Reading List for 2013
I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, but this year, I thought it might be good to take a more active approach to reading. I don’t think I’ve ever made an ‘official’ reading plan before. Unless you count the summer before my senior year in high school, when I tried to read ahead for my A.P. English class based on what my brothers had read for the same teacher in previous years (can you say nerd?).
So, besides waiting tables in a little Mediterranean café, I spent the summer of 1996 reading Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies, The Great Gatsby, and The Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison’s, not H. G. Wells‘).
Thankfully Mrs. Hudson still taught the first two books in my class, and I was able to use Gatsby for another assignment, but my labour through Ellison’s book was definitely in vain. Yeesh. Maybe I’d feel different if I read it now, but at 17 it was merely painful. Sorry, Ralph.
When you walk in my house the first thing you see are shelves and shelves, full of books. I’ve probably read at least half of the books many times over — but there are still [too] many that I have packed and moved over the years, without ever having opened them.
Here is my reading list for 2013 (in alpha author order):
- Watership Down by Richard Adams
I watched a cartoon movie based on this book as a kid. All I remember is that it was about rabbits and it made me cry. I mix it up the The Secret of NIMH — not sure if the stories are similar or if I just saw the movies close together. I’ve owned this book for years and never cracked it open.
- Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard
I love this movie (Christian Bale, already brilliant as a child actor!), and had no idea it was based on a book, until I stumbled upon it in a clearance stack at Half Price Books a few months ago.
- Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton
So many people reference this book. I started it a few years ago, but got sidetracked. I love Chesterton’s fiction and look forward to finally reading one of his nonfiction works.
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevksy
I first read Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov (so long, but wow!), and then, The Adolescent. This one has just sat on my shelf gathering dust. Not for much longer.
- Siddhartha by Herman Hess
A friend handed me a copy of this book, after declaring it one of his favourite books. That’s compelling. And it certainly helps that it’s so short.
- bird by bird by Anne Lamott
I have started this book two or three times since I first got it in 2005. It’s a great book, but somehow I never finish it. This is the year. And I won’t even feel bad it’s taken me this long. When I put off reading a book, it often ends up that when I finally do read it — it’s at exactly the right time.
- Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis
Oh, the Space Trilogy. I love C. S. Lewis, but I’m not a science fiction fan. Yes, Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia top my list of favourite books, but those stories are different — they’re more in the past and medieval-y. I don’t get excited about futuristic, space-y stories. However, this is Lewis we’re talking about, so I’m going to set my science fiction feelings aside and finally take the plunge.
- Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Started this last November so I could read it before I watched the movie. Got too busy to do either. I did get 100 pages in, so only have 200 more to go.
- East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Agh. Several of my friends have named this their favourite book of all time. My bookclub even read it a while ago, but that month I was overloaded with work and could barely finish the first chapter. Now I have the “I know too much about it” syndrome, but I refuse to let that ruin it for me. I will finish this book — even though I know the last line. (Shhhh. I’m trying to forget.)
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Russian novels can be a bit daunting. I’m hoping if I watch the movie first, I might be able to keep up with the story and characters better.
- Brit-Think, Ameri-Think by Jane Walmsley
Read a bit of this when I visited a friend in London last July and ended up ordering my own copy. The parts I read were fascinating.
Added on January 15:
- Seven Dials Mystery by Agatha Christie
I confessed to never [yet] having read a Christie mystery and decided my first would be the book I bought at a great little antique shop just blocks from her London home.