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Caro

Reading resolutions for 2012

I see Gareth's intentions for the year coming, and wonder what books other people intend to read.

Mine include my Christmas present (bought myself a couple of years ago, but not given to me by my husband till now) Lolita, also the book my son and dil read recently The Moonstone.  I am keen to read Great Expectations, especially now there is a new version of it - not that that means we will get it in NZ, and want to read Tom Jones for the first time since university.  

Also some NZ political and constitutional history, some Maori history and maybe a couple of serious biographies.  Also more of Alex. McCall Smith's Corduroy Mansion series, the next in CJSansom's Tudor series and some new and old crime writers.  

Quite interested in Finkler's Booker winner, can't remember its name now, and Wolf Hall.  That's all sounding a bit much serious reading for me though.  Might not get through it all.  

Cheers, Caro.
Evie

I haven't made any specific resolutions re books, but am determined this year (inspired in part by Apple!) to make some serious headway into my TBR shelves.  I must try to buy fewer books and read the ones I have!  I know I won't stick to a 'no new books' policy, so I am going to try to limit myself to a ratio of 3 TBR books to 1 new book - I'd like to do better than that, but even that sounds hard enough to stick to for me!
Caro

Sounds impossible to me, Evie!  I buy books discarded from the library or elsewhere at a rate of several a month, and am lucky if I read half a dozen of my own books a year.  (Did manage two while away, as I don't like to take library books on holiday.)
MikeAlx

I intend to read "Our Mutual Friend". Have a big TBR pile and seemingly no spare time though!
Evie

Ooh, Our Mutual Friend - probably my favourite Dickens novel, and one of the best by anyone.

Caro - yes, I'm sure it's impossible!  My weakness is Amazon - especially the marketplace for secondhand books - and their one-click facility is too easy!
Apple

Quote:
I see Gareth's intentions for the year coming, and wonder what books other people intend to read.

Mine include my Christmas present (bought myself a couple of years ago, but not given to me by my husband till now) Lolita, also the book my son and dil read recently The Moonstone.  I am keen to read GreatExpectations, especially now there is a new version of it - not that that means we will get it in NZ, and want to read Tom Jones for the first time since university.  

Also some NZ political and constitutional history, some Maori history and maybe a couple of serious biographies.  Also more of Alex. McCall Smith's Corduroy Mansion series, the next in CJSansom's Tudor series and some new and old crime writers.  

Quite interested in Finkler's Booker winner, can't remember its name now, and Wolf Hall.  That's all sounding a bit much serious reading for me though.  Might not get through it all.  

Cheers, Caro.

I really enjoyed Wolf Hall, I didn't think I would as it seemed quite a slow paced book but it kept me interested and was really quite absorbing, I did find it a bit hard in places to follow who was actually speaking when there was dialogue, it just seemed a bit confusing at times as though the author knew who she was talking about and just expected everyone else to know who she was talking about and who was saying things, but that was probably just me being thick. †I like the way she gave substance and depth into the historial figures to make them complex characters, for example †the way she wrote Thomas Cromwell making him so warm and caring towards his "family", which was opposite to the world of Tudor politics which was quite brutal, and I think this created a world that is totally believable.
Jen M

No specific books for me either, but like others, I again intend to reduce my TBR pile by reading from the pile and passing on those I know I won't read again.  I also have a couple of books lent to me by friends/relatives (one I want to read, one I am less keen on) and I will read and return those.

I also intend to spend less on books for myself.  My Kindle has already helped with this as I have bought 3 books from their '12 days of Christmas' promotion for a grand total of £3.97.  There is no guilt factor attached to this, either, as they are not taking up space, and I know I will read them eventually.  Cool  (we need a 'smug' icon).
Mikeharvey

I really must get round to ANNA KARENINA this year. †Having read Tolstoy's 'War and Peace' and 'Resurrection' and many of his short stories, plus the play 'The Power of Darkness' AK is overdue.

And another Zola, having discovered him late in life.
TheRejectAmidHair

I intend continuing with my reading of the King James Bible. This year, I want to get to know the Psalms properly. Other than that, I think it's a case of reading whatever takes my fancy at any given time!

And my other resolution ... Not to read any more science fiction, no matter how many friends keep telling me that if only I read such-and-such, I'll be converted. It has been established through exhaustive clinical tests that I am incapable of appreciating science fiction, and there's little I can do about it.

