May 22, 2010

Middlemarch Summer* – Won’t you join me?

Middlemarch Readalong

George Eliot’s Middlemarch is one of those books I’m sure I’m going to absolutely love, if only I can bring myself to read it. I don’t know what it is about long books that makes me hesitate to start them, as I do enjoy a good chunkster once I get into it, but there you go. This always happens, and so I thought that perhaps cajoling some of you into reading it with me would help keep me (and you, if you’re anything like me) motivated.

My idea is that we read Middlemarch this summer/winter and then post our thoughts on the week of the 2nd-7th of August 23rd to the 19th of August (by popular demand). I’d have a post up on the 2nd in which I’d collect all the links, so that we could easily visit each other and see what everyone else had to say about the book. Personally I prefer this method to weekly updates, as I worry about making participants read at a pace that might not suit them. But if you’d rather post about your progress as you read, that’s perfectly fine too, and I’d very much enjoy reading your updates.

Those of us who are on twitter could exchange comments/encouragement using the hashtag #MMReadalong, but the bulk of the discussion would take place via blog comments in early August. I want to keep this informal and relaxed, so no need to officially sign up or anything. Just let me know if you’re interested in joining in, and feel free to grab the button. What do you say?

*Or WINTER as my Southern hemisphere friends remind me.(Total #Anafail)

57 comments:

  1. Wonderful idea! I have a few readalongs planned already and I really don't have a clue what my summer will be like at the moment, but I'd love to participate!

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  2. I would love to read this! I've tried before but failed. I gave up after a few pages. I loved the mini-series though. I'm not promising anything but I'd love to give it another try.

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  3. Iris and Mrs B, I promise there will be no punishment for those who try but abandon us along the way ;) Feel free to give it a try, no pressure :P

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  4. Lol - no #ana-fail at all <3

    Now I HAVE to sign up! :D

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  5. Sign me up! I've read Middlemarch twice, but I believe in rereading.

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  6. YOu know how tempting this is? I know I could do this, but did you see my list of Kindle reads that I just posted? Ack! Well, I'm not committing, but we will see...

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  7. Hmm, this book is on my wish list...But I don't think I have the time to read such a long book now, so I have to say no. Sorry..Although it's really tempting, like Sandy said:)

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  8. ...maybe. I was on the fence about Silas Marner a few years back, so I've thought about trying another's of hers but am scared. With vacation this summer, I'm not sure I'll have time. But I might try. :)

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  9. I'd love to take part in your event. Sign me up!

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  10. I read this so many years ago...
    Let's see if I can find a copy then I will join the read along :)

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  11. I usually have good luck with chunksters during the summer, but that was back before I was a "grownup" with a "real job." Nevertheless, I think I'll attempt to unshelve my copy and give it a go! =D

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  12. Oh...I will definitely give some serious thought to this.

    I read Middlemarch 3 years ago for class and even at that time I knew I wanted to re-read it in a more leisurely time frame.

    I have to look at all my other summer obligations and see if I could truly be a participating member.

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  13. I read Middlemarch for an Irish Lit course, and I absolutely loved it. I may read a long with you guys anyway as I'd love to read it again. I'll have to check out my other summer chunkster promises.

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  14. I'm excited that you're doing this, after I read Middlemarch I wanted to convert everyone to it! I'm still trying to work up to reading a second book of George Eliot's, probably The Mill on the Floss or Daniel Deronda, so won't be joining in on this but best of luck!

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  15. Oh, I am seriously considering this. Middlemarch has been sitting on my shelf for years. I had already planned to read the new translation of Anna Karenina and will have to rethink my plans!

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  16. This is one of my favorite books of all time and I would love to revisit it. I hope I have time!

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  17. Oh, I have a copy, and I've only ever got about 1/3 of the way through it. I'll definitely give it a shot, especially since I like the way you've set it up. Count me in!

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  18. Oh Nymeth, you are tempting me!
    Middlemarch is on my shelf with a bookmark on page 490 ( just had to check!). I started it a few years ago with a Yahoo group, got behind schedule, and put it aside. I would definitely need to start over, but I'll give this some serious thought. We'll see what July brings...

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  19. Oh, I've never read this one! OK. I'm in if I can find a good used copy because I know it will take me longer than three weeks to peck away at it (from the library)

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  20. Oh dear, and my track record with readalongs this year has been so lousy! But Middlemarchis my absolute favorite Victorian novel...you make this sound almost doable...thinking...thinking...

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  21. I think this is a great idea, Ana! Count me in for it.

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  22. To everyone who's joining, welcome and thank you! And to those who are still on the fence, don't worry, plenty of time to decide still. I hope you'll join us, but no pressure. (She says, and attempts to peer pressure you :P)

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  23. I'd love to join for what seems like the only serious chance I'd get of reading Middlemarch,but two months are not nearly enough time for me to finish such a chunkster, considering my speed at the moment. I love the idea, though, good luck with it!

