As I wade into December with read, partly read, and unread books crowded around my feet and in my bookcase and in my closet . . . I’m thinking about all the lovely books I discovered this year, and anticipating what bookish discoveries will be made next year.
It’s been a little over a year since I first started blogging (I can’t believe I forgot to do a one-year anniversary post in November!). As a newbie book blogger, I had little restraint when it came to joining reading challenges. As of today, at least, I do not have plans to join any new challenges for 2011, except maybe RIP around Halloween-time.
I do not regret joining challenges this year as I read lots of wonderful books as a result. However, just like one may let a field run fallow for a year before using it again for planting, I think I need to have next year be one less ‘guided’ and more subject to whim.
I am not completely without plans, however.
Plan #1: I plan to continue reading books from the list I created for my personal challenge: Read 19 Books Older than Myself.
I actually have read nine off that list (Howard’s End to-be-reviewed). Add to that, I read six other books this year that are older than I am: The Dud Avocado, The Summer Book, Kindred, Black Mountain Breakdown, The Haunting of Hill House, and The Inimitable Jeeves (on audio). So even though I will not complete my challenge by the end of this year, I am thrilled by the amount of ‘older’ books I have added to my reading diet.
Plan #2: I will deliberately build a niche in reviews of travel writing.
You may or may not know that I have a special fondness for travel writing. These include books like Susan Jane Gilman’s riveting Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven (her 1986 travels in China) and the Best American Travel Writing essay anthologies. I want to explore this genre more thoroughly next year, for my own pleasure and also because I have aspirations of being a sort of blogger-ambassador for the genre.
Plan #3: Read more books from authors around the world and from people of color.
Certainly, there are wonderful challenges out there that will doubtless provide me with some great titles to check out, but I do not want to formally join a challenge. This goal is definitely inspired/encouraged by blog posts from Eva (A Striped Armchair) and a recent blog post from Raych (books i done read) reminded me again of why I want to diversify my reading.
So there you have it! For now, anyway. 🙂