Before I post any goals or bookish resolutions for 2020, I should probably revisit my 2019 bookish goals and see how I did. Continue reading “2019 Reading Resolutions Update!”
I have some very specific goals for this year, so let’s get to it! Here are my 2019 reading goals/bookish resolutions!
Read at least 70 books. I read 90+ books this year and I even reset my Goodreads challenge from 75 to 90, but for some reason I feel like my reading is going to slow down next year? I don’t know why I’m getting this vibe, but in any case, I don’t want to stress out about my Goodreads challenge. I want to spend more time savoring books rather than speeding through them.
Read more adult high fantasy. This might seem like an odd goal for someone who is an avowed fantasy lover, but in looking over my books this year I noticed I only read two adult fantasy books, and they were both in the same series! I did this because one of my 2018 goals was to read outside my usual genres, which I did, but now I want to go back to my roots. I miss fantasy, and I think I’ve dipped my toe in other genres enough that I can settle back into my niches for a while.
Read series in order. Something I’ve been doing for the past couple of years is reading the first book in a fantasy series to get a broad sense of varied worlds and different writing styles. I did this specifically because I was trying to improve my writing. Unfortunately, my memory is crap, which means that I never finish series because I forget what happened in the first book and end up having to reread it. Therefore, for 2019, if a series is complete and I know I want to finish it, I’m going to commit to reading the books one after the other, or at least not leaving too large of a gap between the books.
Read at least one nonfiction book per month (and be less snobby about it). I really dropped the ball with nonfiction this year, and I’d like to fix that in 2019. I’ve already downloaded a bunch of nonfiction books from my library and have been adding a bunch to my TBR. As for the second bit of this goal, what I mean is I usually lean towards nonfiction published by a university press because I’m a snob about research and citations. But I’m going to try to read more commercial nonfiction in 2019.
Do NOT read more than one fiction book at once. I don’t know when I got into this habit of reading three or four books at a time, but I don’t think it does me any good. Instead what I’m going to try and do is read one fiction and one nonfiction book side by side, but never any more than that.
Read more classics. I’m making this goal very general and not committing to a particular number because I don’t know how successful I’ll be at this. I failed at this in 2018 because Jane Eyre took up nearly three-quarters of my year. I’m hoping I’ll fare a bit better at this in 2019 and knock some classic classics off my list. Of course I want to continue reading Victorian literature but I’d also like to dip my toes in to a Russian classic again.
Read three hard science-fiction books. I have a weird relationship with hard sci-fi. I almost never, ever reach for it, but when I do read it, I am absolutely obsessed with it. I think it intimidates me because the books tend to be really long and hard to get into, but they’re usually worth the effort. I don’t have anything specific in mind except for The Expanse series, but I’m open to recommendations!
Read for joy. This is kind of vague, so let me explain. Since I’ve started blogging, it’s hard not to sometimes read performatively. That is, I lean towards new releases or popular books that I know will get a lot of attention. I also shy away from rereading because I feel like that’s a waste of time. I don’t want to be like this next year. I want to read what I want to read, even if that’s weird, obscure 90s fantasy. I want to reread my faves. I want to read books because I’m savoring them, not because I feel like I have a responsibility to be reading them.
Hopefully I can accomplish all this. Next semester I’m going to be producing my Master’s thesis, which will probably take up a chunk of my time, so we’ll see how this goes. On the bright side, I’m going to be graduating in May, so I’ll have the WHOLE SUMMER to read a ton of books.
The title of this post is pretty self-explanatory. These are a bunch of backlist authors whose work I keep meaning to get to only I keep getting distracted by shiny new releases. This also works as today’s Top 5 Wednesday post!
I don’t know if Donoghue has a particular brand, but when I think of her I think of historical fiction and lesbians. I don’t know if her historical fiction actually features lesbians, but it at least features women, and I’ve heard her writing is quite beautiful. I read Kissing the Witch ages ago but I remember literally nothing about it, and I love the sound of her other work, so I’d like to get to her soon!
I literally own every single thing Sarah Waters has ever written and yet I’ve only ever read a single book by her: Tipping the Velvet. I really enjoyed Tipping the Velvet, so I’m not sure why I’ve been hesitant to pick up another book by her! Her brand is Victorian Lesbians, which is right up my alley, so I definitely need to get to her work soon!
Nawal El Saadawi
El Saadawi is a very controversial Egyptian feminist known for both fiction and non-fiction. According to my mom, she’s controversial mainly because of her irreverence for religion and her dislike of the veil. She’s a seminal figure and as an Egyptian woman myself I really must read Nawal El Saadawi.
Leila Ahmed is another Egyptian-American feminist, though definitely not as notorious as El Saadawi. She’s also a scholar of Islam and taught at the Harvard Divinity School for a while. Women and Gender in Islam is thought to be a classic, seminal work on the topic of women in Islam. I read bits and pieces of it for a class in college and really enjoyed it, so I’d like to read the full work. And I own her autobiography, A Border Passage!
The Victorian Lady! Judith Flanders is a well-known scholar of Victorian England. I bought The Invention of Murder a few months ago and I’m super excited to read it! I think I’ve been putting a hold on all my Victorian nonfiction books because I keep thinking, what if I get the Fulbright I applied for? Then I’ll be getting a Master’s in Victorian Studies and will read all that stuff then. I find out in April whether I got it, so if I don’t, I guess I know what I’ll be reading for the rest of the year.
I read Inamorata years ago and adored it; it had so many tropes I love and it was one of the most atmospheric things I’ve ever read. Chance seems to revel in atmospheric historical fiction set mainly in the 19th-century that is also female-led. Her writing, from what I recall, is absolutely lovely, and I need to check out more of her work!
I loved Give Me Your Hand even though it was a really polarizing book. It seems like most of this author’s work is really low-rated on Goodreads, actually, but I loved the one book I read. I thought it was brilliantly written and so darkly intriguing. If her other work is anything like that I’m sure I’ll love it.