A new year and some new reading challenges! I have some cool new reading projects planned.

1. A Russian classic every month
I love Russian literature so when my best friend suggested that we’d buddy read a big Russian classic every month I thought it was a great idea. So I’m starting the new year with reading Crime and Punishment and I’ll be reading a lot more big Russian books this year, like War and Peace, Jevgeni Onegin and Notes from Underground. This is going to be quite a time consuming challenge, but I’m so excited about it!

2. Preparation for my master’s thesis
I’m slowly preparing for my master thesis which I have to finish in the summer of 2019. I’m quite ambitious, so this year I’ll be reading a lot to prepare for this. I hope to do my thesis on the trauma of apartheid in Afrikaans love poetry. So not only will I have to read a lot of said poetry, I also will need to read more about the historical context of apartheid. I like learning about history through historical fiction, so I hope I will be able to learn more about this subject not only through non-fiction but through stories as well.

3. More non-fiction
Which brings me to my next point: I’d like to read a bit more non-fiction. I can be a bit insecure about my academic skills sometimes and I hope reading more non-fiction will give me a bit more confidence in this area. So I will try to read more about history, politics, literature, feminism and gender studies. Which is quite a lot, I realize now. Maybe I should try to focus a bit more.

4. More literary biographies
I am becoming more and more interested in the people behind the books and I’d like to learn more about what drives them and what shapes their stories. So this year, I’m planning on reading some biographies of writers and publishers, to learn more about their context. Some of them are really eccentric people and I’m looking forward to reading about them!

5. A play by Shakespeare every month
Okay, I realize I might be a little bit too ambitious right now, especially with all my other plans, but I really don’t know that much about Shakespeare’s work and that bugs me! His plays are often such an important intertext and I don’t pick up on that. So I’d really like to at least read a few of his plays this year, just so I can understand my other books better.

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