling
The Hollow Crown – Miri Rubin
Agincourt – Juliet Barker
Joan of Arc & Richard III – Charles Wood
Magic in the Middle Ages – Richard Kieckhefer
Who Murdered Chaucer? – Terry Jones
The Wars of the Roses – Alison Weir
Richard the Third – Paul Murray Kendall
Sailing from Byzantium – Colin Wells
Byzantium – Judith Herrin
The Reformation: A History – Diarmaid MacCulloch
The Life of Thomas More – Peter Ackroyd*
Tudor – Leandra DeLisle
English Society, 1580-1680 – Keith Wrightson
The Royal Stuarts – Allan Massie
In Search of England – Michael Wood

The Cambridge Companion to Homer – Robert Fowler, ed.
Ovid: Metamorphoses – Charles Martin, trans.
Aeschylus I – Grene & Lattimore
Sophocles I – Grene & Lattimore
Euripides III – Grene & Lattimore
The Aeneid – Virgil
Virgil: The Aeneid – K.W. Gransden
City of God – Augustine
Poets in a Landscape – Gilbert Highet
Confessions – Augustine
The Prose Edda – Snorri Sturluson
The Book of Beasts – T.H. White
The Song of Roland – Dorothy Sayers (trans.)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight – (Marie Borroff translation)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Simon Armitage translation)
The Monsters and the Critics – J.R.R. Tolkien
The Discarded Image – C.S. Lewis
Fierce Wars and Faithful Loves – Edmund Spenser*
The Complete Danteworlds – Guy P. Raffa
Ascent to Love – Peter J. Leithart
Purgatorio – Dante (Hollander trans.)
Inferno – Dante (Musa trans.)
Shakespeare After All – Marjorie Garber
The Meaning of Shakespeare, Vol. 1 & 2 – Harold C. Goddard
Shakespeare for All Time – Stanley Wells
Will in the World – Stephen Greenblatt
King Lear – William Shakespeare
Hamlet – Shakespeare
The Tempest – Shakespeare
Julius Caesar—Shakespeare
Henry V – Shakespeare
Much Ado About Nothing – Shakespeare
Richard II – William Shakespeare
Richard III – Shakespeare*
Selected Literary Essays – C.S. Lewis
The Art of Fiction – John Gardner
The Ode Less Travelled – Stephen Fry
A Poetry Handbook – Mary Oliver
The Making of a Poem – Mark Strand & Eavan Boland
Footsteps – Richard Holmes
The Young Romantics -- Daisy Hay
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
The Christian Imagination – Leland Ryken, ed.
Ironies of Faith – Anthony Esolen
Good Poems – Garrison Keillor, ed.

Republic of Plato – Allan Bloom
Aristotle's Children – Richard Rubenstein
Summa Philosophica – Peter Kreeft
Shaming the Devil – Alan Jacobs
What We Can't Not Know – Budziszewski
Flatland – Edwin Abbott
Philosophy for Understanding Theology – Diogenes Allen & Eric Springsted
The Consolations of Philosophy – Alain de Botton
In Defense of the Soul – Ric Machuga
The Philosophy Book – Will Buckingham
Political Philosophy – Steven Smith (2nd half)
On Politics, Vol. 1 – Alan Ryan

The Clockwork Universe – Edward Dolnick
The Quantum Universe – Brian Cox
Death by Black Hole – Neil deGrasse Tyson

The Wisdom Books – Robert Alter
Revelation for Everyone – N.T. Wright
Paul – N.T. Wright
The Case for the Psalms – N.T. Wright
Jesus Through the Centuries – Jasoslav Pelikan
Mary Through the Centuries – Jaroslav Pelikan
The Rise of Western Christendom, 2nd ed. – Peter Brown
The Reason for God – Timothy Keller
Original Sin – Alan Jacobs

Horace and Me – Harry Eyres
Milton – Anna Beer
Love and Louis XIV – Antonia Fraser
Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven – John Eliot Gardiner *
Longitude – Dava Sobel

Sin and Syntax – Constance Hale
Origins of the Specious – Patricia T. O'Conner
The Art of Fiction – David Lodge
Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
Steering the Craft – Ursula Le Guin


Beth Hollmann said...

Your reading list is amazing, Melora! I recognize a few of the authors but haven't read many of these books. I will add some to my list as well!

Melora said...

Thanks, Beth! I went a bit overboard, but it certainly is inclusive!