Christmas and the New Year seems forever ago now - the build up and excitement are always much longer than the event! So January has passed, and it's been quite month so I'm celebrating seeing the back of it and now I look forward to February! The weather is wild here today - Storm Henry has arrived: the wind's getting up (the poor chickens are hiding under the coop) and it's pouring down, which is now a great concern to be honest because of all the rain we've had there's damage starting to reveal itself in the house. Hopefully it'll all get brighter in a few days... I'm not a great fan of February but it does have some very good points: the days become noticeably longer, snowdrops start appearing, and occasionally the odd daffodil peaks up (the daffodils in my garden were planted just a week ago already in flower so that's a bit of a cheat!). I am wholeheartedly looking forward to seeing some signs of spring!
As ever I've got lots of reading plans - there is so much I want to read at the minute! I did have a little lull in January - it wasn't that I wasn't reading, just that I wasn't enjoying anything that much. My two five-star books of January were The Orestia by Aeschylus, which I loved but it was a difficult read, and The Diary of a Country Parson 1758 - 1802 by James Woodforde which I am looking forward to reviewing later in the week. Also later in the week I'll be writing about Lycidas by John Milton for my Deal Me In Challenge, Theogony by Hesiod (I enjoyed it, but I think it'll be a tough one to write about) and Evelina by Fanny Burney - that was a re-read, and both times around I gave it three stars. Not one I could get into, but it wasn't a dull read.
With those read I started this morning on The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy (I'm looking forward to an early night to read some more!), and I'll also be continuing the Ovid read-along (next week I'll be writing about Books V & VI, and the VII & VIII at the end of the month). As for the rest - I am so into Greek plays at the moment! I mentioned I had the complete (surviving) works of Euripides now: I'm aiming to read Andromache, Bacchae, and Cyclops very soon and I wish I had time to read more. On the Greek theme - for the 12 Month Classic Challenge February's theme is 'a classic you've always dreaded reading': mine is the History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides. It's not that I don't want to read it, but I fear it may be a little too difficult for one so inexperienced with the Greeks... I think I may try reading a little of that this evening as well, hopefully to prove myself wrong!
Other books on my list for this month: Richard II by William Shakespeare to continue reading Shakespeare's histories. Also I'm hoping to get to News from Nowhere by William Morris, A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland by Samuel Johnson and A Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides by James Boswell - I've been putting these two off for far too long - The Old Wives Tale by Arnold Bennet (Virginia Woolf has put me off Bennett, now is the time to make a first try and Bennett), and finally, the big read - Felix Holt, the Radical by George Eliot (this and Romola are the only two Eliot novels I haven't read). All this plus three mystery Deal Me In Challenges! Would that I had more time, I would read a lot more Greeks. If I did have more time I'd also read The Iliad again and Works and Days by Hesiod. Don't think I'll manage it, though...
So lots of plans, and I hope that February proves to be a more peaceful month. I'm not feeling quite myself at present - a quiet month would greatly be appreciated!
Happy February, everyone!