We’re doing something a little different for January’s Reading Diaries. Instead of what we’ve been reading, we’re sharing our reading resolutions for 2015. Such as, books or authors we’ve always wanted to read but have never had the chance to, new releases we’re looking forward to, and genres we want to explore.
Christa: I went on a huge non-fiction kick near the end of 2014, and I would like to continue that trend with books like Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy, Birth of the Pill, and The Secret History of Wonder Woman. I’m also determined to finally read Anne Leckie’s Ancillary Justice. I love space operas and have heard nothing but amazing things about it. Likewise Scott Lynch’s Lies of Locke Lamora (minus the space opera part). I also found that I read a lot of Young Adult contemporary last year, which is fine, but it’s not my favourite genre and I need a break from it. After a while the stories started to blend together and I need a change. (Notable exceptions being More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera and None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio.)
Wendy: 2014 went by a lot faster than it was supposed to, at least according to my 2014 reading plans. I had set my Goodreads challenge to 150, with the intention of clearing out the to-read pile sitting beside my bed, but only managed to read 100 books, audiobooks, and comics. Granted, I added to that pile throughout the year, but still! For 2015, I will stay the course and will attempt not to buy too many more until I get through a significant chunk of what I already own. I will most likely start the year with the final book of N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy. This series has been such an emotional ride for me that I’ve literally had to take a year between each book just to let my feelings settle down. Later in the year, her newest book, The Fifth Season, will be released, and I’m sure I’ll have to mentally prepare myself for that summer read as well.
Romona: A few weeks back Megan P. shared Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge, and I’m all about it. Not to toot my own horn, but I’m a pretty fast reader, so I plan to read these as well as finish up some series I’ve been toying with. Without further ado, here it is:
A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65: Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon
A collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people): McSweeney’s Issue 46: Thirteen Crime Stories From Latin America by Daniel Galera (editor)
A book published by an indie press: Nine Rabbits by Virginia Zaharieva
A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ: Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
A book by a person whose gender is different from your own: Armada by Ernest Cline
A book that takes place in Asia: When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro
A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.): The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich
A microhistory: Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife
A YA novel: In Darkness by Nick Lake
A sci-fi novel: The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke
A romance novel: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.): The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey
An audiobook: The Peripheral by William Gibson
A collection of poetry: New Shoes on a Dead Horse by Sierra DeMulder
A book that someone else has recommended to you: Yes, Please by Amy Poehler
A book that was originally published in another language: Juha by Juhani Aho
A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind: Syllabus by Lynda Barry
A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (Read, and then realize that good entertainment is nothing to feel guilty over): Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann
A book published before 1850: Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
A book published this year: Sex Criminals Vol. 1 by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarksy
A self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”): When Panic Attacks by David D. Burns
Claire: I’m gonna read the rest of those William Gibson books and a lot of stuff from New Zealand. I romaticise the heck out of NZ fiction and I feel guilty about that, so it’s time to become a little knowledgeable. Most of the hearts in my eyes come from televisual output (Top of the Lake is high on my to-watch list), so novels and non-fiction should provide a new perspective at the very least. I’ve had Once Were Warriors on the shelf for a year and a bit, so that should be up first; I’ll probably revisit the overview of New Zealand’s history of feminist cinema I read a couple of years ago, the name of which I have 100% forgotten after that. And I will be completely unable to avoid the allure of reading this (in fact, I’m ordering it right now). It’s written by a German, but I’m saying it counts. Beyond that point, it’s all to play for. Rec me, anyone?
Al Rosenberg: This year I am going to attempt to stop rereading so many books. I spend a good portion of the year rereading The Dark Tower series, or the feminist philosophy books I used for my thesis years ago, or that YA novel I’m convinced should be made into graphic novels/movies.
I have run out of Louise Erdrich books to read and now I feel alone and aimless. Someone told me that I would love Helen Oyeyemi’s works and I think that is where I will start.
Ginnis: After reading critical-cultural theory, continental philosophy, and other academic type stuff for several years, the last few years have been mainly devoted to comic books, fiction, and lighter nonfiction. But, I am starting to feel up to reading theory and philosophy again — I think it makes me a better reader and critic in general, but man, you just get burnt out. Anyway, I am actually ready to step into those waters again and apply that reading towards my writing though hopefully in a way more personal and engaging than the standard academic fare. First two on the list: Barry Brummett’s Rhetorical Dimensions of Popular Culture and Helene A. Shuggart’s and Catherine Egley Waggoner’s Making Camp: Rhetorics of Transgression in U.S. Popular Culture.
Fortunately, now I have the option of reading these more slowly and mixing them up with fiction.
Sarah: I’m thinking of doing an in-depth survey of Gothic literature, but don’t want to hinder myself from reading what looks interesting to me at the moment. So while I’ve got Northanger Abbey and the Castle of Otranto on my list, my to-read stack also includes Sparrow, Women Destroy Horror, Oracle from the House War Series, and the next book in the Immortals After Dark series. I can’t be serious all the time, right?
Ardo: I want to read more sci-fi and fantasy. I find that I don’t read a lot of it and probably should since I love those two genres outside of books. I’m going to start this off by reading Octavia Butler. Honestly, I just want to read more and widen my range. Try new things! Book clubs are great for this so I’ve decided to try out the Facebook book club as well as attempt Bookriot’s Read Harder list as well. Most importantly, I want to read more books that are written by authors and feature characters who are minorities.
Also really want to read that Lois Lane young adult book by Gwenda Bond.