'How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare that after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.' No one made any reply. She then yawned again, threw aside her book, and cast her eyes round the room in quest of some amusement. — from Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
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January 5, 2016

Joining Ali's #Woolfalong



Virginia Woolf is one of the writers who belongs to an odd category of my reading life:  someone whom I've read a lot about, but haven't read.  {Eudora Welty is in this box, too ... and even my beloved Henry James.}  Not recently, but I've read biographies and diaries and letters — even fiction about her — and many, many other books about the Bloomsbury Group, but so very little of her fiction or essays. And then re-reading {and loving} To The Lighthouse last year brought home what I've been missing.  I do find her intimidating, but like Henry, once I get there, it's not as difficult, and much lovelier, than I expected.

So it's very exciting to look forward the year-long #Woolfalong, organized by Ali at heavenali. I especially like the way she has set it up, the pace and the range of reading. It's perfect. :) Thank you, Ali!

This is Ali's schedule for the #Woolfalong, with my preliminary notes on what I'm going to read...

January/February
Getting started with a famous Woolf novel –
To the Lighthouse or Mrs Dalloway
Mrs. Dalloway

. . .

March/April
The Voyage Out or Night and Day (Woolf’s first and second novels)
or Between the Acts (Woolf’s final novel)
I wanted to do the 100th anniversary reading of The Voyage Out last March, but didn't have time to do it justice, but I can celebrate its 101st. :) 


. . .

May/June
Shorter fiction – any collection of short stories. 
Kew Gardens (1919)
Monday or Tuesday (1921)
A Haunted House and Other Short Stories (1944)
Mrs Dalloway’s Party (1973)
The Complete Shorter Fiction (1985)
Carlyle’s House and Other Sketches (2003)
I just read Kew Gardens! Monday or Tuesday, Mrs. Dalloway's Party is
calling to me, 
but Monday or Tuesday and Carlyle's House  are also on my shelves...

. . .

July/August
Biographies – either Flush or Orlando or a biography of Virginia Woolf.
I read Alexandra Harris' relatively recent biography when it came out, 
but always planned to re-read it, so I will.   

. . .

September/ October

Nonfiction – essays or diaries. Any essay collection you fancy – there 
are a lot to choose from but you might want to consider:  A Room of One’s Own, Three Guineas, The Common Reader, or Virginia Woolf’s diaries. 
A Room of One's Own was my first 'audiobook,' decades ago, even though
it was on a record. I would love to read it again, and 
maybe dip into some of
these others.  Her essays on London are also appealing.

. . .

November/December
Another novel –  The Years/ Jacobs Room/ The Waves
Will decide later, when I hopefully know a little more
about her work. :)

Are you joining in, too?


3 comments:

JoAnn said...

Have fun, Audrey. I'm going to try to read To the Lighthouse this month, but City on Fire (if I stick with it) may derail those plans.

Sunday Taylor said...

I loved reading your post this morning! We are on the same wavelength, as I just wrote a blogpost about the Quentin Bell biography of Virginia that came out in the seventies. I would love to join this "Woolfalong." How fun! And since her birthday is this month, what a perfect time to begin. Coincidentally I read "To the Lighthouse" a few months ago with my book group and it was magnificent. It remains my favorite of her books.

Cosy Books said...

Mrs Dalloway has been languishing on my shelves for years so I'm liking the idea of joining in, Audrey. 'Stories from the Kitchen' published a snippet from 'To the Lighthouse' and the more I read, the more I loved it. This could be a year for Woolf!

Thank you for visiting!

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