EGADS! A Challenge!

I can’t believe it’s here already! IT’S HERE!!! And this year’s button is even more beautiful than last years (OHEMGEE THE BUTTON). I don’t know how Carl V does it, but somehow he always pull it out when it comes to the Once Upon a Time Challenge. This, along with Carl’s fall-themed Readers Imbibing Peril (RIP) challenge, is by far my favorite blog-o-sphere challenge/event. In Carl’s words, the Once Upon a Time challenge

a reading and viewing event that encompasses four broad categories: Fairy Tale, Folklore, Fantasy and Mythology, including the seemingly countless sub-genres and blending of genres that fall within this spectrum. The challenge continues through Tuesday, June 19th and allows for very minor (1 book only) participation as well as more immersion depending on your reading/viewing whims.

Basically, it’s about using that spring air to get in the mood to read all kinds of, well, stories that may indeed begin “once upon a time”! This is the first year I’ve ever tried to coordinate this challenge with other, larger goals behind what I’m blogging, but I’m looking forward to finding a way for them to fit together!

As per usual, Carl has created a variety of levels for participation, everything from reading one work to reading works in each of the four categories AND short stories AND film watching. Because of the other factors I’m trying to stick to, this year I’m thinking I’m going to have to go with:

which just entails reading four or more books in any of the categories over the course of the challenge, which runs from March 21st (yesterday) through June 19th. Looking at my master list, I’ve put together the following list of hopefuls (and yes, I know that theĀ Lord of the RingsĀ is technically three books, but in my mind it all counts as one epic story, so it works)

  1. The Odyssey by Homer
  2. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein
  3. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  4. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne AND
  5. A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare (because no springtime or Once Upon a Time challenge would be complete without it!)

All in all, I couldn’t be more excited for the reading, and because this makes it OFFICIALLY spring time! And you? You should participate, too! Hop on over to Carl’s blog, then make sure to come back here and tell me what you’re reading!

<— This totally doesn’t need to be here, but I always love Carl’s buttons, especially those that use Melissa Nucera‘s artwork. Plus…fox!


Prescription: Reading – The List

I know, I know! I got you all hyped up last time to see this great list I was working on, and then nothing! Only the mention of the list. Well, to be honest, at the time the list wasn’t exactly 100% finalized, as I was still trying to decide which titles to include for a couple of authors (Dickens and Fitzgerald, mainly). But the decision has been made, the line has been drawn, and the list is done! 150 titles that, when I’m done, I feel confident will have had multiple kinds of effects on me. The titles range from ancient to semi-contemporary, and while I realize that there is no possible way for me to read all of the books out there that could be considered classics, and that are important to have read, I like the list that I’ve put together for myelf! It’s got a smattering of already-been-reads, a few more long-been-feareds, and even some science fiction and children’s literature classics to keep my own personal whimsies entertained. If you read the list and can think of come MAJOR, LIFE CHANGING MENTAL FONDLE of a novel, please leave a comment letting me know what it is, as I’m not entirely firmly stuck on the number 150, but unless that happens, may I present the list in all of its author-alphabetized glory!

