Whether or not you are a fan of New Year’s Resolutions, the fact remains that many of us make them and few managed to keep up the good effort for more than a few days to weeks.
Then along comes an idea that is just made for signing up and actually completing. The Flashback Challenge, started by Aarti, a young Chicago book lover, is based on a Robertson Davies (you know, the Canadian novelist, author, journalist, professor) quote –
A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight.
The Challenge is simple – go, sign up, and commit yourself to re-reading somewhere between 3-12 books from earlier times in your life. If really ambitious, there is nothing stopping you from reading more. Three books in a year, that is not an overwhelming number. You don’t even have to decide which books right now. Read during the year. If you have energy, you could even use each as the subject for a blog post; you could right a review.
I haven’t decided which books yet, but I am going to re-read classic children’s literature and what I consider true early classics of SF/Fan. Perhaps a bit of Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain or Kenneth Grahame (if your mind just went blank – Wind in the Willows was first published in 1908). Then there are the books I read as they were being published in my childhood and early teens by Andre Norton, Clifford Simak, Theodore Sturgeon, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Walter M Miller, and Ursula Le Guin.
Yes, there are a lot of new and very interesting books being published. Perhaps by doing this and writing about it someone else will become interested in a particular book. It couldn’t hurt.
And you know what is really special about my plan? It is totally and completely vampire romance free…….
Ah, sounds good….not that I would necessarily choose the same authors. Elizabeth Goudge, Cynthia Harnett, John Verney, Madeleine L’Engle, Joan Aiken
Sounds like a good plan! I need to re-read Stranger in a Strange Land, and had already planned on some LIttle Women time…Also, I’m gonna throw in some Anne McCaffery (for double credit with the Shelfari group) and…I’ll be watching your list for inspiration!
Thanks for this seed,
there are a few books I love coming back to frequently, do those count, too?
Mostly German, and a few childrens book classics come to mind just now, thinking without looking into the shelves (in boxes right now, we renovated and restructured the living room).
Michael Ende: Momo and the neverending story.
Prinz Eisenherz, some of the SF anthologies I have bought at the “Ost Flohmarkt” at Platz der Astronauten in Jena when there still was the GDR.
Some of the girls mysteries were on the readlist already so I know if I can hand them to my niece as incentive for her first reading once she has enough basics down.
This will be a fun resolution and not painful at all.
This is a great idea. There are a ton of books on my shelves that I could choose from. Madeleine L’Engle, Lewis Carroll, Dickens. Just don’t make me read any Nancy Drew. Or Cherry Ames, the army nurse. Remember those?
This sounds lika a great excuse to re-read Jane Austin. How far back does “youth” have to go?
What a great idea Holly! For me it will include books in Polish, being my mother tongue, and it just so happens that I bought a couple books from my childhood when I was in Poland last February. I am looking forward to this reading challenge. And no vampire romance! LOL
I’ve done that, although, obviously, not the old-age part yet. My favorites for re-reading these days tend to be Rachel Remen (the best!), Jerome Groopman, Oliver Sacks…