Sunday, December 05, 2004

Reading priorities

I've been enjoying forum discussions on what people intend to read next year even more than the ubiquitous lists of best books of 2004.

It's always embarrassing for me to look back on a previous year's reading intentions and realize how quickly I deviated from them. My main goal for next year is to read books I already own, and, failing that (no doubt before the first week of January ends), get the books from the library, and, failing that, get them used. We'll see how well I do.

Other than that, my reading priorities are to read more nonfiction and more short stories--I've been stockpiling both for a few years now, and it's past time to stop saving for a rainy day. In particular, books pertaining to some aspect of American history and collections by Eudora Welty, Alice Munro, Graham Greene, Alberto Alvaro Rios, Tobias Wolff and Andre Dubus are going to spend time off the shelves.

I also want to read Shirley Hazzard's Transit of Venus, Cormac McCarthy's Suttree, Elio Vittorini's Conversations in Sicily, Dostoevsky's Demons, either Lempriere's Dictionary or The Pope's Rhinoceros by Lawrence Norfolk, both of the Bohumil Hrabal novels I brought back from Prague, and Amos Oz's memoir. I want to read Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier because I feel guilty for never having read it and Huston Curtiss' Sins of the 7th Sister because it looks like Southern Gothic fun.

Anyone else have any reading plans to share?

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