Monday, January 02, 2006

The year's reading priorities

I made a list of reading priorities for 2005 in early December of '04: I read one novel, Closely Observed Trains, from that list. If that doesn't prove something, um, dismal about my ability to stick to a plan, I don't know what would.

So fully acknowledging that placing these books on a priorities list automatically makes all newly published books that much more enticing, these are the books I'd really really like to read this year:

Long-term project
The Metamorphoses of Ovid. Allen Mandelbaum

Fiction
Suttree. Cormac McCarthy
The Darling. Russell Banks
New Grub Street. George Gissing
Swann's Way. Marcel Proust
The Black Book. Orhan Pamuk
Snow Country. Yasunari Kawabata
Oscar and Lucinda. Peter Carey
Lempriere's Dictionary. Lawrence Norfolk
Invisible Man. Ralph Ellison
Ulysses. James Joyce

Non-fiction
Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel. Jane Smiley
The Backbone of the World. Frank Clifford
Will in the World. Stephen Greenblatt
A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare. James Shapiro
The Peabody Sisters. Megan Marshall
Walden. Henry David Thoreau
Selected Essays, Lectures and Poems. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson Among the Eccentrics. Carlos Baker
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. Rebecca West (Book One)
A Short History of Nearly Everything. Bill Bryson

The last five on this list are already in progress, so the sensible approach would be to finish them before starting any more. But that would conflict with my Read at Whim! policy. And since I'm basically starting the year by reading one off my son's priorites list (Moby Dick), and continuing to work my way through a pile of library books (the priority there being due dates), I'm not really looking to make any headway my own list until February. Sensible approaches need not apply.

No comments: