This year, I resolve to read more books.
A few years ago, an old roommate of mine inspired me to start keeping an on-going journal of all the books I read. Hers went back probably 10 years (10 years!), and though mine isn’t quite so prolific yet, its still a great way to motivate myself to read more– like writing down anything tends to do, having that added bonus of recording another book in my little journal helps keep me on track sometimes when I’d rather be watching trashy TV than finishing that novel I’ve been reading.
Looking back over the entries, its really interesting to note what I was into reading at the time (graphic novels in 2004, short story collections in 2005). Over the past few years, though, going back to school has definitely taken a toll on my “read for pleasure” time, as I’m sure you can imagine– since fall 2007, when I went back to full time classes, I’ve read 20 books– that’s it, 20 books in over 3 years. I read nearly that many in just 2006, before school took over my life.
This year, though, I’m going to try to get back into the habit of reading more. And inspired by this post over at The Spotted Fox, I thought I’d share a few of the books I’m hoping to get to in 2011.
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson – This book was talked about a lot last year on some of the NPR shows I listen to, and I actually started reading it a week or so ago. I’ve found the writing really captivating so far– it tells the story of the Great Migration from the point of view of a couple specific people.
Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck – I picked Travels With Charley up at Half Price Books for less than a dollar while I home last month (The Christmas visit to Half Price is practically a tradition at this point). I finally read The Grapes of Wrath about a year ago and was completely blown away, so I’m looking forward to getting into some more Steinbeck.
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole – This is one that’s been on my “To Read” list for years. Hopefully in 2011 I can finally knock it out. (Heck, I already made a puppet of the main character a few years back for a friend.)
Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer – Everywhere I try to find this book online, it appears to be backordered, which is a bummer. Jonathan Safran Foer is one of my all-time favorite authors, and Everything Is Illuminated is without a doubt among my top books (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is right up there, too), so I’m really looking forward to seeing what this new one is like.
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell – I know, the title is a little weird, right? And the descriptions sound just as peculiar– 1700s Japan? Not usually my cup o’ tea. But I read Mitchell’s last book, Cloud Atlas, last year (a book with a similarly strange plot full of nuclear secret whodunits, a disinherited wannabe composer and a clone servant class of the future) and couldn’t put it down, so I’d like to give The Thousand Autumns a try this year.
Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People by Amy Sedaris – Amy is like the patron saint of Crafty Gals at this point, right? I got her new book for Christmas this year and am looking forward to digging in and making some pom poms and wind-chimes and other kitschy little wonders.
That’s all I’ve got so far, so I’m definitely open for more suggestions. What’s on your reading list for the new year, blog friends?