Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Resolutions 2012

Plans for 2012

Last year I managed to kickstart my reading by setting myself a target of reading 100 books for the year. I made 85 before I had to resort to the works of Roger Ackroyd in order to get over the line.

This year I have been trying to think of a slightly different set of resolutions but had only really decided on reading In Remembrance of Things Past by January 1st. That and a reread of The Savage Detectives for the group read hosted by Rise and Richard. I was intending to try and read the Proust in January but the pace I'm setting means that's not a possibility. Also I'll have to take a break to read The Savage Detectives after I finish the first volume - Swann's Way.

Rather than pick a number what I have done this year is clear a shelf and then just filled it with the books I want to read this year. I have picked some of the longer books that have been sitting looking at me for a while, like the Proust.

I may add to the pile over the year but my focus is going to be on finishing it and I will use the list on this post to keep an online record of my success (or otherwise).

I also intend reading some more short stories and participating in the Irish Short Story Week at The Reading Life. It will give me a chance to write about some of my favourite stories and discover some new ones.

I have also chosen some from the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list to keep me heading towards the distant finishing line. One other thing it has done is given me a clear visual idea of how little impact a years reading makes on the piles of unread books on my shelves. However it is good to have such a wide choice. Here is the list of books.

1. In Remembrance of Things Past - Marcel Proust (12 volume set - my copy, 2nd hand has a calculation of the pages in the full set inked onto the back page - 4317 pages) Vols 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
2. The Savage Detectives - Roberto Bolano
3. The Infinities - John Banville
4. Possession - A.S. Byatt
5. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
6. In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
7. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
8. When the Lights Went Out - Andy Beckett
9. Perdido Street Station - China Mieville
10. Elizabeth Alone - William Trevor
11. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
12. In Search of Klingsor - Jorge Volpi
13. Vanity Fair - W.M. Thackeray
14. The Museum of Innocence - Orhan Pamuk
15. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
16. I'm Not Scared - Niccolo Ammaniti
17. The Corrections - Johnathan Frantzen
18. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
19. The Mulching of America - Harry Crews
20. The Unbelonging - Joan Riley
21. Pilgermann - Russell Hoban (Reread)
22. Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami
23. Carpenter's Gothic - William Gaddis
24. The Inheritace of Loss - Kiran Desai
25. Room - Emma Donoghue
26. Brooklyn - Colm Tóibín
27. Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
28. Soul Mountain - Gao Xinjian
29. The Pale King - David Foster Wallace
30. Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
31. The Go Away Bird - Muriel Spark
32. Needle in the Groove - Jeff Noon
33. Jacob's Room - Virginia Woolf
34. White Teeth - Zadie Smith
35. Atonement - Ian McEwan
36. Cry Salty Tears - Dinah O'Dowd
37. Master and Commander - Patrick O'Brian

Well, I better stop blogging and do some reading if I'm to make any headway.

To a great years reading!

Reading OFF LIST
1. Something Special - Iris Murdoch
2. Robinson - Muriel Spark
3. The Springs of Affection - Maeve Brennan
4. Travels in the Scriptorium - Paul Auster
5. We, The Drowned - Carsten Jensen
6. Harriet Said - Beryl Bainbridge
7. A Brief Life - Juan Carlos Onetti
8. Bartleby & Co - Enrique Vila-Matas
9. Drown - Junot Diaz
10. Jakob Van Gunten - Robert Wasler
11. Dark Lies the Island - Kevin Barry
12. Hunger - Knut Hamsun
13. Hawthorn and Child - Keith Ridgway
14. Group Portrait with Lady Heinrich Böll
15. The Left Handed Woman - Peter Handke
16. There are Little Kingdoms - Kevin Barry


  1. Seamus,
    Who translated the Proust? I could never get past the first page.


  2. It is translated by C. Scott Moncrieff.(Final volume by Andreas Mayor) Might I say that I was thinking that Proustian might be replaced by Prousty as I found it all a bit precious early doors (to use a famously Proustian footie expression) but it grows in import and incisiveness as it goes on. (I'm around 350 pages into it at this stage).