Okay, here’s where I am right now. 2013 looks like it will be an interesting year for me – bumpy financially, a little rocky at first but good changes worth gambling on visible on the horizon. Cryptic I know but honestly, a few things need to happen before I can tell you all about it. Anyways, here is the important bit. I am making lots of goals and lists. Some of them bookish. :)
It’s been a couple of years since I’ve made fixed reading goals but I’ve had a lot of fun this week figuring out exactly what I learnt from reading and book blogging this year… So here’s my list of reading goals for 2013:
1) They Should Be Here
One of the biggest lessons I learnt towards the end of my first year back as a book blogger is simple: I don’t blog enough about the authors who made me the reader I am. The authors I fell in love with in my teens, the authors I discovered ‘off-camera’ when I took a break from blogging, the authors I sometimes take for granted? They’re not here. And they really, really should be. Expect to see reviews of these missing books starting to make an appearance in 2013. Authors you can expect to see include Jane Austen, Michael Marshall Smith, Connie Willis, more Nabokov and Saki amongst others. :)
2) Claire Tomalin
Earlier in the year I heard a podcast of a lecture Tomalin gave about her 2011 biography of Dickens and she stated that the Dickens book was her last. She pointed out that complex biographies take years to research and write and she is turning 80 in 2013, she’d rather spent her remaining time reading and with her family. I was saddened to hear this (even though I understand perfectly) but it reminded me that I have all her books but one on my shelves here and have loved all those I’ve read so far. I’m going to read/re-read all ten of Tomalin’s books from the start to highlight the work of one of our most accomplished biographers.
3) J B Priestley and H V Morton
Despite coming a little unstuck with Priestley in December I am continuing with my ongoing Priestley quest. As I’ve pointed out before I don’t intend to read everything he wrote as he was so very prolific (150+ books!) but I do plan to try and read more of the Priestley books I collected in 2012. I suspect I am going to find his novels more hit and miss than I had hoped but I’ve yet to find a Priestley non-fiction book I didn’t enjoy. Meanwhile, I have loved Morton for years and yet despite setting up a dedicated Morton page I only read and reviewed one of his books here. I really will make an effort to read/re-read and review more of his books next year as he is one of those authors I’d love to share with you. :)
4) Persephones and VMCs
I’m going to add the full list of Persephone Books titles and the Virago Modern Classics list to this blog later in the week. I’m not setting any deadlines to read all the books on either list but after reading a lot of green and grey books in 2011 and almost none in 2012 I’d like to feature them here more often.
5) The Women’s Prize for Fiction
I made a special effort in 2012 to read all the Man Booker longlisted titles. In 2013 I’m committing to reading all the longlisted titles for the Women’s Prize for Fiction (the Orange Prize as was). It’ll be interesting to compare the experiences of following the prize in the press and debating the titles with other bloggers. :)
6) Stats Goals
I make this goal every year and it’s simple – 50/50 splits on fiction to non-fiction and male authors to female authors. No more than 50% of my fiction to come from the UK. It keeps me widely read and feeds my curiosity. I’d also like to have more classic fiction in my reading mix next year so my year of publication stats aren’t so skewed to 2000-2012. :)
7) Back To Bookshops
You might notice this is not No. 1 on this list and there’s a good reason for that. Feedback when I mentioned this was almost universally negative and since then I’ve made a couple of life decisions that mean I can’t commit the time and energy I wanted to put into this project. Here’s what I can commit to: in 2013 I’ll be buying from as many interesting, diverse and direct sources as I can and featuring them here when I can. When life hands you lemons, right?
8) Ongoing Challenges – Century of Books, Classics Club, Readathon etc
I’ve recently posted about the Century of Books challenge to read one book for every year between 1900-2000 and I’ve read 28/100 books so far, I hope to finish this challenge by the end of 2013. I’ve got till 2017 for the Classics Club challenge and am slowly and steadily reading my way through a list of 52 classics I picked back in May (it’s a pretty diverse list), I’m aiming to be about halfway through my challenge by the end of 2013. The 24 hour ‘Dewey’ readathon happens twice a year, I’m aiming to take part in both the spring and autumn events again as I had fun doing that this year. There’s also the Classics Club themed event in a couple of days.
9) J Lit, G Lit…
I’m taking part in January in Japan, a new event focusing on J-Lit, and I’m aiming to read at least five new-to-me Japanese books as I don’t actually have much grounding in that culture’s literature. I’m also going to aim to take part in German Literature Month later in the year as I’ve been reading posts from those taking part the last couple of years and really want to get myself organised to take part this time round. Here’s a round up page of the 2012 event so you can get a feel for it.
10) Essay Reading Challenge
Hosted by Carrie, I only heard of this a couple of days ago (via Jen, thanks!) and it is the perfect fit for me – I read lots of individual essays but don’t review them here and have been wondering if there’s a way to bring them onto the blog. :)
11) Library Thing and Good Reads
I have accounts for both but never read use either, I should really make an effort in 2013 to check them both out and decide if either or both are for me…
I’ll be tracking all these goals via this page and posting updates throughout the year… Wish me luck!