Happy New Year, folks!
What a year 2018 was! (I don’t know what it was) But maybe I’ll save my chitchat about the new year and the last one for another blog-post. You didn’t think you could get away from that one clichéd post, did you? Good. We can’t really tell what this year is going to bring us, can we? We’re going to laugh and cry, make terrible mistakes in our personal and professional lives as individuals and as a collective race. There are going to be movies (new ones as well as endless reboots) to look forward to infinite books are going to be written and released. People will make history and there will be a transition of powers (or not?) and we’ll look back and cringe at the kind of music we used to like (or not?) or the way we used to text (or nt?). We’ll start liking different colours and make important decisions. One of them is to work relentlessly on designing a life you’ve always wanted to live. Did I just make that decision for you? I think I did. I run this town. And your town, Wherever you’re from. I was kidding (or was I?). I was intending for this post to be the reading challenge for January 2019 but as you can see, the leap just refused to be smooth. I was going to talk about it after I said there are going to be endless books written but then I couldn’t stop myself.
So, reading. New year resolutions are so 2010, right? (Oh my goodness, stop me). Wrong. Wrong because the first of January marks the beginning of something new and there is no better motivation than new beginnings. It is a human construct (aided by this-something called the revolution of our planet around the sun) but we should really just try to make the best of it. One of my resolutions is to read more. And if you’re here, you like to read, too (or not. Okay, I’ll stop doing that). Let me know in the comments below what your reading list for this month looks like. But if you’re anything like me, you’ve looked at the abundance of books there is on this planet and never could decide where to begin. And so, I’ve come up with a set of categories. You can choose some or all of them to pick out books from this month:
1. An author whose work you want to finish reading this year:
Don’t we all have that one author we absolutely admire? Me? I’ve read some books and have wanted to read all the works ever penned down by these geniuses of human beings (Oscar Wilde, Haruki Murakami, Khaled Hosseini…author Y, author Z). But then I’d look at the rest of my bookshelf and wonder what if I get stuck on this one style? And what when I’m done with that author? To be pragmatic, I know it will change me as a person and the results will be more positive than negative. But we’ve been there. Be it books, a series or movies, we can’t stop ourselves from indulging but we don’t want to say goodbye. The solution? Evenly distribute the works through the year. That way, I can read other works and still take my time with this one author. And my author for the year is…
*rubs palms together*
*spreads arms out wide*
Jane Austen. I love her take on the pursuit of what I call social currency and what her heroines do for it and learn from it. There is irony, realism and biting sarcasm in her work. I’ve already read Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey and it has made me want to read her first book- Sense and Sensibility. You can pick up an author you’ve always loved. Start with one book this month. What better way to start the year than to read a book you know you’re going to love? The certainty is delightful. If you don’t want to choose an author, pick a genre. Now I know reading every single book written on a genre cannot be read in a year, you can simply decide to read as many books as you can that fall under it.
2. A book from the period of Romanticism:
You can’t help but love this movement. Romanticism found roots in the concept of sensibility and idealism over structure and materialism; in Potential beauty of nature and mystical experiences. If you are not comfortable reading books from this era, feel free to skip to the next category or even better, try to explore other areas of art from this period- poetry, music, paintings. There’s a lot to learn! For myself, I chose to read Moby Dick by Herman Melville. I have always come across mixed opinions about Herman Melville and I decided to begin my year with Moby Dick. If you’re up for this challenge and have no idea where to begin, take a look at the list of popular authors from the Romantic period:
3. Female authors who published their work under male pseudonyms:
This is such an interesting category. For various reasons, there have been women that used to publish their work under a different name. Be it the basic need for anonymity or to have their work accepted for publication at all (because it helped to be a man in the world of literature), there are priceless works accredited to men that have actually been written by women. For this category, I choose To Kill a Mockingbird. Yes, Harper Lee’s full name is Nelle Harper Lee. Some other women that have used a male pseudonym are:
4. Children’s Books:
There’s a lot we can learn from books that are meant for children. I decided to read Charlotte’s Web by E. B White and if I have the time, I’m going to revisit my childhood by reading Enid Blyton books. Under this category, you can look up remarkable children’s books that are actually meant for everyone or just revisit your favourite books as children. It shouldn’t take long and you never know what you might gain from them. Here’s a list you can go through if you’re wondering where to start.
5. Start a series:
Yes, start a series this month. Go for anything you’ve always wanted to read or have heard a lot about. Maybe these are ones you think it’s too late for you to read or ones everybody is talking about that you haven’t read yet (I haven’t read A Game of Thrones). I plan to start the Lord Of The Rings series by J. R. R. Tolkien. I read the Hobbit a year ago and then a reading slack hit me. But I hope to finish the series by March (or sooner). Here are some suggestions you might want to consider:
And that’s my TBR for January, you guys. Let me know what you guys plan to read if you take up the challenge and Happy Reading!