Ten non-pressure bookish hopes for 2013

Friday, January 4, 2013


As usual, towards the end of 2012, I started thinking about what I want to do in 2013, from the bookish perspective - resolutions, challenges, reading projects. I love making resolutions, especially resolutions that involve making lists and plans and charts and notes. It is just fun spending some time and brain on making a list of books to read for a challenge.

Unfortunately, that's where the fun ends. Once the list is made, I get eye sores from having to peer at it to figure out my next read. It becomes homework. Or housework. Ever since I started doing challenges three years ago, I have done poorly on completing them. The only times I did do a reading project well was when it didn't involve schedules (been on three readalongs and failed in them) or lists (my failed attempts at reading Orange Prize winners). My only favorable statistic is that of reading double the number of books for a Graphic Novel challenge.


So rather than deciding on a huge list of things that I will stop doing from February, I figured I want to attempt doing some fun non-pressure bookish things:
  1. Read a really kickass mystery novel. I used to love reading mysteries at one point. Until I started cracking the whodunits before the halfway page. (The killer is either the most villainous character or the least.) I know many of you love mysteries - I would love to get some great recommendations that will help me read more of this genre. I don't mind if it's a little silly or very funny. I would prefer more mystery and less romance. (Updated May 8: Read The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters)
  2. Participate in a book club read. There are a couple of online book clubs I belong to and who also read really awesome books each month. Sadly, I rarely get the time to take part in one, and I hope to change that this year. (Updated Jan 17: Read The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton for my online book club)
  3. Read at least one chunkster (900+ pages). I kind of already feel that this one will go on the failed list. Because of my typically short reading sessions, reading a chunkster would take me forever - last thing I want to do unless I plan to dive into a rut. That being said, I like the idea of spending a year on a book - on that kind of book, and I should probably not do a readalong to read it.
  4. Do a readalong. But not a chunkster readalong. Are there non-chunkster readalongs? (The Goldfinch readalong)
  5. Be a reader at a readathon. 'Nuff said. (Updated Aug 18: Participated in the Dog Days of Summer Readathon)
  6. Read a book from an African/Latin American/Asian country I have never read about (written by an author from that country itself). I had occasionally entertained the idea of spending a year reading a book from a different country each time. I'm still eager to do it but maybe not now. (The Reluctant Fundamentalist in Pakistan)
  7. Read The Fault in our Stars. Why did everyone rave about this one last year? (Updated Feb 14: Finally read it. Made me cry way too much but at least it wasn't a sappy pitiful book as some books about illnesses can be.)
  8. Do not read Fifty Shades of Grey. I think this one will be easy.
  9. Finish rereading the Harry Potter series. You would assume that this should be a piece of cake. But for some unfathomable reason, I keep getting stalled in the second book. O! heir of Slytherin, please let me get past your Chamber soon.
  10. Feel free to ditch any or all of the above "non-pressure" things at any time. 

31 comments:

Sam_TinyLibrary said...

I love the last one.
I think reading freely is under-rated, and I say that even though I've just signed up for a year long readalong of War and Peace!

Athira / Aths said...

There is something exciting about joining challenges and readalongs. I love them! I just don't seem to do well on them.

bermudaonion(Kathy) said...

I'm the same way. Once I "vow" to read a book, I never seem to get to it. Good luck with your terrific goals!

Athira / Aths said...

Thanks! I hope I can do some of these without feeling pressured to do them.

Tina Reed said...

I am hosting a read-along for The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle in April. It's 600 pages. Not quite a chunkster. We'll be reading it over 6 weeks. I am going to post the sign-up early so people can prepare for the year. If interested, it's a no-stress read-along. No mandatory posts, etc.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

I'm with you on 7. I just bought the audio.

Athira / Aths said...

That would be perfect! 600 pages is doable over 6 weeks. I'll mostly try to participate. :)

Athira / Aths said...

Woot! I cannot wait to read it either! I'll be looking for your thoughts.

StephTheBookworm said...

The Fault in Our Stars... yay! I loved it!

Athira / Aths said...

Everyone seems to be loving it! I need to see what it's about.

softdrink said...

