Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Progress and Ideas.

I'm still a little hesitant about the changes I want to make here on the blog. My biggest issue is with my original list of books and the progress I have made. While a part of me really wants to chuck it out the window, a larger part of me wants to continue chipping away at it while allowing myself the time to read outside of that list (which I have been doing almost exclusively all year).

I know that I want to return to reading classics more regularly. It was a great habit and one that I fell out of this year-I've turned to a lot of YA to fill the gap. And while entertaining, it doesn't sustain me in the same way as a meaty classic.

I think I might just roll the original list completely into my Classics Club List and forget the goal of 250....but merely focus on reading classics on a regular basis. Thoughts? I think I'm comfortable with that.

I'd also like to do more creative writing in this space. I've toyed with the idea for years about writing a novel online-publishing portions/chapters as I finish them and allowing pieces to be read before I finish the next (much like the serial releases of Dickens' novels). It's a challenge that appeals to me for many reasons-getting back into writing on a more regular basis, giving myself an audience (and deadlines), and getting honest feedback about my writing. It would obviously be very rough, and for those who read it...well, I'd hope they would keep that in mind. I think I just need to get enough courage to actually do it. ;)

I did make a big list of books I'd like to talk about-again, mostly YA. I feel like I have been "catching up" on some of the trilogies and big titles that have made appearances in the last few years, but I am nearing the end of the titles I'm interested in. In any case, I have a long list of books to talk about, so you can look forward to some thoughts on those books in the near future.

(and I will be honest that getting back into the habit of writing here is hard. It used to be second nature for me...now I am struggling).

Well, I will be back-just want to gather some opinions. :)


  1. I know what you mean about original lists - I keep thinking of a new Classics Club list, and I even toyed with actually going ahead with it and putting the remaining 40 or so within it. But I like a finished challenge, and blog or no blog, I want to cross the finish line. On the other hand, even if I *had* have done, I'd still be reading the books I wanted to read. You should do what inspires you and not let obligation (or your sense of obligation, rather) stifle you.

    I'm looking forward to see what direction you go in, whatever your choices :)

  2. I ditched my Classic Club "list". My goal is simply to read 100 books written before 1960 in 5 years. I found that my fellow Classic Clubbers inspired and introduced me to other classics and I wanted experience those books.

    I think whatever you do will be fabulous. I miss your writer's voice.

  3. I've stalled completely too on reading and blogging! It is what happens. I will look forward to what ever you transform your blog in to, and what ever you share with us.


  4. You are a thoughtful critic and a good writer. The mix of classics and YA is refreshing. Just keep reading and writing---forget the quotas and categories. And by all means get that novel out of your system.

  5. Allie, I completely understand what you mean about struggling. I used to write on my blog quite a bit, but then I started feeling like I was less than for writing about things other than books all the time, so I really fell off the face of the earth as far as blogging goes. I want to get back to writing about my life--which includes books, yes, but it includes so much more as well. My point is that by being true to yourself, your blog will blossom into what you want it to be. I love the idea of you writing serially--can't wait to read it, in fact. Also, about the Classics Club list...I've mostly chucked mine and made peace with it being a living list that will change as I change and hear about new books. Like someone else said, I have no real list; my goal is to just read 50(?) books by the time I turn 30.

    I am really looking forward to what you decide to do with this space.

  6. If you were one of your students, what would you advise? Probably to never let education become a chore. I think you are pulling to begin again, Allie. Start a new list, or commit to yourself to read a certain number of classics a month. Or trust yourself. You're a history teacher deeply passionate about literature. Maybe you're no longer in a place where a commitment is necessary? Maybe just journal the journey, and trust your feet to point you somewhere rich.

    "“What is the most rigorous law of our being? Growth. No smallest atom of our moral, mental, or physical structure can stand still a year. . . . In other words, we change–and must change, constantly, and keep on changing as long as we live.”

    - Mark Twain

  7. Lists and lists and lists! Half the fun is in making them. But you have made impressive progress on your original list. I love The Classics Club so much because it is a constant reminder of my goals.

  8. I also thought of publishing my own work in chapter installations online, but I am a horrible writer, so it would probably never happen. I hope you have better luck than me, I will certainly look forward to your project if you decide to go ahead with it.

  9. I think with all you have going on right now it's a great idea to simplify and read the things you want to! That way the blog won't feel like a chore.

  10. I'm all for doing what feels right. Try it all and see what works, what makes you feel good about your blog and your writing. Letting go of the obligation of it, the freedom to abandon a part of my blog that isn't working for me, has really helped me through the years.

  11. This is your blog. You get to do whatever you want :)

  12. I haven't book blogged for ages, and am returning to it next year :D I'm wresting with similar stuff, to list or not to list! Look forward to reading more on both our blogs in 2014.