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Judith

I'm so glad you've broached this topic. It's amazing what life, serendipity, and whims can do to one's New Year's Eve reading plans for the coming year.
I enjoy making reading plans for the future, so I won't stop doing it. And there's a very real value to the practice. But sometimes "things" of all sorts can intervene, and other goals become more important. Such is as it has been for me this year. And thank you for giving me a topic to blog on about!
Regardless of where your reading is taking you, your blog continues to be a joy to read.

Ed

I am not a huge planner when it comes to reading. I do make an effort to read some non-fiction, some translations for example. But these 'plans' if you can call them that are pretty loose. What I find is that reading one book can lead to another. So if you like an author it is natural to want to read more by that author. Or in the case of non-fiction, reading one book on a subject can lead to others. So I don't think you should be too concerned about straying from plans.

Val

A non-fiction that fell in my lap on a library visit [and I'm finding it really readable] is
Storm in a teacup : the physics of everyday life by Helen Czerski.
I'm rubbish at achieving any reading plans at the moment.

Readerlane

Good question! I'm working away at my goal to read more of the books I own, and since a number of them are non-fiction, I've actually read more non-fiction than usual. On the other hand, I also want to read more books in translation, and haven't done well there (so far). And as for my radical idea that I'd buy fewer books...well, still working on that one! BTW, I loved your idea of the monthly themes so much that I made my own list and am enjoying trying that approach to shaking up my reading a bit, so thank you! Right now, I'm reading Nothing to Envy about everyday life in North Korea--very good and eye-opening. Maybe something in translation next...

Stefanie

The best sorts of problems to have! Maybe it is time to scrap your original plan and just start over? That way it will be better aligned with what you are interested in right now. Maybe make a quarterly plan to allow for changes in direction?

Buried In Print

If it's any consolation I remember once catching up on more than half a year's worth of TNY (I no longer subscribe, but do miss it and am thinking of resubbing the next time they run their special). As for non-fiction, have you seen The Button Box by Lynn Knight? I have a feeling you might quite like it, but I had to return my library copy unexpectedly (forgot how new it is). I'm slow on short stories myself this year (other than Mavis Gallant), and was just thinking yesterday that I need to squeeze more of them back in; the first one in Julio Cortazar's Blow-up has quite caught my fancy, but we'll see if I continue with them. Good luck! :)

LizF

I'm reading pretty much as usual and that is quite pleasing bearing in mind that life is quite stressful - it is probably the reading that is keeping me sane!
I can second The Button Box as non-fiction you would like. It is the social history of the women of a family through the contents of the author's inherited button box and utterly fascinating as it traces the way women's lives changed throughout the 20th century. I read it last year and thought it was fascinating so I'm sure you would love it.
I'm reading a lot of non-fiction this year so far which is something I have aimed at for a while. A lot of nature writing - John Lewis-Stempel is one of my favourites, I think he is definitely a writer to read if you like Roger Deakin - and some memoirs: The Wild Other by Clover Stroud and The Fish Ladder by Katherine Norbury. Quite different but equally fascinating and readable.

LizF

How many times have I used the word 'fascinating'? My only excuse is that I was trying to dash off a quick comment before work and clearly my mastery of my vocabulary deserted me!

Danielle

I know, it is not surprising at all that what sounded so obtainable and appealing in January might change in a few months. I guess for a number of years I have been a steady short story reader and maybe I just need a change of pace for a while, though I do still hope to read a few collections even if I am not doing weekly posts about them. I guess short term plans with the idea that they are a starting point is best and then letting the books take you wherever they will, right? Thank you for the very kind words and it is always cool when one post inspires another reader to add their voice to the discussion!

Danielle

That is probably wise! I am an inveterate list maker and I cannot seem to help myself. If I am not reading I am thinking about what I want to read--hah! My reading develops in just the same organic way and it is probably better to go with mood and interest and make the goals really short and easy and open to whatever new path happens. I am not so disappointed really by not keeping up with plans, just that I know I like certain genres and am being so neglectful of them. But then I guess like anything else--maybe short stories are just not what I 'need' right now, and my 'mind/body' will tell me what I 'do' need!

Danielle

I think you might have mentioned it before as it looked familiar when I looked it up. Needless to say it is going on my wishlist (and...it may well end up in a future book order)--so thank you. That is just the sort of NF I need right now!

Danielle

Reading from your own shelves is a great goal and maybe one of the best you can have that is mostly obtainable-since if you have a lot of unread books (I know I do....) there is likely something there that will fit your mood. I *need* to stop buying books, but I have not yet been able to manage that one (knew I wouldn't likely do it so it never made the to do list...). I really like the themed monthly reading and hope you enjoy doing it too. It is one of the few goals I am managing and wholly enjoying. I think I will have to do it again next year. You will have to share what your themed list looks like--I am very curious about your choices! :)

Danielle

Yes, I can handle this sort of problem. I am going to definitely tweak things. It certainly is not the end of the world if I stray from the goal list, but it is sort of fun to revisit it and see how much my reading whims have changed. Uhmmm, I just dropped a card in the mail, by the way, about that shared read we were planning....I feel bad, but I think that is one of the 'goals' that has changed direction. Will have to email you later....

