I Vow to Read __________: My New Year's Author(s) Resolution

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I Vow to Read __________: My New Year's Author(s) Resolution

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Editat: des. 29, 2015, 7:30pm

I'm the last person to start this topic because I've never been known to have made a single New Year's Resolution of any kind in my life. Is there a new trick in this old dog? Not making any promises here, but I'm planning to read as many new-to-me authors as possible this year.

I'm calling 2016 The Year of Reading Uncomfortably. Which means not going to comfortable old friends who I know I will get a reliable good read from. Maybe with the exception of Alexander McCall Smith whose books are my favorite with which to kick off a reading year. The Handsome Man's Deluxe Cafe, I think for January 2016.

Otherwise, I've collected a mini-library of new-to-me authors. Such as. . .

Han Kang
Junichiro Tanizaki
Willem Elsschot
Adam Foulds
Claire Messud
Pramoedya Ananta Toer
Aline Ohanesian
Graeme Simison
Naguib Mafouz
Emily Eden
Amanda Coplin
Geoffrey Hope Gibson

. . .that's one new author for each month.

This isn't intended as a formal challenge like those so popular on LT. I'm not self-disciplined enough to adhere to a schedule; nor am I able to look ahead and plan a reading year because I'm a magpie when it comes to books; finally, I wouldn't enjoy cracking the whip nor reporting in on others or my own progress -- or lack of it.

But if one of you would like to administer such a challenge, please feel free to do so. There are many more readers of Greater Character than I who will salivate over accomplishing the goal of reading at least 12 new-to-them authors in 2016. Nudge. Nudge.

This topic is for you to explore your own yearnings to read new authors and share them with us. Who have you been afraid of and put off approaching lo these many years? Dostoevsky, that's who! And I'm still scared stiff. Who have you heard about that's suddenly all the rage, but haven't read yet? Karl Ove Knausgård is the man. My LT Secret Santa gifted me My Struggle (the title itself is scarily reminiscent of another book by that name).

You'll have your own reasons for selecting certain authors, dead or alive. Please give us their names and the reason why you're resolved to tackle this writer for the first time. If you know, also include the title of their work you've chosen, too. If nothing else, we may end up with superb reading suggestions that will carry us over the bumps and ruts in the road ahead to New Year's Day, 2017.

{Insert motivational quotation here.}
Big results require big ambitions.

des. 29, 2015, 4:58pm

Well, since I got this list from AbeBooks in the mail today -


I've already ordered Fifteen Dogs. So put André Alexis on my new to me list.
I'm not too ambitious about my reading any more.

Editat: des. 29, 2015, 7:41pm

>2 2wonderY:

Followed your link -- UNFAIR! I want them all. You chose only one? I admire your spine.

What are you going to read the other 11 months? More new-to-you authors, I hope.

des. 30, 2015, 7:34am

Oh, well, I put the link up here so that I could go back and examine it again at leisure.

But I can't commit to a PLAN. My new-to-me author list grows from hanging out on LT. Someone praises and I go and sample. This has been a particularly good year finding authors for me. Perhaps I'll list those somewhere today.

des. 30, 2015, 12:12pm

There are at least 12 new-to-me authors on my TBR Challenge so, I guess those would fit this question. My thread is here. 1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 14, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24 are all new, Austen I read Pride & Prejudice & Zombies so I have half read her, and I'm not sure if I've read other Herberts or no.

des. 30, 2015, 6:00pm

>5 .Monkey.:
You have tackled "The Russian D" and have my deep admiration. However, just because you have a g'ma who loves you doesn't mean you have to read "Code." Maybe the first and last chs. will do? I lasted less than 50pp.

An excellent book about daVinci's symbols and "codes" that appear in The Last Supper with plenty to say about church politics, religious dissenters, and the Vatican States is The Secret Supper by Javier Sierra. I reviewed it here. I would have given it more stars, except I read lots of Eco and he's the master of this type fiction.

Good for you: 12 new authors to read in '16. Wish you good luck because your list is so ambitious. Far more difficult and demanding a list than I'd dare tackle in one year.

des. 31, 2015, 3:39am

Lol yep I've read a couple Dostoevsky, he's very enjoyable. And no, I don't have to read Da Vinci just because my stepmother insisted, but it's the polite thing to do and it'll be a very fast read, so eh. Besides, then I will be able to criticize it legitimately. :P

It's only the few doorstoppers that'll make me work a bit, but I'm pretty positive Three Musketeers and Demons, at the least, won't take me especially long to get through, it's just Les Mis and possibly Pickwick Papers that may be a bit slower going. But if I find myself being bogged down a little I will just set smaller goals within them, for every X pages of other things I read I will read Y pages of those, and the like. :)

Editat: des. 31, 2015, 6:56am

>1 Limelite: Dostoevsky, that's who! And I'm still scared stiff.

Sorry! I just do not believe you (especially you) have not read him.

