Wednesday 16 November 2011

A Year of Reading... Louisa May Alcott

Some of you who read my blog may know about my Year of Reading Noel Streatfeild. Earlier this year I discovered that Streatfeild, one of my favourite childhood authors, had actually written a lot more books than I was aware of, which led to 2011 being the year in which I tried to read as many of her books as I possibly could, made problematic by being on a book buying ban for the first three months of the year. However, I think I’ve done pretty well, and I’ve had a great time doing it. My reading of Streatfeild has led to some more interesting discoveries about some other favourite authors (J.M Barrie, L.M Montgomery, and Louisa May Alcott among them) who were much more prolific than I’d previously thought.
I have an enduring love for Little Women and its’ sequels. It is the first book I remember reading by myself, for fun, outside of school, and to this day the books remain very close to my heart. As with Streatfeild, I was unaware of exactly how much Louisa Alcott had written, and I’m quite excited to discover some of her adult fiction. I’ve found an awesome website which has pretty much all of her novels, plays and short stories in full online. However, I’m going to be trying not to read too many of them like this, as I know from previous experience that online reading and I don’t really get along. I’m a diehard fan of ‘the book’ and I always will be. Also, my eyes dislike looking at screens for too long! I may, however, read the short stories online, and other things in desperation, and to facilitate the successful continuation of my 2012 book buying ban.
Little Women is pretty much my all – time favourite book, and as the March girls are based on Louisa Alcott and her three sisters, I’m also going to add biographies and non – fiction to the list of books. I’d like to finish the year knowing a lot more about the woman who wrote the book that has had undeniably the biggest impact on my life so far.
Weirdly, it’s very difficult to get a complete list of Alcott’s works. The most comprehensive list I’ve found (and also the place where they are online) is here and it’s this that I’ll be working from I think. Honestly, I didn’t do brilliantly with reviewing the Streatfeild books I read this year, so my resolution is to do better this year. I’m excited!


  1. How exciting that you're devoting a year to Louisa! The site that Jillian recommended is my blog which I started a year and a half ago, doing precisely what you're doing. I'm a terribly slow reader and I love reading the bios and commentaries almost more than the books themselves so it's a slow process! But it's immensely satisfying for sure!

    I have a growing library list on my blog and I've noted which books I've read so far.

    The name of the blog is Louisa May Alcott is My Passion and it's a passion that grows more and more as I read.

    Good luck with your reading!

  2. Thanks for the recommendation Jillian! I'm especially excited by the fact that on this blog there's what amounts to a reading list relating to Louisa May... My TBR list just got even bigger! :-)

  3. I had no idea she'd written so much. I'd just assumed it was just Little Women and the sequels. I'll definitely be having a look at some of these before long.

  4. If you have a kindle or other ereader, you can download most of LMA's books and stories for free and read them that way. Also ereader apps for mobile devices are great, like phones and tablets. (That was how I got into LMA in the first place, looking for free books for my ereader.) There's lots of great stuff of hers to read, and so much of it is free.

  5. Oh, and there used to be a great complete list of LMA's works, but unfortunately it's no longer there. However, the wayback machine still has the site:

    This list has been a great resource for me. It's amazing how much she wrote in her relatively short lifetime.

  6. In Little Women, you will meet the March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth & Amy who live with their mother, Marmee, and their maid Hannah, during the Civil War. The first half of the novel takes place while their father is away, serving in the war. Each sister has a distinct personality, a reader, an artist, a musician, the quiet one. You will get to know this family in touching little stories of their daily life. Each chapter seems to set up a moral lesson for the reader to learn. We also meet a wonderful set of neighbors, Mr. Laurence and his nephew "Laurie" who quickly find a place as part of the March family.