Posted by: Sally Ingraham | November 16, 2009

Woolf In Winter (updated)

(Taking a break from narcissismy vacation-related posts…)

Woolf in WinterBack in August I posted about my first experience with Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, and it sparked off a burst of creative thought among my new-found blogging friends, Claire, Emily, and Frances, among others. We agreed that a read-a-long of several other books by Woolf was called for, and picked January as the month to do business. The idea has been in the back of my mind since then, and has shaped my vague reading plans for the new year. Claire, who planted the initial idea in our heads, got on the ball this week and what began as a reminder has blossomed into a full fledged group-read, spanning two months, four books, and three glamorous hosts + myself (the somewhat terrified newbie).

Frances and Emily have already posted beautiful invitations and explanations at their respective blogs, and the response has been huge – and hugely exciting.

The reading schedule looks like this, with each book being hosted by one of the four of us:

SarahMrs. Dalloway (January 15th)

EmilyTo the Lighthouse (January 29)

FrancesOrlando (February 12)

ClaireThe Waves (February 26)

We’re encouraging participants to join us for one, two, or all of the books, or just chime in on the discussions if you’ve already read the books. Frances and Emily are self-termed Woolf ‘geeks’ and ‘dorks’, so the experience lies with them, while I’ve only read one book by the author and Claire is about to venture into the world of Woolf for the first time. There’s plenty of room here for any kind of reader. Please join us!

As I’ll be the first host up to bat, it would be super helpful if those who are planning to join for Mrs. Dalloway, specifically, would raise their hands! I’ll be starting a list. 🙂

Can’t wait to read with ya’ll!


Here’s the tentative list of people who have shown interest in Mrs. Dalloway specifically, or have signed up for all four books. If I’ve left anyone out, please shout! And of course no one is held to anything by being listed here. It’s really just to help me keep track. 🙂

Amy – The House of the Seven Tails
Amy – New Century Reading
Andi – Tripping Toward Lucidity
Anthony – Times Flow Stemmed
Bellezza – Dolce Bellezza
Care – Care’s Online Book Club
Claire – Kiss a cloud
Ds – third-storey window
Emily – Evening All Afternoon
EL Fay – This Book and I Could Be Friends
Eva – A Striped Armchair
Frances – Nonsuch Book
Jackie – Farmlanebooks Book Blog
JoAnn – Lakeside Musing
J. S. Payton – BiblioAddict
Julia – A Number of Things
Karen – BookBath
Kaye – Kaye’s Book Review Page
Lena – Save Ophelia
Lu – Regular Rumination
Mark David – Absorbed in Words
Nadia – A Bookish Way of Life
Nina – J’adorehappyendings
Rebecca – Rebecca Reads
Richard – Caravana de recuerdos
Sandy – You’ve GOTTA read this!
Simon – Savidge Reads
Tiina – A Book Blog of One’s Own
uncertainprinciples – another cookie crumbles
Vasilly – 1330v
Victoria – Views from the Page and the Oven
Violet – Manila Folder


  1. Sarah, I’m in for all four. Yay! Thanks to all of you for putting this together!

  2. Richard – Hurray! I hear that you’re new to Woolf too. I’m very curious to see what you think. 🙂

  3. Woolf is an author I’d really like to read (and enjoy!), but every time I’ve tried to read Mrs. Dalloway, I’ve failed spectacularly. I think I am one of those readers who just doesn’t love stream of consciousness writing, so I’m not sure that I’ll ever be able to dig this novel (or Woolf?) as much as so many others do. I do have a copy of To the Lighthouse, however, so I might try joining you guys for that one to see how I do…

  4. I have to admit I’m a little intimidated but then my excitement for her overpowers much everything else. I’m just too glad to have you 3 leading along!!

  5. I am SO IN for Mrs. Dalloway! My copy is second-hand and used to belong to a college student. So it came with all these convenient margin notes and highlighting.

  6. I’ve never read Woolf, but as I mentioned on Frances’ blog I’m in! Looking forward to it!

  7. Steph – It took a slight adjustment for me to figure out how to read Woolf, but once I did I liked it. I can completely understand how it could be not quite someone’s thing though. I do hope you jump in at some point!

    Claire – The response has been amazing, hasn’t it?! It will be quite a ride. 🙂

    EL Fay – Nice! So glad you’re going to hang out with Woolf and us this winter.

    Victoria – Awesome! Thanks for raising your hand. 🙂

  8. So excited! Doing a little dance! 🙂 Thanks for volunteering to kick things off with Mrs. Dalloway. I can’t wait.

  9. Emily – No problem! The response has been awesome. Like Frances said somewhere, it feels like we’re hosting a party, and the guest list is fabulous. 🙂

  10. […] other news, I’ve updated my Woolf in Winter post to include a tentative list of the people (gleaned from Frances and Claire and Emily’s […]

  11. I cannot wait to start Mrs. Dalloway in January. Thanks for adding me to the list.

  12. Vasilly – No problem. Thanks for joining us – and I’m eager to continue checking out your blog too! 🙂

  13. I’d like to join in and re-read all four. I love Orlando; not so keen on The Waves. But it will be fun to read them again in company.

