08 February 2009

2009 Reading Objectives

Maybe February seems late to start setting year-end objectives, but January was something of a mind-numbing blur of feeling miserable.  I did, however, get in a book for the month and therefore have kept my hopeful quota of a minimum of one per month.  In case you missed my review of it, I read Ronald Reagan's An American Life: The Autobiography.  I hadn't planned on reading any more political non-fiction for the time being, but upon returning American Life to the library I discovered James A. Baker III's "Work Hard, Study...And Keep out of Politics!" - Adventures and Lessons Learned from an Unexpected Public Life.  Baker served, among other positions, as President George H.W. Bush's Secretary of State.  Since that President Bush has so far only published a collection of letters and has not issued a memoirs, it seemed like a natural extension of the Reagan-era reading that got me through January.

Anyway, I've reviewed some things and have some reading objectives for the years.  Here goes:
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs's Barsoom series - A friend lent me his old paperback of A Princess of Mars and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Since Pixar is going to be adapting this in a couple of years, it seems prudent to read the source material now.
  • Joe Torre's The Yankee Years - I own and have read his first two books, and so I look forward to reading this one.
  • Books upon which movies I like are based - Sideways by Rex Pickett, Thank You for Smoking by Christopher Buckley and Dream Story by Arthur Schnitzler (Eyes Wide Shut was based on this) are at the top of the list, but there are many, many others.
  • Terry Moore's Strangers in Paradise comic series - I own the second volume, I Dream of You, and enjoyed it.  It'll be this year's Bone.
  • The Works of Alan Moore - It seems that if a film adaptation of Watchmen can finally come out, the least I can do is read the original comic.  And then, V for Vendetta, From Hell, the DC Universe Stories of Alan Moore collection and the remainder of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  And if I ever read Lost Girls, you can bet I won't be admitting it in this blog.
  • P.G. Wodehouse's "Jeeves" stories - Introduced to me by B.J. Harrison in his outstanding Classic Tales Podcast series, these are absolutely delightful.  Apparently, there was also a British TV series based on these in the 1990s starring Hugh Laurie, and that's at the top of my Netflix rental queue.
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories - Because it seems high time I read a standard like these.
  • Ian Fleming's The Man with the Golden Gun - It will be bittersweet indeed to read the penultimate Fleming-penned Bond book when I get to my annual allowance of this series.
  • More John le Carre novels.  I last read the masterpiece, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, and am up to The Looking Glass War.
  • Art Spiegelman's Maus II: And Here My Troubles Began - I checked out the first volume from the library last year and was so engrossed by it I read it all in one night.
  • Elie Weisel's Night - because my new aunt lent it to me, thinking I would appreciate it.
  • Peter O'Toole's Loitering with Intent: The Apprentice - I found the first volume for a quarter at Half Price Books and would love to read the second half of this engaging, if dis-organized, autobiography.
  • At least something by David McCullough.  I mean, the guy is pretty much the American historian as far as mass market publications go, anyway.  It seems like my degree won't be final until I've at least read something by the guy.
Note that, while these are all objectives, I will consider them to have been met merely by beginning each of them.  I do not expect to read entire series of books this year alone, but would rather prefer to simply get some headway into them.

1 comment:

  1. How have I done so far? Well, it's 20 March and so far I've already managed to read "Watchmen" by Alan Moore, and the basis of three of my favorite movies. So, that's two out of thirteen different goals.
    I have actually seen fit to add two more goals:

    * The books I already own. I've got some titles I have literally had for a decade or more and haven't gotten to yet. It's high time I got to some of these things.

    * Books about the Reagan presidency, especially first-hand accounts. Granted, I've already read two this year so this seems a bit like cheating. Even as a self-identified liberal, I can't help but find that era fascinating. I have recently picked up Ed Morris's and Ollie North's books, and so I won't count Mr. Reagan's or Jim Baker's books toward this goal.