Thursday, January 1, 2009

Best laid plans

btt button

So … any Reading Resolutions? Say, specific books you plan to read? A plan to read more ____? Anything at all?

Name me at least ONE thing you’re looking forward to reading this year!

I don't have any structured resolutions. My pleasure reading is a forum where I allow myself to follow my impulse. I didn't do all that well with reading challenges last year. I signed up for The Russian Reading Challenge - that was an absolute disaster, and it's not because I don't like Russian literature or books about Russia, I do. The Chunkster Challenge wasn't so bad but only because I kept adding to the list every book I finished that was more than 450 pages. I did fairly well on The Man Booker Challenge, only one title remains - I did not manage to read Darkmans. The only challenge I completed was C. B.'s Short Story challenge, which was spur of the moment and only lasted one month. I even managed to win a prize! I could make a resolution that I am not going to do any book challenges this year, but I'm sure I'll get tempted and break that one too.

That being said, I have a scrumptious stack teetering by my bed and a wonderful fantasy that I am going to read them all in 2009. Ha, ha, the joke's on me. I've already begun Middlemarch and I intend to finish it before the spring. I also began Neil Gaiman's American Gods this morning at about 2:30 when I finally got into bed. I've been told by several trusted sources that this is the Gaiman novel to try. I liked Coraline, and I had mixed but generally positive reactions to The Graveyard Book, but I could not for the life of me get into Neverwhere. One of the review blurbs on my copy said that I was sure to like American Gods "if you have enjoyed John Crowley's Little Big." I didn't enjoy Little Big at all, but I'm going to give this one a shot and if I make it, I am told I should read Anansi Boys after that. Some other books on the stack I'm excited about:
The Scientific Life - Steven Shapin
Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
Twilight - Stefan Zweig
Beware of Pity - Stefan Zweig
The Chateau - William Maxwell
The Imposter - Damon Galgut
Self-Organization in Biological Systems - Camazine, et al.
Freedom & Neurobiology - Richard Searle
Travels with Herodotus - Ryszard Kapuscinski
Collected Stories - Tennessee Williams

...and yourself?


SmilingSally said...

I'm going to dent my TBR pile too. Happy New Year.

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide said...

Happy New Year!!

New Year's Resolution

Happy New Year

Eva said...

I don't think Little, Big was much like American Gods. At all. So hopefully you'll like it. :)

Personally, I'd probably have people start with Anansi Boys, since it's a lighter Gaiman. Or one of his short story collections. Because the first time I read American Gods, I wasn't's only on the rereads that I started really liking it.

Anonymous said...

I find Neil Gaiman to be a better storyteller than writer, if that makes sense. I love his books because I love the ideas in them, and the mythological and religious allusions, but his writing style isn't really to my taste.

Anonymous said...

Resolution is never written on stone. I don’t want resolution to fetter my reading spontaneity. The rough sketch is that I should read more nonfiction this year--to get out of a comfort zone of fiction and read more "dangerously."

Happy New Year! :)


Anonymous said...

What a great list of books you hope to read. I very much enjoyed American Gods. I have not read Little Big so I can't say whether the comparison you mention is valid or not. I hope you enjoy Travels with Herodotus. I liked it very much. Happy 2009!

Anonymous said...

Your 2008 experiences seem to be a foreshadowing of what is ahead of me. I always attempt to be organised, but fail. This is my first year with challenges, so I'm thinking of it as a 'trial' year, hahah :)

I'm already behind though! I should have begun Middlemarch yesterday, but I started about seven books in December, whilst waiting for the new year to come, and now I've got too many unfinished books to plough through...

jon faith said...

I'm guessing a good deal of Wilkie Collins, Absalom, Absalom and the new Pynchon.

Heather said...

Yep. Denting the TBR pile would be excellent. Mostly I'm going to try and not get myself all wound up when I don't meet my reading is supposed to be fun after all. :) Happy New Year.

Danielle said...

Happy New Year! I did awful reading anything Russian last year, too. And I just wanted to read One book. It never happened. Oh well. I just started Zweig's Beware of Pity and I have to say it is excellent! I'll be looking for more of his work!

Ted said...

Danielle - Beware of Pity is on my list for this year as well!

Everyone - If I haven't already visited your site and expressed my good wishes to you personally - I hope 2009 brings you all good things in reading and otherwise.