I took into consideration what everyone had to say concerning read-a-longs. I love hosting them, and thanks to what you had to say, I think I am up for hosting a number of them in the coming year.
From what you said, I have some ideas about the titles I want to use for read-a-longs. I think using some of those big and bulky titles we're all scared of as well as some fun and interesting reads will spur more interest. Of course, if you decide to join, please pass the word along. As always, I find that read-a-longs are more fun to participate in if more people join.
Below you'll find each of the 12 months of next year with two titles beneath it. A poll will go up 4 times during the year, and each poll will decide the fate of the three coming months. That way you can plan ahead a couple months in advance to get your hands on the book we decide on. I will announce all details and such a couple weeks before we begin (probably the middle of the month the month before) and we'll read our way through the year together!
I hope this all doesn't sound confusing. It makes sense in my own mind, but I am not sure that is translating well here. Let me know if you need more information or clarification.
So, the books that will be battling each other during the year are as follows (remember, we're only reading one of these in each month, so vote for your favorite):
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
The Iliad by Homer
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
Vanity Fair by William Thackeray
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Burns
A Light in August by William Faulkner (a favorite of mine. :) Sorry, couldn't resist throwing that out there)
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
In addition, there are a couple of titles that you'll notice are missing. You know, some of those big weighty tomes that have been sitting on the shelf for a real long time.
Since I am forcing myself to read some of these in the coming year, I am reading them no matter what. So I am going to be reading these, with or without any company. For each of these novels, I will be hosting a two month long read-a-long (the above will only be during ONE month). I find that if a read-a-long goes more than two months, I go a bit batty, so while there was a call for a long War and Peace read-a-long, for my own sanity I am forcing myself to read it in two months. Here are the two month read-a-longs for 2011.
January and February:
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
March and April:
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
May and June:
The Aenid by Virgil
July and August:
Don Quixote by Miguel deCervantes
September and October:
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
November and December:
The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
At most there will be two read-a-longs going on at the same time. That will make my life easier and hopefully yours as well.
I do hope you decide to join in at some point during the coming year-whether it is for one month, two, or all twelve. Vote, discuss, and comment if you have concerns.
And, if you haven't notice already, the polls for January, February, and March are already up on my blog's page. Please vote so we can determine winners and get the show on the road!