Reading Projects Wrap-up | 2020

Hi, folks!

My reading was a mess this year, and I cannot wrap-up my year-long projects soon enough. Let’s see what I managed to accomplish from my initial plans

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Back to the Classics

Back to the Classics, hosted by Karen, aimed at encouraging readers to tackle classic books. Below are the categories for 2020, and I read more than one book for each. These were more or less my favourites (with links to my reviews):

  1. 19th Century Classic: A Struggle for Fame, by Charlotte Riddell (1883)
  2. 20th Century Classic: Their Eyes Were Watching Godby Zora Neale Hurston (1937)
  3. Classic by a Woman Author: Child of All Nations, by Irmgard Keun (2008, tr. Michael Hofmann. Original: Kind aller Länder, 1938)
  4. Classic in Translation: People in the Room, by Norah Lange (2018, tr. Charlotte Whittle. Original: Personas en la sala, 1950)
  5. Classic by a Person of Color: Passing, by Nella Larsen (1929)
  6. A Genre Classic: Kallocain, by Karin Boye (2019, tr. David McDuff. Original: 1940)
  7. Classic with a Person’s Name in the Title: Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks (1953)
  8. Classic with a Place in the Title: A Jewish Mother from Berlin, by Gertrud Kolmar (1997, tr. Brigitte M. Goldstein. Original: Eine MutterDie jüdische Mutter, written in 1930/31, and first published posthumously in 1965)
  9. Classic with Nature in the Title: Pale Horse, Pale Rider (1939), by Katherine Anne Porter
  10. Classic About a Family: A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry (1959)
  11. Abandoned Classic: One Way of Love, by Gamel Woolsey (novel written in 1931-32, published in 1987)
  12. Classic Adaptation: The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton (1920)

Contact: Goodreads


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European Reading Challenge

European Reading Challenge is hosted by Gilion, and the idea was to tour Europe through books. My level of participation was deluxe entourage (or 5 stars): to read, at least, five qualifying books. Below are the books I read in 2020 (with links to my reviews):

  1. Austria: Die Vergiftung (‘The Poisoning’, 1920), by Maria Lazar
  2. France: The Immoralist, by André Gide, tr. Dorothy Bussy (1930. Original: L’Immoraliste, 1902)
  3. Poland: Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, by Olga Tokarczuk (2018, tr.  Antonia Lloyd-Jones. Original: Prowadź swój pług przez kości umarłych, 2009)
  4. Ireland: A Struggle for Fame, by Charlotte Riddell (1883)
  5. Sweden: Kallocain, by Karin Boye (2019, tr. David McDuff. Original: 1940)
  6. Germany: The Seventh Cross, by Anna Seghers (2018, tr. Margot Bettauer Dembo. Original: Das siebte Kreuz, 1942)
  7. The Netherlands: The Tree and the Vine, by Dola de Jong (1961, tr. Ilona Kinzer; 2020, tr. Kristen Gehrman. Original: De thuiswacht, 1954)
  8. UK:  Her Father’s Name, by Florence Marryat (1876)
  9. Belgium: Child of All Nations, by Irmgard Keun (2008, tr. Michael Hofmann. Original: Kind aller Länder, 1938)
  10. Norway: Love, by Hanne Ørstavik (2018, tr. Martin Aitken. Original: Kjærlighet, 1997)
  11. Denmark: A Change of Time, by Ida Jessen, tr. Martin Aitken (2019, tr. Martin Aitken. Original: En ny tid, 2015)
  12. Russia: The Last Summer, by Ricarda Huch (2016, tr.  Jamie Bulloch. Original: Der letzte Sommer, 1910)
  13. Spain: Every Eye, by Isobel English (1956)
  14. Greece: The Woman of the Wolf and Other Stories, by Renée Vivien (1983, tr. Karla Jay and Yvonne M. Klein. Reissued in 2020, by Gallic Books. Original: La Dame à la louve, 1904)
  15. Italy: Circe’s Mountain: Stories, by Marie Luise Kaschnitz (1990, tr. Lisel Mueller)
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Argentinean Literature of Doom

