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Goal, Resolution, Prospectus?

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This week’s BTT again overlaps with Monday Musings: Reading goals/resolution.

I mentioned that spontaneity will continue to reign in my reading this year, letting my whims steer the course. I’ve found the work-in-progress mode works the best for me, without being constricted by obligation from challenges. The month of January, however, is dominated by the shortlist for Independent Literary Awards, for which I’m a judge under the literary fiction category. I’m almost through with the second book out of the five nominated, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. I’m excited that readers and bloggers have selected a diversity of books, ranging from Room by Emma Donoghue (which is too gimmicky for my taste and not very literary), to a literary labyrinthine mystery Great House by Nicole Krauss, my next read.

I have made a decision to incorporate at least two books from the 20th century literature into my monthly reading, working from the turn of the century up to the present. L. Frank Baum, D. H. Lawrence, Thomas Mann, Elizabeth Bowen, Carson McCullers, James Baldwin, to name a few representative authors.

I’m as spontaneous as I am habitual. It makes sense to further explore the authors whose works I have enjoyed. It also relieves me from wandering haphazardly in the bookstore (which I nonetheless enjoy) and without finding anything that quenches the literary thirst. Going for 2.0 in the new year will be Tana French, Stephen McCauley, Michael Cox, Jeffrey Eugenides, Haruki Murakami, and Sarah Waters.

I want at least a backbond of my reading. The rest just leaves to my mood and whims.

14 Responses

  1. Spontaneity is best. Although I have reading plan, I am most likely seduce to read a book that I heard or read about it somewhere.

    After all reading is suppose to be enjoyable. Enjoy this year Matt!

  2. I love the idea of just reading on a whim…that’s something I have done in a while!

  3. I feel like I mostly read on a whim. One book usually leads to another which leads to another. Which is great for the library and it’s easy access but not so good for the books at home sitting, waiting for me. Next on my whim list thanks to your great review: Call Me By Your Name.

  4. I’ve realized I can only go by spontaneity. Every time I try to set goals (even for one book ahead), I end up completely failing to meet them. If a book catches my eye in the moment, excellent! If I spend a long time planning out what will happen… it’s not going to happen.

    • I have tried to make very elaborate plan which usually end up unfulfilled. I’ve got key goals that I want to achieve, i.e. reading specific titles. Otherwise I want to give myself room to choose and read what interests me at the moment.

  5. I found you from The Social Frog. I love your site. I’m going to poke around a little bit, but don’t worry I’ll put everything back where I found it!!

  6. I really like the Nominations list. Great House made my best list for last year and I liked Room a lot until I read Trespass and that novel so outshone Room that it slipped down the list. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand was charming. The last two are on my reading list for this year.

    • Great House is beautifully written but I find the structure overworked. I’ll wrap up the book tomorrow and gather my thoughts. Room is the most disappointing read from Donoghue for me. Looks like Pettigrew is the best bet right now.

  7. I hope you will read more Steinbeck this year!

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