Sunday, 18 December 2011

Folktales to begin the new year, and the books I didn't read (again)

Books I Can't Wait for in the New Year
So there I was on Friday, looking through the Guardian book site on my lunch time at work.  This is always a dangerous thing to do, since I am always finding out about books I haven't read yet.  This is what happened

on Friday.

It's not out here until the beginning of January, but honestly, after reading in the Guardian this review by Neil Gaiman on this Alan Garner new book, who could resist this?  It looks so good, so perfect, a lovely way to begin the new year. 

Among Others by Jo Walton is out on Jan 3 in softcover.  I've been waiting 8 months for this.   All of you who've read it - Carl, Memory, Nymeth,  have loved it.  I so want to read it too!  Two weeks now, and counting......
 The House at Sea End by Elly Griffiths is also out in softcover Jan 3. I think I like this day already.  This is part of the ongoing Ruth Galloway series which I am really enjoying.

Since I don't own these yet, I thought I'd ask you, what books are you waiting for to come out in the new year?

Random thoughts from other people's blogs:
In news around the book blogging world, Carl has a wonderful post up on books he thought he would have read by now, and hasn't, and wants plans to read next year.  If you have some of your own (and I dare any book reader to not come up with a list of those!), let Carl know what they are.  My  post today is in answer to some of the questions he asked in his wonderful, thoughtful post.

Nymeth also has a wonderful post on books she wants to read as soon as they are out next year.  I've already checked out the Diana Wynne Jones book on writing, which Amazon sadly isn't even listing here yet.

****Edited to add: I had to get off the computer in a hurry as the children were waiting to use it to search for cheats for their Star Wars Wii game.  While I was off, I remembered I had read Care's lovely post about how she failed at reading certain books this year, and challenges, here.  So if you are like us, drop us a line so we don't feel quite so guilty alone about not being the kind of readers we think we should be.  It's all in fun, I know, both wanting to be more well-read, and the plans we make for reading.  It's awfully fun to cross books off the to-read list!!!*******

Some books I thought I'd read this year, and haven't:
Certainly I have books I thought I would have read by now - indeed, Ulysses is top of that list, since I started it last winter, and it languishes on my to be read pile, along with Samuel Pepys Diary, which I also really want to read, started two years ago, and then got sidetracked.  That's only two.  Any Charles Dickens this year - and I'd better finish A Christmas Carol this year, or I am in trouble with myself! **I just checked, and I now own 4 novels by Dickens, PLUS Drood by Dan Simmons, which I also haven't read.  Points finger at self: read Charles Dickens in 2012, Susan! I haven't read either of the annotated Jane Austens I picked up,  nor have I finished the House by The Thames by Gillian Tindall, which I started reading when I got it out of the library, went out and bought my own copy, and now it sits on the same shelf. I wonder if it's possible to have ADHD  when it comes to reading??? Kraken or Perdido Street Station by China Mieville.   I really can't believe I haven't read Boneshaker by Cherie Priest yet.   Or Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb - I have loved the other two series.  So how have I missed this series?  Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden. Oh, there is so much I planned to read this year and haven't yet!  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Settlefield. A Visit from the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan.

 Books I thought I'd read by now in my life, and haven't.  That's a harder question to answer.  Ulysses, certainly. Any novel by Ursula K LeGuin.  The Gentleman's Daughter by Amanda Vickery.  London the Biography by Peter Ackroyd. Bleak House by Charles Dickens.  Anything by Neal Stephenson - I own Cryptonomicon, Anathem, and Quicksliver.   Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A Heinlein.  I can't believe I haven't read Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist, when I loved the Swedish version of the movie so much that I bought it, and everyone who has read the book says it is one of the best vampire novels ever, and I loved  his Handling the Undead earlier this year.  I really can't believe I haven't read Boneshaker by Cherie Priest yet.    Anything by Anthony Trollope. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. War and Peace, on every 'I will read this year' list I've ever done. Emily Dickinson.

100 books?
So for the next week, I am setting some reading goals for 2012.  I've been looking at all the challenges surfacing, and thinking over joining some.  I did discover that I read more when I have lots of room for spontaneity.  While it's still in question if I will reach 100 books read this year - 10 books in 10 days, more or less....Christmas and New Year's in the midst of that......I remain optimistic that I will.  I already have had the best reading year in the past 15 years that I've been keeping a book list.  That is something, my friends, something indeed. So I am very proud of what I've accomplished, even if I might fall just short of my goal. My next post will be on the books I did manage to read this year and there are some that I am delighted I did get around to reading, and some new ones that thrilled me.

Meanwhile, Gentle Reader, let me know - are you happy with your reading year?  Is there anything you are really looking forward to coming out in 2012?

