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2012: The Year Of The Dance

Big announcement: I’m changing the format of this blog to a dancing theme–mainly ballroom dancing, but I’ll also cover the tango and a little bit of tap. You see, I just love dancing.

Just kidding.

At the beginning of 2011, I set a goal of reading through book #30 by the end of the year. Somehow I accomplished that, as I wrapped up book #33 in late December. This year, I have two goals.

Number one, I want to get through book 65. I think that’s doable.

Number two, I want to read through the entire series A Dance To The Music of Time, which is one of the “books” on the list, though it is actually a series of twelve novels written by Anthony Powell.

It took Powell 24 years to write all 12–written between 1951 and 1975.  A few months ago, we talked a little about how to approach “Dance,” and with your creativity and some insight from a friend, here’s what I came up with.

A Dance To The Music of Time includes 12 books that total about 3,000 pages. As luck would have it, 2012 contains 12 months. How about that? One book for each month!

So that’s what I’m going to do. In addition to my normal reading, I’ll also be reading one volume from the “Dance” each month. By this time next year, I’ll be able to check this mammoth off the list.

After I read each book, I’ll write some type of mini review that I’ll post at the end of each month. And I guess at the end of the year, I’ll post some type of review of the whole series.

So instead of essentially killing the blog and reading all 12 at once, or even trying to speed read through four books at once, I thought this might work better–it just might require a little extra reading to complete each book during the month, while reading the others.

I’ll start off this month reading A Question of Upbringing, the first book in the first of four “movements” (3 books each). Let’s hope it’s good–because this could be a brutal year if it’s not.

I’d love for you guys to jump into this challenge with me. Make 2012 your year of The Dance!

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24 Comments Post a comment
  1. I will not be reading that mammoth set along with you, but wish you luck! Also, it sounds like a great way to tackle the series.

    Like

    January 3, 2012
    • Thanks. Maybe at the end of the year, you might be interested in it!

      Like

      January 3, 2012
  2. Jeez, a 12 book series gets counted as ONE book on the 100 Best list? It’ll be interesting to see how Powell could maintain that kind of consistency and that level of quality over that many books and that many years. (Lots of potential lessons for all of us writers in that.) Or maybe he didn’t.

    Your plan sounds reasonable, although as they say in the military, no plan survives first contact with (in this case) reality. But it’s also a place to start (and deviate, if necessary) from. Go for it! We’ll ride along.

    Like

    January 3, 2012
    • Agreed. Plans can always change, but we’ll see how this goes.

      Like

      January 3, 2012
  3. What a creative way to approach it! I never would have thought to do it that way, I rarely read multiple books at a time, so kudos for doing that. Happy New Year!

    Like

    January 3, 2012
  4. Unfortunately, I suck at dancing.
    Which is odd because I am good at anything that James Bond is good at.

    Like

    January 3, 2012
    • Me too. I tried to play “Just Dance” on the Wii over the holidays and it wasn’t a pretty sight.

      Like

      January 3, 2012
  5. Our local book club had the same idea, so we may be reading along with you. After book 1, I’m already hooked!

    Like

    January 3, 2012
    • Glad to hear it’s interesting! I was thinking it would be a long year if it’s Faulknerish.

      Like

      January 3, 2012
  6. Aw, and here I thought you were going to take up lindy hop!

    That’s a good plan. Best of luck!

    Like

    January 3, 2012
    • I’m not even sure what the lindy hop is, but it sounds tiring.

      Like

      January 3, 2012
      • It’s a style of swing dancing (quite fun and quite tiring).

        Like

        January 4, 2012
  7. Dance is a good old straight-forward narrative with the complication that the same characters move in and out of the story over many years. Although I might be repeating myself, it’s important to read through the novels without dallying (they’re only about 270 pages each) lest you begin to lose the connections and relationships.

    To really understand Dance, you should be aware of the real-life people the various characters represent—A Dance to the Music of Time is a roman à clef—but a lot of time has gone by and for the most part they are personages only a Brit would recognize so I wouldn’t sweat it. To keep things clear, though, taking a few notes on the various characters is a good idea.

    There is a British television adaptation of Dance that you may find at the library (it’s 6 or 7 DVDs) but it is no substitute for reading the series of books. Also, there are several good web sites dedicated to Powell and to Dance which should pop-up with a simple Google search.

    I have read it twice now; it’s well worth the effort.

    Like

    January 3, 2012
  8. Patti #

    Sounds like the best way to approach a work like that. I’m intrigued by the description, so I’m in. I’ll join in as soon as I get my copy of the first movement from the library.

    Like

    January 4, 2012
  9. Oh that sounds like a neat one. I put in a request for the first volume at the library.

    Like

    January 4, 2012
  10. Clara #

    Sounds like a great year of reading ahead of you!

    Like

    January 4, 2012

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. “A Dance” Is Finding Its Rhythm | 101 Books
  2. Do You Hate Yourself? Read This Novel. | 101 Books
  3. Celebrate! The Dance Is Halfway Finished! | 101 Books
  4. After 1,400 Pages, I Finally Laughed | 101 Books
  5. My 5 Responses To A Dance To The Music Of Time | 101 Books
  6. 101 Books At The Halfway Point | 101 Books
  7. Book #51: A Dance To The Music Of Time | 101 Books

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