Winnie the Pooh A.A. Milne
The Oresteia Aeschylus
The Stranger Albert Camus
The Plague Albert Camus
Brave New World Aldous Huxley
The Color Purple Alice Walker
Agnes Grey Anne Bronte
The Mysteries of Udolpho Anne Radcliffe
The Cherry Orchard Anton Chekhov
The Crucible Arthur Miller
Death of a Salseman Arthur Miller
Dr. Zhivago Boris Pasternak
The Chronicles of Narnia C.S. Lewis
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Carson McCullers
David Copperfield Charles Dickens
Great Expectations Charles Dickens
Hard Times Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist Charles Dickens
Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte
Wuthering Heights Charlotte Bronte
Villette Charlotte Bronte
Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe
Sons and Lovers D.H. Lawrence
Lady Chatterly’s Lover D.H. Lawrence
The Divine Comedy Dante
Rebecca Daphne DuMaurier
Charlotte’s Web E.B. White
A Passage to India E.M. Forester
Room with a View E.M. Forester
Howards End E.M. Forester
The Age of Innocence Edith Wharton
The House of Mirth Edith Wharton
The Faerie Queen Edmund Spenser
The Sun also Rises Ernest Hemingway
For Whom the Bell Tolls Ernest Hemingway
A Farewell to Arms Ernest Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway
Bridshead Revisited Evelyn Waugh
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
This Side of Paradise F. Scott Fitzgerald
Tender is the Night F. Scott Fitzgerald
A Good Man is Hard to Find Flannery O’Connor
The Trial Franz Kafka
The Metamorphosis Franz Kafka
Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoyevsky
One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Love in the Time of Cholera Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Silas Marner George Eliot
Middlemarch George Eliot
Mill on the Floss George Eliot
Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell
Animal Farm George Orwell
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas Gertrude Stein
Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
Uncle Tom’s Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe
The Portrait of a Lady Henry James
Moby Dick Herman Melville
The Iliad Homer
The Odyssey Homer
Franny and Zooey J.D. Salinger
The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkein
On the Road Jack Kerouac
Maggie Cassady Jack Kerouac
Giovanni’s Room James Baldwin
Go Tell it on the Mountain James Baldwin
The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Joyce
Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen
Emma Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey Jane Austen
Mansfield Park Jane Austen
Paradise Lost John Milton
Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck
The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck
Gulliver’s Travels Johnathon Swift
The Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
Catch-22 Joseph Heller
The Awakening Kate Chopin
The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut
War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy
Little Women Louisa May Alcott
The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood
The Blind Assassin Margaret Atwood
Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell
Tom Sawyer Mark Twain
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court Mark Twain
Frankenstein Mary Shelly
Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie Muriel Spark
The Scarlett Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Picture of Dorian Grey Oscar Wilde
The Importance of Being Earnest Oscar Wilde
Metamorphosis Ovid
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
Farenheit 451 Ray Bradbury
The Martian Chronicles Ray Bradbury
The Illustrated Man Ray Bradbury
Watership Down Richard Adams
Native Son Richard Wright
Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie
The Haunting of Hill House Shirley Jackson
The Complete Sherlock Holmes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath
The Waste Land T.S. Eliot
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Tennessee Williams
Streetcar Named Desire Tennessee Williams
An American Trajedy Theodore Dreiser
Tess of the D’Ubervilles Thomas Hardy
Beloved Toni Morrison
Jazz Toni Morrison
Paradise Toni Morrison
The Aenid Virgil
To the Lighthouse Virginia Woolf
Mrs. Dalloway Virginia Woolf
Lolita Vladimir Nabakov
Pale Fire Vladimir Nabakov
The Woman in White Wilkie Collins
The Moonstone Wilkie Collins
Death Comes for the Archbishop Willa Cather
The Professor’s House Willa Cather
Songs of Innocence and Experience William Blake
The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner
Light in August William Faulkner
Lord of the Flies William Golding
All’s Well that Ends Well William Shakespeare
As You Like It William Shakespeare
Measure for Measure William Shakespeare
The Merchant of Venice William Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night’s Dream William Shakespeare
Much Ado About Nothing William Shakespeare
Taming of the Shrew William Shakespeare
Twelfth Night William Shakespeare
Winter’s Tale William Shakespeare
Henry IV, Part 1 William Shakespeare
Henry IV, Part 2 William Shakespeare
Henry VI, Part 1 William Shakespeare
Henry VI, Part 2 William Shakespeare
Henry VI, Part 3 William Shakespeare
Antony and Cleopatra William Shakespeare
Hamlet William Shakespeare
King Lear William Shakespeare
Macbeth William Shakespeare
Othello William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare
Titus Andronicus William Shakespeare
Their Eyes were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston

There you have it! I’m still not sure where I want to start, but right now I’ve got both Middlemarch and Great Expectations sitting on the windowsill next to me, so we’ll see which one comes out triumphant as the first read in this Literary Journey To Mount Doom.