Wednesday, December 1, 2010

2011 Read-A-Longs!

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!


  1. What fun! I think it's so fun you're putting these books head-to-head... It definitely seems like a good way for all of us to check off some Classics!

  2. This is great, I was wondering if there would be any books I wanted to read but actually there are tons, a few of which I already own copies of, so I will definitely be trying my first read along (s).

  3. wow there are some fantastic reads in there making it all quite exciting!

    I also notice that I have read a fair few of them so I will be able to wade in with my opinion even if I won't be reading along ;)

  4. I would love to read-along on Rebecca and Vanity Fair.

  5. Good luck with all those readalongs! Especially the big ones. I do think it's still really funny that nearly every choice includes one or even both books that I've read! :D I'm certainly looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts on all these though, and i might join you for a couple, like the Hardy one, if it wins!

  6. I've never done a read-along, but your choices make it look enticing. I love that you are willing to host. :)

  7. How very awesome! I can't wait to get started. I may join in your two-month readalongs for Tolstoy and Rand... As for the one-month...Woman in White, Lady Chatterley's Lover, either in May, and Wives and Daughters really stand out.

  8. Count me in! There are so many titles on this list that I was already planning on reading in 2011. I'd love to share the experience with others. For the two month ones, I'm in for all of them most likely besides Anna Karenina since I'm reading that right now. For the individual months, it will depend on what is chosen. Most months I've read at least one of them already.

    Thanks so much for hosting these. I'm very excited! I need to go grab myself a copy of War and Peace!

  9. Lovely! What a wonderful list. I hope to join you for at least a few of these wonderful choices!

  10. If all my choices win, I might join you for 4 of the one-month. Going to vote now!

  11. Looks like you've got some wonderful reading lined up! As I told you on Twitter, I think you'll end up flying through some of those books you've budgeted two months for. ;)

  12. I am so looking forward to joining in this year with your read alongs. I've already voted, so excited.

    Love, Mom

  13. Ooooooh so many of these are on my list for my classics project! How wonderful to have company reading them -- I'm so excited!!

  14. What a fantastic undertaking! Here are my votes :) Rebecca, Moby Dick,
    Lady Chatterley's Lover, Mansfield Park. I hope to be able to join in with you.

  15. I'm with you in January since both Rebecca and The Woman in White are on my list. War and Peace, too. Let us enjoy the first book (whichever it is) and prepare for the Russian angst, da?

  16. great lists of books, whichever one you choose to host!

  17. I might join on a couple of these. I'll definitely enjoy reading all the posts for the readalongs. I'm just thinking for a few of these months, I'll be reading different titles, to keep up with challenges...

    I was just kidding about War and Peace, lol. I didn't figure you'd go for my WHOLE YEAR plan. Ha! I just figured it was worth a shot. *chuckling*

  18. Great idea for the read-a-longs!! I voted in your January and February read-a-long polls and of course the selections I voted for are trailing in the polls right! Actually, I would do either Rebecca or Woman in White in January as they are both on my list. In February I would do Romeo and Juliet and in December Mansfield those are the only other choices also on my list. I may also be interested in War and Peace in January/February and Anna Karenina in September/October. I am looking forward to it!!

  19. I am definitely in for this. Thanks for putting it together. I'm spotlighting it on my Sunday Salon post this week. Can't wait for it to begin. :))

  20. Also, maybe we could get everyone's twitter name who's reading the book of the month? I'd love to be able to chat with you guys while 'in the process'. :)

  21. I'd love to join in on War and Peace. I just (happily) finished Midnight's Children, a longish book. I'd have done so much better reading it with others.

    Here's my Twitter name: debnance

  22. Allie, you must have peeked at my TBR shelf downstairs, because several books I've been meaning to read are on your list for next year. This will be good motivation for me to get them read.

  23. I love your ambition! Such an inspiration. Happy reading!

  24. I love this idea! I own a lot of these books and, as seems to be the case with most, I haven't read them for some reason yet..I'll be joining in for a good few months I think!

  25. i'm so psyched to see that almost all of these are books i can get online from project gutenberg. :) there are a few i've read and dare not return to (moby dick...), and i don't trust the free translations of, say, tolstoy or dostoevsky that i can get online, but i can't wait to participate in some of these. good luck running all of them!