I am going to make a bold claim. I have an all time, number one favourite book. My top ten, top five books change all the time, but first place never does. Anna Karenina is my favourite book because I think it is the best book ever written.
This claim is particularly bold because of the following confession: I have only read it once. Several years ago.
Having been to see the new film earlier this week I have been thinking about how much I love it and how I really should read it again.
Russian literature is something I have not got a lot of experience of, yet all the Russian classics I have read I have really enjoyed. So, after reading this article about the top five books Russian writers on the Penguin Classics website, I have decided that next year I shall read something by each writer. The top five Penguin choose are:
- Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
- The Devils by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
- A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov
- The Steppe and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov
- The Gift by Vladimir Nabokov
I reckon this should get me off to a good start in finding more Russian books and authors I’d like to try. I’ve studied The Cherry Orchard by Chekhov and have absolutely no memory of it at all, so that doesn’t count. I’ve read Lolita but would love to read another Nabokov too. I’m pretty sure Crime and Punishment is on my Classics Club list because I have my dad’s old copy floating around somewhere so that will take care of Dostoyevsky and after that – we’ll see.
I am putting this goal off until next year because I am determined to read the following by the end of the year:
- Anna Karenina because my favourite book deserves more than one reading.
- Clarissa because it needs my full attention and wasn’t supposed to take a year to read!
- Martin Chuzzlewit because I want to read this with o.
I am confident about having three definite good books to see the year out with. If I get time I’d love to read Les Miserables, but I think I’d struggle to read so many huge books in what now seems like not much time! Plus, I do need to leave some time free for some wintery books when the weather changes.
Here’s to favourites and spending time reacquainting yourself with them.