In light of my recent list-making musings and the myriad ways TBR lists fail, I am going to attempt an experiment! Get out your bunsen burner, sytlish safety goggles and lead apron and stand back! No, never mind, explosions are not likely to happen and if they do they will be small so maybe just stand back a little.

You know once a month or so I like to post about what I am reading and what I hope to read in the next few weeks? You know it’s always a lot of books. And you know I am usually in the middle of reading them all at once. You are probably now thinking that my experiment is going to be to read one book at a time. *shudder* No, I said I was going to do an experiment not attempt the impossible. The experiment part is in prioritizing, limiting my choices, and making a commitment.

So here goes.

  • The Selected Poems of Edward Thomas. Ha! I am still reading this one. Whatever possessed me to think I could whip through a book of poetry? No, poetry is never, ever to be rushed. So, no more guilt about this long lingering book. I am reading it, just a few poems at a time. I will continue reading it but commit to ten poems a week. My bookmark is currently at poem number 49 and there are 144 poems in the book which means there are 95 poems left for me to read. At ten a week that’s nine weeks which puts me at finishing up the first week of December. Doable!
  • Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe. I am about 80% of the way through the book and reading it regularly since it is my commute and lunchtime reading during the week. It is quite marvelous and I am enjoying it immensely. I am currently amused by how one is supposed to be able to tell a person’s character by his or her countenance. A beautiful face equals a good character and vice versa. Except our heroine Emily has found evidence that this is not always the case but she manages to ignore the evidence nonetheless.

    The other thing that is occupying my thoughts as I read the book at the moment is what happened to her beloved little dog? After her father died and she had to move to her aunt’s house she took her father’s favorite dog with her. He shows up a few times but has now disappeared entirely. I am surprised the dog lasted as long as it did really as it never seemed to be fed or taken outside to do its doggie business somewhere other than the carpet. Poor pup.

    Anyway, this book will be finished probably by the end of next week.

  • I finished reading The Other by Thomas Tryon over the weekend. So good! A full post on that tomorrow. I had begun reading my next NYRB subscription book from July a week or so ago but it has been pushed aside temporarily for the NYRB October selection: The Black Spider by Jeremias Gotthelf. It’s a classic horror story and I just have to read it this month because of the RIP Challenge and because it is such a perfect time of year for it. The book is slim and I am certain I will have no trouble finishing it by the end of the month.

Now comes the hard part: prioritizing and making realistic choices for books I have not yet begun reading.

  • Enquiry Into the Sublime and Beautiful by Edmund Burke. I would like to read this to go along with Mysteries of Udolpho and all of its sublime this and sublime that. It may end up being more of a skim, if one can skim Burke. Dipping in might be a better way to put it.
  • The reading list for the Plagues, Witches, and War historical fiction mooc class I am taking (starts in 2 weeks!) is up and there is lots of reading. I do not plan on reading all the novels but even just reading the assigned excerpts will take much of my time. Then there is the supplemental reading, the articles and essays that go along with the main course. I do want to read all of that. For eight weeks then the reading for this class will be my main focus.
  • Should I have time amidst all that — you never know, it could happen! — I will embark on reading Hecuba by Euripides. I am not expecting to have time, but just in case.

There is the reading plan for October into early November. I am unsure whether I will be able to stick to it or not. Time will tell. If it is a success I will try again in November. If it fails, I’ll just pretend like it never happened. Plan, what plan? The one I posted about? Oh that! That wasn’t a plan, that was just — I don’t know what it was exactly but I’m sure it wasn’t a plan. See what I am up against? I am already attempting sabotage!