Monday, December 20, 2021

1000 Books Project: Classic Fantasy 2022


Challenge Backstory:
I picked up a copy of James Mustich's amazing 1000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life Changing List and upon looking through it, I realized it really is a well-rounded reading recommendation book. I was pleased to discover I have read quite a few of the books he lists, and that many of them are on my personal reading lists (and they are books I own). So, to ever expand my reading horizons, and include others in the journey, I decided to create a read-along challenge, or project, if you will.

Note: 2021 was French Classics. I managed to finish The Count of Monte Cristo, but Les Miserables proved too daunting after finishing the Dumas book so I'm working on finishing it gradually. It happens. I'm sure you can relate.

Without further ado, the project for 2022 is Classic Fantasy. Particularly...


The Once and Future King by T.H. White: January - June 2022
From 1000 Books to Read Before You Die...

King Arthur and his court have provided our literature with what may be its richest vein of story. A simple list of the names it encompasses--Arthur and Merlyn, Guenever and Lancelot, Avalon and Camelot--conjures a magical spell of adventure, intrigue, and nobility. No narrative enchanter has made more of its power than T.H. White. In the four novels--The Sword in the Stone (1938), The Queen of Air and Darkness (1939), The Ill-Made Knight (1940), and The Candle in the Wind (1958)--collected under the title The Once and Future King, White mined the ore of Arthurian tradition and infused it with both erudition and imagination to create a fresh treasury of humor, romance, fantasy, and tragedy.

and...


The Gormenghast Trilogy: Titus Groan/Gormenghast/Titus Alone by Mervyn Peake: July through December 2022

From 1000 Books to Read Before You Die...

The Other Side of Tolkien

Mervyn Peake lurks in the shadows of literature like a forgotten enchanter obscured by the main action of a fantasy sequence. In the royalty of the genre, one might even see him as J.R.R. Tolkien's dispossessed brother, ruling a realm wilder than the one the creator of The Lord of the Rings commanded. The difference is evident in their prose: Tolkien's writing is sturdy and occasionally poetic, but it pales next to Peake's idiosyncratic, virtuosic style. And where the former's heart lay with salt-of-the-earth types like Bilbo Baggins, the latter's allegiance was to eccentrics, artists, and rebels. Tolkien endorsed systems, hierarchies, and loyalties within both, while Peake railed against not only duties but against governance itself. But anyone of an expressive temperament or taste--admiring, say, the caricatural genius of Dickens and the inherent fatedness of Melville, or possessing a fondness for the Gothic or the baroque--will wander into Peake's imaginative realm with wonder, and likely to return to it again and again.

Watch for the reading schedule for our first read-along, The Once and Future King, which I will have posted on January 1st.

If you would like to join us, sign up below...and spread the word. Thanks!

 
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2 comments:

  1. I definitely want to do these two books this year! I had a lot of fun with the other two books last year. Seriously! But I won't be signing up with my blog. But I'll check in for discussions and try to keep with the schedule! Thanks for hosting again!

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  2. Interesting idea - but I read the Once and Future King as a teen and didnt really get on with it, and ditto Gormenghast for much the same reason. I realised recently I'd been mixing up Discworld with Gormenghast and steered clear of it, but having realised my error, I'm steadily reducing the number of Discworld books I need to read!

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