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Bookish Resolution

btt buttonSo … 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!

Resolution is never written on stone. I used to commit myself a goal but only get dismayed to be under-achieving. I bow out of the Man Booker Challenge because I couldn’t get into any of the remaining selections on my list after four books. I don’t want resolution to fetter my reading spontaneity. So I rather lay down a plan to read at least one from each of the following categories:

Eva’s World Citizen Challenge would be a great incentive to reading more non-fiction. It will surely carry the steam and momentum that I have gathered from reading Randy Shilts’ And The Band Played On, of which I’m in the last one hundred pages. My preliminary list includes:

Life along the Silk Road by Susan Whitfield
China: Fragile Superpower by Susan Shirk
Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East by Robin Wright
The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder by Vincent Bugliosi

Literary/Epic Chunkster
Vanity has it that reading novels of daunting size makes me look more scholarly. So big chunkster is a continuous tradition at A Guy’s Moleskine Notebook. This year’s prospectus includes:

Les Misérables (Unabridged) by Victor Hugo
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Middlemarch by George Elliot
Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace

American Literature/Black History Month
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Beloved by Toni Morrison
A Mercy by Toni Morrison
Another Country by James Baldwin

Essays and memoirs are genres that I would allocate more time in reading. The goal for 2009 is not necessarily to exceed the number of books read in 2008, but to become a more well-rounded reader, or some of you call, a “dangerous” reader. Do you have a blueprint for your reading in 2009?

26 Responses

  1. That’s an impressive start. I’ve joined 5 challenges and plan to make a good-sized dent in my TBR pile. Happy New Year.

  2. THis list looks serious. Now, I feel like a kindergartner reading a teacher’s reading list.

    Happy New Year and Happy reading!


  3. Matt, I would love to read Gone with the Wind with you! Please let me know when you get started and I will, too. I’ve always read this book by myself. I’d like to see what you think about it.

  4. Happy New Year Matt!! I prefer the word plans over resolutions as well. You can always change plans and not feel bad about it! 🙂 I see you are going for Les Mis–that’s definitely a chunkster! I have And the Band Played On, too, and I have always meant to read it. I wonder where I put it….

  5. More nonfiction for me this year as well. Memoir and essays seem a great suggestion. Typically, my nonfiction picks are short on prose and long on visual appeal and production value so I do need to spread my wings a little. Good luck with those reading plans. Happy New Year!

  6. I’m SO happy you’re joining my challenge! Woo-hoo!

    I’ve read the first three of your planned chunksters and very much enjoyed them. 🙂 I’m eyeing a few big reads this year…Count of Monte Cristo, Kristin Lavransdatter…we’ll see!

  7. Hurrah! I read Les Misérables in 2008, but this year I’ll also be reading Gone with the Wind and Middlemarch! I love to immerse myself in chunky books.

    Happy new year 🙂

  8. I’m batting around in my head whether or not to take part in any challenges. I’m a slow reader so, I don’t know.

    If you’re interested in memoirs, may I suggest, The Treatment & The Cure by Peter Kocan. He’s an Australian author. Although the book is called fiction, many agree it is actually autobiographical. I have a review of it on my other blog: NoBSBookReviews if you’ld like to get a more thorough idea.

  9. My aim for this year is to make a more serious dent in my TBR pile that I have carried over from last year and also to add a few non-fictions to my 2009 reading list. I also plan on reading more French literature again.

    However, I’m looking forward to reading my copy of Perfume, which you gifted me, starting tonight. Thanks again & happy new year to you, Matt and to everyone else!

  10. Happy New Year!

    Matt, this is a great list of goals. I’m still working on laying out my reading resolutions.

  11. I’m the opposite: read more non fiction usually. I’ll read more fiction this year, and I’ll have to rely on your recommendation.

  12. Happy ’09 Matt!
    I like your goals of becoming a more well-rounded reader. When I look at my stats I see that my reading patterns don’t change much over the years so again I just hope to read a bit more of the classics, poetry, short stories and non-fiction.
    Good luck with your reading plans!

  13. I guess my reading goal this year is to expand my reading to books I wouldn’t normally pick up and to get more out of it by reading more critically. So I guess my goal is similar to yours of becoming a more well-rounded reader.

    I used reading challenges to kind of plan out my reading, but since I normally read more books in a year than I committed to, I still have room for some spontaneous reading, too.

  14. Great list of books. You inspire me…and thanks for the tip about looking more scholarly with a big, thick book. I’ll have to try that. Happy New Year!


  15. Happy New Year Sally, karinab71, Jennifer (Literate Housewife), Danielle, Frances, Eva, tuesday, Nicole, Regina, Jessica, Ken, Iliana, Becca, Karen!

  16. Jennifer:
    It would be lovely to read Gone With The Wind together. I’m down. I’m thinking about reading it in spring break, when I have more time to read at long stretches. February is black history month so I’ll be buried in Toni Morrison and James Baldwin. 🙂

  17. Danielle:
    I was so excited that you were reading Les Miserables. I’ve got Gone With The Wind down for spring break, so I suppose I’ll schedule Les Miserables for summer.I plan to get the new translation. 🙂

  18. Eva:
    I’m finalizing the reading list for World Citizen Challenge. My friends always dub me the world traveler so it’s a must that I join your challenge in order to live up that name! 🙂

  19. Nicole:
    I’m not familiar with Australian literature or authors. I’m sure they deserve more attention in the US. I wrote down the titles you suggested and will surely look them up. 🙂

  20. Regina:
    I’m more than interested to see what’s in your TBR pile. Where do you usually buy your books? Small indie shops? PageOne (love their design books)?

  21. Jessica:
    Thank you for always giving me ideas in what to read! I love your reviews and snippets on book industry! 🙂

  22. Iliana:
    I should write a post asking for everyone’s input in their favorite short stories. I’m usually not a magnet to short stories, other than Dostoevsky and Chekov.

  23. Becca:
    I’m kicking off the new year with a more substantial proportion of non-fiction. I’m also reading more challenging authors like Toni Morrison and Virgina Woolf. Eva’s World Citizen Challenge would keep me in check for non-fiction.

  24. Karen:
    LOL I’m sure you have read more chunksters than I do. 🙂

  25. Nice list!–I’ve read several of those titles. I have quite a long list, myself.. it’ll take me well beyond 2009 to finish, but I have hopes.

  26. […] Wants To Tango? Posted on January 24, 2009 by Matthew I mentioned the plan to read long epic novels on New year’s Day. Last year, synchronized with my students from Russian literature class, I […]

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