Here they are…
1. Read some bigger books
Yah, I read 60 books in 2015, but a lot of them were less than 300 pages. This is mostly the product of me working as a children’s librarian. This year, I was more in the mood for… I also had an appetite for thrillers, which tend to be on the shorter side. In 2016, I want to read more emotionally and physically heavy adult books, like A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and The Goldfinch by Donna Tart.
2. Read more informative non-fiction
I read quite a few memoirs in 2015, but I have a whole list of science and history books that I’m looking forward to reading this year, including this book of 12 maps to Explain the World that my boyfriend got for Christmas, a feminist historical non-fiction book called Sacred Pleasure, and a The Highly Sensitive Person. (Because I am a Highly Sensitive Person.)
3. Read a few books that I should have read in college
Even before I graduated, I made a list of books that I was assigned to read in college but didn’t get to because I was too busy. Jekyll and Hyde and Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse are both on the list.
4. Make my way through a few “you should read after college books”
There are several lists on the internet that claim to know which books you need to read in your early twenties. Common titles include finding-yourself-like-titles like Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and career self-help stuff like Adulting and What Color is Your Parachute?
5. And “you should read before 30” books
6. Read a book on my “eventually” shelf
My Goodreads’ shelf called “eventually” is where I file really long classics that I want to read someday but their size and literary importance scares me. Examples include Les Miserables, Infinite Jest, and Moby Dick. I think I’m going to try to read Anna Karenina this year.
7. Finally read The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo’s Calling.
Yes, I know hardly anyone actually read The Casual Vacancy and the few people who have were underwhelmed by it. But my mom loved it, and she’s been wanting me to read it forever. And I can’t believe that I haven’t read The Cuckoo’s Calling. It’s not only JK Rowling, it’s a crime novel. My thing.
8. Read some of the books recommended to me by one of my co-workers
At work, some of my co-workers and I participated in a reader’s advisory exercise a few months ago. We told our parents (someone we didn’t know well, who was assigned to us) what kinds of books we like to read, and then they gave us some book recommendations. My partner told me she really liked what I recommended to her, and I liked her recommendations too. A lot were already on my to-read list, but not all of them. They included included I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, and Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
9. Read more books by female authors.
I decided I should do this after reading Cunt: A Declaration of Independence. I gave that book a mixed review, but I did take away that I probably read more books by men than by women. And then I actually counted, and turns out I do. In March I’m hoping to read books by women only.
10. …and participate in Emma Watson’s feminist Book Club.
I don’t think I’m going to make time for the January book, which is Gloria Steinam’s new memoir, but I’d like to participate in February or March.
Other books I definitely want to get to this year:
- 1984 by George Orwell (I know, I know… My high school English curriculum was weird.)
- Perfume by Patrick Suskind
- Horns by Joe Hill
- The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
- The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (Technically, I’m reading this for work. It’s the library system’s “Big Read” for 2016. But it also sounds pretty good.)
[…aaaand these are all by men. I guess that just reinforces my point.]