Monday, January 02, 2006

Year 2: Another 52 Books, Another 52 Weeks

My Dear Readers,

Well, hello there. It's another year and another fifty-two books await me. I really didn't think I was going to make it there for a while, but I pulled it together and managed to squeeze in the last couple of books before the stroke of midnight. It was a task, let me tell you, but a rewarding one as I look over the list of my reads. I was a bit hesitant when I started this blog because I felt certain that I wouldn't be able to keep it up. I was pretty sure that I'd keep reading books, but considering the way my posting has gone on the home site, I feared that writing about my books would seem a greater task than it was worth and that I'd eventually abandon the thing sometime around September. So, not only am I happy to report that I’ve read fifty-two books, but I’m happy that I’m still here, reporting them to you.

I'm doing things a little differently this year. Last year, my goal was simply to reach fifty-two books, but this year I'm setting my sights higher. Not with more books, but with the type of books I want to read. My book selection is, at best, absolutely random and while I've read some good stuff, when it comes to the number of critically acclaimed books I've read, the stack is woefully slim. So here's what I'm going to do: I’m going to increase my number of award-winning and nominated books. My goal for this year is to read the following:

3 Booker shortlists
3 Orange Prize shortlists
3 from the Modern Library 100
1 Pulitzer Prize winner
1 Nobel Prize winning author
2 recommended by Esquire (because I always take note but never get around to reading them)
2 recommended by Bitch (same reason)
5 sociology texts (because I think I read all of one this year)
3 Best American books (Shorts Stories, Essays, and Non-Required Reading)

This is, of course, in addition to the 11 or 12 I'll read for the Gapers Block Book Club, but I'm guessing several of these will overlap. For instance, our January selection of The Adventures of Augie March will count as my Nobel Prize winner as well as one from the Modern Library 100. (If I actually make it through that one. I mean, have you seen that bad boy? Yeesh.)

Lest you think I'm doing this in effort to appear more "well-read," (whatever that means...the term is so debatable) yeah, I guess I kind of am. Not to be snooty or anything, but if I read so much, shouldn't I have some of these under my belt? Not just on my shelves? Also, some of these books I've wanted to read for years anyway. This gives me incentive to get them done. Call it arbitrary motivation.

So let’s shine our glasses, put on the really comfy pajamas, and raise our cups of coffee in toast to another year filled with books, comics, magazines, and words that can change our minds, if not our worlds. Thanks for joining me on the ride.



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