So many books: 2018 reading goals


So many books, so little time. — Frank Zappa (attrib.)


As this is principally a book review blog most of the posts will be about … books. There are individual pages about longstanding interests of mine, Arthuriana (archaeology, history, mythology, popular culture, folklore) and its associated topic the Grail, but my tastes are generally rather catholic.

So you’ll find an awful lot of fantasy titles reviewed here, many by favourite authors E Nesbit and her successors Joan Aiken and Diana Wynne Jones. Much of fantasy shades into magic realism and SF or speculative fiction and so these are categories that are explored too. More highbrow literature is not neglected either, whether classic or modern, but fiction comes in all shapes and sizes so adventure stories rub shoulders with ghost tales, thrillers, crime fiction, historical romance and the occasional graphic novel.

Non fiction makes an appearance, from popular science to pseudohistory, from reference to biography, and from art to travel. I try to ring the changes, so if your interest isn’t immediately piqued have patience, something intriguing should come along soon. Feel free to start a conversation or discussion about any post — I aim to respond to each and every one so you won’t be wasting your time commenting into the ether! The only constraint, as Zappa is reported to have frankly and wisely remarked, is time.

Reading goals in 2018

1. Classics Spin
2. Goodreads Reading Challenge
3. Ultimate Reading Challenge

The Classics Spin is a randomised choice of 20 classics I’ve selected to complete before the end of 2020, all titles already on my shelves (listed below). I’ve subscribed again to the Goodreads Reading Challenge for this year, pledging to read at least 40 books in 2018. This will be regardless of whether they are first-time reads, rereads, library books or whatever. I don’t antipate any difficulties with this total: follow my progress at
The Ultimate Reading Challenge consists of 52 categories, but I don’t intend to complete all of them, just use them as a rough guide to creating variety in my reading matter.

Classics Spin titles

1. Apollonius: Jason and the Golden Fleece
2. J M Barrie: Peter Pan
3. Elinor Brent-Dyer: The New House at the Chalet School [read]
4. Anne Bronte: Agnes Grey [read]
5. Charlotte Bronte: Shirley
6. Frances Hodgson Burnett: A Little Princess
7. Frances Hodgson Burnett: The Secret Garden
8. Thomas Carlyle: Sartor Resartus
9. Anton Chekhov: Early Stories
10. Charles Dickens: Pictures from Italy
11. Charles Dickens: Oliver Twist
12. George Eliot: Middlemarch
13. Hermann Hesse: Steppenwolf
14. Charles Kingsley: Hypatia
15. Rudyard Kipling: Kim
16. D H Lawrence: The Princess and other stories
17. Niccolò Machiavelli: The Prince
18. Daphne du Maurier: Rebecca
19. George du Maurier: Trilby
20. L M Montgomery: Anne of Green Gables


10 thoughts on “So many books: 2018 reading goals

    1. Thanks, Emma! This is the tidiest it’s ever been in the loft, in preparation for a move…

      * Following the move the loft photo (now on another page) has now been replaced by an image of the bookshelves in the new house. 🙂

  1. Pingback: Literally challenged: update | calmgrove

    1. Are you planning to read Diana’s whole back catalogue, Daphne, as Marisa’s doing? My progress is proceeding at a very stately pace … The next Dido book is softly calling for me too, but she’ll have to wait while I demolish my bedside pile a bit more. 🙂

    1. Thank you. I suppose one is internalised landscapes against which narratives are played while the other is real landscapes in which real life is played out. Btw I like gardens and nature too. 🙂

    1. Thanks, I thought it was a good way to encourage me to actually pick up and read the darn books! And three years shouldn’t be too threatening a period, giving me plenty of time to choose among all those other works on my shelves.

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