As Far As Plans Go..

..and I have a lot of them, buzzing around in my head, for 2011. I don’t believe I will succeed in many of them, but that is why many of them aren’t challenges, or year-long plans, but simply reading lists. Things I’d like to concentrate on, but not finish, per se.

There is one thing I am going to give my undivided attention, or that has priority (undivided attention is a big promise to make, isn’t it?) and that is The Year of Feminist Classics project that I am doing together with Amy, Ana and Emily (and it seems many more amazing bloggers!). We changed the list around a little, and in October I won’t just be leading the discussion on Ain’t I a Woman? by bell hooks, but I will also discuss one article from the anthology: Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism Anthology, namely Under Western Eyes by Mohanty. (Which is, coincidently, the most used keyword to find my blog – weird how that happens). If you would like to discuss any other article in the anthology (and there are many interesting ones in there), feel free to write a guest post! Also, just because I have to say it: Under Western Eyes is definitely a classic in feminist literature, whatever some people may say. Anyway, to follow the project, please visit the blog here.

There is also the project that Sasha started, the Classics Project 2011. And I do aim to read a lot of books in the classics genre. I am becoming more and more pessimistic, and think 10 will be all I will be able to do in both categories, but who knows?

And then there are challenges.. I promised myself to not sign up for any challenges, and for now I have almost succeeded. I like being able to choose what I read at random, dreaming up my own reading list. It seems to work better for me, at the moment. However, there were a few severely tempting challenges. But a lot of them involved things I will probably be reading anyway, such as the Victorian Literature challenge, or the Elizabeth Gaskell Reading challenge. I have to admit, I have trouble not joining the latter. I do so love Gaskell and I really like the efforts of the Gaskell blog. As I am writing this I am so tempted to write-up my own list for the challenge. But no. Stop right there. I have my ongoing Gaskell reading list, and I think I had better stick to it for now.

But then there was Zommie, and her idea of hosting the Nordic challenge. And I cannot be dissuaded from joining this one. My time in Sweden, even if I struggled with homesickness, has made me fall in love a little with the country and the people, and I want to cherish that. I will aim to read at least 5 books, coming from the following pool:

  • any of the books by Astrid Lindgren, if I feel adventurous, in Swedish
  • A Moomin book by Tove Jansson
  • The Summer book by Tove Jansson
  • A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen (and maybe some of the other plays included in the Oxford World Classics edition)
  • Smilla’s Sense of Snow – Peter Hoeg
  • Purge – Sofi Oksanen
  • The Daisy Sisters – Henning Mankell (in Dutch)
  • Troll: A Love StoryJohanna Sinisalo
  • City of My Dreams – Per Anders Fogelström

Apart from focusing on my reading lists, including reading (on) the Brontë’s, reading on the Romantics (for which one of my dear blogging friends, Violet, composed me a list), reading the works by Austen and Gaskell, reading the Bloomsbury Group Books, more Persephone’s, some Virago Modern Classics (in short, I’d like to be more like Verity, if only I could), there is one more thing I plan to do sometime this year. And that will be my own project month, called “Educating Iris: Or, Learning to Appreciate Dutch Literature”. As some of you know, I used to have a complete problem with Dutch literature. But I have decided that this must end. And so, I’d like to play catch up, and educate myself in my country’s heritage. I hope some of you might join me. During this month (I am aiming for March or April, but if any of you have preferences, please say) I would like to organise a Read A Long of The Discovery of Heaven by Harry Mulisch as well as read a list of Dutch books that have been on my shelves, or that simply should be read by any Dutch person.

29 responses to “As Far As Plans Go..

  1. Good luck with all your plans in 2011 Iris!

  2. Good luck Iris! Esp. with the Dutch reading… Not a fan myself ;)

  3. Hello Iris,

    Well! you are making me feel tired just reading the post. You will have my utmost admiration if you manage to achieve all those goals in 2011.

    Just make sure that you have fun trying!

    Happy New Year

  4. Wow! So much to like here. Looks like a fantastic reading year ahead of you. I plan to join you for a few feminist classics along the way too if that is ok? Especially The Second Sex which I have not read in years.

  5. I think you’ve got enough to keep yourself busy next year:) Enjoy and looking forward to your Year of Feminist Classics!

  6. Girl, you have your work cut out for you! But it’s all good, and I for one will enjoy following all of it. I do have to say that I LOVED Smilla’s Sense of Snow. I’ve been hankering for a re-read on that one.