Danielle

Okay, you started it (actually thank you is more like it). I have ordered The Button Box as it is in paperback. It was never published here so I could not borrow it and it is just the sort of social history that I most enjoy. I think you mentioned it before but as it was in hardcover I didn't get it then. How nice to see a paperback of it! Yay. I don't know what it is about short stories. I am just simply not making them a priority. I think when I decided I wanted to try and read the Baileys shortlist it took up a bunch of slots on my reading pile, but then I seem to have branched out all over the place anyway, so whatever with that one!! Too many books and not enough reading time so some books come with me and some stay home and that is that unfortunately.

Danielle

I love Roger Deakin and am not sure why I have not read more of his books--I have the one about trees and the one about swimming. I was just thinking how appealing nature books sound right now. The desire is there but somehow the books are not ending up in my bookbag. I DID order The Button Box as I was happy to see it in paperback. I have been trying to not buy hardcovers as I never get them read right away, and I get mad at myself when the book comes out in paper and here I have the hardcover because I **had** to have it. I am noting the other titles you mention. And it is funny as the books I am reading fastest are the comfort reads--unsurprising so I can totally relate.

Danielle

No, I totally understand--I do the same thing, but then it just is the right word--I find lots of NF really fascinating too. I didn't even realize you referred to your reading so many times as being fascinating. Hmm. Quite fascinating.... ;)

Readerlane

Yes, I'm enjoying trying your monthly theme idea. I'm coming up with three months of themes at a time so my list just goes to June (so far). January was "Neither a borrower or a lender be" (books people loaned me), February African-American literature, March Irish authors, April "Oh to be in England now that April's there" (Persephone), May "That was in another country", and June "Other Worlds." Still thinking about next quarter's topics. One will be "Now for something completely different." I hope you don't mind my borrowing your idea!

Stefanie

No worries! I have not been feeling it either so we are both off the hook!

Danielle

Thanks for sharing your themes--now you know I want to know which books you chose--sorry to be so nosy, but curiosity..... I like how you have tailored it to your shelves and the types of books you are trying to read this year! That was much of the fun coming up with ideas for themes--knowing I had a story or book in mind.... And I don't mind at all that you borrowed my idea, though I sort of was inspired by other reading memes, so I can't take too much credit!

Danielle

Oh, good! It has been in the back of my mind for a while and while earlier I was all excited about the prospect, of late I have been sort of dreading it--just whim, you know and so many other reading projects that I am more excited about at the moment. I'm glad I have not caused any disappointment!! :)

iliana

My reading plans are always very loose and inevitably I seem to fall back on comfort reads a lot but so far I'm happy with my progress when it comes to a couple of genres but that means that others that I wanted to incorporate (non-fiction, essays) have fallen by the way side. Ah well all I can do is just keep on reading!

Readerlane

I liked how open ended your themes were and tried to do something similar. Actual reading: January -- Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story by Leonie Swann, Feb--Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, March--Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen; and April was Still Missing by Beth McGutcheon (set in Boston actually ;). This month, I'm reading Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick and hope to read something else from my stash, but you know how that goes ;) Thanks for the inspiration. I'm having fun with the idea!

Danielle

I am not familiar with all your choices so must look them up! I really want to read the Woodson as I have heard many good things about it. And I have enjoyed Elizabeth Bowen but never read Heat of the Day. I read Still Missing a long time ago--did you see the movie that was based on the book--I really liked it as well. I wouldn't mind rereading that one at all. I have read a few of her books and like her writing a lot. It is actually sort of fun to pick out books from your own stacks. Sometimes I will be looking for a book but then spend more time looking at other books that catch my eye that I forgot I even owned or forgot what the story was about. I could spend a whole year on them and not be bored--if only I had the willpower not to be tempted by all those new books and books lists...!

Danielle

I seem to be getting on best with comfort reads at the moment, but really I have been pleased with the books I have read and the selections I have made. I guess I am just greedy really... I only wish I had more time to read other books that I 'mean to read' but don't seem to have the time for. Yes, just keep at it---that is just how I like it really! :)

Readerlane

I hear you! The bookstores are full of temptation, and so far, I've bought more new books than I've read this year :(
I'll have to put the movie of Still Missing on my watchlist. I can see it would make a good film with lots of suspense. I' like to read some more of Elizabeth Bowen eventually -- I think I have The House in Paris around somewhere and maybe The Death of the Heart. As they say: so many books, so little time. Good reading!

Danielle

I am sure I have as well. I have been thinking a lot of paring down and getting rid of things at home--I am hoping eventually to downsize and sell my house (sometime in the hopefully near future), but I am not going to be able to part with most of my books and I keep wondering how I will ever fit into an apartment!! I have only read short stories by Bowen as well as Death of the Heart which I recall liking, though it was a really long time ago.

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