I hope you are finding some reading time today, on this Sunday before Christmas!


Nymeth said...

Neil Gaiman made me add the Alan Garner collection to my wishlist too. It sounds absolutely perfect.

You do need to read Le Guin and Cold Comfort Farm! I really think you'll love them.

This was a pretty meh reading year for me - so many books I didn't get to - but with grad school and all I kind of expected it. Hopefully 2012 will be better.

Gavin said...

Like you and Nymeth Neil Gaiman's review got me to add the Garner collection to my must read list! And I second Nymeth's suggestion that you must read Le Guin and I can't wait to see what you think of Among Others.

I plan on making 2012 a Dickens year. Let me know what you plan to start with and we can read together!

Chris said...

I did not have the best reading year :( This has been the worst for me in the last five years. But I'm not focusing on that!! Like you I'm looking forward to 2012!!! And hoping to read 100 books next year for the first time ever! Also, the Garner book sounds AMAZING!

Susan said...

Nymeth: Yaaay! for the Alan Garner book, I thought you might be interested in it :-D

I know everyone raves about Cold Comfort Farm, I console myself with the fact that I did go out and buy it this year! lol one step closer to reading it.....

You did finish grad school, which is an achievement in itself, Nymeth. I fully expect 2012 to be an amazing reading year for many of us! I certainly hope so.

Gavin: Did you review Among Others? I was trying to remember who else had read it. I'll come see if I can find it on your blog and link to it.

Hurrah for leading you to add the book too! lol It does sound really good, doesn't it?

Ok, I'll send you an email in January once the holidays are over. I definitely want to read Bleak House, and am thinking Great Expectations might be after. It would be fun to read with you!

Chris: You haven't read 100 books in a year? I thought you had. I don't feel quite so bad now. I've been trying so long. I don't feel quite so lonely now! Thanks for saying that. Here's to a better reading year for both of us, in 2012.

So that's three of you who like the sound of the Garner fairy tale book! It's fun when we can share new books coming out like this, isn't it?

Kailana said...

Great post, Susan! The Alan Garner collection sounds wonderful. I have it on my wish list. :)

I hope you enjoy Among Others. I really enjoyed it!

Would you like to read something by Dickens with me? I have this pretty collection of his works that I still haven't read all of... I have read him before, though, but I am sure we can figure out something... If you are interested, of course. Just email me if you are!

Care said...

Now darn it! My searches that are supposed to tell me when other's have linked to me is failing, too. FAIL-STAMP for that. I'm sorry it took me this long to visit and see I got linky-love. Thank you.

Now. I was just telling Nymeth that she is staring to thaw my dead-set-against ice for Cold Comfort Farm. Maybe. But highly doubtful I'll get to it in 2012. I want to read more Gaiman and I am toying with finishing Ulysess and I've always been curious about Stranger in a Strange Land...

You have impressive reading goals. :) *points finger at you: read Charles Dickens in 2012*


Tami said...

Two years ago I won beautiful cloth-cover copies of Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility. I can't belive I haven't read them yet! The life list is too long to contemplate, but you would think I would at least have gotten to these two classics.

I agree with you on the challenges - I never seem to get them done and they make me feel restricted in my reading. So next year my only challenge is to read 15 more books than I did this year. I'm going to be pushing it to make my goal of 60 with all the stuff going on this week.

Good luck on your lists and goals!

GeraniumCat said...

I'm agonising over whether to buy the Garner book on Kindle (the sensible option) or to give in and buy a "proper" copy of it. I bet I give in!

Susan said...

Kailana: It does sound so wonderful, doesn't it?

I'll email - I think it would be so much fun to read some Dickens with you! Thanks :-)

Care: It was fun to link to your lovely post! See above for Dickens, possibly both Kelly and I will read Dickens in 2012!!! that would be incredible, I think :-)

I'm relieved that you haven't finished Ulysses, like I haven't, though I shouldn't be. I should be trying to finish this book, it is a classic and I have really enjoyed what I read. I think I find it overwhelming a bit. How about you?

Tami: thank you so much! I hope you do get to reading some Austen, I love her. I surprised myself by not finishing the annotated versions, though I know it's just because of life stuff. Good luck to you too on your goals for next year!

One year I read only 37 books, so that was my low point historically. Anything is better than that, for me! What's your worst reading year?

Geraniumcat: Look at it this way, the physical copy will never be a click away, it will always be there to lift off the shelf....and the illustrations are bound to be interesting. I have to feel the pages of this book! Nothing else will do. Something about fairy tales and how old they are, how far back in our storytelling myths they go. I can only picture them on a page. But that's me, pretty old-fashioned when it comes to books! I'm glad the book is calling to you too, no matter how you buy it :-)

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