My summer project

Now that I have completed the Once Upon a Time book challenge I am starting two new challenges.  I’m pretty excited to join the  Gothic and Victorian  challenges.  For each of these challenges I will read 5 novels for a total of 10.  The level for the Victorian challenge is called the Great Expectations.  And the level for the Gothic challenge is The Darkness Within.  Some of the books I have chosen can count towards both challenges, but I consider that as cheating and it won’t help me get any closer to reading all of my 1001 books.  All of the books that I will read for the challenges are on my 1001 list.  I plan to read one book for the Gothic challenge and than one for the Victorian and I will continue to switch back and forth until I complete both.   The challenges end at the end of the year, however, I am setting a goal of finishing them by the end of September.

For the Gothic challenge I plan on reading:

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole

The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Ward Radcliffe

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

For the Victorian Challenge I plan on reading:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Middlemarch by George Eliot

Silas Marner by George Eliot

The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy

Also during the month of July, I have joined Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings for a read along of Dune by Frank Herbert.   And Grace at Books Without Any Pictures is hosting a Catcher in the Rye giveaway that involves reading the novel and then sending it to someone else to read.  The goal is to see how far and how many places the novel will visit.  If you are interested in joining, please visit her site and write a comment.  She’s going to pick a winner on July 22 so you still have time.

Also, if any of you know about other reading challenges, please feel free to let me know.  I love to over commit myself.  And I am really good at it.

In preparation for my summer reading goals, I purchased a new deck chair.

I have a stack of some of the books.  I’ll have to stop at the library for the rest.

Up first:

And I have two supportive buddies for this summer project.

However, I think Miles doesn’t care about reading and just wants time out on the deck.

And Atticus can’t wait to read Wuthering Heights.

Miles reminded me that it is important to take time to play and not just work.

And rest is important

That about sums it up.

What is everyone else up to this summer?

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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33 Responses to My summer project

  1. Carl V. says:

    Those look like fun! Gothic fiction is one of my favorites. Hold off on a few of those until Sept. 1st and you can count the reads for the R.I.P. Challenge as well! 🙂

    I’m enjoying Dune thus far and am glad you are reading along with us.

    • TBM says:

      Don’t worry Carl, I kept R.I.P in mind and I am holding back on some books from my list so I can join the fun. I’m looking forward to it!

      I’m surprised by how much I am enjoying Dune. My brother suggested this book to me years ago and I gave him my your such a nerd look. I feel bad about that now. I’ve recently started to read science fiction and I am finding out that I really like it.

      • Carl V. says:

        No worries, just wanted to let you know that I don’t consider books read for other challenges and mine at the same time cheating. That’s multitasking in my book! 🙂

        Castle of Otranto is fun, especially as I believe it is the first novel of the “gothic” tradition. Not sure about that, but I seem to recall reading something like that.

        Dracula has long been my favorite novel. Over the R.I.P. years I’ve seen people read it and love it, read it and despise it, and everywhere in between, but for me it will always be a special book. I’ve read it over and over again and I connect with it every time.

  2. Meredith says:

    I heard about an adolescent books about death challenge if you are interested.

    • TBM says:

      LOL…Are you running this challenge?

      • Meredith says:

        Yes. Here are the books to choose from:

        Six Months To Live.
        Six More Months To LIve.
        No seriously, Six Months to Live. This time for reals.
        I Want To Live.
        I Really, Really, Really Want to Live.
        Why Did She Have to Die? Now she is getting more attention than me!
        When That Girl Who Sat Next to Me in Biology Died.
        Letting Go of Lisa. Wait…that was her name, right?
        If I Should Die Before I Wake….Will Someone Do My Hair for Me?
        Please Help Me…I Don’t Want To Die…A Virgin.

  3. Jen Moore says:

    Oooh, fun selections. I read Udolpho in a gothic lit class in college — well, parts of it, anyway. My professor said that she used to assign the whole thing, and then students tended to throw fits when they got to the reveal and realized what the novel had been building up to all this time. So instead, she just assigned us chunks of it. (The true joy of reading Udolpho, of course, is that Northanger Abbey then becomes hilariously funny.)

