It is a truth not so universally known that I suck at reading challenges. I have all the good intentions, the best of them in fact. But I never seem to read what I plan to. In fact, I always crash into books, tumble into them at a moment’s notice, because of a fickle emotion. Sometimes for some people, screaming is cathartic. For me, reading is a release. I lose myself in the beginnings of sentences and then when the last page has been turned, I pick myself up from the leftovers of the story – either the happy ending or the sad one and then I go on with my life until I need to read again. It’s an addiction and I’m sure that many, if not all, of you can empathize with it. Reading becomes far more than a hobby. It’s a coping mechanism, a way to escape reality when it becomes too much for you. It doesn’t cost money, libraries are present, and it is always there to take you away from yourself. Some people do it with movies, some people with math (they are aliens) and others choose their own poison. For me, it’s reading.
So yeah, back to reading challenges. I make them. Gleefully, in fact, as they involve making lists and I adore making lists. And that’s about it. I may read one book out of the ten. Or two if it’s a good year. But otherwise? So in an attempt to circumvent my own contrariness, I am going to choose the themes of my challenges but not the individual books I will read for said challenges. Because if I don’t know which books I’m going to read, I can’t not read them, right? Does that make sense? Well. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else apart from me.
So, without further ado, here is a list of the kinds of books I’d like to read more of in the coming year.
The Literary Fiction Challenge
I don’t read nearly enough of this. I’ve noticed that my tastes are changing enough that I appreciate the complexities more readily available in titles aimed specifically at adults. This is not to imply that I don’t appreciate genre fiction, because I do, but that I like dense material in literary works which are sometimes really very pretentious. Huh. Ten is a good number but I will accept however many I manage to consume.
I aim to read about ten of these. I don’t have any specific genre in mind for this theme. I just want to read more translated works because I think they are remarkable sources for interesting perspectives about the world. Besides, I love reading stories about different cultures in settings other than North America. If anyone has a story set in the South Pacific, please recommend it to me.
Haruki Murakami Challenge
Okay, fine, I can’t not pick the books I want to read for this challenge as there are only a couple titles left before I finish reading everything he has written. But I am looking forward to consuming the two titles I’ve chosen for this year.
I aim to read at least three classics this year since they’re all beasts but important beasts and I want to read them. Whether I will succeed or not is another story altogether but we’ll cross that bridge when come to it.
I want to read a lot more children’s literature theory because I am endlessly fascinated by it. And it keeps my brain sharp and neurons firing. Hopefully I can get at least five read.
Bloody Jack Series
I believe there are twelve out now and so I aim to read this series one per month and write a review for the entirety of 2014. Wish me luck.