I am so excited for Victober this year! I started watching BookTube towards the end of 2017 and while watching different YouTube videos I started seeing #Victober and had to find out more. I watched many of them, and I have eagerly awaited Victober this year. The event is hosted by four different YouTuber’s. I have compiled my list below. I have my top choice for each category to read as well as backups/stretch goals, just in case I am having reader’s block on a certain novel. I am also listing the BookTuber’s name and channel name, so you can go check them out.
A few things to note before you get to my to be read list.
1) I am also participating in the Brontë 200 book club this year. “Shirley” by Charlotte Brontë is Lucy the Reader’s book choice for September and October. So, I am working that into this challenge.
2) I also recommend “Frankenstein” written by Mary Shelley and “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll as they are two of my favourtite Victorian novels.
3) I am only going to read novels I have never read before.
4) I never realized how many Victorian classics I loved. I always just thought I liked several classics. When I narrowed it down to my top few, all but one was from the Victorian period. I found that very interesting. Completely unplanned and that is what lead me to look up Victorian books on the internet, which led me to YouTube, which led me to three of the four hosts of Victober.
First, there will be a read along. The selection for that was “Wives and Daughters” by Elizabeth Gaskell. I am super excited as I have wanted to read Elizabeth Gaskell ever since I heard about “North and South” and still have yet to read anything by her. I am a little nervous now knowing the length of the book and wanting to read a separate book for each challenge.
Second, is the general challenge. The general challenge is to read a Victorian novel and then watch a screen adaptation. My plan is to watch a screen adaptation for each of the novels read, especially if there is a BBC miniseries, as those are the best! If no adaptation exists or I cannot easily get my hands on a copy I will skip this for the time being. A stretch goal for this challenge is to read “North and South,” as I really want an excuse to read it. A backup for this, just due to time and length of many of the books, is to read “Cranford.”
Each of the hosts created an individual challenge. I love each of these as they are an example of the differences that endear different readers to different authors; the fact that there are so many proper nouns in the titles; how many, of the time, looked down on what women were actually capable of; and the change that can occur in a 64 year period.
Ange, from Beyond the Pages, challenges everyone to read a book by Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, Thomas Hardy, or Elizabeth Gaskell which are the favourite novels of each of the hosts. I want to read “Far from the Madding Crowd” by Thomas Hardy not only because I really want to read a novel by Hardy, but also because I recently watched “Tess of the d'Urbervilles” and do not feel I am up for reading it right now. Tess will serve as one of the backups. I chose each of my other backups/stretch goals by picking a novel by each of the authors. I have “Villette” by Charlotte Brontë, “Gothic Tales” or “Mary Barton” by Elizabeth Gaskell, or “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens.
Kate Howe’s challenge is to read a title that is or has a proper noun in it. “Shirley” by Charlotte Brontë is my selection, as I also need to read it for the Brontë 200 book club.
Lucy the Reader is the BookTuber I have watched the longest. I have her to thank for my love of Anne Brontë. Her challenge is to read a female author who published under a male pseudonym or anonymously. I originally wanted to read “Shirley” for this as it would tie in perfectly, but I really want to try some George Elliot and so I am reading “Middlemarch.”
Lastly, is Katie from Books and Things. Her challenge is to pick a book from either the first 10 years or the last 10 years of the Victorian period. She highly recommends reading a book from each end so you can see the difference from the start to the end of the Victorian period. I think this is a very cool idea. For the period from 1837-1847 I plan on reading “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë. It is a novel I have wanted to read since juniour year of high school and still have not got to it. I have had people gift me spin off novels of “Jane Eyre” and I refuse to read them until I have read Jane Eyre, as I think it would enhance my reading of the spin offs. I have no back up for this time period, as this is my first stretch goal. For the period of 1891 to 1901 I would like to read “Kim” by Rudyard Kipling, but my backup is “The Picture of Dorian Gray” written by Oscar Wilde. The reason I have them in this order is I know many people who have tried Rudyard Kipling and have not enjoyed his work and I know many rave about how wonderful “Dorian Gray” is. I figure I will start with what I have low expectations on and will move up from there if need be. H. G. Wells and “Tess of the d'Urbervilles” by Thomas Hardy are my back up, back ups.
First priority books are “Wives and Daughters,” “Far from the Madding Crowd,” “Shirley,” “Middlemarch,” and “Kim.” My first two stretch goals are “Jane Eyre” and “North and South.”
Backup and second priority books are “Great Expectations,” Cranford,” “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” “Tess of the D’Urbervilles,” “Gothic Tales,” “Villette,” and “Mary Barton.”
Backups to the backups are “Bleak House,” “Silas Marner,” “The War of the Worlds,” “The Time Machine,” and “Daniel Deronda.”
As you can see, many of the books listed can move around if I have a hard time with another. I am so excited to read some more Victorian novels, fall in love with even more books from the time period, and move more classics that I collected during Classicsathon from my ‘to be read’ list to my ‘read’ list.