From the moment I first saw a few of the volumes in this Penguin English Journeys series I knew I had to own the whole set. I loved the art work, I loved that they were all about the English countryside in one way or another, and perhaps most appealing of all was that they were part of such a well coordinated set. That really appealed to my anal retentive (in)sensibilities. My husband was able to buy me all but one of the 20 volumes through The Book Depository.
One, A Shropshire Lad was on back order and over the course of several months never came back into stock. Which is where Cornflower and her reading club member Jill came to the rescue to help me get the final volume to complete my set.
So for a while now I have had all 20 volumes sitting in my TBR pile. I have toyed off and on with the idea of reading them all at once. I always knew I would read them sequentially, even though the sequence seems to be based solely on alphabetical order. But since none of them are very long, I finally decided that it would be interesting and a fun spring activity to go on a vicarious English Journey during the month of April. So I have decided to read these twenty books during the month of April. And I will, of course, read them in order. I am anxious to start now, but I am going to force myself to wait until April 1 to begin.
Voices of Akenfield – Ronald Blythe
The Wood – John Stewart Collis
From Dover to the Wen – William Cobbett
The Pleasures of English Food – Alan Davidson
Through England on a Side-Saddle – Celia Fiennes
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard and other poems – Various
A Shropshire Lad – A.E. Housman
Cathedrals and Castles – Henry James
Walks in the Wheatfields – Richard Jefferies
The Beauties of a Cottage Garden – Gertrude Jekyll
Country Churches – Simon Jenkins
A Wiltshire Diary – Francis Kilvert
Some Country Houses and their Owners – James Lees-Milne
The Clouded Mirror – L.T.C. Rolt
Let Us Now Praise Famous Gardens – Vita Sackville-West
One Green Field – Edward Thomas
English Folk Songs – Ralph Vaughan Williams and A.L. Lloyd
Country Lore and Legends – Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson
Birds of Selborne – Gilbert White
Life at Grasmere – Dorothy and William Wordsworth
I am terrible at doing reading challenges, even ones that I create for myself. So why in the world I am setting myself a challenge for April? I don’t have the answer to that. Maybe I will know at the end of April.