Ah, my first commitment to a challenge for 2015! O at Behold the Stars is hosting a Reading England Challenge for this coming year and how could I not participate? Not only should this challenge be particularly easy because of my love for English literature, it will also give me an education in learning the counties of England. While I've had exposure to various English counties through reading, I have no idea on a map where each is located (except I know that Surrey is in the south!) so what a chance to further my knowledge of the country!
- This challenge begins on the 1st January 2015 and ends on 31st December 2015, but of course if you really get into it then keep it going :)
- You can sign up any time between now and the end of 2015. Only books read after 1st January 2015 count, though.
- Choose a level (below), but do not feel obliged to pick your books or even your counties beforehand.
- Because this is a classics blog, I'd encourage people to read classic novels, but how you define classics is up to you.
- You are not limited to English authors. Henry James, for example, is American but his novel The Turn of the Screw is set in Essex, and so he counts for the challenge
- It would be grand if you blogged about the books you read for each county but you don't have to. If you do, you don't have to feel obliged to give any information about the county in general other than, maybe, "This is my review of x which is set in the county of x". You could also include a description of the landscape in your posts, but again you don't have to.
- You do not have to read the books in their original language, translations are accepted (I only read in English so I would never dream of making other people read in their second language!)
- Audio books, Kindles, and whatnot are accepted too.
- Poetry, plays, biographies, and autobiographies count as well as novels.
- Level one: 1 - 3 counties
- Level two: 4 - 6 counties
- Level three: 7 - 12 counties
- Level four: 12 + counties
The English books I have on my slate for 2015 are:
Orlando – Virginia Woolf
Framley Parsonage – Anthony Trollope
The Cantebury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer
Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners – John Bunyan
I'm notoriously bad at making lists and sticking to them so while my list is short, I'm certain I'll be able to add many more books to it. Level Two is my goal but I'll probably be able to get to Level Three easily.
O added a wonderful list of English books sorted by county, so I'm planning to do another post just on this excellent reference. I'm going to need it!