Thursday, November 08, 2007

Reading Plans For Next Year?

Update: I'm enjoying the responses that have been coming in about your reading lists - even trying to keep it free and easy is a plan. So, I'm taking Matt's advice and keeping this post "sticky" for a while. Let's see how it goes.

I know it's only October - or coming to November, but I'm looking a lot harder into cutting down my stacks of half-finished books. I guess I'm looking into some housekeeping, and it seems better to be able to finish what I started. It's something I hope to practice in life - not just in books.

So after I was done with Dracula last night, I picked up my half-finished copy of Alain de Botton's Art of Travel.

I like to start a new year on a clean slate - which is why I also hope to end the previous one in a good note - few books left unfinished, no bills unpaid. In short, trying to minimise the "debts" to carry over to the next year.

I know a lot of people are looking at next year's Russian Reading Challenge. I know I am. I caught myself reading the introduction to the new translation of War and Peace recently - and I had to stop myself before I go any further. That's for next year.

Meanwhile, I'm already drafting my 100 Books To Read 2008. I started my 100 Books reading list last year. I Never. Ever. complete the 100 Books I have planned out - but I always have fun just trying. That's why I keep doing it.

I hope to incorporate more genre fiction into next year's 100 Books. Lloyd Alexander is on the reading list, with Octavia E. Butler, The Iliad (again), Jean Rhys, a biography on Billie Holiday. Of course - my on-going quest to finish the Aubrey/Maturin series.

Does anyone else have any tentative reading plans for next year?


Anonymous said...

hi, just curious if you have come across or read "the catcher in the rye" by J.D. Salinger. what is your view about the book? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I don't have 100 books mapped out for 2008, but I do have an idea of what I want to read. The Russian Reading Challenge will make up a big chunk of the list, including yet another reading of the epic War and Peace.

A loyal reader to authors whom I find interesting and thought-provoking, I'll re-visit their other works. For example, several authors from the Outmoded Reading Challenge will continue to occupy my reading list in the year to come.

I've also marked the Chinese epic, Dream of the Red Chamber (5 volumes) for summer 2008.

You should keep this post sticky, as many of us will come back and update the reading plan. :)

In the nearer future, what will you be reading while you're in Vietnam?

Carl V. Anderson said...

Next year's plans...hmmmm...

I know I am doing sci fi at the start of the year as that is a typical January thing for me. March will begin the second Once Upon a Time Challenge and of course there will be a R.I.P. III! Other than that I am not sure. I do plan on trying to be more conscious of my spending and book buying addiction and am going to do the From the Stacks Challenge in an effort to read more of the books that I already own as opposed to buying new ones constantly. Wish me luck. ;)

Anonymous said...

I have signed up to a couple of challenges for next year to keep my reading on track. I aimed to read 75 books last year which I completed last month (I didn't plan the titles beforehand and I included manga and graphic novels) which I will try and do again next year and possibly increase the number to aim for. I like having a little freedom in my reading so will try not to sign up to many more.

darkorpheus said...

quietletters I read "Catcher in the Rye" when I was 19 - that was about a decade ago. I need to think a little on this - in fact, this will mean a short post on its own. Will reply on this soon. I promise.

Matt Dreams of Red Chambers - in the original Chinese? You put me to shame.

You know, maybe I should keep this post sticky, or repost this from time to time.

Carl I am with you on reading from books already purchased. And of course, looking more closely into the spending.

Looking forward to Once Upon a Time II. :)

Rhinoa I like how you give yourself some breathing room. Are you reaching for 100 books in 2008 then? I say go for it! :)

Jill said...

Hmm... I just sort of go from whim to whim as far as what I feel like reading. Nothing makes me not want to read a book so much as feeling like I have to read a book! I think if I wrote a list of titles I planned on reading, I'd get all ornery and go read something else entirely! I'm kind of funny that way, I guess.

Amy Reads said...

Hi Dark Orpheus,
I don't have any reading plans mapped out, per se, as a lot of my reading plans hinge on dissertation writing and teaching. That being said, I know I will, in the next few months (and likely through the new year), reread Middlemarch, Wives and Daughters, and The Diamond Age, read Libba Bray's new novel, coming out in December, and Stephen King's new book coming in January.

Now I have a healthy (overripe, even) "to read" bookshelf that epitomizes the Cup Runneth Over mentality. Rereading all of Barbara Michaels, finishing all of Brad Meltzer, and starting to pick through books to decide if I will 1) finish them, or 2) donate them to the library after one final attempt to read them.

So many books, so little time, no?

darkorpheus said...

