My New Year’s resolution this year was to read more current publications: in my effort to catch up on my backlist, I had started neglecting books that were new! and exciting! and that everyone was talking about!
I hate not being able to take part in conversations, especially ones about books.
The other motivator, and really, the event that formed my resolution in the first place, was that when the Tournament of Books list came out for 2012, I hadn’t read a single book. I was embarrassed. That wasn’t going to happen again.
And so I resolved to read at least one current publication each month, even if that meant I had to buy (gasp) a hardcover. (I loathe reading hardcovers, but that is an entirely different conversation.) This year the 2013 list for the Tournament of Books was announced and I am proud to say that I have read 4 of the 15 finalists (Arcadia by Lauren Groff; Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter; The Fault in our Stars by John Green; Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn), and 1 of the 3 selections for the pre-tournament play-offs (Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain). 25% might not be fabulous, but it’s a lot more than last year. If you go by the more inclusive (duh) Long List, then I’ve read 11 of 61 books; the finalists, plus Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt; Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon; The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle; Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan; and The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. Nine more books were added to my TBR pile that had somehow slipped past all of my book radars.
So what else have I read that counted towards my 2012 resolution? I’m glad you asked. The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus; The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey; No One Is Here Except All of Us by Ramona Ausubel; Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander; Carry the One by Carol Anshaw; The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King; Objects of my Affection by Jill Smolinski; The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss; The Coldest Night by Robert Olmstead; Gold by Chris Cleave; The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani; Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed; The Serial Killer Whisperer by Pete Earley; Insurgent by Veronica Roth; Every Day by David Levithan; The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones; The Dog Stars by Peter Heller; Dare Me by Megan Abbott; Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone, by Stefan Kiesbye; A Partial History of Lost Causes by Jennifer Dubois; Home by Toni Morrison; Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead; When It Happens to You by Molly Ringwald; The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan; The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe; The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson; Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Shadow of Rocky Flats by Kristen Iversen; and The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets by Kathleen Alcott.
That makes a total of 38 books that were published this year. So, a little better than the grand total of 3 books that I read last year. And, because I’m geektastic like that, I went back and read 7 of last year’s Tournament of Books finalists, too. (Open City, The Sisters Brothers, 1Q84, The Marriage Plot, The Tiger’s Wife, Salvage the Bones and Sense of an Ending.)
Now, if only I could accomplish my weight loss resolutions as easily as I did the ones about reading…