Miscellaneous

2015 Reading and Blogging Goals

I have a few reading goals and two blogging goals for 2015.

 

Reading Goals

As I mentioned recently, I plan to read all of Kierkegaard’s pseudonymous works this year.

In addition, I plan to read all of the major works of Fyodor Dostoyevsky:

The Brothers Karamazov

The Idiot

Crime and Punishment

Notes From Underground

Poor Folk

The Possessed (a.k.a. Demons)

 

In March-May, I will be hosting a read-along of Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (more on that in the future). I have no idea how bloggers make read-along buttons, but hopefully I will figure that out by March. Anyway, I think this year will be dedicated to reading more philosophical and satirical works.

Other authors whose works I’d like to explore are Walker Percy, Graham Greene, and Marilynne Robinson (finally, a living author!)

Of course, I will also continue to read through the list of Newbery Medal Winners and my Classics Book List (which is perpetually in flux).

 

Blogging Goals

In addition to posting reviews, I hope to revive my Saturday Literary Flashbacks and make more reflection posts. My reflection posts will analyze major themes in the novels, short stories, plays, and poems that I read throughout the year.

 

Poems

Ring Out, Wild Bells

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

—Lord Alfred Tennyson

Children's/Coming-of-Age, Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Grahame, Kenneth

Adventure Beckons in The Wind in the Willows

rat-and-mole

Adventure is always calling in The Wind in the Willows. Mr. Toad dreams of speeding along paved roads in a motorcar, Mole longs to row a boat on the River Thames, and Ratty is enchanted by the Sea Rat’s travels.

Animals that are the most suited for one kind of environment do not belong in another. Yet, Kenneth Grahame’s animals in The Wind in the Willows are quite anthropomorphic. At times, characters like Mr. Toad can even pass themselves off as human. Late December and early January – when one year comes to a close and a potentially more exciting new year begins – are indeed the best times to read this novel. Stuck between the memory of the past and the expectations of the future, the reader will feel the most in company with the animals of the Thames Valley.