Darla D Actually, I get it. If I read a book - it's because I Want. To. Read. A. Book. Not because I have to.

I like making reading lists though. It gives me a delusion of being organised. But like they say on "Pirates of the Caribbean" - "It's more of a guideline, really"

Amy Reading for school fills me up with a desire to pack my room or do the laundry - anything just so that I can avoid reading.

"Cup Runneth Over" mentality? Cool. I'm still deciding between what they should put on my gravestone: "Left Many Books Unread" or "Death by Collapsing Bookshelves"?

To everyone Ah, all you bookfiends are so much fun! :)

chrisa511 said...

I don't know how to even begin to answer this one :p I've already signed up for entirely too many challenges for next year, so that will constitute a lot of my reading. I'd also like to delve into some Russian authors. You've really spiked my interest on that front and after reading The Death of Ivan Ilyich, I'd really like to read some of Tolstoy's masterpieces. I'm thinking Anna Karenina. I also have my eye on that same copy of War and Peace that you bought! It's beautiful!

Like Carl, I'm trying to stick to books that I own...though that's almost a lost cause with me. Book buying really is an addiction! But the 150 books on my TBR shelf would definitely see me through a year or two; there's really no need to buy any more!

Imani said...

Only to re-read old Dickens novels and read new ones. Also, verbivore is thinking of doing a Japanese reading challenge next year, so I have that to think about.

Anonymous said...

No clue about next year's plans... I haven't signed up for any of the 2008 challenges. For now I just want to focus on wrapping up this year's challenges, finish book group reads, etc. I think I'll do my planning after I take a look at what my reading was like this year. See if I need to add more genre fiction or what.

Rebecca H. said...

I'm moving in the opposite direction -- trying not to plan. But I do enjoy reading other people's lists and plans!

Anonymous said...

I don't think I can read the original Chinese text of Dream of the Red Chamber, unless I have five years! I'll tackle the Penguin Classics, along with the Chinese text.

Melwyk said...

I don't have a set plan, just some ideas of what I'd like to read. I have a shelf set aside I'd like to get to. And the Challenges I've signed on to, especially the Russian Reading Challenge, will help direct my reading. That was an easy one to sign up for though, since I was already thinking of reading up on Slavic lit before going to Ukraine. So it all matches up perfectly!

Anonymous said...

I've been going through my reading journal and get ideas for readings. Aside from the Russian Reading Challenge, which now tentatively has 13 books, I'll continue to explore authors that I discovered and the ones I like. Here is a list of authors:

Jose Saramago (Seeing)
Annie Dillard
Joanne Harris
Emma Donoghue
John Knowles (peace Breaks Out, The Trap)
William Maxwell
John Banville
Margaret Atwood
May Sarton
Elizabeth Bowen
Olivia Manning

Some classics to be re-read:
The Illiad (the new verse edition)
The Inferno
Shakespeare (The Tragedies)

I think I'll develop a plan for reading NYRB classics for 2008.

darkorpheus said...

Sort of like Melanie, I was actually planning to do a year of Russian readings when Sharon announced her "Russian Reading Challenge". So, I had to sign up.

The key titles I want to tackle for the Russian Reading Challenge will be: War & Peace, The Idiot, The Gambler, and Oblomov

I've also drawn up a spiritual reading list - this will be long-term, probably my entire life. But on a more manageable scale, I want to re-read the Bhagavad Gita - either this year or next. Ram Dass's Paths to God was based on a course he taught at a Buddhist university on the Gita. I'm using the book as an outline for my own studies on the Gita.

Of course, in 2008, I wish to read the works by these authors: Ryszard Kapuscinski, Freya Stark and Octavia E. Butler.

More Graham Greene, more Maugham, more Colette.

Would love to finally read Flaubert in Egypt - because I have read what Orhan Pamuk and Alain de Botton had to say about Gustave's travels in the Orient, and they made it sound so interesting.

Andi said...

And Estella's Revenge just added another Challenge to the fire! (sorry, shameless plug)

I generally try not to plan too much because the moment a deadline touches a book, I tend to run for the hills. Unsurprisingly, such was a bit of a problem for me in college/grad school.

Sharon said...

Most of my 2008 reading is going to be for reading challenges. There are a few challenges that overlap from 2007 into 2008 that I will need to finish, then I can concentrate on the Russian Reading Challenge, the Shakespeare Challenge (4 books in 6 months, I think) a couple of mini-challenges (a Jane Austen challenge and a J.R.R. Tolkein/C.S. Lewis challenge - total of 4 books for both), and the Once Upon A Time and RIP challenges. Your list has inspired me to see if I can read 100 books next year. Not sure if it will happen, but it is a worthy goal!

