Saturday, January 5, 2013
My resolution for 2012 was to get through À la recherche du temps perdu and a shelf of books that I had set aside. After reading 85 books in 2011 I set a target of around 50, thinking that that would be realisable and taking the size of the Proust into account, and the fact that I was targeting a number of the longer books on my shelves. However I ended up only reading about thirty one books and apart from the Proust, skirting the longer books. (See my edited Resolutions 2012 post) I guess having a slightly crazed two year old (& four & ten year olds) in the house allowed less reading time. She will be slightly more self reliant this year but I'm not going to take it for granted. I've also found myself dozing off in the evenings and spending more time writing, on blog and off.
This year my primary target is to finally read Finnegans Wake, which I have started before without getting very far. I have read all of Joyce's other books, most multiple times but this has always proved a step too far. I'm prepared for a very slow read involving using reading resources (which I've never done before with any book) and hope to get started in February. Previously I found that while I could appreciate words and sentences I was totally adrift in terms of paragraphs, let alone pages.
Another thing I aim to do is to join in some joint readings and I have been looking over some at Caravana de Recuerdos involving classic Russian novels. I intend reading along with a few of these as well as Heinrich Böll's The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum, which should arrive in the post any day now. I am also looking forward to re-runs of the Muriel Spark and Beryl Bainbridge reading weeks. I have now stockpiled a few Bainbridges and am particularly looking forward to them.
January in Japan, run by Tony of Tony's Reading List. I have The Housekeeper & The Professor by Yoko Ogawa and Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness, four short novels by Kenzaburo Ōe. As soon as I finish Brideshead Revisited I will begin these. I have read a pitiful amount of Japanese fiction in the past.
Apart from these I intend continuing to target the books I didn't read last year and this year I am going to set myself a definite target of fifty books, at least twenty books from the 1001 Books list. I also hope to restrict my book purchasing to this amount. I have a truly out of control number of books to be read on my shelves, although I do enjoy having lots of choice. (You can tell I'm going to fail to keep this resolution, I'm already making excuses)
I have been reading more short stories towards the end of the year and hope to continue to do so and to use what I learn to help put together a few of my own. This is an ongoing process which I am trying to make habitual. At the moment I have one story which needs a few more drafts but is a story, or so I'm told, and a few floating scraps with some potential to grow into stories. I find that ideas have to spend a long time in my seven stomachs, being digested, before I am ready to write them. I have been turning the bones of the story I wrote last year over and over for over a decade.
I also hope to keep up with posting 102 of my favourite albums and to continue to post on music and to watch and post on some more film this year as well. Both film and music have lost out to books in the last few years but I have an enduring love for both.
Most of all, I hope to read some books that I'll remember for the rest of my life.