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Reading Plans in 2013…

06 Jan

Happy 2013!!

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!

Weekend Book Haul!

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 🙂

P. S.

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!

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4 Comments

Posted by on January 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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4 responses to “Reading Plans in 2013…

  1. Munira

    January 8, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Wow H, thou art so very inspiring! And I love your resolve, if not your resolution 😉
    As for me, I’m feelin rather smug already, and we’re only a week into 2013! Have done some adventurous (and blissfully short!) reading in the last couple of days, the first being ‘Staring at the Sun’ by Julian Barnes (195 pages!) and the second being ‘First Love’ by Ivan Turgenev (only 106!!)
    These were books that have been gathering dust on my bookshelf for the whole of 2012. It was not a conscious decision on my part to reach out to them, but somehow….it just happened. I have broken the ice, come what may! Here’s to me successfully ploughing through all the unread books on my shelf, one by one!
    And I raise my glass to you too! *clinks*
    Happy reading girlfraand!

     
  2. crazygoangirl

    January 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    *clink clink* M 😀 Cheers to you polishing off two books in Week 1 – thou has earned thy smugness mon ami 😉 Is the Barnes good? He’s a firm favorite of mine after only two books! Have heard of Turgenev but don’t know anything about him or his work – is he any good? I want to read Lolita this year and even as I type I’m cringing because I just know it’s going to be such a tough one and yet I feel I must…because…don’t quite know why actually…And I have decided to cave in and read Ms. Roy, who pisses me off…just because…:P It’s going to an interesting year ahead 😉

    Meanwhile, I’m rooting for you to get through that unread pile…mine still languishes though 😛 It doesn’t seem to stop me buying more books either…sigh…I keep thinking I should get serious about e-books, but something holds me back. I’m just not ready yet I guess. The thought of bookshelves crammed with books makes my heart flutter in a way that a Kindle never could 😛

    Here’s to many hours of happy reading Luv 🙂

     
  3. stuartnz

    January 29, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Like you, I’ve decided to challenge myself this year. My Goodreads goal is 65 books, and after a relatively light -reading start that’s let me get through 15 books in 29 days, I’ve just started on Roger Penrose’s The Road to Reality – 1100+ pages of maths and physics! I expect to take months to finish that one. I’m also going to read some Feynman books as part of that “challenge myself” goal. My other “serious goal” is to more about linguistics, especially linguistic history. These goals are part of a determined assault on my “to-read” shelf at Goodreads. 🙂

    Your comment about reading ” Indian author writing in a local language” reminded me of something I’d love to do which is kind of the reverse. I know that until he was five, Kipling’s first language was Urdu, and I’d love to read a translation of one of his works in Hindi. Probably the Jungle Book, since Kim would likely be beyond me at the moment. So if anybody knows of Hindi translations of Kipling books, I’m all ears! In the meantime, for fun, I’m going to finish Discworld (just 5 to go), and the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series.

    All the best for your goals for the year, like you I shy away from “award-winning” as a category, and thus I can offer you the comfort of knowing that you are NOT the only person who hasn’t read The God of Small Things yet. 🙂

     
    • crazygoangirl

      January 30, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      15 books in 29 days!! That’s great that is 🙂 Never heard of Penrose but I wish you luck with what is clearly a monolith! Maths and physics were two of my worst subjects in school and the only reason I studied them is to get admission into Medicine 😛

      I didn’t know Kipling spoke Urdu!! the Jungle Book in Urdu would be awesome I think! I love Urdu – the musicality of it wows me every time. Did you enjoy The Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series…I read three but was disappointed and stopped. I think it’s coz I’m a die-hard Holmes fan, the way Doyle wrote him, and anything that deviates from that persona is too upsetting.

      I am so glad I’m not alone in not reading “The God of Small Things”…it’s been sitting on my shelf for years – a gift from a friend – and I still can’t bring myself to pick it up 😛

      Good Luck with your goals too and thanks for introducing me to the 50/50 challenge. I would have taken it up but with a 4-yr-old I don’t get much time to watch movies at all…still I might give it a shot!

      Thanks for dropping by 🙂 Come again!

       

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