Anonymous said...

2008 looks very cool for you...! the russian reading challenge is gonna be great - especially as you'll be reading those books with other people too. those old classics can be so hard to stick with, but if you're reading it with others then you can really wrap yourself up in that little world...

me, well next year is the continuation of my ongoing odyssey (or purgutory). since 2005 i've put a fairly strict rule on myself that i am to finish all the unread books i have in england (there are still a good 50/60 waiting for me in south africa).

there were some exceptions, like books i had to buy for school which i had to teach or books for challenges or books that i've been interested in for a long time (and then hear they are making the film (so i have to read it beforehand (thereby forcing my hand))). so there were some exceptions, but not many. the only time i ever bought more than one book since march 2005 was for the rip challenge.

the whole endeavour has been complicated by birthdays and christmasses, of course, when i normally get a fair few books... so its often one step forward, two steps back.

anyway, in 2 and a half years i haven't bought a single book in anger (or on a whim (but "in anger" sounds so much better :) )).

so i CAN NOT wait to get done with that pile and do something i haven't done for a long time now... walk into a bookshop. and buy a book 'cause i like it.

i'm so close. i reckon i've got plus-minus about a half a year of reading to go before i conquer the pile.

eek - didn't mean to write that much! it turned into a post! sorry.

Doc Martian said...

i'm reading the 'essential tomb of dracula' vol. 1-4. i'm also at the halfway point of 'the guermantes way' proust unfolds slowly but inexorably.

the 'tomb of dracula' series features blade in his jive-talkin' 70s avatar with wooden knives. its especially rewarding because one author has over 60 issues to develop the story... which makes for long plot threads like 'doctor sun' (an evil brain/'puter hybrid) and deacon frost (who comes stompin' through the series about issue. includes male and female slayers and male and female vampires. also... just to note the fact... 'vamp' the movie with grace jones features male slayers/female vampire.

if nothing else... tomb of dracula is worth picking up because it was the first traditional vampire (besides morbius (a superhero/vampire)) to get the comics code authority seal... thus taking a step away from the censorship scandals of the mid-50s.

i think you'll dig it... here's some of the art.


Anonymous said...

I don't have a plan for next year yet but I will eventually have a list of goals. Ultimately it will all depend on what school throws at me, but I hope to read Plato and Aristotle and finishe Proust. I'd like to join in Carl's Once Upon a Time Challenge and RIP III. And I have piles of unread books spilling of of shelves and out of corners that I want to try and reduce before I disappear under an avalanche. Or would that be a bookalanche?

Heather said...

I have tons and tons of reading lists and plans as you know! hehe

I finally posted a review for Three Bags Full! If you haven't read it yet then please add it to your 2008 100 Books List. I'll be rereading this one in the years to come!

Doc Martian said...

beneath the underdog - charlie mingus

purplefugue said...

None really except like yourself, to not carry over any 'debts' from this year. I do plan to read more and not be so greedy by reading 3 or 4 books at the same time. I'll stick to one or two, finish them faster and move one.

Alice said...

Oh yes, I do. I plan to cover at least one classic a month. I'm drawing up my list too. So far, I've gathered the following:

War and Peace
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
Les Miserables

and the list goes on...

All the best for your reading challenge! Happy reading!

Stephanie said...

I can't believe I am actually planning out most of 2008 already!! How weird is that?? I'm actually really excited about the Russian reading challenge. And so many others that are out there!!

Now I have to finish up some challenges for THIS year!!

Bybee said...

My reading plans always go to hell in a handbasket, but I make them anyway. It's kind of fun at the end of the year to see what got done and what didn't.

Cipriano said...

Oooh, I LOVE Alain de Botton's stuff. I've read three of his books, loved them all, but have not read this one, The Art of Travel.
And Tolstoy? My favorite author of all time. Well, one of the five.

Fay Sheco said...

My hope is to avoid blogger reading challenges, since experience shows that getting through the book lists is too much of a challenge for this reader. The Russian Reading Challenge looks almost too good to miss out on, so I will probably sneak in a few Russian classics without actually announcing a reading list. I hope to visit the web sites of the challenge participants and keep up with the comments. That will be challenging enough.

My current reading list is heavy on contemporary American women writers, 19th C. world lit, biographies, history, essays, short stories, theater, and literary prize winners. I'll never get through this lot. Obviously. But it's fun to try.

Anonymous said...

Great minds think alike! :)

I love Tolstoy. It's time to re-visit Anna Karenina for me.