Considering my failed attempts at making a list of books to read for the coming year I shouldn't do this (and I even told myself I wasn't going to this year), but the temptation is too strong, so here's a stack of books I'm (optimistically) planning on reading this year. And to get the ball rolling I've even been reading Ian Fleming's From Russia With Love this weekend (and finding it quite enjoyable). To keep things simple I've only picked ten--books I've long been thinking about reading, or books that others have enthused about and an impulse choice or two. Of course the actual list was (relatively) easy to compile. The hard part will be to read all of them over the course of the year (the hard part not being the reading but avoiding distractions that keep me from picking them up). Of course if at this time next year I haven't read them all, that's okay, too, but they all sound wonderful to me at the moment. And with all of 2012 stretched out before me and an endless selection of books at my fingertips, anything seems possible!
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler -- I don't know why I've never read Anne Tyler. I think I'll enjoy her very much and even started this book at one time and liked what I read. I'm quite looking forward to it.
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis -- I read Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat in expectation of reading this, so there's nothing holding me back now. It sounds like a fun adventure story, and at the moment I'm all for adventure.
From Russia with Love by Ian Fleming -- I'm going to have another go at my spy novels. I've never read any Ian Fleming, though I have seen a few of the Bond movies. I've been reading this one and it is different than I expected--not that I had any idea what to actually expect, but different in a good way.
A Game of Hide and Seek by Elizabeth Taylor -- It was Darlene who reminded me (well, I didn't realize it at all, so told me) that 2012 is the 100 year anniversary of Elizabeth Taylor's birth, so I have to read something by her in celebration. I'm not sure which of her novels I'll choose but at the moment I am leaning towards this one.
To the North by Elizabeth Bowen -- I've lost track of how many people read this book last year (for sure Rachel), and as I heard only good things about it, I think I must read it, too. I've read a couple of Bowen's novels and was suitably impressed by her writing, so I am happy to get back to her work.
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson -- I want to read more 'literary" (contemporary) fiction. I read her book Housekeeping years ago and loved it, though this particular novel appealed to me less, hence my hesitation to pick it up. Once again it was a favorite of Rachel's as well as of Simon.
The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki -- Impulse choice. I've owned this book for ages and it sounds good--a family portrait. It's supposed to be a classic of Japanese literature.
Résistance: A Woman's Journal of Struggle and Defiance in Occupied France by Agnes Humbert -- This just fits in with my war literature reading. Another book I've heard many good things about.
Looking at my list it sort of follows how my reading usually works out during the year--more women authors than men, more fiction than nonfiction, a few international authors and one or two classics, and even a spy story. I'm just missing a mystery. Other than this list I don't have any other plans for the year other than to just read some very good books!
So, will this year be the year I read all the books on my list? Check back next December!