This project is hosted by Richard at Caravana de Recuerdos, and the idea was to read and review at least one piece of fiction written by an Argentinean author, read and review at least one nonfiction work on Argentina, or watch and review one film that falls under the same general criteria. Full details here. I read the following books:

  • Sobre a Arte Contemporânea“, by César Aira (‘On Contemporary Art’, 2010)
  • Comemadre, by Roque Larraquy (2018, tr. Heather Cleary. Original: La comemadre, 2010=
  • Die, My Love, by Ariana Harwicz (2017, tr. Sarah Moses & Carolina Orloff. Original: Matate, Amor, 2012)
  • People in the Room, by Norah Lange (2018, tr. Charlotte Whittle. Original: Personas en la sala, 1950)
  • The Adventures of China Iron, by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara (2019, tr. Fiona Mackintosh and Iona Macintyre. Original: Las aventuras de la China Iron, 2017)
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Classics Club

The Classics Club readers commit to read and blog about at least 50 classics over five years. In 2020, I decided to make a fresh start, and created a new list for the next five years. From my new list (current score: 11/125), I read the following books:

  1. The Friendly Young Ladies by Mary Renault (1943)
  2. The Half-Sisters, by Geraldine Jewsbury (1848)
  3. Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted, by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1892)
  4. Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks (1953)
  5. Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave (1850)
  6. Our Nig, or Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, by Harriet E. Wilson (1859)
  7. Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller (1969)
  8. Plum Bun: A Novel Without a Moral by Jessie Redmon Fauset (1928)
  9. The Romance of a Shop, by Amy Levy (1888)
  10. The Tree and the Vine, by Dola de Jong (2020, tr. Kristen Gehrman. Original: De thuiswacht, 1954)
  11. A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney (1958)
  12. O, the Brave Music, by Dorothy Evelyn Smith (1943)
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Century of Books

This is a reading project created by Simon, with the aim of reading and reviewing a book published in every year of the 20th century. I am taking it as a long-term project, and my aim is to read one book for every year of the 19th century. Here is my list (current score: 27/100). In 2020, I read the following books for this project (I am only counting years for which I had not read any book previously):

  1. 1842 –The Jews’ Beech Tree: A Moral Portrait from Mountainous Westphalia, by Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (2014, tr.Jolyon Timothy Hughes. Also: The Jew’s Beech, tr. Lionel Thomas and Doris Thomas, 2009. Original: Die Judenbuche, 1842)
  2. 1848 – The Half-Sisters, by Geraldine Jewsbury
  3. 1876 – Her Father’s Name, by Florence Marryat (1876)
  4. 1888 – The Romance of a Shop (1888), by Amy Levy
  5. 1892 – Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted, by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
  6. 1893 – Celeste, by Maria Benedita Bormann (1893)
  7. 1899 – A Rainha do Ignoto, by Emília Freitas (1899, ‘Queen of Ignotus’)
  8. 1900 – Horto, by Auta de Souza (1900)
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Australian Women Writers Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Elizabeth to help overcome gender bias in the reviewing of books by Australian women. Full details here. I only read two Australian books:

  • Painted Clay, by Capel Boake (1917)
  • The Persimmon Tree and Other Stories, by Marjorie Barnard (1943)
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Deal me In Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Jay to encourage readers to read 52 short stories in 2020. Full details here. I started the year well, but only managed to complete one standard deck of cards:

Diamonds♦: Infinite Riches, a Virago Modern Classics short story collection, edited by Lynne Knight (1993)

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Read More German Books in 2020

This is hosted by Mel and Britta to encourage readers to read more German books. You can find more details at their Goodreads Group. I managed to achieve the Seewinkel level of participation (read 6 to 10 books):

