My Victory Garden

I saw this idea over at The Beauty of Eclecticism and fell in love with it. She has decided to plant a Victory Garden for books.  The Victory Garden is a place to lay to rest all the books that have intimidated us in the past.  Books that deserve to be read.  Books that we've tried to read and just weren't ready for.  Books that we feel like we ought to read in order to be well-read (like War & Peace or Moby Dick).  Or maybe just books that we tried to read and life just got in the way.  Like her, there are certain books that I've tried to read, but just couldn't for whatever reason and I hate to think that they've beaten me.  So now, here in my Victory Garden, I will keep track of my victories--planting each book in my garden as I conquer it and linking up reviews.

My first book will be planted retroactively.  Back in the spring, I finally conquered Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne.  I read Sterne's Sentimental Journey back in college and loved it.  I picked up Tristram Shandy not long after and let it sit on the shelf.  When I finally tried to read it I got about 50 pages in and just couldn't go any further.  I set it aside.  Fast forward almost 20 years when I met a dear friend who just happens to be an 18th Century scholar and Tristram Shandy fan-boy (don't tell him I called him that).  He told me about his then current research project which involved some themes in Shandy and got me all interested again.  So, I pulled out the book and started reading....and got about 50 pages in and just couldn't go any further.  Fast forward another 5 years (last spring)...determined that I would finally get Shandy off my "to do list," I put him down for Roof Beam Reader's TBR Reading Challenge.  And finished the darn thing!  You can click on the title to see what I thought of Shandy once he was out of my system. 

1. Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
3. Dragons of Light by Orson Scott Card (ed)
4. The High Crusade by Poul Anderson
5. That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis (actually the entire space trilogy series)
6. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
7. The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
8. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
9. Chancellorsville & Gettysburg by General Abner Doubleday
10. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammet
11. Prayers to Broken Stones by Dan Simmons
12.The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith (on my shelf since the 1990s)
13. Foundation by Isaac Asimov (a Christmas gift from Mom & Dad in the '80s) 
14. Shakespeare's Planet by Clifford D. Simak [on TBR since 1980s] 
15. Other Times, Other Worlds by John D. MacDonald [on TBR since 1/19/93]