Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Jenny's 2014 Reading Goals

I'm not going to make any goals based on numbers or percentages.  I seem to hit around 200 books a year, 197 in 2012 and 2013, 238 in 2014.  This past year I committed to not reading books I wasn't into.  I read about 50/50 male and female authors, and a heck of a lot of them are non-westerners!

The main goals I want to make this year have to do with specific authors and places.


I have some authors in mind that I want to read because I never have.  Or because I own books by them and they taunt me.  This list was made with me running back and forth between the computer in my office and the room with all the books.
  1. Flannery O'Connor - I hear she's written some stories. I happen to own all of them and I've never cracked the volume.
  2. Roger Zelazny - Someone I missed out on in childhood but I will not perpetuate the oversight!
  3. Samuel Delany - I want to tackle Dhalgren, but other books of his keep coming up, especially on SFF Audio podcasts.  My response is always the audio version of a blank stare, so let's make me smarter, shall we? 
  4. Phillip Roth - Okay, according to GoodReads I've read one of his books but I have no memory of it.  I group him in with some of the other old white male writers that I've read a lot of, and I actually own at least three of his books.  Might as well read some of them.
  5. M. John Harrison - Another science fiction person that I have just never tried.
  6. Rumi - In my long year of Turkish reading, I didn't read anything from Rumi, just about.  He wrote in Persian but considered himself Turkish.  I'm excited about this one.
Hmm, this list is pretty masculine.  It isn't as if I will only read the authors on this list; these are merely holes in my repertoire.


Apart from the international lit that takes up one bookshelf, and the books from every state that take up another bookshelf, I want to do some intentional reading from a few more specific places.
  1. Turkey - Well, I couldn't let it go after only a year.  I joined a group in GoodReads that is doing Iran-Iraq-Turkey in 2014, so I will also do more reading in:
  2. Iran/Persia (see #1)
  3. Iraq (see #1)
  4. Iceland - This is the focus of the World's Literature group this year, and I'm looking forward to it, from the sagas to the super popular crime fiction that is getting translated into English.
  5. Africa - yes I know this isn't a country, but in my Around the World reading I feel like Africa has been neglected the most.  I'm a member of an African lit group, and I want to be more active there.  I very much want to focus my reading on countries I haven't yet read about.
Other than that, I feel like I'm very happy with my reading life.  I connect with the best people through the books I read and I would like to keep doing that, to keep podcasting and blogging, to keep reviewing and organizing reviewers, to keep up with what's new and what's being nominated, and to keep adding to my endless to-read list.  May it never diminish.

Happy new year, readers!


  1. Flannery is great, I think you will enjoy. My favorite of hers is the novel "The Violent Bear it Away." I'm interested to see what you think of her stories, etc.

    Icelandic popular crime fiction - never expected to string those words together, but it has me curious, nonetheless.

    1. With the crime fiction, I am hoping I don't get bogged down in it. I'm hopeful there is more variety translated into English.

      I am making a note of the Flannery novel; I've never heard of it!


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