My first read of the year will be Our Mutual Friend, which is a group read on my blog. If anyone fancies joining in, please feel free.
Marita

I would like to read Dickensís novels this year. Not sure that I can manage them all in one year but if not Iíll just Charleston on into the following year.

Marita
Gul Darr

That's quite a task to set yourself Marita. I have a much less ambitious target, which is to finish reading all of Dicken's major works before my 50th birthday. I think I only have 5 to go once I have finished Edwin Drood, so I should manage that quite comfortably. As for Our Mutual Friend, I'm not sure why, but it's not one of my favourites; hope others enjoy it as much as Evie though.
Mike, I also plan to read more Zola and have a copy of Au Bonheur Des Dames already on my bedside shelf and hope to tackle it fairly soon.
Other books I intend to read this year include The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope, Le Temps Des Secrets by Marcel Pagnol and the final part of Norman Denny's translation of Hugo's Les Misťrables. I also have a Penguin Classics collection of short stories by Anthon Chekhov, which was a very fine Christmas present.
Green Jay

I'm not really one for resolutions, but I have just decided to visit the public library more, and try not to buy those okay-ish books for a pound or two that I read, forget almost instantly, and recycle. If I buy a book it ought to be one I'd like to keep. And I ought to buy it from a proper bookshop (I think that was last year's resolution  Sad ) And I must resolve to take a list of books and authors to the library with me as usually when I get in there I go quite blank. Unfortunately the books are not shelved in a particularly tempting or enlightening way, so that doesn't help me remember.
verityktw

My reading resolution for this new year is to begin to read for pleasure again. Since I began my degree in English Literature in 2007, much of my reading has been reading because I need to and, even when it hasn't been, it has felt like it was, or formed a connection for an essay! My masters (2010-11) didn't do much to improve the situation, but now that I am working full time and studying something else (books read between August and Dec almost all about healthcare), I hope I can get back into the swing of things. I would love to post here, if I do manage to read regularly again!

I have read two novels this year: The Other Half Lives and Lasting Damage, both by Sophie Hannah. I've also started The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides, but Derrida features significantly too early on for my liking, and I think I might need to tackle it at a later, braver stage...!
Gul Darr

Hi Verity, lovely to hear from you again. I hope you can begin to enjoy reading once more and I look forward to reading more posts from you!
chris-l

I suppose I should have posted my reading of Proust in French here, although the chances of my finishing the whole work in one year are minimal. I might just manage the first volume - if I am lucky and no major distractions keep me from reading!
Chibiabos83

Welcome back, V  Very Happy
Evie

Yes, very lovely to see you, Verity, and hope you do find time to post here more frequently - you are much missed when you aren't around!

I remember all too well, even though it's 25 years ago for me, that experience of finishing a literature degree and adjusting to reading for pleasure and for my own thoughts and reading my own choices again, and not having to read towards an essay title or seminar discussion...think I've gone a bit too far the other way now, though!
Green Jay

Evie wrote:
Yes, very lovely to see you, Verity, and hope you do find time to post here more frequently - you are much missed when you aren't around!

I remember all too well, even though it's 25 years ago for me, that experience of finishing a literature degree and adjusting to reading for pleasure and for my own thoughts and reading my own choices again, and not having to read towards an essay title or seminar discussion...think I've gone a bit too far the other way now, though!


I can echo that. I thought I would never read another book for - or with - pleasure, but before the course drew to a close I was making a mental list of what I'd like to read when I was "free"!
Mikeharvey

Sometimes I feel that I could do with a more rigorous course of reading. I fear my thinking about books is becoming - some will say always was - very mushy. But I enjoy my literary wanderings and never know what will crop up next.  At the moment I'm reading Jules Verne's DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS - now who would have thought JV would be next?
Marita

Gul Darr wrote:
That's quite a task to set yourself Marita. I have a much less ambitious target, which is to finish reading all of Dicken's major works before my 50th birthday. I think I only have 5 to go once I have finished Edwin Drood, so I should manage that quite comfortably. As for Our Mutual Friend, I'm not sure why, but it's not one of my favourites; hope others enjoy it as much as Evie though.
Mike, I also plan to read more Zola and have a copy of Au Bonheur Des Dames already on my bedside shelf and hope to tackle it fairly soon.
Other books I intend to read this year include The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope, Le Temps Des Secrets by Marcel Pagnol and the final part of Norman Denny's translation of Hugo's Les Misťrables. I also have a Penguin Classics collection of short stories by Anthon Chekhov, which was a very fine Christmas present.


