2020 (what a year it has been and it's only May)
I feel like I always start my posts off with some form of "it's been a while" but life gets busy and sitting down to write always takes second place to whatever little thing needs to be done that day. I feel like in our fast moving world everyone experiences some form of that. I've never been someone who is capable of relaxing - all of the things I love to do always have some kind of "goal" or ambition - even reading and writing. I think having goals and setting challenges for myself when it comes to reading and/or writing has encouraged me to view reading and writing as a chore and that has made it feel like something I have to force myself to do. I miss the days where I would just read and write because I wanted to and because I loved it. I have read 16 books or plays this year (having not finished one since March), which is already double what I read last year, so reading hasn't been an issue this year. It's the communication part that has begun to feel like a chore for me. So, recently I have been thinking of ways I can share my love of the books I read in a way that wont feel like a chore. I have a few ideas brimming in my head which I am still formulating but it has me motivated again.
As much as I love participating in reading challenges I think I'm going to take a break and just read what I want to read when I want to read it. I'm not counting my Russian Literature Challenge 2020 as I read Russian literature all the time and always will. It's probably my favourite "genre" of classic literature and I will always come back to it. I just want and need to take the pressure out of reading. Literature is my greatest passion and I want to embrace that going forward in a way that feels right. So that is what I am going to do.
2020 so far has been focused on Turgenev short stories/novellas and Ancient Greek plays and it has been a productive time. So far I have read:
- The Last of the Plantagenets by Caroline M. Ketaltas which was a Victorian era play set in the last days of the Plantagenet era. I absolutely loved this play and I always like finding new female authors I haven't read before
- King Lear by William Shakespeare - one of my favourite all time Shakespeare plays. I read this to refresh my mind as I wanted to read the Turgenev story based on King Lear.
- King Lear of the Steppes by Turgenev - great story that puts a Russian spin on the Lear story, as if the original wasn't already tragic enough
- Herodias by Gustave Flaubert - nice biblical retelling of the story of Salome and John the Baptist. I love Flaubert and his writing style is beautiful.
- A Strange Story by Turgenev - another great short story from Turgenev. I love how every story of his has strong complex women. He definitely wasn't a misogynist like his friend Tolstoy.
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis - I love fantasy and I wanted to read all of the Narnia books this year. Not sure if I will but this one was a great reminder of how much I love these books.
- The Wasps by Aristophanes - this was a really nice play and my first Aristophanes. I adore satire and no one is quite as good as Aristophanes at it.
- Andromache by Euripides - haven't met a Euripides play I haven't loved. His plays about the women of Sparta and Troy are by far my favourites. He has such a gentle touch. I also like how experimental his plays are.
- The Rendezvous by Turgenev - brilliant little story. No one is better than Turgenev at writing small moments into beautiful nostalgic stories that make your heart ache.
- Hecuba by Euripides - another stellar Euripides play. I haven't read much about Hecuba before this and I loved every moment. Euripides is so good at writing women.
- The Unfortunate One by Turgenev - an absolutely incredible novella. No one is better at combining social reform, the beauty and terror of life, unrequited love and passions into one incredible story.
- Ajax by Sophocles - really loved this play. Sophocles, like Euripides, has never written a play I don't love. As a football fan I got a kick out of this one (pun intended).
- Andrei Kolosov by Turgenev - again, another incredible Turgenev story. He's clearly my favourite writer and he's so so good at his craft. Will read anything he's written. At any time. Always and forever.
- Suppliants by Aeschylus - an interesting start to reading his plays. Really like his writing style and while he's not my favourite Greek writer, that is Euripides, I can't wait to read more of his work.
- Enough by Ivan Turgenev - beautiful little story by Turgenev. Haven't read one single piece of writing by him that I don't love.
Looking at this list I have read more than I thought I did. I read the Greek plays and Turgenev stories for the Deal Me In Challenge and, although I won't be continuing this challenge strictly, I hope to read all of the ones on my list by the end of the year.
I'm turning 28 next week so I am currently reading Persuasion by Austen as I'm turning the same as Anne Elliot, one of my favourite characters of all time, was in the book. I am also feeling like I want to reread my other favourite books this month and next month. I feel like since we are all still in isolation it's a good way to spend my time.
If you're reading this tell me the best book you've read this year and why!
Hope everyone is well....