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Some reading goals for 2017

This is the last year-end summary thing, I promise!

Is there really anything to be gained from piling one challenge on another? Maybe not, but here we are anyway. 99 Novels is still underway, and who knows? maybe I'll even pick up the pace a little. It's been a good bunch of books so far. Also on my to-do list for 2017:

1. Read ten books that have been recommended to me in the past year (or from previous years that I haven't got around to yet). I'll be making a list! I love lists, as you may have noticed.

2. Read at least two books from every continent (excluding Antarctica). US and UK are excluded from this challenge since they're massively over-represented already.

3. Read a book about Antarctica!
Done! Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing (thanks, k_t_bug!)

4. Read a book each in 5 genres I don't normally read (suggestions are welcome!)
i. Memoir - Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett - rec from osprey_archer
ii. Romance - Hold Me by Courtney Milan - rec from wordsofastory
iii. YA dystopia - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (in progress!)
iv. _________________________ (TBD)
v. _________________________ (TBD)

5. Read 5 books of poetry published in the last 10 years.
i. Body Switch by Terri Witek

6. Read 5 books of poetry published before 2007.
i. Marmion by Sir Walter Scott

That's it. I'm also trying to read what I already have (with the eventual goal of freeing up some shelf space, though that looks very far away right now), using the library more, and buying less. I thought about making a non-fiction reading resolution, but that's basically covered by my ongoing "read the books you already own" project, and the sad truth is I don't care that much about whether or not I ever read nonfiction.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 5th, 2017 03:52 pm (UTC)
Oooh! These are great goals!

I, too, have gently resolved to use the library more and reduce what I'm spending on books. Yet I placed an Amazon order yesterday. Dang.

I've heard Endurance is amazing, and it would kill a couple birds with one stone. I just recommended it, it's about Antarctica, and it's nonfiction (a genre you don't normally read, maybe?)!
Jan. 6th, 2017 12:01 am (UTC)
Endurance does look amazing; just reading the summary I kept going, "Oh no!" "What?" "DAMN IT" every couple of seconds. I think it's just what I want out of a book about Antarctica! Then I found myself moving to order it from Amazon . . . but I stopped myself in time!
Jan. 6th, 2017 03:33 pm (UTC)
Such strength you have! I placed one Amazon order already this year, but I also requested three books from the library, and I'm even on a wait list for one! I think that should count for something! :)

If you do read it, let me know what you think!
Jan. 5th, 2017 04:38 pm (UTC)
Good luck! It'll be sad when 99 Novels is over. And I hope the Antarctica book is a good one:)

(the bears are lost)
Jan. 6th, 2017 12:04 am (UTC)
Oh no! Bears, I hope you find your home. :(

In a way I'll be glad when it's over because then I can start a new list! but it really has been a great list. Very few things I would even say "this is good, but definitely not for me" about. Even fewer that I disliked. Though that might change later in the 20th century! But overall I think Burgess has good, and very interesting, taste in books.
Jan. 7th, 2017 02:51 pm (UTC)
The bears have found a compass, hurrah!

The final tick on a list = aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.
Jan. 5th, 2017 05:00 pm (UTC)
I got all excited because I thought I had a book about Antarctica to recommend, but then I realized it was actually about the other pole, oops. They're both very icy!

Do you have any thoughts for which five genres you're going to do? Hmm. Do you read memoirs?
Jan. 6th, 2017 12:13 am (UTC)
It's all good, I got a great rec from k_t_bug above and the library has a copy! I'm looking forward to getting STUCK IN THE ICE with a bunch of guys and wondering WHY DID WE EVEN TAKE THIS TRIP (early twentieth-century spirit of exploration? presumably I will find out when I read the book).

I hardly ever read memoirs. In fact, I have an irrational aversion to memoirs, so that's a good genre to include! I haven't really thought about it; hoping to get some ideas either here or through other people's Wednesday Reading.
Jan. 6th, 2017 01:42 pm (UTC)
WELL, if you decide you want to read a memoir, my very favorite memoir ever is Ann Patchett's Truth & Beauty, about her friendship with fellow writer Lucy Grealy. Writers being friends with each other! Women being friends with each other! Beautiful prose! Rather heart-rending in places.

If that one doesn't appeal I can probably rustle up some other recs. I go through phases when I read lots of memoirs.
Jan. 6th, 2017 02:53 pm (UTC)
Works for me!
Jan. 6th, 2017 05:04 pm (UTC)
Good goals, honey! Whoot!

