2020 Planning Thread

You would think being recently unemployed would leave me with a lot of extra time on my hands for things like reading. Apparently this is not the case. As it turns out, I'm incredibly bored. As it turns out, reading is something I can do just because I'm bored. It was a revelation 30-ish years in the making. 


As the new year approaches, I don't see my employment status changing. I need a hobby. Something I like to do when I'm bored is make lists. Is that weird? It sounds weird when I say/write it out loud. 


Once upon a time, my mom bought me the Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List. I shouldn't say bought. She got it for free at a garage sale. She thought it would be a funny gift. See, I'm not one who relishes in being told what to do. Especially when it comes to reading. I'm going to read what I want. On my very first day of freshman English in high school, I was handed a list of 50-75 books considered essential reading for anyone wanting to go to college. That list went in the trash as soon as class was done. 


How does any of this tie in to my need for a hobby and my mother's gift? In 2020, I'm going to read the books listed in the Idiot's Guide. The book breaks things down by genre. There are actually several lists within the book. I'm going to start with the historical fiction list. Mainly because I've already read several books on the list. 


This thread is going to serve as my tracking thread. 


I.) Historical Fiction Reading

  A.) Classical Reading

      1.) The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone

      2.) The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye

      3.) Forever Amber by Kathleen Windsor

      4.) Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

      5.) Hawaii by James Michener

      6.) I, Claudius by Robert Graves

      7.) Katherine by Anya Seton

      8.) The King Must Die by Mary Renault

      9.) The Lady in the Tower by Jean Plaidy

      10.) Shogun by James Clavell


  B.) Ancient World Reading

       1.) The Assyrian by Nicholas Guild

       2.) The Beacon at Alexandria by Gillian Bradshaw

       3.) The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel

       4.) Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield

       5.) The Gilded Chamber by Rebecca Kohn

       6.) Hippopotamus Marsh by Pauline Gedge

       7.) King and Goddess by Judith Tarr

       8.) Pompeii by Robert Harris

       9.) The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

       10.) Sarum by Edward Rutherford


  C.) Medieval Europe

        1.) The Innocent by Posie Graeme Evans

        2.) Jerusalem by Cecelia Holland

        3.) In the Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

        4.) The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman

        5.) A Vision of Light by Judith Merkle Riley

        6.) The Winter Mantle by Elizabeth Chadwick

        7.)The Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks


  D.) Royalty Rock Reading

      1.) The Alchemist's Daughter by Katherine McMahon

      2.) The Autobiography of Henry VIII, with Notes by his Fool, Will Somers by Margaret George

       3.) The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant

       4.) Circle of Pearls by Rosalind Laker

       5.) The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber

       6.) Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

       7.) The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett

       8.) The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

       9.) The Lady's Maid by Margaret Forester

      10.) The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. by Sandra Gulland

      11.) Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian

      12.) The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

      13.) Penmarric by Susan Howatch

      14.) Sails on the Horizon by Jay Worrall

      15.) The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn by Robin Maxwell

      16.) Sharpe's Tiger by Bernard Cornwell

      17.) Through Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen


  E.) United States Reading

       1.) Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund

       2.) The Alienist by Caleb Carr

       3.) Beloved by Toni Morrison

       4.) Brooklyn by Emily Barton

       5.) City of Light by Lauren Belfer

       6.) Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

       7.) The Color Purple by Alice Walker

       8.) Creek Mary's Blood by Dee Brown

       9.) Daughter's of Fortune by Isabel Allende

      10.) Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles

      11.) Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati

      12.) The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

      13.) The Known World by Edward P. Jones

      14.) Lincoln by Gore Vidal

      15.) North and South by John Jakes

      16.) People of the Wolf by W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear

      17.) Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow

      18.) Sacajawea by Anna Lee Waldo

      19.) These is my Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Pine, 1881-1901 by Nancy Turner

      20.) Voodo Dreams: A Novel of Marie Laveau by Jewell Parker Rhodes


  F.) Asia Reading

      1.) Empress Orchid by Anchee Min

      2.) The Impressionist by Hari Kunzra

      3.) Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

      4.) Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

      5.) Spring Moon by Bette Bao Lord


  G.) Middle East/Africa REading

       1.) Exodus by Leon Uris

       2.) Flight of the Falcon by Wilbur Smith


At some point, I think the Asia and Africa lists needs to be discussed in comparison to the United States and Europe lists.