#8 made me laugh. It's always good to have achievable goals. ;-)

Athira / Aths said...

#8 is totally achievable, ha! Unless someone threatens me with dire consequences, lol.

Debbie Rodgers @Exurbanis said...

Yeah - what is it about The Fault in Our Stars? It seems everybody has it on their year-end list. I'll have to read it too. :-)

Care said...

scoff! 600 pages IS a chunkster! boo hiss. (no offense to the lovely Miss Ti)

Care said...

go get The Great Gatsby (the audio is only 5 hours!) I'm 40 minutes in and loving it. I hope to pick up the book at library today to read along and have for writing down the beautiful passages... :D

Quirky BookandFilmBuff said...

This is a wonderful list! And I thought The Fault In Our Stars was a beautiful novel, though it's a tear-jerker.

Athira / Aths said...

It's so tempting to read a book when everyone is raving about it. But I've ended up being disappointed by those books in the end because of high expectations. I hope it won't happen to this book.

Athira / Aths said...

I'm so glad that book is short! Plus the couple of pages I read were beautiful as well. I can't wait to read your review!

Athira / Aths said...

The tear jerker part is what is worrying me. We just had a cancer blow in the family last year so I'm not sure how easy it will be to read it.

Helen Murdoch said...

I love that you are giving yourself these 10 goals and that you can ditch them if necessary. I enjoyed the Laurie King mysteries (not the Sherlock Holmes ones) and Patricia Cornwell is good too. Definitely get yourself past the second Harry Potter!

Athira / Aths said...

Thank you for those recommendations! Did you mean the Laurie King series that has something to do with the bee? I have the tenth book at home, but I never tried it yet.

Helen Murdoch said...

No, the bee books are the Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell books. I meant the Kate Martinelli books, set in San Francisco, which are more traditional police/detective books

Athira / Aths said...

Oh that's great. I didn't much fancy the bee books much. I'll check out the other books - I prefer the more conventional detective mysteries.

Ryan Stonge said...

If you want to do a chunky book but don't want to spend a lot of time reading it, I recommend A Game of Thrones. You'll blast through it.

Athira / Aths said...

I happen to have it on my shelf too! I'm glad it's a breezy enough read for a chunkster, so I should probably try that one.

christa @ mental foodie said...

LOL at #8. I did like The Fault in Our Stars. In top 10, but not my favorite two, probably because it was YA and I am more of an adult than YA reader for the most part. For #1, I susggested The Devotion of Suspect X. It is a bit different to the typical who dunnit (I have the same problem as you - that sometimes it's too easy to figure out what is or isn't the bad guy) as you know from the beginning what happened... but the ending really touched me.

Athira / Aths said...

I don't usually like YA much either, so I read very little of it, but I hope John Green works. I do have Suspect X on my list but forgot all about it. I'll look for it - thanks for suggesting! :)

Lisa Sheppard said...

I love these!

Athira / Aths said...

Thanks! :)

Sue said...

For #6 I have some recommendations for African books by African authors:

Kenya: Try something by Ngugi wa Thiong'o Kenya's most famous author. He's written Novels like "The River Between", "The Wizard of the Crow" and most recently his memoirs--in 2 installments: "Dreams in a time of war" and "In the house of the interpreter". I read " The River Between" and enjoyed it, it's a popular setbook for schools.
Wangari Maathai:1st African woman to win Nobel Peace Prize, her memoir "Unbowed", found it interesting and it's a quick read.

South Africa: Nadine Gordimer: "The Pickup", took a while to get used to her style but good book.

Andre Brink: "A Dry White Season" set during apartheid, really enjoyed it even though it makes you go through a whole range of emotions. He has a new one out called "Philida"

Nigeria: Chimamanda Adichie: "The Thing around your neck"-Short stories, liked this alot and I'm not even a big reader of short stories! "Purple Hibiscus" is another one I read,also good and "Half of a Yellow Sun" which I am yet to read,quite popular.

Bonus: Audrey Schulman (not African): "Three Weeks in December" set in Rwanda & Kenya, part historical, part contemporary story. Great read!

Athira / Aths said...

Thank you so much for those awesome recommendations! I will be checking out each book. :)