So, as I reported last week, I finished 157 books in 2017. It’s less about the number and more about the experience, though, and this year was enhanced by my participation in the “Shakespeare in a Year” project, Robin‘s War and Peace read-along, and a slew of terrific non-fiction. In short, 2017 will be a tough act to follow.
While mulling over my reading goals for this year, I stumbled upon a post in which a virtual friend mentioned that turning sixty has made her keenly aware of how finite her reading life is; she chooses books even more carefully now. Her wise insight now informs my own reading choices. I also came up with a short list of reading resolutions for 2018:
1. Read from the shelves.
2. Complete a close reading of Moby Dick.
Yes, I have already read it. More than once. It’s worth it.
3. Reread at least one Vonnegut novel.
I appreciated rereads these past two years but wonder how much of his oeuvre “holds up.”
4. Finish reading several books abandoned in 2017 (or *gulp* earlier).
Six Four (Hideo Yokoyama), Will in the World (Stephen Greenblatt), and Providence of a Sparrow (Chris Chester) come immediately to mind. Yeah, I may have been a shamelessly promiscuous reader in the past, but these are good books that don’t deserve such treatment.
5. Read at least thirty non-fiction titles.
Twenty-six has been my goal in the past. I beat it in 2017, so now I’ve raised the bar.
My first book of the year was Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro), a family book club selection and a reread for me. Tonight I will finish An Enemy of the People (Henrik Ibsen) — a selection made in anticipation of seeing Traitor (based on this play) later this winter break and An Enemy of the People over spring break. Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End is up next (another family book club selection).