Presenting: The Russians – Reading Challenge for 2012

I’ve been thinking about creating my own reading challenge for the new year. It’s not going to be particularly strict and structured, I just hope it will be an incentive to read the books I’ve been meaning to read for a while but never actually got to it. I would be thrilled if other people joined me as well. So, without further delay, here are The Russians!

What is this challenge about? I’ve selected six important (in my opinion) Russian authors. I plan on devoting two months of the new year on each one, which, since I’ll be reading other books as well, means that I’ll probably read a couple of novels or a handful of short stories by each author. In a couple of cases, I have already read perhaps the more famous works by some so I’ll be exploring some of their less known ones. Here is the schedule along with a -very tentative- reading list:

January – February: Alexander Pushkin

  • Eugene Onegin
  • Boris Godunov
  • The Captain’s Daughter

March – April: Nikolai Gogol

  • How Ivan Ivanovich Quarrelled with Ivan Nikiforovich
  • The Portrait
  • The Nose

May – June: Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  • Crime and Punishment
  • The Idiot
  • The Brothers Karamazov

July – August: Leo Tolstoy

  • Anna Karenina
  • The Death of Ivan Illyich

September – October: Anton Chekhov

  • The Seagull
  • Uncle Vanya
  • Three Sisters
  • The Cherry Orchard

November – December: Anna Akhmatova

  • Requiem
  • Poem Without a Hero

Bonus: Mikhail Lermontov

  • A Hero of our Time
  • Demon

I’m very excited to start this challenge, I have only ever loved all the books by Russian authors I’ve read. I’d love it if you are keen on joining me. Feel free to choose any or all the authors I’ve selected and pick any of their works that you want to read. You can use the icon above in your reviews or discussion posts. Any comments, suggestions or questions you have are welcome in the comments below. Here’s to discovering more great russian literature in 2012!

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17 thoughts on “Presenting: The Russians – Reading Challenge for 2012

  1. pricklyrussianpear says:

    As a Russian lit lover I feel like I have to comment. You’ve picked some really good books to read this year. You might not have time, but if you can, give War and Peace a shot. It’s long but worth it. Also as a bonus, check out The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov. It’s a pretty quick read, and has an excellent plot. Good luck!

    • bookworm says:

      Thanks for the Bulgakov recommendation. I actually read War and Peace last summer (yes, it took me all summer to finish it) which is why it’s not in my picks for Tolstoy.

    • bookworm says:

      Well, I’m pretty sure that when they were born, what is present day Ukraine was most definitely a part of the Russian Empire and so it’s not unreasonable that they are generally thought to be among the greatest Russian authors.

      • pronick says:

        thanks to Russian propaganda, everyone thinks that they wanted to be among Russian authors) But if you read their diaries, you could understand that Ukraine was on the first place for them. Gogol made a big contribution in Ukrainian literature, and Bulgakov wrote all his famous books in Kiev..

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