Victober 2018 | Sign Up & TBR

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!

Challenges

  1. Ange’s challenge: Read a book by one of the hosts’ favourite Victorian authors (Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell or Thomas Hardy).
  2. Kate’s challenge: Read a Victorian book with a proper noun (i.e., a place name or person’s name) in the title .
  3. 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).
  4. Lucy’s challenge: Read a Victorian book written by a woman anonymously or under a pseudonym.
  5. General challenge: Read a Victorian book and watch a screen adaptation of it.
  6. Group readalong: Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

TBR

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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!

victober2018.png

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!


Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

Discussion | Studying vs. Reading Books

Today, we begin with unpacking the very title of this discussion post: I realise that it’s never a simple dichotomy of ‘studying’ a book and ‘reading’ a book simply “for the sake of it”. However, I chose the title for this blog post because I wish to unpack some thoughts I’m having regarding enjoying a book for entertainment’s sake vs. enjoying a book for studying’s sake. There are plenty of books which I didn’t necessarily enjoy on its own merit, as a singular story, but came to enjoy after further study of secondary material or after a lively seminar discussion with people at university. I would probably count Frankenstein, The Moonstone, Dracula, Wuthering Heights, and A Tale of Two Cities among that number.

This topic has come to mind particularly today because I just DNFed Jane Eyre. I have never studied this book (somehow) in all my many years of studying English literature. I picked it up on a whim sometime when I was at secondary school and read it but didn’t love it as I thought I probably should have. I just didn’t get along with Charlotte Bronte’s writing style or pacing even though I enjoyed the concept and overall plot. I decided recently that perhaps I ought to give it a re-read because I am now older and (hopefully) wiser, and with #Victober happening this month, it felt like fate to re-read it now. Reader, I DNFed it.

Continue reading

Victober 2017 | Sign Up & TBR

Hello lovely people! Can you believe it’s October already? Where has the time gone!? October means one thing though (aside from my birthday/Thor Ragnarok‘s release) and that is the return of Victorian reading month aka Victober. As you may be able to discern from its name, Victober is a month long readathon which takes place in October and focuses on reading Victorian novels, that is novels written by authors from Great Britain between the years of 1837 to 1901. If you want to know more about the readathon, please do take a look at the announcement/TBR videos of the hosts – Katie (Books and Things), Kate (Kate Howe), Lucy (Lucy the Reader), and Ange (Beyond the Pages).

I took a few Victorian literature classes in university, and read some of the big hitters of the period, but I didn’t manage to keep up that reading motivation for nineteenth-century novels after I had graduated and was no longer being assigned those novels. That’s a big shame because I really enjoyed some of the most unexpected of them, and didn’t see the fuss with other beloved examples, but Victober is a chance for me to get back in the game and really focus on reading some good, solid Victorian literature.

The lovely hosts of this readathon have devised some challenges to help participants devise their TBRs, but they’re guidelines and don’t have to be followed in order to join in on the fun. However, I could use some direction, so I’ll be trying my damndest to read books which complete the challenges, which are:

  1. Read a book by a Scottish, Welsh, or Irish author
  2. Read a lesser-known book (under 12000 ratings on Goodreads)
  3. Read a supernatural book
  4. Read a book recommended to you
  5. Read a book by a female author

Continue reading

Victorian October #victober | My TBR

Throughout October a readathon is happening called Victorian October or #victober if you’d like to use the catchy hashtag. Much like Ronseal, it does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s a readathon in which people will be reading works of literature from the Victorian period. By Victorian we are meaning works written between 1837 and 1901, and primarily by British and Irish authors or those who lived in Britain in that time. Quite foolishly, I am deciding late in the game to join in with this little event.

I first heard of this readathon from Katie from Books and Things’ video announcing the readathon back at the start of September and I did scribble down something in my calendar then, a note which I promptly forgot until right this second! The hosts are the aforementioned Katie from Books and ThingsAgne from Beyond the PagesAlysia from exlibrisYamini from TheSkepticalReader and Kate Howe, a group of lovely ladies whose videos you should definitely go and check out, particularly if you do enjoy Victorian literature.

So, after scrambling around my still packed boxes of books (there are a lot of them, in my defence), I have put together a tentative TBR for this month’s reading, aided by the challenges set by the readathon hosts. I’ve kept my list fairly short and low-key, simply because I would like to have the time to also read other non-Victorian novels that I have already committed to reading in October. So, let’s see how ambitious I am being…

Challenges

1. Read a Victorian novel in a week
2. Read a Victorian Gothic novel
3. Read a Victorian novel by a female author
4. Read a work of Victorian literature that isn’t a novel (i.e. non-fiction, poetry, plays)
5. Read a Victorian novel that has a plot or scheme afoot

I love these challenges – particularly number 5! – but I will be probably doubling up on some of them, simply because, as I said, I have a lot of things to get round to over the course of the next few weeks. My tentative TBR pile looks a little like this…

My TBRimg_0951

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde – challenge 4
The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens – challenge 1/2
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte – challenge 3
Sherlock Holmes stories (A Study in Scarlet or Adventures of Sherlock Holmesby Arthur Conan Doyle – challenge 4/5


That was my hopeful TBR for #victober.
Are you also participating in Victorian October this month?
If not, do you enjoy Victorian literature?
Comment below, I’d love to chat all things Victorian!


Goodreads | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Bloglovin’