Forget diets and exercise and keeping in touch with Uncle Morty. Here are the resolutions that really matter....
1. Discover one new-to-me great mystery series.
For years mysteries were my favorite genre. I was introduced to them by some Agatha Christies at Grandad G’s house. He was an avid, very intelligent, serious reader, and his library was the gateway to many fantastic writers: Sir Walter Scott, Thoreau and Emerson, Dickens, Coleridge, classic poets, etc. The Christies were the only genre books I ever saw on his shelves. Reading them introduced me to a long line of detectives. like Lord Peter Whimsey, Albert Campion, Roderick Alleyn, and Ellery Queen. Over the years I’ve found new writers to enjoy. Anne Perry, for example, and J. D. Robb. As I read, historical and cozy mysteries became my favorites. Unfortunately, the new series books I’ve read in the last few years have disappointed me. In some of them I knew who the killer was in the first few pages -- before anyone had even been killed. (I‘m serious.) Speaking in generalities, it seems that all a cozy needs these days is a weird hook -- and recipes. They no longer require plot, characterization, or an actual puzzle. I can only re-read so many books before I go crazy, so I’m on the prowl to discover a truly good mystery series writer, not a one-hit-wonder or someone who’s all gimmick and no substance. Any suggestions?
2. Read something new by Charles Dickens.
I’m ashamed to admit I’ve really only read A Christmas Carol, Tale of Two Cities and The Pickwick Papers all the way through. This year I’m determined to read at least one more. The problem is, I don’t like books with cruelty in them, and his bad guys are really really bad.
3. Memorize a poem a month.
I love poetry -- you may have guessed that already. But my memory’s lousy these days. I want to work on it and enjoy some of my favorite poems, so a-memorizing I go! I haven’t decided what to start with.
4. Read a non-fiction book a month.
I love non-fiction, I adore non-fiction, and there’s a long list of books I want to read. The problem is, I tend to not pick them up. I’m not sure why. However, I just bought The Fourth Part of the World by Toby Lester, subtitled The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the Map That Gave America Its Name. I don’t usually spring for hardbacks, they’re too expensive and take up too much room on my shelves. I broke my rule for this one, though. I love history, I love maps, I love gorgeous antique style books with deckled edges. How could I resist? I'm eager to get at it.
5. Continue to build up my collection of Newbery award winners and read the ones that are new to me.
(Truth to be told, I'll probably re-read all my favorites as well. Fortunately I'm a fast reader.) I recently started adding to my personal Newbery winners collection. I want to build up a library of great young peoples books for my grandkids to read when they come to visit. (As my first grandchild isn’t born yet, I should have some time to work on it.) Or maybe I'll read them out loud. One of life’s best pleasures is reading wonderful books to those you love. As I’m collecting them, I’m realizing how many I never read, and I want to correct that.
BTW -- I’m making the same collection of Caldecott winners which are harder to find and thus more expensive. But it hardly takes any time at all to read them!
6. Blog twice a week.
This will be the hardest resolution to keep, as time slips by me. I always seem to be about 10 days behind everyone else, which is why I miss hair appointments, and church training meetings (oh, what a pity), and occasionally birthdays. Also, this blog is fun tro write, but sometimes pretty challenging. There are days when it's a lot easier to think about what I read than to write about it! I definitely want to keep it up, though. To be honest, I need this blog for me. I appreciate that so many folks have decided to follow it, and I hope I don’t waste your time, and I love comments and conversations, but really I write here for me -- my very own personal reading journal on-line for all to see. Go figure.
7. Keep track of how many books I read next year.
This is for my own enlightenment, not as part of a challenge or anything. I’m just curious to see when I read the most, and how many books it will really add up to. This will be hard, too, as I tend to put things off, thinking I’ll do it later. Then I forget, of course. (see #6)
So, this is my list of book resolutions for the new year. What about yours? I'd love to see them.
Read Well, Friend
Click this for link to reading classics.
This site even lists mystery series by character name. Let's see, who did write those books about...
Read Dickens for free.
All the Newbery and Caldecott books are here.