I am changing a couple of my reading habits this year. I am going to keep a reading journal for the first year ever. Every year I say I am, this year I am. I always regret that I can't remember what I read in a given year. I want to keep a record of that. Books are important to me, this is a way of marking that importance in some way.
I am also stopping my holds at the library until I have read the books in my house that I want to read. This is huge for me, as my holds list is usually maxed out. But I fall victim to putting off reading the books I own because the library books are on a deadline. This creates a never-ending cycle of having some really good books languish in my book basket by my bed, while pop fiction books get read and returned again and again. This year I am trying to read books that will make me a better writer by reading great writers. And so, the list:
1. All of Anne Tyler's works starting with the book she considers her best, Dinner At The Homesick Restaurant. (yes, that's more than ten but did you really want me to just list ten of her titles?? didn't think so) I see her referenced as inspirational to a lot of writers, so I figured I'd work my way through her body of work. Incidentally, I find it extremely comforting that she didn't feel she'd hit her stride as a writer til her 9th book. Gives me great hope that maybe... just maybe... I will feel like I've produced something good in another 7 books. :)
2. Pat Conroy's Prince of Tides, Beach Music, and South of Broad. I read Prince of Tides in 1988 and haven't read the other two. It's time, especially considering I am going to get to meet him at this in just a few weeks!
3. Ann Voskamp's 1000 Gifts. I plan to read that this month and then begin logging my own 1000 gifts. (Read most of it in the fall but want to read it slowly and take it all in this time... it's one of those kinds of books.) This book will be a whole post unto itself in the near future. Perhaps the dear Ann will visit with us here and talk about this amazing book.
4. The Truth That Tells A Lie by John Dufresne
5. The Anatomy of Story by John Truby
6. Writing The Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass
7. Deep and Wide by Susan May Warren
8. The Hero's Journey by Michael Hauge (this is actually a dvd but I am including it)
(#4-8 are all writing books)
9. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. This was available at Books Alive that I went to back in November. I picked it up because it talks about Hemingway in Paris. I can't wait to dive into it. I got an advanced copy but it comes out in February. I love Hemingway and I still count A Farewell To Arms as one of my all-time faves.
10. TBD-- leaving a spot for that one that sneaks in and demands to be attended to.
I know I will read a lot more than ten books this year. These are just the ones at the top of my list right now. What about you? What's on your top ten list of books to read this year?