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  24. I've tried to read Middlemarch before but didn't finish it - I think I was probably just in the wrong mood for it, because it's the type of book I usually enjoy. I would love to try again, so I'll probably be joining you!

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  25. I am pondering. I'm having such success with my AK readalong, but would adding another classic chunkster be too much? Maybe I'll see if I can get it on Bookmooch and let that be the deciding factor.

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  26. I'll join! I'll join!! Like I said on twitter, I've already d/l'd it onto my nook, so that way I can dip into it here and there :)

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  27. Great idea! Count me in!

    I was planning to read it in July anyway as I have a course on the 19th century novel starting in October. I did try once in the past but had to put it aside for a reason or the other, promising myself I would come back to it. It think I was enjoying it but Eliot has the tendency to start (or was it finish?) each chapter with an extremely long and tortuous sentence that would often have me re-reading it forever. On the plus side, the tapestry of people she weaved together was fascinating.

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  28. Count me in. Never read it but ought to.

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  29. Ooh I shall tentatively join, really want to read it, its been on my shelf for ages... hopefully I can meet the deadline!!

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  30. I would really love to join you with this - I love my Victorians and I'm dying to read this with others but I'm not sure that i will be able to fit it in.

    I have a thick vic novel to start this week (Miss Marjoribanks) for a group read and then I start Vanity Fair for my Vic group read in June so Lord knows when I could start Middlemarch.

    If I can, I will but it's doubtful I'm afraid. Love to hear what you think though.

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  31. Cool. I still hope to be in :) I'm sure we have at least one copy at the library, somewhere

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  32. Yes, please!! I'm planning on making my summmer months (June through August, that is) a VICTORIAN SUMMER and Middlemarch is one I wanted to read.

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  33. Oh dear, I'm sooooo tempted.

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  34. I'd definitely be interested! Haven't read this one yet, but I really want to!

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  35. I have wanted to read 'Middlemarch' for a while, but it is a really huge book and so I am thinking about it. But there is still time to think about it as you have said :) I hope I am able to read and join in, during your discussions.

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  36. I may join in as I just recently acquired a copy of Middlemarch and was planning to read it sometime this year anyway. I'm just not sure if I'll finish by the beginning of August. I guess I'll see!

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  37. As a few of you mention that early August is too soon, I'm thinking I could easily reschedule the discussion for late August instead (after than that it would be difficult, as I'm going to go on an extended blogging hiatus in September). What do you guys think?

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  38. *laughs*

    Awwww I was going to host a Middlemarch readalong for later this year! What a coincidence. You beat me to it :D Just goes to show, there are no original ideas! I don't think I can manage it over summer. I was thinking of starting in October.

    But maybe I'll have to do it next year when there's a new batch of bloggers who haven't read it!

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  39. I just go with the flow, so anytime is fine!

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  40. I'd love to participate. I'll be gone August 5-7 so my postings will have to all be earlier in the week but definitely count me in!

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  41. I read this book once every 10 years and I just read it in 2009 so not due till 2019, but I'll be visiting yours and the other participants blogs regularly to cheer you on!

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  42. well,now three months sound more doable for me, hmm I might, I might...

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  43. I'm in! I want to reread it this year for the chunkster challenge, so it'll be fun to see everyone's reactions. :)

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  44. Ooh! I've been wanting to read this, so I may be in, Once I get a couple other books read. Great idea!

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  45. I'll join! I bought Middlemarch a thousand years ago, and I want to read it so this is the perfect impetus. Also, your schedule works out so well; I like how we'll post/chat about it in August giving me time to read it on my own. Great plan, Ana, thanks! Now I'm off to publish the button on my footer. xoxo

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  46. I read Middlemarch a couple of years ago and loved it -- I don't know if I can commit to reading it all over again but I'd love to participate in the discussion. FYI, it only took me about a month, but it was the only thing I read. I found it started out a little slow but I stuck with it and became completely invested in the characters. It's one of my favorite Victorians, I hope you love it too.

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  47. I started reading Middlemarch last month & am planning to read it slowly, so August sounds perfect. Count me in!

    Greetings,
    Tiina

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  48. I'm reading along with Literary Lollipop (she started it some time ago and was unaware of your event). I'm actually a few weeks behind her. I will definitely be checking on all the posts everyone writes up for your event! What a dense book! I think a read-a-long for this is perfect. I don't think I'd have a hope of finishing it otherwise! :)

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  49. I was planning on reading Middlemarch in August. Count me in!

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  50. Have been meaning to read this for a while now, I am in.

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  51. I recently picked up Middlemarch because so many people name it as an all time favorite. I'm about a third of the way through. I'm enjoying it very much but finding I don't have the concentration I had in college -- reading literary stuff on the bus seems so much harder now. I'm looking forward to reading other people's thoughts about the book!

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  52. So glad you're doing this - it's given me the impetus to finally pick up Middlemarch - I've only been planning to read it for the last five summers ;)

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  53. I'm about 2/3rds through and love the book! Check out my post about Middlemarch at http://wp.me/pVH00-5j/

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.