Jan. 9th, 2017 12:18 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm trying to keep it manageable this year - we'll see!
Jan. 8th, 2017 11:16 pm (UTC)
These sound like very fun goals! Do you have any ideas for your five genres yet? I could give you a lot of romance recs – since I know that's a genre that many people are (understandably) skeptical about.
Jan. 9th, 2017 12:25 am (UTC)
No ideas, except I have a memoir rec from osprey_archer above. PLEASE DO rec me some romance! I usually like the obligatory canon romances that people complain about (I think I'm the only person on earth who was basically ok with Remus/Tonks?), but my attempts to read books in the romance genre have been miserable failures for the most part. Too many chiseled jaws and towering chests and other things I don't care about. So I'd be happy to give it another try.
Jan. 13th, 2017 01:15 am (UTC)
Romance recs! :D

Courtney Milan is great! She primarily writes historicals (England, early 1800s), and here are a few of my favorites of hers:
The Heiress Effect – a rich young woman deliberately behaves embarrassingly because she wants to stay single so she can protect her disabled sister from their guardian. She falls in love with a middle-class dude who is hugely ambitious to become a member of parliament. There's also a B-plot romance between the sister and an Indian man that's very sweet.
Once Upon a Marquess - a formerly rich young woman is attempting to provide for her younger siblings, when the dude who testified against her family (accusing her father and brother of treason) tries to court her. This has a really interesting critique of the Opium Wars, but unfortunately I think the sequels (which aren't out yet) are going to be even more interesting.
Hold Me - this is set in the modern day. The hero is a filipino science professor, and the heroine is a Latino transwoman with a very religious family. They meet by flirting online without realizing they also know each other in real life, and then have to figure out how to deal with both sides of themselves.

I'm also a big fan of Rose Lerner, who also writes historicals (England, early 1800s). Here are some of my favorites of hers:
True Pretenses - there are two Jewish conmen, brothers. One gets into a marriage of convenience with an heiress who can't access her money unless she's married but doesn't want to give up her freedom. ~Will they fall in love FOR REAL?!~ (PS of course they do)
Sweet Disorder – a middle-class widow is being courted by everyone in town because whoever she marries will get the deciding vote in the local election. She just wants to find whoever can provide a safe life for her sister. Then she falls in love with a young nobleman, disabled from being in the army.

Georgette Heyer published from the 1920s-1970s, and so tend to be a bit different from modern romances (no sex scenes, more comedy than drama). She wrote primarily Regencies (set in England in the 1810s).
Cotillion – a young woman gets fake-engaged to her friend to make her boyfriend jealous; things do not go as planned. Absolutely hilarious and with a great ending.
Black Sheep - a middle-aged woman and man try to prevent their niece and nephew from getting married because it would be a terrible match. Instead they fall in love themselves. Very funny, and the older main characters is a nice change.
Sylvester - the heroine writes an anonymous gothic romance starring an evil uncle, based on a dude she once saw at a party. Later, she has to team up with the same dude and finds out he's nothing like her first impression.
The Grand Sophy - a businesslike young woman moves into her cousins' house and rearranges their lives for the better. Very reminiscent of 'Cold Comfort Farm', but with more romance. Warning: there is one notorious anti-semitic scene, though nothing beyond early Dickens or other such authors.

If you have any interest in paranormals (modern day romance with werewolves or people who can turn into other animals), I particularly recommend Lia Silver. Her "Mated to the Meerkat" is hilarious, but probably works better if you're already familiar with the genre. Her other books are more typical, but very well done. Lauren Esker is another good author in that genre.

Edited at 2017-01-13 01:16 am (UTC)
Jan. 14th, 2017 02:44 am (UTC)
Thank you! These ALL sound completely delightful and my only problem now is where to start! I guess whichever one I run into first at the library will be what I read first.

I have read The Grand Sophy and even though 1) I am accustomed to old skool drive-by bigotry to the point of callousness, and 2) several people had warned me about it, I was still shocked by That One Chapter, enough that it seriously damaged my enjoyment of the book - I think because it was so much like early Dickens, or something similarly 19th century and concerned with Social Problems in a heated popular way, in a book that was otherwise nothing like that. But I did mean to give Heyer another go - those other plots sound like good plots. I did, for the record, like the bit with the ducklings.
Jan. 15th, 2017 09:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think it's like you say: the rest of the book is in such a different tone that the sudden swerve into antisemitism is more shocking than it would be in a different context. It's somehow harder to wave aside these sorts of problems in light fluffy entertainment than it books trying to Explain It All.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


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