Sunday, January 2, 2011

Book Goals for 2011

57 can be my official number for books read in 2010, it's a tad embarrassing that the last book I read last year was Sister of the Dead.

However, I started the New Year off right with a trip to Barnes&Noble (as my patient, loving boyfriend stood by) and bought The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and The Collected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen. The former was a bit of an impulse buy, influenced by my late trashy/fantasy kick and a zeitgeist around the book blogs that YA is where it's at. The latter has been on my list since I attended a panel with Reif Larsen at the first annual Boston Book Festival and when I saw it in the bookstore, I knew I had waited long enough. Apparently, the hardcover is no longer available new and I decided not to wait and buy used, so mine is paperback. However, seeing as the hardcover has some extra features and I expect to enjoy the book a lot, I might see if I could arrange some trade at a later date.

Like last year, I've decided not to set a number quota of books to read for this year, although for different reasons. Since I will be graduating in May, I expect to have more free time on my hands and I intend to use it to tackle bigger and denser works of both fiction and nonfiction. I recently starting compiling, in addition to a list of books I've been recommended or liked the sound of from reviews, a list of seminal works that I don't want to die without reading. This includes de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, The Communist Manifesto, and The Origin of Species, as well as several foundational religious works. I don't think that I'll get through all of this in a year, but after I graduate will be the time to start working down that list.

Before I graduate, however, I don't expect to have a lot of free time, so if I do any reading outside of school, I would like to dedicate most of it to fantasy and science fiction. I feel that I haven't been reading enough of the two genres that have often brought me the most pleasure and I am also on a mission to discover more high quality writing in the genres. To accomplish this goal, I'll have to spend more time on related blogs and review sites and of course browsing in bookstores and libraries! By the end of this year, I hope to be able to pinpoint 10-20 science fiction/fantasy books that I would also consider literature.

In summary, my goals for reading in 2011 are:

1. Find 10-20 good quality science fiction/fantasy novels

2. Make a dent in my list of seminal works to read

Finally, updates may be sporadic, but I plan to list, number and at least minimally review all the books I read, including those for school, and also report on any book-related events or news. I am also not above a travel post, if my year includes any.

Happy New Year!


Marie said...

your goals sound admirable. i'm reading less new releases and more from-the-shelf in 2011. we'll see how it goes!

Biblibio said...

I like your idea of finding more sci-fi or fantasy books that fall into the literature category. I think there are plenty such books, the problem is simply that we've come to define these genres as incompatible with the term "literature", as though there can be no such thing.

The Day of the Triffids, Dune, and Foundation all come to mind as excellent, worthy sci-fi contenders. But now I want to think about this more in depth...

Carl V. said...

The Collected Works of T.S. Spivet is a book that I am going to get back to this year. I borrowed it from the library last year but started reading it too late and returned it. What I read was very, very good. At this point I'm just going to buy my own copy. It is a lovely book.