Wednesday, November 6, 2013

History Reading Challenge 2014

Fanda @ Fanda Classiclit is hosting an extensive History Reading Challenge in 2014.  She has a few rules and,  if you want to join, you can view them and sign up on her blog.  One requirement is to choose a reading level, and I have chosen "student."  These are the three books that I plan to read throughout the year:

The Four Voyages by Christopher Columbus, 1492-1504: "...a vivid narrative of [Columbus's] voyages throughout the Caribbean and finally to the mainland of Central America, although he still believed he had reached Asia."  This account is taken from Columbus's "...own log-book, letters, and dispatches with connecting narrative drawn from the Life of the Admiral by his son Hernando Colon and other contemporary historians."

Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford, 1620-47: This is the chronicle of the Puritans and their journey to, and arrival and settlement in, the New World, written by their governor, William Bradford.  
The Journals of Lewis and Clark by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, 1804-06: This is the daily record of the heroic journey set to explore the unknown wilderness between the Missouri River to the Pacific Coast.   

I am really excited about my choices because these are books that have been on my shelf for a long, long time, and now I have no more excuses to not read them.  I tend to lean toward Western and early American history, and I especially like journals.  I do not consider these choices ambitious, but that is important because I still have The Well-Educated Mind list to get through, AND I plan to read Gone With the Wind and War and Peace in 2014.  Maybe even Les Misèrables.  (Yeah, we'll see.)

Update: (May 19th, 2014)
I have added three more histories to my list.  

Mourt's Relation A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth by Anonymous, 1622The first published account of the coming of the Pilgrims to the New World to settle Plymouth Plantation.

The Puritan Dilemma The Story of John Wintrop by Edmund S. Morgan, 1958A history of the Puritans in America.

Visible Saints The History of a Puritan Idea by Edmund S. Morgan, 1963The history of the Puritan Church in New England.


Fanda Classiclit said...

Interesting choices, Ruth, especially the first one.
Thanks for joining! Hope you'll enjoy the sail...
I can't wait to read your thoughts about Gone With The Wind, it didn't go well with me, hope it would do you. As for War and Peace, that is a must-read!

Christine said...

Wow! I avoid history reading and am wondering how I'll do with that WEM list. My husband read Les Mis after seeing the movie last year. I think he'd say the original would fit in your history list. If pressed, he'd probably say to go ahead and read the abridged version!

Tonia said...

I don't read as much history as I'd like - this looks like a really great challenge.

Ruth @ An Experiment with The Well-Educated Mind said...

Thanks, Fanda. I just saw the film version of W&P with Audrey Hepburn, and I loved it. And I have a friend who just finished the book; she said the war scenes are forever, but the rest of it is really god.

Ruth @ An Experiment with The Well-Educated Mind said...

I know - those WEM history titles look intimidating. I love history, but some of it can be long, dry, and over my head. I did see Les Mis on several historical book lists. I probably won't be able to get to it next year, but when I do, if I have to speed read through those long battle scenes, I just will.

Ruth @ An Experiment with The Well-Educated Mind said...

You should join us. All you have to do it read at least one historical book all year. It will be a warm up to the history portion of The Well-Educated Mind.

Cleo said...

Thanks so much for introducing me to this challenge. It's just what I need to push me to start reading all those history books that are staring at me from on the shelf.

I'm reading War and Peace right now; if you take it slowly but steadily, the war scenes aren't overwhelming. I read The History of Napoleon Buonoparte by John Gibson Lockhart (an excellent book and a candidate for the challenge) so that gave me a good context in which to place scenes from W&P. I'm just over half-way through.

I highly recommend the unabridged Les Mis. It is one of my favourites and not at all difficult to get through. The abridged leaves out too many wonderful scenes, however Hugo does go off into various digressions (which I found interesting) so you will find even unabridged versions slot some of them in at the appendix at the end of the book.

Happy reading all! :-)

Ruth @ An Experiment with The Well-Educated Mind said...

Hi, Cleopatra,

I am glad to hear you are excited about the challenge. (I read your post at Booklikes.)

I definitely will read an unabridged version of Les Mis. I've read abridged versions with a few of my children, and I have no idea what the truth is.

Marian said...

Journals of Lewis & Clark - looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it! I have been meaning to read it; it sounds fascinating.

Ruth said...

About ten years ago, I borrowed the audio from the library version and listened to it with my kids. It was definitely fascinating, which is why I bought the paperback version with the intent to read it; and finally I am going to do that. So I am really excited about it.