Librarians love to make lists, especially lists of books. We keep lists of books we’ve read, books we’d like to read, and lists of books for you to read (though we will probably read them first–we’re funny that way).
Although I cherish shelf-browsing, serendipitous book-finding, and suggestions from friends, I’m forced to admit that I’m not getting any younger. If I truly want to read as many books as possible, I need to have a plan for tackling them. Luckily, there are more than 250 books about books and reading available countywide, so I’ve been able to scour them for suggestions on crafting an organized reading schedule.
While I’ve deliberately left space for bibliomancy in my plan, I pretty much already know which works I’ll be tackling in 2011. All of them are books I’ve been meaning to read, but haven’t gotten around to. Sharing them gives you an opportunity to try them on for size as well, and forces me to put my money where my mouth is, stick to the plan, and report back next December.
Here are a half-dozen of the titles I’ll be tackling for certain:
The Tale of Genji, Lady Murasaki Shibiku. After researching the different versions of this classic work of medieval Japanese literature, I decided to start with Tyler’s translation. It’s abridged, which I normally don’t care for, but I’ve also never read a medieval Japanese novel! We shall see.
Eminent Victorians, Lytton Strachey. I’ve been besotted with the Victorian era since time out of mind, but I can’t really call myself an aficianado until I read this classic history, can I? Methinks not!
Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier. I never read the “must-read” novels when anyone else is reading them. If it’s truly a good book, it will still be worth reading once the hype has died down, right? I think enough time has passed, in this case, to find out.
Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe. I suppose if I were a true completist, I would have spelled out the novel’s full title. But at least I’m enough of a completist to go back and make up for this gap in my reading of the classics!
The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov. Russian novels aren’t my long suit. However, in the past six months so many people have asked whether or not we have this novel that I am now intrigued. Will it trump Tolstoy? Time will tell.
Speaking of time, it’s definitely time for Time and Again, Jack Finney. I’m a sucker for a good time-travel story, and the conversations that flowed from Don’s recent post on the subject have convinced me it’s time to try this one on for size.
I could go on, but I’d much rather hear about your reading plan for 2011, if you have one. How do you decide what you want to read and when? Are there any books you know you’ll tackle in the months to come?