Category: About Chronolit

Don’t call Cheat!!! The Classics Club Spin March/April 2018

The Classics Club ( ) has announced their new spin number for the months of March and April.

For those unfamiliar, the concept is that you create a list of twenty classics (before the spin number is decided), and then read the title on your list which matches the number they announce aiming to finish the book by the deadline, in this case April 30th. This is the seventeenth time they have run this spin challenge.

As I read my classics in as close to chronological order as I can, I make my challenge to read all the titles on my list down to the chosen number e.g. if the spin number is thirteen, I try to read books 1 through to 13 on my list. Since I am traveling throughout April, I wasn’t confident I could participate this time given the vagaries of travel.

The announcement of the spin number being 3 however, means I only have to read the next three books on my list, which are

  • The Early History of Rome by Livy
  • Chaireas and Kallirhoe by Chariton
  • The Love Poetry (Elegies) of Propertius

This seems manageable so I will add my hat to the ring. After all I already had the list created so its not really cheating …..     😉

The Plan for 2018

The Plan for 2018

Happy New Year!!!

Firstly a quick recap on my reading year in 2017 :

Classics read and blogged here on Chronolit : 55. Not as many as I had hoped perhaps, but this included finally reaching the end of both the Ancient Greeks and the Old Testament : both significant and exhausting goals, so got to be happy with that, right?

The Popsugar challenge was abandoned pretty early on as too random and distracting for my tastes, leaving me free to read more in genres I enjoy but have neglected, while the shared reading of the Wheel of Time series and the Oz books has been put on hold for the moment by the parent blogger.

I had confidently aimed for a total of 120 books in 2017, but it turns out that I only have 101 finished for Dec 31, and this included some graphic novels and audio plays. May and November were very low reading months, but in fairness I was working 3 jobs for much of the year.

So. on to 2018 and, of course, I am setting even bigger goals!

Firstly is the Classics and my aim is to read 60 books in 2018, which will bring me to the end of the 2nd century AD and the Roman authors finished. I will also aim for finishing the New Testament, with one chapter per weekday, and blog posts as I finish each of the 27 Books. These titles will get priority seating.

On the non-Classics front, I will be aiming for 12 Wodehouse comedies, 24 SF/Fantasy/Horror titles (including YA fantasy) and 12 Historical fiction/Biographies/Histories or Whodunnits through the year, for a total of 135.

Oh, and there is also another 37 titles on my Childhood memories TBR (to be revisited) list, which brings me to a grand total of 172, so that’s only 70% more than I managed in 2017. Easy, huh? Maybe 100 pages a day. Especially as I still have at least 2 jobs at last count, a week at the Commonwealth Games in Queensland and a walking adventure in Cornwall to pack in there as well. But easily reached targets are no challenge, right?

Thanks for keeping me company in 2017 and I wish you all a similarly successful and spectacular, safe and satisfying 2018!!!!



My year in Books 2017

A couple of my favourite blogsters responded to this fun from Adam at Roof Beam Reader ( where you answer some random questions using titles of books read this year. Below is my effort which only features one classic title

  • In high school I was: The Devil’s Novice (Ellis Peters)
  • People might be surprised (by): The Innocence of Father Brown (G K Chesterton)
  • I will never be: The Virgin in the Ice (Ellis Peters … again)
  • My fantasy job is: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Frank L Baum)
  • At the end of a long day I need: Doctor Sleep (Stephen King)
  • I hate it when: Destination Unknown (Agatha Christie)
  • Wish I had:  The Pot of Gold (Plautus)
  • My family reunions are: The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean Auel)
  • At a party you’d find me with: Asterix and the Banquet (Goscinny and Uderzo)
  • I’ve never been to:  Desperation (Stephen King)
  • A happy day includes: Withering by Sea (Judith Rossell)
  • Motto I live by:  Skulduggery Pleasant (Derek Landy)
  • On my bucket list is: 1001 Walks to Take before You Die
  • In my next life, I want to have: Love among the Chickens (P G Wodehouse)


There must be a word for it ….

There must be a word for it ….

My work week is split fairly evenly between a bookshop and a public library. At the former, I see new books arrive all the time and which books people are buying or waiting for, and which authors have new titles about to be published. At the latter I see what people borrow or request, and what is on the shelves from the last ten to fifteen years as I shelve the  returns. At least half the titles are fiction. I am surrounded day and night by literally thousands of books! And of course, it’s not just the books on the open shelves – I can browse the library stacks of low use titles, I can access the childrens’ and teen collections without feeling like an intruder, I can even score an occasional damaged book from the bookshop or an uncorrected proof copy of a new release. And unlike the university library I used to work in, I can imagine wanting to read a goodly percentage of the books about me now.

When I was young, reading was my consuming hobby, being neither sporty or adventurous. At university studying sciences, my reading for pleasure waned. While never completely stopped, it is only in the past few years that my reading has returned to those high levels of childhood.

Surrounded by books all day, I now feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of books I haven’t read. I will never get to read them all. This dismay is part of the reason for this enormous quest and blog.

“So many books, so little time”. Is there a word for this?


It’s a slow day in the bookshop. It’s raining (finally) and customers are also blowing into the shop in sudden gusts and out again. So I have time to think in between.

As I warned in my very first post, I do love lists, and naturally lists of books are of interest. I am toying with the idea of tagging my book posts with icons when the title appears on a ‘best of … ‘ list, so how would that have gone so far?

    ‘1001 Books to read before you die‘ lists titles chronologically (yay!) and varies across editions. The only Ancient Greek to feature in any edition is Aseop’s Fables (no Homer?!).

And then there’s ‘1001 Childrens’ Books to Read before You Grow Up’  as well 😊


‘Great Books of the Western World’ is also chronologically ordered, and covers 60 volumes in its second edition. Far more in tune with my efforts so far, it starts with the complete works of Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Herodotus, Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, the medical texts of Hippocrates and Galen, and the mathematical treatises of Euclid and Archimedes, Apollonius and Nicomachus (I came off the rails with Plato and Aristotle, and didn’t even attempt the mathematics!) However, GBWW is a little more picky with the Romans, omitting Plautus and Terence, Cicero, Caesar, Horace and Ovid – but then they have an imposed publishing-driven limit.

Susan Wise Bauer’s ‘The Well-Educated Mind’ lists roughly 30 titles in each of six categories : Fiction, Drama, Poetry, Autobiography, History and Politics, and Science. So far I have unknowingly started her Drama, History and Science lists, doing pretty well with Herodotus and Thucydides, Plato’s Republic, Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, Euripides’ Medea, Aristophanes’  The Birds, and Aristotle’s Poetics, Hippocrates,  Gilgamesh and of course Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey,  but skipped Aristotle’s Physics. 😦


 Of course my most successful list is actually Penguin’s Catalogue of Classics, and it also stretches just far enough outside the Western Canon for my purposes, covering Chinese, Japanese, and South Asian classics.


Have I forgotten something obvious??

Not finishing everything on my plato

Not finishing everything on my plato

Ok I have looked ahead and made the decision to NOT read the rest of Plato except for The Laws (which is a biggie) and Timeaus and Critias (which at least sound interesting).

So I will be pushing the following Brussels sprouts to the side : Parmenides, Theaetetus, The Sophist, The Statesman, and Philebus. After all, life is short, and I’ll never get to Dickens if I don’t make some concessions.

After all, as Socrates himself said : “Party on, dudes!”