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Here’s What’s Next For 101 Books

This is it, friends.

I’ve been trying to figure out what I want do with this blog when the 101 Books project is over. That’s still probably two-ish years away, but it’s coming.

And, today, I’d like to announce where I’ve landed on that decision.

If you’ve followed the blog for a few years, the new direction might come as a surprise to you, but at least you have a while to let it marinate in your soul so you can, hopefully, continue on with me on this blog.

I’ve always had a passion for medieval literature. When all my friends had posters of Michael Jordan, I had one of Chaucer over my bed in high school. Medieval literature just gives me the happy itches, and I don’t even know what that means.

So here’s the list I’ll tackle after I’ve completed 101 Books.


The Ph.D Reading List for Medieval Literature from Arizona State University!

It’s a killer list. Take a look at these beauties.

 Primary Sources: Anglo-Saxon/early period choices

1. Boethius. The Consolation of Philosophy (trans.)

2. Beowulf

3. Cynewulf: “Fates of the Apostles,” “Christ II,” “Juliana,” “Elene.”

4. Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A Collaborative Edition, eds. Dumville and Keynes, vols. 3 and 4. [In vol. 3, the beginning and annals 755-871, 911-924, 933-946. In vol. 4 compare 911-19   (the Mercian Chronicle).

5. Aelfric. Lives of Saints, ed. Skeat (EETS 76, 82, 94, 114) [In vol. 1 read Eugenia and Aetheldryda; in vol. 2, read Swythun, Oswald, Edmund, and Eufrasia].

6. Bede. Ecclesiastical History of the English People (trans)

7. Anglo-Saxon Elegies: “Wulf and Eadwaecer”, “The Husband’s Message,” “Wife’s Lament”, “Deor,” “Wanderer,” and “Seafarer” (Klinck, ed., 2001)

8. Religious verse: “Dream of the Rood”, “Judith,” “Advent Lyrics” (“Christ I”), multiple versions of “Cædmon’s Hymn,” and selected psalms from Paris Psalter of King Alfred/Alfredian translation project

9. Verse chronicles, riddles, and leechcraft: “Battle of Maldon”, “Battle of Brunanburh,” selected riddles (Williamson, ed.), “Aecerbot,” “Nine Herbs,” “Against a Sudden Stitch,” “Against a Dwarf,” “For Childbirth,” and “For a Swarm of Bees”

Later medieval period choices

10. Mabinogion (trans.)

11. Ancrene Wisse

12. The Life of Christina of Markyate, A Twelfth Century Recluse C. H.Talbot, trans and ed.

13. South English Legendary (selections)

14. Marie de France. Lais (trans.)

15. Katherine Group. Seinte Katerine, ed. d’Ardenne and Dobson; Seinte Margaret and Hali Meiđhad, ed. Millett & Wogan-Browne.

16. La3man, Brut (selections)

17. Chretien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances (selections) (trans.)

18. Malory. Works. Vinaver edition

19. Alliterative Morte Arthure

20. Stanzaic Le Morte Arthur

21. Mandeville. Travels

22. The English Writings of Richard Rolle

24. Chaucer. Book of the Duchess

25. Chaucer. Parlement of Fowles

27. Chaucer. Legend of Good Women

28. Chaucer.  Canterbury Tales

29. Chaucer.   Troilus and Criseyde

30. Gower. Confessio Amantis (selections)

31. English Wycliffite Writings, ed. Anne Hudson (selections)

32. Lydgate, Fall of Princes, Book I and Conclusion: 9.3134-3628

33. Hoccleve, Regiment of Princes (selections)

34. Middle English Lyrics (Norton edition)

35. Pearl

36. Cleanness

37. Patience

38. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

39. Owl and the Nightingale

40. Langland. Piers Plowman B Text.

41. Middle English Romances: King Horn, Havelok, Athelstan, Sir Orfeo, Launfal, The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell)

42. Book of Margery Kempe, eds. S. B. Meech and H. E. Allen (EETS 212, or Barry Windeatt, ed. (2004).

43. Wynnere and Wastoure

44. The Cloud of Unknowing

45. Walter Hilton, The Ladder of Perfection

46. Guillaume de Lorris & Jean de Meun. Romance of the Rose (trans.)

47. Christine de Pisan. Book of the City of Ladies (trans.)

48. Froissart. Chronicles (trans.)

49. Dunbar, ed. Kinsley or Bawcutt: “Hale sterne superne”; “Quhen Merche wes with variand   indis past” (“The Thrissill and the Rois”); “Blyth Aberdeane”; “The Goldyn Targe”; “Lang heff I maed of ladyes quhytt” (“Ane Blak Moir”); “The Tretis of the tua mariit Wemen and the Wedo”; “Off Februar the fyiftene nycht” (“The Dance of the sevin deidly synnis”); “I that in heill wes and gladnes” (“Lament for the Makaris”); “Quhy will ye marchantis of renoun”; “The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie”; “Sir Jhon Sinclair begowthe to dance” (“Of a Dance in the Quenis Chalmer”); “Schir, ye have mony servitouris”; “We that ar heir in hevins glory” (“Dirige to the king”)

50. Henryson. Testament of Cresseid.

51. The Towneley Plays, ed. Stevens and Cawley (2 vols.; EETS SS 13-14, 1994)

52. The Idea of the Vernacular, ed. Jocelyn Wogan-Browne et al (1999).

53. Augustine, Confessions (trans.)

54. Saint Erkenwald, ed. Peterson

55. The Book of Vices and Virtues

56. Julian of Norwich, Writings, ed. Watson and Jenkins

Wow. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this.

