a reading plan for 2019: the year of the biography?

A new biography of Frederick Douglass has gotten glowing reviews, and as Douglass is one of my great heroes -- one of the greatest Americans -- I definitely want to read it.

This made me realize how many biographies I've been putting on The List and not reading. The one that's been on The List, unread, longest is Arnold Rampersad's biography of Jackie Robinson. Rampersad was the first biographer to have full access to Robinson's letters and other papers, as well as Rachel Robinson's approval and cooperation. It came out in 1998, and I'm reading it now.

Others on The List:
Peter Ackroyd's Dickens (1990) -- at more than 1,000 pages, this one is intimidating
Orwell: A Life, Bernard Crick (1992)
Helen Keller: A Life, Dorothy Hermann (1998)
Galileo, Watcher of the Skies, David Wootton (2013)
Ali: A Life, Jonathan Eig (2017)
Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Caroline Fraser (2017)

So I'm thinking, for my own reading, maybe this is the Year of the Biography. In between the bios, I would read other books as palate cleansers. I'm working my way through a mystery series -- very unusual for me to read an entire series, but I'm really enjoying Henning Mankell's Wallender books. Those will be great in between big fat biographies, plus there are always random titles I pick up at the library.

Will it all get boring? I'm going to try it -- with the understanding that I can drop it if I want. Also that it might take more than one year. That's all right, as I plan to be alive and reading next year, too.

I noticed we last chatted about my reading plans here. Readers had some very good advice... that I'm still working on.


Stephanie said...

I had the opportunity to read Judy Rebick Heroes in my Head. It was a great read and I would highly recommend it.

Stephanie said...

Not boring!

laura k said...

I'm sure the individual books won't be boring, but it might be boring to read so many consecutively. We shall see!

Nice to see Judy Rebick has a new memoir out. It's not for me, but I'm sure it's very interesting.

Jim said...

Oh yeah, the Wallander books are great. The TV series was good too, basically followed the plots of the novels. I think it was originally on PBS, then Netflix, but who knows where now.

laura k said...

Often when I like a detective series on TV, I am disappointed to find the books are not that good. But Mankell is a really good writer. I can only see Kenneth Branagh as Wallander, but that's not a problem!

Yes, first PBS, then Netflix (where I saw it), now probably Britbox. The fractioning of the streaming services... so annoying. And potentially expensive.

The Mound of Sound said...

Hi Laura:

Hope you get through the night without any problems. It sounds as though the winds will be a little fierce this evening. Fortunately we now have so many battery-powered LED options that we're no longer left to endure blackout at sundown. Do let us know tomorrow what your evening was like.


laura k said...

Hi Mound, thanks for your concern. Nothing going on in the north island. A bit of wind, but uneventful. Hope you all are OK too. Battery-powered LED -- see, some change is good. ;-)

johngoldfine said...

More memoir than biography, but one of my favorite books is Edmund Gosse's 'Father and Son.'

laura k said...

As always johngoldfine, I had to look up your reference! I had never heard of Edmund Gosse. He appears to be the person behind Peter Carey's Oscar and Lucinda. (Good book, terrible movie.) Sounds interesting.