Sometimes it’s not so much about a list. More about ideas and possibilities. Either way, my notebook is busy this month.

With Kinna’s 2017 Africa Reading Challenge, I’m eyeing the possibilities. Maybe some Ngũgĩ wa Thiongʼo or Buchi Emecheta, some Chinua Achebe or Brian Chikwava, or maybe, finally, Tsitsi Dangarembga.

Notebook April 2017Sometimes it’s very much about a list.

Like the books on my shelves that would fit with the #1951Club Reading.

(Links to both hosts’ sites there, if you’re curious!)

Bagnold, Enid The Loved and the Envied; Colette The Other Woman; Davies, Robertson Tempest-Tost; Keane, Molly Loving Without Tears; Klein, A.M. The Second Scroll; Lewis, C.S. Prince Caspian; Roy, Gabrielle Where Nests the Water Hen; Taylor, Elizabeth A Game of Hide and Seek; Tey, Josephine The Daughter of Time; Thirkell, Angela The Duke’s Daughter; Wyndham, John The Day of the Triffids. 

The winner was Robertson Davies’ Tempest-Tost, his first novel and the first of the Salterton trilogy. (Like I needed to start another series.)

Also spanning March ’til May, is a TBR Challenge hosted on Habitica. (Anyone else use this site to kick-start/maintain habits?) This helps me focus on series that I have started but haven’t finished, as well as group reads that fall between the cracks in my reading plans.

Basically the books that I keep saying “soon” about, finally making them “now”. You know the ones: there’s no particular reason to pull them off the shelf immediately (as opposed to, say, those books published in 1951), so they never get pulled off.

This includes three from each of three series which I’ve been trying to finish for years: Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series (Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory, Victory of Eagles), Maya Angelou’s autobiography (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Gather Together in My Name, and Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry like Christmas), and Mazo de la Roche’s Jalna series (Morning at Jalna, Mary Wakefield, Young Renny).

thien-do-not-say-we-have-nothingWould you believe that I’ve even reread the early Temeraires and the first Maya Angelou more than once, planning to read on to finish the series, but still never actually followed up? Are there series like this on your shelves, that you just never seem to finish?

My list for the Habitica Challenge also includes three books that have been on my TBR for at least twenty years.

I know, it’s embarrassing. But the first step is admitting that you have a problem, right?

So, that explains why I’m aiming for Zora Neale Hurston’s Dust Tracks on the Road and two books by Julio Cortazar, Blow Up and Other Stories and Hopscotch.

Next, the Library Thing reading group for Virago Modern Classics, which has chosen these three authors for April/May/June: Elizabeth von Arnim, Willa Cather, and Margaret Laurence.

That’s worked out to Christopher and Columbus, with “A Work in Progress”, and two others, as yet undecided.

All decided, but not all read, are my Reading Ireland choices: Malarky and Glorious Heresies and Ireland: An Autobiography.

Next week I’ll summarize what I have read so far. Were you reading Ireland too? Did you add something interesting to your TBR?

And, finally, there’s the matter of the Bailey’s Women’s Fiction Prize, which I’ve been following since its inception. Since you used to have to comb the newspaper hoping there would be a reporting on the day-after. And my TBR for the prize has been growing for that long, too, because there have only been a couple of years in which I read all the longlisted titles after they were announced.

Short-listed this year are Ayöbámi Adébáö’s Stay With Me, Naomi Alderman’s The Power, Linda Grant’s The Dark Circle, C.E. Morgan’s The Sport of Kings, Gwendoline Riley’s First Love, and Madeleine Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing.

Long-listed this year were Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed, Emma Flint’s Little Deaths, Mary Gaitskill’s The Mare, Eimear McBride’s The Lesser Bohemians, Fiona Melrose’s Midwinter, Yewande Omotose’s The Woman Next Door, Heather O’Neill’s The Lonely Hearts Hotel, Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent, Annie Proulx’s Barkskins, and Rose Tremain’s The Gustav Sonata.

Not to over look my rereading of L.M. Montgomery’s Emily books, which I was inspired to reread because of Naomi’s impassioned readalong, even though I haven’t been doing well with the readalonging.

And then there are the daily reads, right now alternating between Lori McNulty’s short story collection, Life on Mars, and a compilation called Our Story which fictionalizes tales from aboriginal history and includes pieces by two of my MRE (MustReadEverything) authors, Tomson Highway and Thomas King.

Does a notebook aid you when you are planning your reading? Is there some overlap between our reading plans? Is there anything scribbled here that you’ve read and enjoyed?