Hello lovely people! Can you believe that next week it will be October?? I know, I know, take a minute to really let that sink in – the tenth month of the year is dawning. Finished reeling from that realisation? No? Me neither, but let’s distract ourselves from the horror of time passing too quickly by talking about a month-long readathon that will be returning in October, namely Victober! As it says on the tin, Victober is the month of reading (you guessed it) Victorian literature, that is any book written or published by British or Irish authors (or a writer living in Britain or Ireland) between the years of 1837 to 1901.
If you want to know more about the readathon, please do take a look at the Booktube channels of the hosts – Katie (Books and Things), Kate (Kate Howe), Lucy (Lucy the Reader), and Ange (Beyond the Pages) – or visit the Goodreads group for more information!
I’ve previously “participated” in Victober (you’ll see what I mean), back in 2016 and in 2017, but I didn’t do the crucial thing of actually finishing any of the books I wholeheartedly pledged to read. This year will be different, this year I swear I will actually finish what I set out to read, this year I will combine Victober with knocking a couple of books off my Classics Club list (and participate in the #CCdare too) and hopefully this ‘kill two birds with one stone’ approach will persuade me to stick with it. Also, ‘third times a charm’ and all that rot? Let’s jump straight into taking a look at the challenges and my TBR whilst we’re being so optimistic about how well this is going to go this year!
- Ange’s challenge: Read a book by one of the hosts’ favourite Victorian authors (Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell or Thomas Hardy).
- Kate’s challenge: Read a Victorian book with a proper noun (i.e., a place name or person’s name) in the title .
- Katie’s challenge: Read a book from the first ten years of the Victorian period and/or a book from the last ten years of the Victorian period (i.e., 1837-1847 or 1891-1901).
- Lucy’s challenge: Read a Victorian book written by a woman anonymously or under a pseudonym.
- General challenge: Read a Victorian book and watch a screen adaptation of it.
- Group readalong: Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
- Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell [challenges 1/6]
Not only is this the group readalong book and fulfils Ange’s challenge to read some Gaskell, it’s also on my Classics Club TBR and will qualify for the CC Dare because it is well and truly a book that “scares me” due to its massive size and how much I’m expecting to love it given how much I enjoyed North and South – I so hope it doesn’t prove disappointing!
- Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell [challenges 1/2/5]
This is on my Classics Club TBR too! I got like 60 pages through it a couple of months ago but then put it down for more action-packed reads, so I never did finish it. I was actually really enjoying it so I need to get back onto it and start from the beginning and finish it this time. Plus, I really want to watch the miniseries of it (and bought the DVD this summer with the intention of doing just that) so I shall take these Victober challenges as a sign that it’s meant to be.
- The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde [challenges 3/5]
I have a collection of Oscar Wilde’s plays as I had to read one of them (I can’t for the life of me remember which one, possibly A Woman of No Importance) back in first year of university. I’m still yet to read the other plays in the collection but I do want to give it a go so I’ll plump for Wilde’s most famous, I think. If all goes wrong with Cranford I could also watch a screen adaptation of this play!
- Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte [challenges 2/3/4]
I very much enjoyed Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall which (rightfully) deserves all the praise it gets, in fact I vastly preferred Anne’s novel to Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights so I’m hoping her debut will be the same. I’ve just downloaded the audiobook of this, as read by Emilia Fox (whose voice is SO compelling), so hopefully I’ll be able to make my way through this as it fulfils quite a few challenges!
I’m unlikely to keep an updates post up-to-date on here for a whole month’s worth of reading so I won’t even pretend like I will – however, I likely will be updating a Twitter thread so please do follow me on Twitter and say hello if you’re also participating and we can cheer each other on with Victober!