    • TBM says:

      I remember Austen discussing the novel in Northanger Abbey and that was one of the reasons why I selected this book. I wanted to find out what all the fuss was about. I’m hoping all of the books will be a fun! I’ll keep you posted.

  4. TBM says:

    Hi Carl! I am really looking forward to Dracula. It’s good to know that you love it. I hope I do as well!

  5. Love the reading spot and the companions! Have not read all of Bronte. I too rememeber Austen discussing Udolpho in Northanger Abbey, now I need to order it as am curious!

  6. TBM says:

    Meredith…lol…I can’t tell if you made up all the titles or just some of them.

    • Meredith says:

      They are variations of the titles of a few of the light-hearted books about death I read when I was 11.

      • Meredith says:

        The Six Months To live book was part of a series, and all of the books in the series were called, “Six Months To Live”, which was obviously a lie…hence the three of four more books that followed.

      • TBM says:

        Light-hearted huh. I’m not sure I would want to read the more serious ones. There really is a six months to live series?

  7. Meredith says:

    Yes, there really is a Six Months To Live series. Its about a 15 year-old cheerleader who gets lots of bruises and is tired all of the time and then it turns out she has leukemia. This is why I think I’m dying every time I get a bruise.

  8. Bean says:

    Wow! Good for you! I don’t think that I would make it through all those books in the summer!

    P.S. I love your dog! Boston Terriers are the best! 🙂

  9. BookRain says:

    Awesome deck chair! I love how everything sort of fit together with what you’re reading. I always wanted to read The Mysteries of Udolpho. Can’t wait for your take on them 🙂

    You know what challenge might fit with your 1001 list? The Back to the Classics one.
    It looks like you can probably cross off most of the goals on there.

    As for me, I’m moving this summer so I’ll be doing more packing then reading.

    • TBM says:

      Where are you moving? Thanks for the tip on the challenge. I’ll have to check it out! Good luck with the move and I hope you can squeeze in some fun this summer.

      • Skye says:

        I’ll be moving to Denton for grad school. It’s the furthest North I’ve ever been in Texas so I hope to see snow this Christmas.

  10. TBM says:

    I’m so jealous! I loved grad school. Good luck! And I hope you see some snow.

  11. Lynn says:

    Middlemarch & Silas Marner . . . I’ve read those two and love George Eliot. Love Boston too, for the marathon and the bookstores. We had a great breakfast at Prospero Books last time there. Also love the Omni-Parker House and the Commander Sheraton in Harvard Square.

    Happy reading!

    • TBM says:

      Hi Lynn. I love the Boston Marathon. The route goes by my apartment and each year we throw a big party and cheer you guys on! So inspirational. Thanks for stopping by.

  12. deslily says:

    wow you sure have a lot of books there! I am glad to hear you will also join RIP ! When I saw all of that I thought, utoh she will be ready for a change by the time RIP comes! Good to hear that’s not true! Two of my all time favorites are The Thirteen Tale and Drood ..I smile just thinking of them! lol

    • TBM says:

      Hi Deslily! I am looking forward to RIP. Hopefully I will get all these books read before it and I can start to look into more novels. Thanks for the suggestions!

  13. Caroline says:

    Great projects and I love those photos.
    I’m planning to host a major event in November but will not reveal anything yet. Nothing to do with RIP or Gothic literature although I love both.

  14. Wow! I am impressed with all those books. How do you find the time? I love to read, and have already read a number of the ones you will be reading for your challenges. I just don’t have the time, as much as I love to read! Best to you!

    • TBM says:

      I’m not sure how I find the time since I always feel like I have a million things to do. But lately my weekends have freed up and I am taking advantage of it. Do you have a favorite one that you have read?

  15. lifewith4cats says:

    I loved that picture of Atticus and what is that a monkey with a furry brown paw?
    anyway, Im full of envy because of your ability to read all these books. ‘Return of the native’ is one of my favorites, But then… hes my favorite author too. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      Good to know that you love “Return of the Native.” I haven’t read any of his works. I’m hoping I love the novel. The furry brown paw is one of the remnants of Miles’s toys. He likes to play rough with his toys but once they are destroyed he can’t let go of the parts.

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