The possibilities are endless.

We could write for weeks on the Anglo-Saxon elegies of “Wulf and Eadwaecer” and “Deor”. How I love “Deor.”

I can’t wait to dig deep into Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People and compare it to Boethius’s “The Consolation of Philosophy.” And what about “Aecerbot” and “Nine Herbs?”

Guys, it’s “Aecerbot”! I finally get to read “Aecerbot!”

Once we get into the later medieval period choices, I really get amped up. The list of Dunbar’s works alone could keep me busy for months.

I’ll face a difficult decision when I choose whether to start with “Quhy will ye marchantis of renoun” or “Lang heff I maed of ladyes quhytt.” Don’t make me choose! Please don’t make me choose! I’ve heard so many good things about “Lang heff I maed of ladyes quhytt” that I just can’t imagine starting with anything else.

But, please, let’s not forget “The Tretis of the tua mariit Wemen and the Wedo.” If “Tretis” (as I like to call it for short) doesn’t become my new Gatsby, then I’ll be shocked.

Sure, there’s a lot of boring Chaucer on the list. I’ll have to slog through that. But it all evens out. My eyes light up when I see that Talbot’s The Life of Christina of Markyate, A Twelfth Century Recluse made the cut. What a romp that one will be.

So what do you all think about my new list? Are you as excited as I am?

No? Have I lost my mind?

Not really. In fact, APRIL FOOL’S!

Please tell me you didn’t bite. If you’ve been around the blog for a couple of years, you had to know it was coming.

No, I’m not reading through some doctoral program’s medieval literature list. To give you a better idea of what I might be doing next, check out this post from a few weeks ago.

Have a great April Fool’s Day!

And if you’re interested in the last two years’ April Fool’s posts, here they are:

Book #39: That’s Not My Monkey

Introducing My First Novel

29 Comments Post a comment
  1. Brandon #

    …But maybe you should do it for realz.

    Your friend,
    A former medieval lit grad student


    April 1, 2014
  2. Yeah. Not sure that mocking medieval lit grad students is really the way to go. I’m a Shakespeare grad student who opted to do the medieval list for fun. But thanks for mocking it. Pretty disappointed.


    April 1, 2014
    • Sorry you interpret that as mocking. If you understand my blog and my personal tastes, you would hopefully understand I’m not mocking anyone. I routinely poke fun at high literature, mainly because I’m not smart enough to get it and understand it. It’s all in good fun.


      April 1, 2014
  3. I am so gullible. I totally believed you! The whole time I thought, “Geez … he’s going to lose all his followers.” Good one! 🙂


    April 1, 2014
  4. I absolutely love Medieval literature. You should have done it. I will probably tackle it myself since I’ve already read some of the works.


    April 1, 2014
  5. Got me! ;D


    April 1, 2014
  6. seriously, a poster of Chaucer over your bed…

    too funny!


    April 1, 2014
  7. teresa #

    Didn’t fool me. You couldn’t POSSIBLY stomach those slow reads. HaHaHa.


    April 1, 2014
  8. sally1137 #

    Let’s do it! In Old English! Side by side translations are for wimps.


    April 1, 2014
  9. I’ve read a lot of these wonderful books. I’m an Arthurian scholar and love the history and legends. Check out my blog and you might see some interesting articles and facts! Good luck with your new endeavor!
    All My Best,


    April 1, 2014
  10. Denise #

    This was hilarious! I was agape at first, then in horror. That stuff might be a good study but not very accessible for most of us. I, for one, am glad you were fooling!


    April 1, 2014
  11. Wow. I had flashbacks to all the English Lit classes I slept through. I’m kind-of new to your wonderful blog, so I almost marked: Note to Self — Unfollow 101 Books in 2 years. So glad that won’t happen!


    April 1, 2014
  12. I’m so relieved.


    April 1, 2014
  13. Yes, you got me. But, in mitigation, I’ve just finished John Williams’ ‘Stoner’ so it seemed plausible


    April 1, 2014
  14. I just keep falling for these April Fool’s jokes today!! For the record though, I thought it was an awesome idea when I read it!


    April 1, 2014
  15. And here I was going to recommend Seamus Heaney’s “Beowulf”

    And at the same time, I was thinking that your list amounted to literary suicide. 😀 Ha!


    April 2, 2014
  16. I was thinking — ah, a real glutton for literary punishment, I who like fast thrillers when I am down…and can’t abide slow-making stories that often depress me with their analysis-paralysis…good on you Robert – that was a neat April 1 trick to pull — because I bought it too!


    April 2, 2014
  17. I went to a great talk on Chaucer at the Oxford Literary Festival last week, Patience Agbabi, a British poet, was performing some poems from her Telling Tales collection which I really loved. It’s supposed to be Chaucer “remixed” to reflect the modern character of Britain which sounds less than good but she’s pulled it off so well.


    April 3, 2014
  18. You laugh, but I definitely had a copy of Troiuls and Criseyde in my hand to potentially purchase on my lunch break today. (But this was a great April 1st Date!)


    April 3, 2014
  19. I just had to come back this post (which I didn’t see at all) and find your April Fool’s! haha and well done 🙂


    April 15, 2014
  20. Ask the sales associate or check online to be sure.

    Online games need to be viewed with a critical eye.
    Hope in Libya will only occur after Qadhafi is eliminated.


    October 26, 2014

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