Happy New Year, everybody! Shots, Shots, Shots, Shots… just kidding. It’s more like bed, bed, bed, bed! In fact, Fro and I are writing this quick blog from the bed where breakfast was also had this morning, along with list making, and the finishing of my first book of the year, Calamity Leek.
I’m here to talk about my bookish journey for this year. Why not start this on the very first day. You know, goals and shit. I’ve broken my books for the year into five categories because what better use of your time than to make unneeded lists? My plan, thanks to Claire, is to read 52 books. And yes, I already submitted this number to the Goodreads deities and will be kicking myself in four months because I’m two books behind.
Anyway, my categories will have me reading with purpose and if I’m lucky, a little exhilaration. I believe this is just the kick I need to never be books behind, but instead be books ahead. Plus, I’m picking up a few audiobooks for my drives to work so those will add to my number. I feel like a middle school girl with a list of boys she’s kissed talking about “my number.”
The first category my books this year will fall under is my Word of the Year. I wrote about my journey to this word on Almost an Independent Clause. This is my “lifestyle” blog because that’s the term we’re using in the world at the moment. WAH.
This category will consist of books that will make me want to be more TEND(ER) because that’s my word/s of the year. I already have some names and titles for this list, but would LOVE to know recommendations in the comments that I can add to it. I especially need fiction titles.
- Rebecca Solnit titles, I’m starting with A Field Guide to Getting Lost
- Please Don’t Eat the Daises – Jean Kerr
- 20-Something, 20 Everything – Christine Hasser
- All things by Lynda Berry (I read Syllabus last year and it changed the way I taught).
- All things Anne Lamott because if anyone can make me shut up and write, it’s Anne Lamott.
- My Journey Through War and Peace – Melissa Bunch
I’ve been writing this blog for six years and I’ve only published one set of poems outside of it. My big dreams of working my way through an MFA are kind of, and really terrifyingly coming to fruition this year, at least on my part. I’ve started sitting down to write every single day, in a routine, in a notebook. I write, then type whatever I wrote and highlight the parts that move me outside of the poem and then I go to the next day. I haven’t quite figured out my revision process yet, but I’ve started pursuing writing daily, sometimes multiple times a day. And I’m not talking about blog writing, but writing. Poetry and essays. I had a good cry about all of this several times last month. It’s scary when you decide to go for your dreams, I get why so many people don’t. But this leads me to having a category on writing.
So here’s my list so far for that:
- A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
- Essays of E.B. White
- Women Will Save the World – Carolina A Shearer
- The White Album – Joan Didion
- George Orwell’s all the things
- Uprooted: An Anthology
- Annie Dillard all the things
- Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation by Tom Bissel
- Kurt Vonnegut all the things
- Aldous Huxley Essays
- The Captive Mind by Czeslaw Milosz
- First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung
- I Feel Bad About My Neck – Ephron
- Mary Karr all the things
- The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison
Funny thing is that people have already introduced me to a lot of these books, but I have just neglected them to some dust corner of a bookshelf, or book pile near a chair in the house. Seth has sent me First They Killed My Father and my Mom has purchased a lot of these books for me over the years. I could write a whole blog on how and when and why people come to the books that they do, but that would be another time.
This is where you come in lovely people of the blogging community. My best friend Nat gives no shortness of YA reads for me, but I think it’s only right that I take a bunch of recommendations from all the readers that I love and trust, and I start damn reading them. And I’m not talking about the books that we see everywhere, all flashy, across Instagram stories, but the ones that moved your soul. The ones that linger or stayed with you for months afterwards. I want those.
The Anti-library: because I own probably over 1,000 books and because like Umberto Eco, I believe it’s more valuable to own more books you’ve never read. So, I’m dedicating my time to reading some of those. I need to be a little more Belle on the library ladder if you know what I mean.
So, this category is the last and stems from my desperate Google search for a children’s book that I saw in Quail Ridge Books months ago. BJ was in the middle of checking out and I stepped into the children’s section for a little feel good moment and came straight to this book. It’s called (and don’t laugh because it’s ironic) Child of Books. We were going to be late for trivia if I waited in line so I took pictures of the pages and thought about that book for months. For Christmas I got an Amazon gift card and I purchased that book in the haul because it spoke to me. My Mom always talks about art speaking to her and that’s why she can’t buy art for my house, but that’s the way some books come calling. I don’t make a habit of reading children’s books, although I probably should because they’re pure magic and I found 298,734 more that I wanted to read on Amazon last night while trying to find the name and title of this children’s book, but I don’t. So, there’s a splurge and a reason for this category.
Let’s be honest, guys. I can make any book fit into any of these categories, but I want to have them categorized because I need that purpose for my reading. How do you organize your reading? Is it just based on whatever you come to in the bookstore? Or maybe you have dedicated yourself to no longer shopping for books because you’ll read exactly what’s on the shelf at home. Whatever it is, share below! I’m always flexible and you may make me change my ways.