I’m not sure who originated the Resolve to Read thing, but it’s a great idea. I always have at least one book going, but I’ve never made a cohesive list out of my vague plans to read more books. Most of the books on this list are books I own and still haven’t read. I’m making my way through the very dark, very weird, and very long “Perdido Street Station” by China Mieville, but I’m confident I can read all of these (and probably a handful of others) in a year.
“My Antonia” by Willa Cather. I enjoyed “O Pioneers!” when we read it in college, so I’m interested to read about another quietly strong heroine from Cather.
“North and South” by Elizabeth Gaskell. I adore the BBC adaptation – the story has enough social consciousness and intriguing characters (not to mention some sizzling Austen-style romantic tension) to keep even Kevin’s manly attention through all four parts. Of course the book will be very different, but I’m curious to see how the romance and social message balance out on the page.
While we’re on the subject of BBC adaptations, I also want to finally read “Jane Eyre.“ The adaptation I saw was deliciously dark, which makes sense coming from the director of a Bleak House adaptation. I’ve heard the book is also pretty dark, and I look forward to reading about a romantic heroine who is for the most part more concerned about her own success than in snaring a husband. Plus a new movie is coming out this spring, which is always a good excuse to get familiar with the source material.
(Sidenote: Seriously, does everything have to have a Twilight-ish cover now?)
Wow, all of those books feature strong female characters. That’s very cool, but let’s throw in a little testosterone.
“The Once & Future King” by T.H. White. The last time I read “Mists of Avalon,” I resolved to read more Arthurian stories in hopes of getting a more well-rounded view of the myth. That was maybe last spring? And I still haven’t read any. This will actually be the first true Arthurian myth I’ve ever seen or read – “Mists” is from the female perspective, and “Merlin,” well, Sam Neill is always fun but I don’t think that movie had much in the way of accuracy.
“Merrick” by Anne Rice. Eventually I will get bored with all that literature. Let’s read a good old-fashioned mass-market paperback about vampires. Actually, this one is supposedly about vampires and witches, but I’ve never read anything by Anne Rice and I’ve owned this book for approximately 374825 years. It’s time. Besides, it features the characters from “Interview with a Vampire,” which I have seen, so it should make for a good introduction to the world of Anne Rice.
“The Windup Girl” by Paolo Bacigalupi. This was supposedly one of the best science-fiction books of 2010, so I grabbed a copy and promptly got distracted by something else. This year for sure.
“From the Dust Returned” by Ray Bradbury. Occasionally I encounter a Bradbury book I haven’t read yet and my whole universe explodes. This one sounds like a Tim Burton movie, only it’ll be even creepier and more beautiful because it’s Bradbury.
(Wait a minute…I’ve never read this one either. AAHHHH.)
“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I really hope I like this one. The title, his name, the cover, everything just screams of tragic poetic beauty, and I would feel like a failure as an English student if I didn’t enjoy this book. But…that’s what I said about “Midnight’s Children” by Salman Rushdie, and I couldn’t finish it. We’ll see how this goes.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood. I remember buying my secondhand copy from the castle of books in Hay-On-Wye, same town where I collected a couple beat-up pulps and Neil Gaiman’s “The Eternals.” “The Eternals” has been read three times since then – everything else, zero. I’ve even read Atwood’s newest, “The Year of the Flood,” and still not “Handmaid’s Tale.”
“Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro. This one was made into a movie this year, and by all accounts it’s a beautifully shocking soft sci-fi novel with a good twist.
All right, that looks like a pretty good list. What’s on your reading list for this year? Have I made any egregious omissions?