New Year’s Reading Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions: is anyone actually any good at these?  Those big January 1st resolutions are a lot of pressure!  Reading resolutions are a whole other story, though.  Here’s what some of us on the Eleventh Stack team have planned for 2009.

Leigh Anne's ever growing list(s) of things to read

Leigh Anne's ever growing list(s) of things to read

  • Irene: This year I plan on finding some interesting books about U.S. history.  Maybe it’s the fact that I recently took this quiz and realized how little I know on the subject, but for some reason lately I find myself interested in learning more.  As for fiction, I plan on continuing my noir kick with some Chester Himes, and also making 2009 the year that I finally read Moby Dick all the way through. 
  • Lisa: 2008 did not prove to be a productive reading year for me (…gasp!! I know what you’re thinking!). I fluctuated between being disinterested in books and then wanting to read everything and then getting depressed that I had no time to start or finish anything.  For 2009, my reading resolution is to make time to read the books I check out.
  • Don: Every year I make reading resolutions.  Every year I fail miserably. Dangle some literary tinsel in my peripheral vision and I am so there, abandoning all promises, hopes, and dreams. Ever since all the bookshelves in our house filled up, all of my planned reading is based on piles, not-so-strategically placed around the bedroom, living room, spare room… There is a method to approaching these piles, so arcane as to be nigh on incomprehensible. So, simply put, here’s a sneak peek at this year’s broken promises: Anna Karenina, the “new” translation; 2666 by Robert Bolano; Herman Hesse’s lesser known works, such as Strange News From Another Star and Pictor’s Metamorphoses; the 4-volume Haiku set by R.H. Blyth; re-read The Prelude by William Wordsworth; the Special Agent Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child; the sci/fi/noir novels of Richard K. Morgan; the Barchester series by Anthony Trollope; and as for non-fiction, none– the only resolution I’ve ever kept. 
  • MA:  This year I want to read more Medieval history books.  I got my BA with a concentration in Medieval history 2 years ago and haven’t picked up a book since!  I also want to read two books that are coming out in 2009- The Last Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko, which is the fourth installment of the Night Watch series, and Paulo Coelho’s latest work, to be available in April, The Winner Stands Alone.  And MAYBE I’ll tackle The Alchemist in the original Spanish….we’ll see what the year brings.
  • Julie: Resolutions usually represent defeat before the year begins. But maybe it’s only the terminology that scares me. So here goes: I aspire to fulfill my commitment to read (or reread) the books for which I’ll help lead discussions at the library. These include The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, Waiting for the Barbarians, A Match to the Heart, No One Belongs Here More than You: Stories, Strong Poison, Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table, Something From the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America, The Unprejudiced Palate: Classic Thoughts on Food and the Good Life, and The Year of Living Biblically. And I hope to make time for more book reading of the non-required sort.
  • Wes: I resolve to get serious about my nonfiction reading.  I intend to begin by finally finishing Geoffrey Miller’s The Mating Mind.  Then I’d like to feed my long-term history cravings by checking out a book I recently heard about called Europe Between the Oceans by Barry Cunliffe.  Of course, the success of this resolution depends on how bad my new Buffy the Vampire Slayer addiction becomes…  
  • Bonnie: I resolve to get a bus pass and stop driving to work.  Since I got my parking pass, my reading habits have become deplorable.  I know that if I’m riding public transportation, I have at least an hour of reading time guaranteed every day.   Actually, I may do this when the weather gets warmer.
  • Kaarin:  I’m getting the shakes just writing about reading resolutions, so first on my list is Kiss and Run:  the Single, Picky and Indecisive Girl’s Guide to Overcoming Her Fear of Commitment.  And since I’m a true believer that I can learn as much from fiction as non-fiction, I’m adding Anna Maxted’s Being Committed.  Okay, that wasn’t so hard.  I’ve resolved to study Spanish this year, so in terms of reading, I’m going to read all the children’s books they have in Spanish in the Children’s Department at Main, from ABeCedarios: Mexican Folk Art ABCs in English and Spanish to Xochitl and the Flowers.  I also need to read more horror and mystery books, and nonfiction, and graphic novels, and short stories.  I resolve to read all the books in the library.
  • Tim: As someone who works the Music, Film & Audio desk, I can weasel out of a reading resolution and make a viewing resolution.  I will finally watch Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen.  The Ring cycle is four operas (Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, & Götterdämmerung) and clocks in at over 15 hours which means it’s like the Moby Dick of music.  (I finally read Moby Dick in 2007 and loved it.  Irene, go for it!)

Happy New Year!

–Irene (and the rest of the Eleventh Stack blog team)

8 Comments

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8 responses to “New Year’s Reading Resolutions

  1. Andrew

    Renee – all stuff I’d like to read, especially the Campbell and comics.

    Hey Don – wouldn’t have thought of you as a thriller/sci-fi fan, but the Agent Pendergast series is pretty good for a mystery/horror/sci-fi combo. Why are you so rough on nonfic though? I couldn’t live without it.

    Some of the books on my list: biographies of Thomas Merton and Martin Luther King, Jr.; Abraham’s Curse by Bruce Chilton; Homer’s Odyssey; James Joyce’s Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake; Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses; David Foster Wallace’s Oblivion; and Kim Harrison’s latest Rachel Morgan novel. If I even get half of these read I’ll be happy!

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  7. book publishers

    Hey Don – wouldn’t have thought of you as a thriller/sci-fi fan, but the Agent Pendergast series is pretty good for a mystery/horror/sci-fi combo. Why are you so rough on nonfic though? I couldn’t live without it.

  8. book publishers

    Very interesting, I care about fiction too.

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