Wednesday, January 26, 2022

So Many Choices, Where Do I Start? New Year's Reading Resolution 3

Photo Credits:  Lyn Fenwick
Like Thomas Jefferson, "I cannot live without my books."  My New Year's Resolution should be--and is to some extent--"I resolve to read books in my library that I have not made time to read."  Some of you know that I collect illustrated children's books, and I have read most of those.  There are still a few classic books in that collection that I have not read.  Reading those classics is at the top of my list.  I love history, and I have particularly collected books by and about American presidents.  For some surprising reason, I am also interested in W.W. I, and there are a few books of that category that I have not read.  My New Year's Resolution is to spend more time reading and less time wasted, and even if I keep that resolution, I am sure I will have unread books as 2022 ends.

When I made my Millenium List, I still believed that if I carefully selected a book as worthy of reading, I should finish it.  I no longer adhere to that creed.  Life is too short to read every great book, and it is not my responsibility to every author to finish their book!  However, it is my responsibility to search out wonderful books and try to read as many of them as I can.

A good place to start is with book lists prepared by serious readers, book sellers, publishers, and friends whose reading acumen you respect.  The internet has many book lists that are easily available.  For example, Amazon has a list titled "100 Books to Read in a Lifetime" complied by their editors.  Of course, they would like for you to buy those books from Amazon, but there is no requirement that you do.  They also have lists for specific types of books, such as Childrens, Mysteries, Biographies & Memoirs, and more.

If you prefer novels, "Time" has a list prepared by Critics Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo with what they consider the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923.  They list the books alphabetically by title, rather than ranking them from best to "barely made it on the list."  Modern Library has a list titled 100 Best Novels, which is a 'ranking' list.  Good Reads is another source with more current and popular rankings.

Obviously, I lean heavily on the classics that have retained their popularity longer than a few years, but there are wonderful books being published all the time.  I also tend to read all the books written by my favorite authors, once I become a fan.  It is no secret that I have been a Willa Cather fan since I sneaked a book out of a box of books my brother brought home from college when I was eight.  It was "My Antonia," and I also favor "O Pioneers," and "One of Ours," although they are not necessarily the ones critics rank highest.  I also like Barbara Kingsolver, and I have read all of her books. The first months of Covid I decided to read all of the "Harry Potter" books chronologically.  That was great fun.

Whether you join a Book Club, decide to read Children's Classics to your children, select a particular historic period or a favorite author to read everything that author has written, I hope you consider making your New Year's Resolution for 2022 a commitment a read more books.  I'd love to hear from you to learn what you are reading!  I am just finishing "If, The Untold Story of Kipling's American Years," so I think I will take a second look at my beautiful copy of "The Jungle Book," illustrated and signed by Robert Ingpen, and another publication of that book illustrated by Don Daily.

Next week I will share a memory of my favorite author.   


The Blog Fodder said...

Newspapers usually have a list of the "100 best etc..." I've usually read a dozen of them. My son usually about 70 of them. He is far more of a thinking person so the heavy novels appeal to him.
I should check out a few of the lists you have suggested and see how I do.

The Blog Fodder said...

Ok, I checked some lists: Amazon 11/100; Penguin Classics 18/100; Discovery 23/100; Goodreads 25/100; BBC 21/100; BBC 25/500.
Nothing to write home about.