Sorry for not replying to this earlier. I donít think I can read all Dickensí novels in one year. Iím just going to try. After reading The Christmas Books Iím really in the mood for more Dickens, so that is a good start. Iíll read something different in between the moment I start sounding like a Dickensí novel. I have read most of them in the past. Just 5 will be new to me: The Old Curiosity Shop, Barnaby Rudge, Dombey and Son, A Tale of Two Cities and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
I canít make your target anymore though. My 50th birthday is passed already.


Welcome back from me too, Verity.

Marita
verityktw

Thanks everyone - very nice to have a warm welcome! Mike, from my quick browse of the board it doesn't look like your reading is anywhere near as wandering as you suggest - it looks fairly rigorous to me.

Has anyone any suggestions for a gentle(ish) return to reading fiction for pleasure? I've put The Marriage Plot on hold for the moment and am about 100 pages into Faith Fox by Jane Gardam.
TheRejectAmidHair

Hello Verity, I haven't welcomed you back yet. I suspect that's just because I'm a miserable old git.

As for books to lead you back gently into reading for pleasure, I know that some here would recommend Alexander McCall Smith. But, while not disputing the choice, I'll recommend the late Henry James novella "In the Cage", which I read last month and found quite enthralling.
Caro

I can't remember which books you particularly liked, Verity, though do remember your rigorous analysis of them. †If McCall Smith might be too light, perhaps so would Notwithstanding by Louis de Bernieres which I enjoyed a lot for its charm and warmth. †Short stories of England.

Not sure what you had to read for your course - it probably included Under the Greenwood Tree which was a lovely Hardy read without his usual pessimistic ending. †More resigned than upbeat perhaps, though. †

Others here love Jane Gardam, but Faith Fox is not their favourite and I didn't think much of it, either, when I read it years ago. †But what about her Old Filth? †

Cheers, Caro. †(It is so good to see you back.)
Evie

Yes, Faith Fox is the weakest of Gardam's books for me, though even so it has its moments.  Any Jane Gardam is a good bet, though!  As is Barbara Trapido - don't know if you have read her, Verity, but Brother of the More Famous Jack and The Travelling Hornplayer are good - similar to Jane Gardam in a way, though I'd say not quite as clever.  Andrew Greig's Electric Brae is wonderful.  

And if you haven't yet read any Persephone books, I can't recommend them highly enough - try Dorothy Whipple's Someone At a Distance, or Julia Strachey's Cheerful Weather for the Wedding, or Monica Dickens' Mariana - or any of them really!  They are tricky to get hold of sometimes, occasionally I find one in the library,and you can order them through bookshops, but I get them by post from Persphone - a self-indulgent treat!  I have a subscription so they send me one a month.  Their website is a treat in itself, and you can sign up for a daily email called Persephone Post which is a daily picture with some interesting snippets and links - the whole thing is fabulous.
storrrm

I just want to try to get back into reading! I find my concentration span is very short lately and can only manage one or two pages before my mind starts to wander. I have a theory that it's because i'm surrounded by too much technology so my brain can't cope! I need to turn off the TV/music/laptop/phone/video games and get back to old fashioned books.  Laughing
L.K.Lemonspunk

What I have read.

Well, Yes, My name is new to all of you to this forum. I shall keep it that way, only posting every-so-often. But, I has been reading a extraordinarily delightful book at the moment. Its called "The Book Thief" By  Markus Zusak. You've all probably heard of this beautiful book. I found it to be suspenceful, even though I don't much like that type of book. I highly recommend it anyways.
Chibiabos83

Welcome! I hope you will like it here. Your name is the coolest on this board. I remember people liking The Book Thief very much, though it's not one I've read.
Caro

Hello and welcome, L.K.L.  Our book club read The Book Thief a couple of years ago and really liked it.  Here (NZ) most book clubs are part of a nationwide organisation where they provide (at a cost of about $60 a member) a set of books.  For the last three years their favourite book, voted by the more than 1000 groups, has been The Book Thief.  By quite a big margin, I think.  

There's something about books set in wartime, and this one had a special quality and freshness about it.  I still think of it, most especially when I am peeling fruit or veges and throwing the peel away.  Then I recall the bit where the Jews herded along by Germans would try and pick any smidgeon of food from where they were walking to stave off starvation.  

Cheers, Caro.

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