  7. Good luck Iris! I’d love to hear more about Dutch literature and am very interested in the Nordic Challenge, which I hadn’t yet heard about.

  8. Good luck, Iris! It sounds like you’ve got a nice balance of plans there and they should all be manageble.

  9. Yay, Iris, sounds like you’re gearing up for an amazing 2011! I think I’ve said this on all the co-hosts’ blogs now, but I am very excited for the Year of Feminist Classics project, so THANK YOU for co-hosting that. I was dusting off my copy of Wollestonecraft just yesterday in preparation. :-)

  10. Those are some impressive plans. I too plan to read more classics (especially Victorian literature since I joined that particular challenge), and I like your idea of “educating” yourself on the literature and history of your country. I’m hoping to read more books by authors of different countries (not England/UK or the US) in the new year. In the past I’ve tried to read books about different countries but these are inevitably written by Americans or Brits and I’d like to step out of this comfort zone.

  11. Oh yeah! A read-a-long of a book I own thanks you your fabulous generosity. Count me in :) Also… I really really loved Smilla’s Sense of Snow! I have Purge and Troll on my tbr and hope they are good as well. Great challenge to choose to join!

  12. Those sound like great reading plans! I need to discover the Bloomsbury Books. All reviews I’ve read on those sound so wonderful.
    I was just thinking that I read a lot of books from Sweden this year. I would love to travel there. Good luck with your challenge!

  13. all the best for the coming year Iris my plans to just read and read and blog and blog lol ,all the best stu

  14. I’m on board for A Year of Feminist Classics. I definitely need to read more non-fiction and more works relating to social justice.

  15. A Gaskell Challenge? Oh, I might have to sign up for that one. :) Sounds as though you have plenty to keep you busily reading in 2011. Good luck with it all!

  16. Good luck with everything, Iris! I’m so looking forward to reading Mohanty and all the other books on our list. Also, I love your plan to read more VMCs. I should do the same, especially as I’ve been acquiring them like mad since September.

  17. The Mohanty article is definitely classic, and I’m excited for your project! Your plans sound great, wish you all the best for them, and don’t stress yourself. Happy New Year! :)

  18. As I said on twitter – thanks for such a lovely mention. I’ve been a bit lax with the VMCs of late – will get stuck in again next year!

  19. I want to read more by Elizabeth Gaskell. I loved North and South. Good luck with all your reading plans!

  20. Oh a list of Dutch books! I am glad you are embracing your country’s writers. I’m sure there are some good ones! I won’t absolutely commit to reading a Dutch writer with you, but I would really like to since I don’t think I’ve ever read a Dutch writer (well, I have technically, but he’s now a Canadian or American citizen so it doesn’t really count to me).

    I hope your 2011 is a great year. I know the end of 2010 was pretty blah for you with the homesickness. I am glad you are back home and have time to decompress from that big life change! Happy New Year, Iris!

  21. Have fun in 2011!!

  22. Happy New Year Iris! Good luck with all those challenges … I couldn’t manage with them on top of my aim to tackle my TBR mountain, but might be tempted to readalong on the Mulisch if it happens (in the TBR if I can find it, plus I’ve heard great things about it).

  23. Happy New Year Iris! These sound like wonderful plans. I look forward to you leading the discussion on bell hooks. She is astoundingly smart and her books consider such interesting perspectives. I was blown away by Ain’t I A Woman when I first read it.

  24. I wish you the best in all of your 2011 reading plans! Enjoy!

  25. Perhaps it says something about me that your list looks daunting! I wish the best of luck in accomplishing your goals!

  26. The Nordic Challenge looks like a lot of fun. Good luck with it, and I hope you have a fabulous 2011 :)

  27. You have wonderful plans, most especially the classic challenge of Sasha’s. I, too, long for more classic reads; they so rarely disappoint. I think I’ll do it on my own, though, being reluctant to join many challenges. Best to you in your endeavors for 2011! Happy New Year!

  28. good luck with your 2011 reading! I have to say, I do enjoy Gaskell. Cranford is nice and short too, which is a bonus. Go for it!

    I don’t know much about Nordic or Dutch literature, so I look forward to reading your thoughts on what you read.

  29. Welcome to the challenge! I hope you do read the Lindgren books in Swedish :)

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