Friday, September 25, 2009

Series and collections I want to finish before 2012

I started reading the Barchester series all the way back in 1991 with "Barchester Towers." I got through "Doctor Thorne," but then I stopped at "Framley Parsonage" around 1996, because the parson's plight was too similar to my own at the time, vis a vis money. I'm going to restart Framley at the beginning of next year and make it a goal to get through the rest of the books by summer 2011. I will have finished my MLIS degree next summer, so I will have more time to devote to literature that requires somewhat more concentration.

I also want to finish the first volume of "A Dance to the Music of Time." I read the first novel in 2005, "A Question of Upbringing," and I loved it, but then I stalled starting in on the second, "A Buyer's Market." What I found fascinating in "Question"was the fact there was a self-serving schoolteacher who fed off the success of his students -- exactly like Professor Slughorn in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." I wonder if Rowling has read Anthony Powell, and if the character inspired Slughorn -- or it may be a coincidence.

I'm also planning on reading "Swann's Way" at some point, but I don't think I'm going to continue on with A la recherche du temps perdu after that. This is just to say that I read it. I also need to read "The Lay of the Land," having read "The Sportswriter" and "Independence Day." (I think I read them back to back in 1999.)

After Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket ended, the only series I seem to be following is one I just started -- Matthew Hughes' Hengis Hapthorn series about a PI in the far future, just before magic is about to overturn rationality in the universe. I'm looking forward to another shorter series of Lemony Snicket books, and I may read the most recent Thomas Covenant books (I read the first three and skipped the second trilogy.) Also, I want to read the L'Engle novels that come after "A Wrinkle in Time." Here are the series I have finished (or at least the ones I remember):

"Chronicles of Narnia (all of them aloud)
"Series of Unfortunate Events" (all aloud)
"Harry Potter" (all aloud)
Octavia Butler's "Xenogenesis" trilogy (the third one got to be kind of annoying, but the middle one was great).
"Lord of the Rings" (not really a trilogy, but I read it twice, the second time aloud)
C.S. Lewis' space trilogy (nothing like I had imagined them; really provocative)
The Starbridge series (I loved these books. I loved the way Howatch had the stories intertwine, particularly they way she hid the death of a key character in the fifth novel, which in the timeline came after the sixth. I also loved the way she extended the plot into the St. Benedict series. I thought she had set up a resolution to the mystery in "Mystical Paths" at the end of "The Heartbreaker," but she may have retired from writing or is taking a long time on her next book, which may be altogether different.)

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