February 1, 2012

Literally Literary: My Reading Resolutions for 2012

"Literally Literary" is a feature in which I write about books, reading and more books. Why am I going to such bother? My hope is the post title will provide a subtle hint that I am posting about BOOKS. For those of you where the topic of books results in narcoleptic fits thereby causing you to faceplant onto your keyboard, this will allow you to just click away from the horror that is the written word. Also, I simply adore the word "literally", it is literally my favorite adverb. Bonus points if pronounced with a Rob Lowe/Parks n' Recreation affectation.

Special Note: All posts contain non-affiliate links - I do not have an Amazonian Fancy Pants Affiliate Thingie.

Reading Resolutions for 2012
  1. Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility
  2. Reread Pride and Prejudice
  3. Reread Gone with the Wind in addition to some critiques (I first read GWTW when I was 11 years old, then I read it several times again through the years. I suspect I will be horrified by the re-read. Sigh. I need to reflect on that which is exactly why I want to reread it)
  4. Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone
  5. Dennis Lehane's A Drink Before the War
  6. Reread Catcher in the Rye (I LOVED this in my late 20s. I'm curious to see if I will still be impressed.)
  7. Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent
  8. Charles Dickens' Great Expectations
  9. Edith Wharton's House of Mirth
  10. At least one Dorothy Parker short story (I read "Big Blond", "The Telephone Call", "You Were Perfectly Fine", "The Last Tea" and "Little Curtis")
  11. A graphic novel (Note: I read Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi)
  12. George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones
  13. George R.R. Martin's Clash of Kings
  14. Reread Atwood's Oryx and Crake, then read the sequel The Year of the Flood
  15. John Irving's The World According to Garp
  16. One Sherlock Holmes story
  17. One Agatha Christie
  18. Jacques Barzun's From Dawn to Decadence: 1500 to the Present: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life
  19. Oscar Wilde's A Portrait of Dorian Gray
  20. Daniel Borstein's The Seekers
  21. Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence
  22. blogger Kelle Hampton's Bloom
  23. blogger Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened
As I finish books, I will bold them in red.

I think that is it -- the list includes plenty of space for book club selections and delicious popular fiction that will be released this year, while still giving me definition and focus.

 In the past, I've based my Reading Resolutions on simple numbers (i.e. "Read x number of books this year") and generally,  I fit about 40-50 reads yearly.  However, for 2012, I wanted to pinpoint some specific sorts of reads and put them in a list. Rather than mistily muse "Someday, I am going to read Great Expectations.", I am putting it on a list and I am going to Actually Do It.  This year (at least before the Mayans fulfill their quest for world domination.)  I wandered throughout my house to compile this list -- every selection is something I already own and many have been gathering dust for years (Jacques Barzun, I am looking at you).  Furthermore, I wanted to expose myself to some different manners of writing style, language and story structures.  I tried to pick from a variety of genres.

Currently,  I am  reading Margaret Atwood's Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination which is DELICIOUS -- it is much more than just her mental meanderings on speculative fiction and science fiction.  It was a Random Grab at the library, which are always fun, right?  I am also reading John Green's Looking for Alaska (Shout out to Zoot for pointing me to this author -- I LOVED his heartbreaking The Fault in Our Stars)  I am also more than half way through the Game of Thrones: Book 1 --  I do have a tight timeline on that series because the HBO show comes back with Season 2 in April and I have decided I want to read the books from now on before seeing the show (i.e. I saw the Season 1 before reading Book 1.  I think the reading experience will be richer if I reverse that for Season 2/Book 2).  Unfortunately, I am not a speed reader like Average Jane and will need to light a fire under my ass pretty soon to meet my goal.

And yes, I AM open to suggestions and have some space on my reading resolutions list -- anything that you have read lately that is a Must Read for my 2012 Reading Resolutions?  Do you have any recommendations for a graphic novel?


Amanda said...

For your graphic, you should read Aubrey Niffengger's "The Night Bookmobile"? Not sure about the title, but it is the same author as "The Thirteenth Tale". Tongie library has a copy you can get through ILL. It is very short, and well worth your time.

I found "Great Expectations" a great bore. I think that there are better Dickens out there.

"Dorian Gray" was free on the kindle....I haven't read it yet, but am intrigued by the premise.

Good luck with your reading. That is a very ambitious list.

Olivia said...

No suggestions here, but I'm wondering if you are an exceptionally fast reader or just really dedicate the time for so many books. I only manage 6 books a year, maybe? I seem to only have time during my 30 min lunch breaks and sometimes 10-15 at bedtime.

Christine said...

The Watchers is sort of the classic graphic novel that I think everyone is supposed to read. I had mixed feelings on it, although I liked it quite a bit at the beginning. I loved Persopolis (I think I'm spelling that right), which is a two parter. There's another one that might also have 2 parts. Maus, I think is the title, but it's the story of the Holocaust where the Jews are mice, I believe, and the Nazis are rats. The whole thing is told as a reminiscence from a grandfather who survived a camp. Really, really great.

I'll try to look those up later - appointment now.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

I'll look that one up -- but Niffenegger was the author of the Time Traveler's Wife, not the 13th Tale

Truthfully? I have a really messy house. :-) Yes, I do make time for reading and I am probably a little faster than the average reader. Certainly, not a speed reader like Celeste. But not too slow, either. The main reason I have taken forever on the Game of Thrones is that I keep picking up new reads.

Keep the recommendations coming!

Amanda said...

Sorry--got my authors and titles mixed up. I read "The Night Bookmobile" at the same time we were reading "The Thirteenth Tale" for book club. Just a heads up on "Bookmobile" It is colored like a kids tale, and short, but it is not for kids. I would recommend keeping it out of the reach of children until you've had a chance to preview and decide what is best for your kids.

LuAnn said...

A graphic novel suggestion: Maus. It's a classic, and some years I think dated, other years I don't think so as much.

Christine said...

I was thinking of the Watchmen. Like I said, though, I was very eh on it. I liked Persopolis and Maus more, and I see you've gotten repeated recommendations for both.

Lighter fare is Emily the Strange. There are four novels (I've read three so far) but there are also graphic novels which I haven't read yet. She's a fun character, though. Loves cats. The graphic novels would probably be sort of quirky and enjoyable.

Curly Girl said...

I second the vote for Maus. I've not touched it in quite some time, but know I spent many summers re-reading it.

I really like the concept of not just an arbitary number of books, but specific titles, genres, etc. Hmmmm....I know what I'm doing with my spare time tonight!

Mishri said...

Persepolis was the only graphic novel I read and it was pretty good.

Love your list- but where's East of Eden and the incredible A Suitable Boy? The latter is only South-Asian book that I truly love.