Tuesday, January 1, 2013
New Year Reading Resolutions by Andy Scheer
What books should I read in the new year?
My resolution for the next fifty-two weeks includes not only some authors who are new to me, but also some genres toward which I don't gravitate.
I got the idea from author Bob Hostetler, with a boost from Stephen King.
Until recently I've avoiding anything by King, except for his wonderful craft book, On Writing. With apologies to Seatbelt Suspense author Brandilyn Collins, I'm just not cut out for scarey stories. But late this summer I opened King's 11/22/63 and read it straight through—twice.
Likewise I'd never read any of John Grisham's legal thrillers. But when Sports Illustrated printed an excerpt of a Grisham baseball novel, I knew I had to read Calico Joe. Now I'm thinking of searching my shelves for my mass paperback copy of The Testament.
Years ago at a writers conference Bob Hostetler described how each January he devises an annual reading plan—one that charts a course for fifty to seventy books that span a range of genres, forms, and authors.
I'm not ready to schedule my reading so specifically. I want to be open to serendipitous discoveries. But left to my own desires, I'd stick to familiar paths:
British Navy historicals (e.g.: Patrick O'Brian )
Ancient Rome detective stories (e.g.: Lindsey Davis)
amateur detectives (Aaron Elkins et. al.)
action stories by Clive Cussler and his co-writers
nonfiction travel accounts (e.g.: Paul Thereoux)
World War II histories
I'm not sure I'm ready for a romance novel. And I'll pass on political rants. Otherwise, I'm open to suggestions. If you've recently read something you just can't stop talking about, tell me too.