I’ve been rootling around for a theme to organize my reading in the New Year. It’s a first for me, coz I don’t normally do ‘themes’, not in the least because I can’t seem to stick to them for long! I’m not very good with lists and such, but hey, doesn’t hurt to give it another try – it being the New Year and all. Although let’s get one thing straight – this is NOT a resolution! Just so we’re clear 😉 More like a thought, an outline, an attempt to bring some method to my usual chaos 😛
Usually I just meander along the year, picking books that catch my eye for whatever reason – an attractive cover, an interesting title, a good review from a friend with similar tastes, but more often it’s a gut feeling, that says “Pick me. Read me. I won’t disappoint.” And they rarely have! I like to think I have a sort of balance to my reading – last year I read quite a few award-winners (a genre I’m extremely wary of) and mixed those up nicely with some regular thrillers and fantasy novels to lighten the mood and preserve my sanity 😉 I love mysteries and so I naturally gravitate towards the genre – Christie is an absolute favourite and I own her entire collection 🙂 But this year I want to try and step out of my box – challenge myself if you will and see where it takes me!
So this is the plan…I’m thinking of tackling authors that I haven’t read this year. These include authors that I’ve attempted in the past and failed to finish for a variety of reasons – Rushdie, Steinbeck, Chabon, Kesey to mention a few. Then there are those authors that I’ve never attempted, sometimes coz they’ve pissed me off for reasons wholly unrelated to their writing talent (Yeah! Well – that’s just how I am sometimes) – Arundhati Roy & Naipaul being two shining examples; I might be the only person left who hasn’t read The God of Small Things yet 😛 Then there are those that I’ve just not got around to reading coz there’s just not enough time to read them all is there! Coetzee, Ondaatje, Schlink come immediately to mind but there are scores of fine authors out there that I haven’t read and probably never will for lack of time and inclination…that’s just the way the cookie crumbles! I haven’t read too many of the ‘classics’ either – Hardy and Greene and Henry James and all the others – and perhaps the time is ripe to tackle one or two of them this year. The last time I read Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights was back in school when I read their abridged versions and I’m not ashamed to admit it either!
Another genre I want to attempt is the Indian author writing in a local language. Obviously I’ll need an English translation coz I don’t read too well in the dozens of languages of my country, but I am determined to make an effort in this direction. I feel like I owe it to myself and I know India has a treasure trove of literature by authors who do not write in English. That’s a lot of reading by any standards and I’m not going to pressure myself by attempting to do it all in one year – coz boy would that be a disaster! No, I’m thinking 52 weeks, 52 books – chosen randomly while sticking to the broad guidelines I’ve listed above. Sound like a plan? It’ll do to start with and then we’ll see where it goes from there…
I plan to use ‘1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die’ as a guide of sorts & will post a list of the authors and their books that I intend to read this year in a day or two, so check this space. Meanwhile, all suggestions on books & authors you think I should read are welcome and needed 🙂 Of course, there are favourites that I discovered last year and want to read more of, Julian Barnes, Ian McEwan, Jeffery Euginedes come to mind. Atwood too! And Pamuk! I think I should stop now, before I get carried away as always and end up re-reading my familiar favourites out of sheer frustration and ineptitude!
What are you planning on reading this year? Do share your plans and recommendations in the comments section! Would love to know and they’ll help me make my choices 🙂
Here’s to an adventurous year in Reading – yours & mine 🙂
Have started on my 1st Book this year, Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil, a birthday gift. It was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2012. Am on Page 135…and the jury’s still out!
- Why I Don’t Need Reading Resolutions Plus Book Club Invitations (fillingmypatchofsky.com)
- Fiftyfiftyme: My Year in Books (likhaavat.blogspot.com)
- My Reading Resolutions (myreadingrewards.wordpress.com)