A Year Without Lists Is Like a Carrot Without Rouge
Part of the problem is that I look back on the year and wonder, what have I read that I liked? Well, The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities for one. Thomas Hart Benton's An American in Art: A Professional and Technical Autobiography. Some comic books?
Looking back over a year's tagging in LJ, I also see...
* Re-read of Michael Chabon's Wonder Boys
* Animal Love Summer, by Marion Peck
[But wait! Do I include books that are 90%+ reproductions of artwork in my reading? Two years ago I would have said "no," but my interests have changed, and so is how I "read" images.]
* Historical Lovecraft (multi)
* Literary Brooklyn (Hughes)
* Duma Key, re-read (King)
* The Cabala (Wilder)
* Mr. Shivers (Bennett)
* Engines of Desire (Llewellyn)
* The 37th Mandala (Laidlaw)
* Patriot Games, re-read (Clancy)
* The Steampunk Bible (VanderMeer, Chambers)
* The Enterprise of Death (Bullington)
* Full Dark, No Stars (King)
* Gone, Baby, Gone (Lehane)
* Old Man's War, reread (Scalzi)
There were others in there, but many disappointments, honestly. I tried (multiple times!) to like Ivy Compton-Burnett, but her locutions were so periphrastic, her characters so unpleasant, I couldn't manage. I have just given up on The Cold Commands--which is sad, because I liked The Steel Remains, but this one just doesn't have a central narrative conflict, at least as of page 158.
Next year? Next year I want to spend more time reading...
1) What I like to read. Sounds awfully silly, but there it is. This year I worked diligently to expand my horizons in various writerly ways, and much of what I read just didn't float my boat.
2) Books and stories I don't re-read regularly. Do I need to re-read Lord of the Rings? I do it every year or so, and I could do it this year, but maybe, just maybe, it's time to re-read The Silmarillion
3) More books by authors I know that I like. Why haven't I read every Chandler novel? No good reason. Why haven't I read The Sundial? No good reason.
4) Things that engage me within 50 pages. If I'm actively turned off of it beforehand, I'll dump it, but if I'm not into it by 50, out it goes. There's not enough time to plod through uninteresting books for the sake of pleasure.
Here's to a year full of good reading.
What do you want to read next year?
Authors you've been wanting to sample?
Series wooing you with multi-volume immersion?
Got any recommendations?