As I write this, it is already the New Year in most of the globe, while I am still wondering if I shall manage to stay awake to see it in at my time zone. It is incredible to me how quickly this year has sped by, yet at the same time when I look back to the beginning of the year it feels so far away. I didn’t really know at the start of the year what I expected 2012 to be, and I can still say the same at the start of 2013. It may perhaps be more of the same–and if so, at what cost?–or perhaps it may change for the better (and I hope, not the worse). But life so often has a way of popping up upon us unexpectedly, that perhaps I can never anticipate what may be.
I can say with some satisfaction that 2012 reading was more satisfactory–both quantitatively and qualitatively–than 2011. I started the year with many reading goals and plans, most of which weren’t met, but I learned in the process that such plans are only of limited use to me. I may perhaps finally conquer a taunting text, but at the expense of not following my whim and leaving other books aside. So I enter 2013 with few plans beyond the next month, determined to continue to allow one book to lead to the next–and the allow myself the chance to join in on readalongs or short-term challenges as they strike my fancy. It was one such readalong that led me to some of the best books I read last year, so I think I prefer to leave open in my reading time to allow such challenges.
I don’t read enough books to create a “top-ten” list, but I did have some highlights last year (in order finished):
- The Savage Detectives – Roberto Bolaño – I didn’t exactly like it, but there isn’t another author I read in 2012 whose other works I want to read more than Bolaño’s, and I will probably at some future point read The Savage Detectives again. Probably my second-favorite read this year.
- The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco – I wouldn’t have read this had it not been for a readalong/readathon, but would have missed out had I not. Not always easy, but surprisingly entertaining considering the amount of theology and theory.
- The Silmarillion – J.R.R. Tolkien – More difficult to work through than his more famous works, but I just might like it better. Easily my favorite this year.
- Old Testament – For as much hard work as this is, there is something about it that makes me want to start all over again, now, even the boring parts. It’s simply impossible to take it all in on just one pass. I’ll finish the New Testament first, though.
I don’t really do New Year’s Resolutions, although if I did, I would resolve to finish posts in a more timely manner so that I don’t have to cram two month’s worth into December 2013 as I did in 2012. Goals, however, I am fond of, even if I cannot remember what my goals were last year!
- Read at least one more book in 2013 than I did in 2012–removing only partially read books from my 2012 list, that means I should aim for twenty six books.
- Although I want to follow my whim, I would like to also try to read at least one book completely in Spanish this year. I have quite a few on my shelf to choose from!
- Successfully complete a challenge that isn’t my own this year. Or a readalong within the actual timeframe of the readalong rather than a month or two later.
- Read at least one book from each of my currently-existing project lists (I libri italiani,Mysteries & Detective Fiction,The Original Classics, Siglo de Oro, Realists and Romantics, Sensation!, Shakespeare & Co., Libros españoles)
- (Non-bookish goal) Finish up all of the projects currently in my knitting basket, less the Lewrick Shawl (which will probably take a year on its own…)
- Watch and post about at least 12 films for my Cinematic Treasures project.
- Finish at least 10 books from my Classics Club list.
- Read the four or five books on my shelf that I want to read once and then get rid of.
I leave 2012 with three books in progress, Ficciones, The Woman in White, and Little Women, but this year it doesn’t bother me not to be able to place them neatly in one year or another. The first two will be ignored until after January; the third I hope to finish soon.
January, of course, will be the Children’s Classics event, which I am hoping will be much fun. My specific plans are adaptable, outside of the readalong title, The Princess and the Goblin, but there’s also the aforementioned Little Women and I have a copy of Pinocchio sitting on my shelf waiting patiently. I’m probably mad to try to finish it this month, as it is the Italian, not a translation, and I’ve forgotten most of what little Italian I know, but the first sentence I understand, so attempt it I shall.
And with the goals finished, the old year fast fleeing, I wish you a Happy New Year! Welcome 2013!