I cringed a bit compiling my list of Favorite Reads of 2007. What does it say about me that so many of my favorites didn't get much of a mention, if a mention at all, here on my blog at the time that I read them? I really must make more of an effort to write about what I read and love instead of allowing myself to be so frequently distracted by life, the universe, and the next book in the queue.
Favorites, for me, simply mean ones that I finished knowing that I'd love to read again at some point. This year's new favorites are (in order read):
Ward No. 6. Anton Chekhov
The Terror. Dan Simmons
Pedro Paramo. Juan Rulfo
Heyday. Kurt Andersen
Out Stealing Horses. Per Petterson
The Violent Bear It Away. Flannery O'Connor
Other Voices, Other Rooms. Truman Capote
The Thinking Reed. Rebecca West
The Used World. Haven Kimmel
Sons and Lovers. D.H. Lawrence
The Gathering. Anne Enright
Daniel Deronda. George Eliot
How well did I follow last year's reading resolutions? I completed only five of the 13 classics I intended to read, although I did read 23 classics in all. I didn't touch Proust. I did continue reading Rebecca West and I began reading Christina Stead for the Outmoded Challenge instead of continuing to put her on hold. I returned to the Aubrey/Maturin series (I'd read none in 2006) and I read quite a bit of Southern literature. The piles of ARCs I picked up at the ALA convention and the occasional review copy that's sent my way helped me break my habit of placing library holds on soon-to-be published and just-published books that always took priority over the books I already owned.
What do I intend to read in 2008? Ulysses. It's time. I have a Teaching Company lecture series and a couple of guidebooks for handholding. I won't start until after the bedroom renovations are complete and the upstairs no longer resembles Humpty Dumpty post-crackup, and I'll try to keep my whining to a minimum once I do, but read it this year I will.
Once again I'm going to read at whim from my own shelves, but with fewer new purchases joining their brethren on those shelves. And I'm going to read Rebecca West and Christina Stead and both Jessica and Nancy Mitford and maybe Ivy Compton-Burnett. And books for all the challenges I've signed up for, and at least a book or two for the Planet Earth Reading Challenge that Sylvia mentioned over the weekend. I'm going to read more nonfiction than I did in 2007. More short stories.
Happy reading, y'all.
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