As January chugs along, I’ve decided that 2013 should bring with it some book-related resolutions on my part, as I can no longer be trusted to pick up anything that doesn’t promise humor, action, or the cloyingly timid romantic advances of potentially supernatural young adults.
Believe it or not, this is the third year of Sorry Television, which either means I’ve finally settled into the routine of being an unpaid but extremely enthusiastic book blogger, or that I should discover a new hobby. Maybe both. Either way, I took a look back through the 115 books I’ve read since launching ST back in November 2010, and this is how it shakes out.
Fiction (mostly literary with a few mass-market choices): 37 books / 32%
Nonfiction: 22 books / 19%
Young Adult: 14 books / 12%
Memoirs: 11 books / 10%
Science fiction/Fantasy: 10 books / 9%
Essays: 9 books / 8%
Classics: 5 books / 4%
Trash (two Sookie Stackhouse books and three Fifty Shades): 5 books / 4%
Short stories: 2 books / 2%
All in all, a moderately diverse showing, but I see some definite room for improvement. Which is where you guys come in. Here are the literary genres I’d like to work into my 2013 reading list:
1. More classics: I went to a weird high school that made us read novels from around the world instead of your typical 20th century American fare (I know, how silly!) Consequently, I’ve missed out on some fundamentals, books like Animal Farm and Gulliver’s Travels. I’ve spent the intervening decade trying to make up for lost time, but could always use a point in the right direction. Which classics are worth their hype?
2. Biographies: With the exception of Walter Isaacson’s opus on Steve Jobs, I’ve essentially read zero biographies in my life, which is for the most part a byproduct of finding them painfully boring. Still, there must be good ones. I leave it to you to tell me what they are.
3. Poetry: I don’t know that my Internet-addled brain every got out of the mentality that poetry is something you read if only and if a teacher has assigned it. Also, my inner cynic is immediately skeptical of anything purporting to be “meaningful” at the expense of being self-aware. Suggest some poetry that won’t make me want to stab artists.
4. History: I’m told that like, a lot of things have already happened? And that I might want to know about them? Things like wars, despots, technological advancements and massive cultural paradigm shifts. My BO2012 list provided a few candidates in this realm—The Passage of Power and Iron Curtain among them—but historical nonfiction is a mighty big genre; what have you read that doesn’t include the sorts of battlefield descriptions that will result in my taking an accidental nap?
5. And finally, one, I said one, graphic novel: After resisting the urge to scream, “But they’re just really long comic books!” I’ve decided that I should give this growing genre a chance. If you were stuck on a desert island and could bring along only one graphic novel, which one would it be?
And that’s it: one year, five goals. Hit me up on Twitter or in the comments section below to share your thoughts. (Other, non-classic/biography/poetry/history/graphic novel suggestions also welcome.)