    1. The Seventh Cross, by Anna Seghers (2018, tr. Margot Bettauer Dembo. Original: Das siebte Kreuz, 1942)
    2. The Last Summer, by Ricarda Huch (2016, tr.  Jamie Bulloch. Original: Der letzte Sommer, 1910)
    3. A Jewish Mother from Berlin / Susanna, by Gertrud Kolmar (1997, tr. Brigitte M. Goldstein. Original: Eine MutterDie jüdische Mutter, written in 1930/31, and first published posthumously in 1965/ Susanna, written in 1939/1940, and first published posthumously in 1959)
    4. Child of All Nations, by Irmgard Keun (2008, tr. Michael Hofmann. Original: Kind aller Länder, 1938)
    5. After Midnight, by Irmgard Keun (2011, tr. Anthea Bell. Original: Nach Mitternacht, 1937)
    6. Die Vergiftung (‘The Poisoning’, 1920), by Maria Lazar
    7. Die Judenbuche, by Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (1842)
      • English: The Jews’ Beech Tree: A Moral Portrait from Mountainous Westphalia, tr. Jolyon Timothy Hughes (2014). Also: The Jew’s Beech, tr. Lionel Thomas and Doris Thomas (2009)
    8. Krambambuli, by Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (1883)
    9. Circe’s Mountain: Stories, by Marie Luise Kaschnitz (1990, tr. Lisel Mueller)
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Curious Adventure

This challenge is hosted by Natalie at Curious Reader, and the idea was to read more nonfiction books throughout the year. Full details about the challenge here. I completely failed at this and have not read anything I had planned!

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Russian Literature Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Keely to share her passion for Russian literature. Full details here. And here you can find a recommended reading list. I have not read anything I had planned for this challenge and Keely’s blog has since been deleted, but I made a list of possibilities here and created a Russian Women Authors List Challenge.

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100 Best WIT

100 Best WIT, hosted by Meytal at Biblibio, is a crowdsourced list of the top 100 books by women writers in translation according to the readers. From this list (my current score: 46/ 100), I read the following books in 2020:

    1. Convenience Store Woman, by Sayaka Murata (2018, tr. Ginny Tapley Takemori. Original: コンビニ人間 – Konbini ningen, 2016)
    2. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, by Olga Tokarczuk (2018, tr.  Antonia Lloyd-Jones. Original: Prowadź swój pług przez kości umarłych, 2009)
    3. Die, My Love, by Ariana Harwicz (2017, tr. Sarah Moses & Carolina Orloff. Original: Matate, Amor, 2012)
    4. Love, by Hanne Ørstavik (2018, tr. Martin Aitken. Original: Kjærlighet, 1997)
    5. So Long a Letter, by Mariama Bâ (1989, tr. Modupé Bodé-Thomas. Original: Une si longue lettre, 1981)
    6. Tentacle, by Rita Indiana (2018, tr. Achy Obejas. Original: La mucama de Omicunlé, 2015)
    7. People in the Room, by Norah Lange (2018, tr. Charlotte Whittle. Original: Personas en la sala, 1950)
    8. The Seventh Cross, by Anna Seghers (2018, tr. Margo Bettauer Dembo. Original: Das siebte Kreuz, 1942)
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Other personal projects

I have not read any books for My Year of Pilgrimage. From my list of 12 new-to-me authors to try in 2020, I only read 5: Marjorie Barnard, Gamel Woolsey, Ann Radcliffe, Norah Lange, and Susan Ferrier. As for my local bookclub, I stopped attending the online meetings… :/ And I read only 3 boos from my list of most anticipated book releases for 2020, and 5 books from my Winter TBR. Oh well.

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Book journal

In case you are curious, here you can find out more about the way I organised all these projects on my 2020 book journal. And here is my Mid-Year Check In | 2020


That’s it for now, folks.  How did your projects go this year?

Yours truly,

J.


T. F. Simon. ‘Vilma Reading a Book’. 1912.

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