2018 – the halfway point

Emily, Countess of Kildare

It’s a few weeks late, but the end of June seems like a good point to review my reading so far this year. I read 39 books in the first half of 2018, but the overall number isn’t really what matters to me. How am I doing on my reading goals?

Of those 39, I’ve read 13 books by men, 24 by women and two by multiple authors. 12 have been works in translation – two per month, my best rate yet! Six of those were translated from Japanese, so the holiday clearly had a good influence. Our next holiday will be in Italy, so you may see some Italian translations added to that list before long.

But I’ve only read four books from the Classics Club this year. There are 19 left on my list and that December 2019 deadline is looming close. I know it’s a self-imposed challenge. I also know that 19 books in 18 months shouldn’t be much of a challenge anyway but I seem to have lost enthusiasm for many of the titles I picked. One thing the Classics Club does allow is changing the list as you go along, so perhaps it’s time I gave that some thought. Maybe I could find some Italian classics and kill two birds with one stone!

I’m roughly defining classic as older than me (i.e. written 1980 or before), never out of print but not necessarily famous. By that definition The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t classic because it was published in 1985, but Margaret Atwood’s second novel Surfacing is, which doesn’t seem quite right, but no definition is going to be perfect.

Sticking to that definition, what classics would you recommend I put on my list?