When I finish Mary Oliver's Red Bird tonight, I will have just creeped over my 100-book goal for the year. I loved having that personal challenge going. It made me pick up books when I might otherwise have opted for something less strenuous. And I certainly don't regret reading one more book over watching one more movie! (You can find all the books from 2014 in my book list.)
This year I'm going to keep the same goal of a hundred books, but I'm making it more difficult by including 13 classics that I have been wanting to read (or reread).
- The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - Anne Bronte
- The Wings of the Dove - Henry James
- Villette - Charlotte Bronte
- Agnes Grey - Anne Bronte
- Germinal - Emile Zola
- Daniel Deronda - George Eliot
- The Woodlanders - Thomas Hardy
- Moby Dick - Herman Melville
- Babbitt - Sinclair Lewis
- Little Dorrit - Charles Dickens
- Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
- The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton
- Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
I have high hopes of meeting my goal, especially if we keep the internet disconnected at home. We've been at it a week now, and there have been some adjustments and challenges, but mostly, it's just fine living without constant access to the internet. I've discovered that I can sit down and get most of my essential work done in an hour or two at the library every couple of days. Which tells me that most of what I do online day to day is refresh pages and look for updates. (Honestly, that's so pathetic it's embarrassing.) As you can imagine, without all that page refreshing going on, we've had a lot more conversations and accomplished more than usual day to day. We're having fun. We'll see what happens when we head back to school and work.
I'll leave you with a few words from Mary Oliver (from Red Bird) that I've been thinking about:
There Is a Place Beyond Ambition
When the flute players
couldn't think of what to say next
they laid down their pipes,
then they lay down themselves
beside the river
and just listened.
Some of them, after a while,
and disappeared back inside the busy town.
But the rest -
so quiet, not even thoughtful -
are still there,
Happy New Year, friends. Ahead there are so many brand new days! Isn't it exciting to think of what you might fill them with?