  14. Violet – Great! Glad to have you with us.

  15. I’d love to join in (it will be Woolf in Summer for me!)- will definitely try for all four.

  16. Karen – Welcome! I’m very pleased to have you joining us. 🙂

  17. […] in Winter Emily, Frances, Sarah, and Claire are co-hosting a Woolf extravaganza in January and February. Every two weeks […]

  18. Don’t forget me, I want to join! XO, B.

  19. Um, that would be at Dolce Bellezza (

  20. Bellezza – You are not forgotten! Thanks for joining in. 🙂

  21. Great list of readers! I’m really looking forward to reading Woolf and I’m happy Mrs. Dalloway is first and not just because I already have this book!

  22. Amy – Glad you’re joining us. It’s going to be a lively couple of months. 🙂

  23. Hi, great challenge. I havent read any books of Virginia and I really want to join.
    I am planning to read:
    Mrs. Dalloway
    To the Lighthouse

  24. Nina – Great! I added you to the list. Thanks for joining – can’t wait to see what you think. 🙂

  25. Hiya! I’m in for all 4 Woolf books. Cheers!

  26. I will join you too.

  27. Nadia and Kaye – Thanks for joining!

  28. Sarah, Count me in for Mrs Dalloway. I’ve read several of Woolf’s essays but never the novels. This is also my first group-read, so I am interested to see how it all works.

    Your comments on reading this novel for the first time make me gung-ho to get started. I might have to put my Johnson biography aside (again) for a little while.

  29. […] The official start of Woolf in Winter is January 1st, and the conversation commences on the 15th. Meet me back here for the first round of our 4 part group read. The list that I have gathered thus far is for people who expressed an interest in reading Mrs. Dalloway specifically, or all four books. If I’ve missed anyone let me know! I believe Frances has a more complete list of participants here, and if anyone is hearing of this for the first time there are more details here. […]

  30. I’m all set to go now with three of the books in hand and the fourth on order. Please include my name in the participants list. I’m starting Mrs. Dalloway after midnight tonight as part of the New Year Read-a-thon. I’m really looking forward to the discussions. Thank you.

  31. Anthony – I hope the group read proves to be fun and rewarding for you! Thanks for joining.

    Sandra – I tucked you into the list on my newer post about the read along – thanks so much for joining! Have fun with your New Years read-a-thon. 🙂

  32. oh oh me me! I wanna join up for Mrs. Dalloway too! I’ve always intended on reading it! This sounds like fun!

  33. Melissa – Excellent! I’ll add your name to the list on my newer post about Woolf in Winter. 🙂

  34. Great idea – please count me in for all 4. As far as I’m concerned The Waves, Mrs Dalloway and To The Lighthouse are literal descriptions of experience and I consider The Waves to be the very pinnacle of English literary achievement. Inconveniently I think I am also in love with the bloody woman as well!

    I’m reading “A Writer’s Diary” at the moment – 1 volume containing all those entries from her diaries which deal with the development of her work and what she thought about others’. There are some great insights into her thinking on all four books.

    I can’t wait……er….please can you tell me how this works (this site is rather confusing): do we all just start commenting on this page on each of the Key dates? etc etc. Is there a start time? (I am in the UK)

  35. I just finished Mrs. Dalloway, and I’m going to put down my thoughts on finishing the book now, while it’s still fresh in my mind. Am looking forward to the discussions though – it was my first Woolf, and all said and done, I did enjoy the experience.

  36. I want to join as well! Going through Mrs Dalloway at speedlight, to catch up and not miss the discussion on Jan 15. I read it before, like 10 yeras ago, but I want to read it again. Especially since I am also reading a biography of Virginia Woolf! What a great companion to the challenge!

  37. uncertainprinciples – Yay! I’m so glad you liked the book. I’ll link to your review when my post goes up on the 15th. 🙂

    biffo2 – Hi there! Sorry I couldn’t get back to you sooner – I’ve been traveling. Start reading whenever you’d like – I will be gathering links to posts as people write up their thoughts and post them around the 15th. The four of us who are hosting are still experimenting with the format, so I may kind of lead a discussion on my page…but we’ll see what happens!

    Mihaela – Glad to have you. I have some light speed reading to do myself! I’ll link to your page (and yours, biffo2) on my more recent post about the group read.

  38. Great. I need to do some speed reading too – lucky I read all 4 books in the last 2yrs and am currently reading the diary book (mihaela, which bio are you reading and is it any good?….I want to get a good one?)

    Please note my display name change (to Percival – significance will become clear when we read The Waves!)

    uncertainprinciples – I read your interesting comments. They make me think there must be a way to describe to people the difference between reading Woolf and reading other author’s work….i’m going to think about this and see if I can come up with some suggestions

  39. Percival – Duly noted. I’ll change it in the updated list, which is located at my post ‘Paging Mrs. Dalloway”.

  40. […]   WOOLF IN WINTER DISCUSSION JAN 15 at Sarah’s Blog […]

  41. […] more impressions of Mrs. Dalloway, visit Sarah, this week’s hostess of  the Woolf in Winter readalong~ Possibly related posts: […]

  42. I’m participating too, for all 4 books. I’m only about 70 pages into Mrs. Dalloway, though.

  43. Hi Melissa, glad to have you. I’ll add your name to my more recent list ( and will eagerly await your post about the book whenever you finish it!

  44. I’ve joined a little belatedly! My Mrs Dalloway post is going up tomorrow 🙂

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