If you know me at all you will know I am a big reader. I work in a book shop. Before that I worked for the Library Services. I have an English Degree and an MA in literature. I have a book show with some friends on Phonic FM (The Mighty Book if you're interested).
Over the years I have tried, on and off, to keep a record of my reading. Last year, or late in 2010 to be more accurate, someone told me about Shelfari and I started an account. It has all sorts of social networking features that I have never explored, but for me it is useful simply as a record. It tells me that in 2011 I read 59 books. I seem to remember that in 2001 I read over 100. But hey, I was a student back then, now I am a working, crafting, blogging Mum. (Not that I didn't work as a student, I had a job, and I studied pretty hard too. But oh, that luxury of time, and I had no idea!) Its so nice being able to look back at my last year of reading and remember them all, and quantify them.
Anyway, as part of my duties at work I look after the "Recommends" which involves writing reviews and bugging my colleagues to do the same. And I came up with the idea of a New Year display of a few books we each planned to read in 2012. (And then head office came up with the same idea and sent out an edict that we all do this. Seriously. It's like they're reading my mind. Creepy.) So I chose 8 books I plan to read in 2012. I have read none of them before, some are classics, some I have been recommended, some I just want to read. So - enough already - here's the list:
1. 1984. I know, I know, and I'm an English graduate too. But you know how it is, I know the story, I get the references, I can even quote the opening line, but I never quite got round to reading it. To be honest I'm dreading this one the most. Animal Farm was great and I loved Coming Up for Air. But I'm not looking forward to the darkness of this satire. I'm expecting to be depressed.
2. The Great Gatsby. Another classic I'm ashamed not to have read. One of my best friends loves this book, so I'm looking forward to it.
3. Persuasion. I love Jane Austen, but I have only read 3 of her books (I guess that means I can't claim to love her really). It's time to make it 4, with the novel several of my friends call their favourite.
4. Haruki Murakami. I don't know which book yet. Norwegian Wood sounds the most approachable, but that in itself puts me off a bit! Kafka on the shore is meant to be amazing, but I have a bit of a prejudice against Kafka, so the title puts me off. Wind-up Bird Chronicle and IQ84 are meant to be amazing, but oh, so long! And of course there are many others in his backlist. So, still deciding. If you have read any feel free to comment and advise me.
5. Carter Beats the Devil. My friend and colleague Katy has recommended this several times, and after introducing me to Kid Rock and When God was a Rabbit, and sharing my love of The Book Thief I have every reason to trust her reviews.
6. The Chosen. Several friends have said what a wonderful book this is, and I had never heard of it before. Looking forward to discovering if I agree with them.
7. The World According to Garp. I really enjoyed Cider House Rules and Prayer for Owen Meany so it seemed like a good idea to add a John Irving to my list. Its also nice to counterbalance those short novels at the start with something a little more weighty.
8. The Red Tent. Another one that several people have recommended, although at least one friend told me she didn't love it. I suspect I will like it though. We'll see.
As I read them I'll keep you posted. It might be a few weeks though, I am still reading a book I started back in early December (!) and I have a couple more piled up, including my book club book. So it might be a few more weeks before I start these.
Do you have any reading resolutions? I challenge you to make one - or two - or eight! And start keeping that list - it is really quite cool, in a smug sort of way, to see how much you read.