Relevant Obscurity in 2019



2018 was a veritable reading bust for me. Health and personal challenges left me lethargic in writing up books from the beginning of the year. Frankly, I almost gave up the ghost with Relevant Obscurity…

I am away for the holidays letting my mind ramble as I explore. I am seeing places in my personal  life where I feel a similar lethargy and places I feel somewhat constricted. My ramblings have shown me this same constriction has bled into my blogging life by what I post and what I leave out.

I started Relevant Obscurity 3 1/2 years ago to concentrate on the classics. But reading reviews of other bloggers has opened me up to wider reading interests and I want to go with that flow, instead of sticking with self-imposed limitations.

Here is my projected approach to reading and writing in 2019:

  • Biographies. Some writers have particularly interested me during these 3 1/2 years and I want to know more about them, including Edith Wharton, Henry James, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Madeleine L’Engle and CS Lewis
  • The 19th and early 20th centuries. My favorite time period, which seems to be a hot topic in monographs these days of people and events. Yes, more nonfiction
  • Series and major works. I want to complete the Chronicles of Narnia, write about LM Montgomery’s Emily series (why isn’t Emily as well-known as Anne?), finish Henry James’s major work and read as much of Madeleine L’Engle’s nonfiction as possible
  • Contemporary fiction. “Yes, Laurie, step into the world of 21st century contemporary fiction.” So far it hasn’t hurt
  • Plays and poetry. I am neglecting these by concentrating mostly on novels
  • Spanish-speaking countries. Last winter I posted about starting German with the Babbel app. It soon became apparent that I could actually learn a language with this program, so I switched to Spanish. There is logic in there somewhere, but it’s a long story! I have become obsessed with Spanish creating my own reading challenge of Spanish literature, history and culture. And I dream about an adventure to Chile or Spain…

Book challenges will be less in 2019, but I am happy to continue with Back to the Classics, the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge, Roof Beam Reader’s TBR, the Classics Club and Library Love, because they are fun and helpful. One new challenge I am undertaking is The World at War Reading Challenge. I am also looking forward to the Wales Readathon in March and RIP in the Fall.

We’ll see what actually transpires this year, but I remain positive.

Wishing everyone a fulfilling 2019!


23 thoughts on “Relevant Obscurity in 2019

  1. Pingback: Daisy Miller: A Study, Henry James (1878) – Relevant Obscurity

  2. Great list for 2019, and I can’t wait to find out how you settle the Green Gables vs New Moon conundrum. Happy reading! and happier blogging! (or should it be the other way around? either way, it comes down to good wishes for all your endeavors)


  3. I’m glad you didn’t give up blogging, Laurie! I always enjoy reading your posts! Sometimes our reading and blogging may slow down for one reason or another… It’s just part of life. I think it’s great you want to branch out with your reading and blogging. Have fun and enjoy your reading goals in 2019! 🙂


  4. Wow, sounds like you have a full 2019! I like your plans and congratulations for trying to learn German. I started ancient Greek last year but was stopped by a biking accident. I’d like to get back to it. Please let me know if you find any good modern books; they’re my bête noire! And the Wales readathon sounds like fun. I’ll have to look into it. All the best for 2019!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. German was amazing, but I switched to Spanish, which to me is even moreso!

      Listen…me and contemporary books? We have a love/hate relationship! But I did read several last year, historical novels, that I admit to actually loving, because the story was appealing. Radio Girls and The Witches of New York come to mind. Oh, and I recently read, The Mistress of the Art of Death that is super…at least to me!


    1. Hi Ruth! It’s so nice to hear about someone else whose blog took another turn from when they started. Now that you describe your experience, it does make sense for someone like me who began her blog with a narrow focus to feel constricted. I’m branching out!


  5. This at first reads like an ambitious schedule but once broken down I see it is very manageable, so I wish you every success with it! Like you I’ve been thinking how to structure my reading next year and some general outlines are starting to appear. I feel a post taking shape…

    Blogging the Spirit is something I may join in occasionally, though not necessarily every month. I too seem willy-nilly to have been focusing increasingly on 19th- and early 20th-century fiction and biography, but luckily much of that overlaps with my Classics Club list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder sometimes if this plan is due to the perennial student in me and I am exchanging a syllabus for a reading challenge?! When I read classic literature, I automatically slip into wanting to know the literary/historical context, so why fight it? You know the saying, “you can take the girl out of a history major, but you can’t take the history major out of the girl” 🙂

      Blogging the Spirit will be very low key this year. At the end of each of my posts I’ll invite anyone who wants to include something similar to add a link to their post in the comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I am slskva bit down on all this as I read a pitiful number of books in 2018.

    I love your plans. I tend to make similar outlines. I do not feel that I need to follow them exactly but they make good basic guidelines and they sometimes help me to decide what to read next.

    Hopefully 2019 will be a good reading year for us all!


    1. “and they sometimes help me to decide what to read next.”
      This is true for me. When I feel overwhelmed about all the books out there I want to read, I finally figured out that by having a (flexible) plan with these challenges they are like small goals that take away some of the overwhelm.

      And hey, I look forward to reading all your reviews. I, too, am reading the Harry Potter books again, although I don’t think I’ll post about them at this time. Ah….Hogwarts, I do wish Rowling thought to include an adult education department 🙂


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