"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Plans for 2017

Well this is certainly late, and frankly I’ve been wondering whether I should even bother providing reading plans for the year given I deviated dramatically last year from my beginning of the year plans.  But I will.  Two works in my annual goal were left unfinished: Adrian Goldsworthy’s Julius Caesar and Max Egremont collection of  WWI poetry in Some Desperate Glory: The First World War the Poets Knew.  I’m about two thirds deep in both books, but I’ve been reading the Julius Caesar biography for three years now. 

The planned reads I never got to start make quite a list: Herta Müller’s The Hunger Angel, Thomas Berger’s Crazy in Berlin, D. H. Lawrence’s novella, The Virgin and the Gypsy, Volume III of Victor Hugo’s, Les Misérables, titled “Marius,.” the third novel in Ford Madox Ford’s tetralogy under the heading Parade’s End, titled, A Man Could Stand Up, William Faulkner’s Old Man, Gertrude von Le Fort, The Wife of Pilate, Dante’s third part of The Divine Comedy, Paradisio, Pam Johnson-Bennett’s non-fiction Think Like a Cat, Thomas Cahill’s Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter and Lawrence Rainey’s The Annotated Waste Land with Eliot’s Contemporary Prose, an annotation and commentary to T. S. Eliot’s great poem.  That amounts to four novels, three novellas, two works of non-fiction, and two works of book length poetry with commentary.  Add to the unfinished works and you’ve got an annual goal all in itself.

It’s not like I didn’t read enough last year.  I read nearly the amount I normally do.  The problem is I belong to a couple of book clubs now and the books selected come out of a vote, and what’s selected is usually out of my control.  And so I had to put off planned reads.

So here’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to march down the list above, completing last year’s list.  I’ll have to add works that get chosen from the book clubs but I’m going to limit my participation to them and try to focus on what I want to read.

In addition to those listed above, I’m going to continue reading through the Bible.  On the Old Testament side, I’m up to Wisdom books: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom, and Sirach.  On the New Testament I’ll be completing Paul’s Epistles.  In the past couple of years I’ve read Romans and the two Corinthians.  This year will be the Letter to the Galatians, Letter to the Ephesians, Letter to the Philippians, Letter to the Colossians, First and Second Letters to the Thessalonian, First and Second Letters to the Timothy, Letter to Titus, Letter to Philemon, and Letter to the Hebrews.  It sounds like a lot but many of those works are very short.

I’ll be aiming for two short stories a month as always, and I will also try to sneak in another play of Shakespeare I haven’t read yet.

Some of this I’ve already begun and even completed.  I’ll try to blog more on my readings.  I feel so guilty about dropping that.  I’d hate for my blog to disintegrate.  Well, here’s to another year of reading.


  1. Thank you Manny, for visiting my Blog and commenting there. I have responded to your points.

    As always I am amazed at the amount you read. How do you plan. Do you put in a diary that by a given date you will have read this or that book? Or is it just a list you go through as the books are read.

    Big books can be tiresome to read, especially if read in conjunction with other books. Like Hugo's Les Miserables, for instance. Have you thought of seeing the film with the subtitles on; then you can say you've read the book. Clever, don't you think?

    God bless.

    1. I don't use a diary though I know some people do with what they read. I have started a spreadsheet where I put the books to read and with approximate dates of when to start. It doesn't work out often.

      Ah, I'll have to remember to watch the films in a foreign language, just so I can get a version with subtitles and then I can claim I read it! You are brilliant Victor. :)

  2. I am always astounded at how much you read. I see you are still going through Les Miserables! I have joined an Online Book Club that pays for people to read works by new authors and write reviews. Not much, mind you, but it's good side money and easy. Even occasionally pleasant!

    1. Really, a book club that pays people to read? Is there a website to go to? I wouldn't have the time but I am curious.

      Yes, still going through Les Mis. I'm probably going to take that up after my Lenten reads.

  3. Manny: Are you on Goodreads? If so, what is your handle? I'd like to connect.

    1. Hi Virginia. Yes I am. There is no handle other than my name. I'm Manny. I don't know how to get you the link to me there. I find Goodreads so not user friendly. But I'm in the book club called Catholic Thought. You might be able to find me through there.