Saturday, January 01, 2011

My Reading Resolutions 2011

At the Thomas Ford Memorial Library, we have started a blog Western Springs Reads to reflect what our clients are reading. We have preloaded it with book reviews written by last year's summer reading participants and are now adding client and staff reading resolutions for 2011. We put a just-for-fun poll on tables around the library and online to see what our clients plan to read in the new year. As they tell us, we will add the information to the blog.

This made me think about my own plans. In the past, I have made some ambitious reading resolutions that have fallen to the wayside. About a decade ago I had the idea of devoting a year to the literature of one nation and then another nation the next year. Eventually, I'd get around the globe. I started with the U.S. and read twenty of so great American authors, such as Irving, Cooper, Twain, Hemingway, Steinbeck, etc., that year. At the end of the year, it did not seem one year was enough as there were still so many American authors, so I chose the U.S. for a second year. Then I spent a year concentrating on English authors, such as Austen, Dickens, Trollope, etc. Then I was diverted and am only now thinking again of world literature merry-go-round.

Because I noticed many biographies about French authors while I was writing my biography readers' advisory book, I am going to put a slate of French novels and essays into my plan for 2011. I know that I will want titles by Rousseau, Voltaire, Sand, Flaubert, and Camus.

I know I want to start Paradise Lost by John Milton. I don't yet know whether I will finish it.

I also know that I will be reviewing popular science books for Booklist. I may be getting 18 or 20 advanced copies, which will be mostly natural history and animal stories if the past year is a clue for this year. Enjoying these books, I will probably read other natural history titles just for fun.

Of course, I plan to read several dozen biographies and memoirs, as well as histories and other books that appeal to me. It should be a good year.

Do you have a reading resolution?

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