Do so at once, do not pass go, do not collect £200! :)

I vow to read more Nevil Shute in 2016 https://www.librarything.com/author/shutenevil

{Life is short and books are nice.}


Editat: des. 31, 2015, 6:06pm

>8 SpikeSix:

Sad but true. Tolstoy, yes. The Other Big D, no. I did watch an old B&W movie of "The Brothers." Does that count?

I have two problems with the little I know about Dosty:
1) He's all wrapped up in Orthodoxy and I am bored stiff by religious crises themes;
2) He's been so poorly translated that I'm unsure whose translations render him most faithfully. See here: The Translation Wars. And then, here: Dostoyevsky, With All the Music. Nearly 800 fricking pages!!

Maybe you know of a comic book version of "The Brothers"?

P.S. added: Why the ID change? New haircut? ;^)

des. 31, 2015, 7:45pm

>9 Limelite: Hee hee.. .. Just do as I did. Found 'em all battered on the shelf of the charity shop (3 hardback books), bought 'em for peanuts, took 'em home and hibernated till they were read. Wonderful, I just don't know or care who translated, they were great reads.

gen. 1, 2016, 11:40am

>9 Limelite:

You do yourself no favors not reading Dostoyevskii because of religious crises. As with all great writers he hides his characters religiousness in their attitudes and actions, not, as some less than stellar writers do, in reams of exposition.

As for translations, I have a few Pevear and Volokhonsky (P&V) translations, which are fine, and indeed preferred by the modern ear. However, if, like me, you feel the modern ear misses the possibilities of language through its never ending search for the perfect, stripped to the bone sentence then may I suggest my favorite Russian translator, Constance Garnett. I don't speak or read Russky so I don't know how true her translations are, but they somehow impart a nineteenth century feel to the language. From reading lots of nineteenth century English and American authors, I find her translations yield a prose more comfortable in company of other nineteenth century prose and less like the bare, stripped down late twentieth century sound of written language. I like my language like I like my women, with some meat on its bones.

gen. 1, 2016, 1:49pm

I cannot stand the snippets of the P&V translations I've seen, and their attitudes are downright awful; I will never read one of theirs. Garnett's weren't bad, the only problem with her is that she did a LOT and sped through things, so if she didn't know some word/phrase, she would simply leave that part out. Aside of that issue, her translations are pretty good. When doing my comparisons for Demons I found the Robert A Maguire translation looked most appealing.

gen. 1, 2016, 2:31pm

>11 geneg:

I am Hippocratic in this: First, do no harm.

Thanks for your advice, but there are so many non-frightening authors whose books are more than favors to me. They're gifts. I shall happily remain a Dostoevsky wimp. At least through 2016.

gen. 1, 2016, 2:55pm

>9 Limelite:

1) He's all wrapped up in Orthodoxy and I am bored stiff by religious crises themes;

What about if you recast them as existential crises themes?

I'm allergic to religion, but Dostoevsky is one of my big faves. I don't follow him all the way to Christ but I sure get the trouble that led him there.

Plus, he gives good plot. Stuff keeps happening and curious people do hair-raising things. A kid could read Dostoevsky enjoyably (I know because I did).

gen. 2, 2016, 5:13am

gen. 2, 2016, 1:00pm

>14 LolaWalser:

Where's the sugar in Dostoevsky to coat the huge bitter pill in Dostoevsky? Tolstoy, in spite of throwing heroines under locomotives and creating Orthodxically rigid husbands, offered me lots of sweetness and light when I read his masterpiece.

When you're scared off a certain writer, you're just plain chicken, "Cluck cluck!" I say.

>15 .Monkey.:

As for existential angst, eewwww! I don't dislike psychodramas as long as they're personal. Movement psychodrama I can't stand. The whole business of movement restlessness of the spirit stinks to my nostrils in the way the "Twinkie defense" stunk up the justice system a few decades ago.

Basically I'm a selectively intolerant reader. Phooey!

gen. 2, 2016, 2:20pm

>16 Limelite: "Where's the sugar in Dostoevsky to coat the huge bitter pill in Dostoevsky?"

I thought Alyosha's "Speech at the Stone" was pretty sweet.

gen. 2, 2016, 4:10pm

>17 cpg:

Uh-oh. I'm a poor native Hawaiian beset by missionaries of good intent who promise me Paradise, but who will ultimately give me smallpox.

Editat: gen. 2, 2016, 5:29pm

>18 Limelite: Don't believe everything the Nuns tell you ~~ ~~ ~~ ;o)

gen. 2, 2016, 5:50pm

>2 2wonderY: I read Fifteen Dogs and really liked it. I almost gave up in the beginng but I am glad I didn't.

I want to read more Canadian authors. In fact the author of 15 dogs is Canadian.

gen. 4, 2016, 12:21pm

In a season of good writing, I'm finding a lot here in these posts. (The posts themselves.) I'm honored to be in your company, y'all.

gen. 4, 2016, 3:48pm

>21 2wonderY:
I'm honored to be in your company, y'all.
Hear, hear! I am unanimous in that, too.

gen. 15, 2016, 11:18am

Now that's been said, it's safe for my two cents to appear among whatever dreck follows.

I'm not big on resolutions but I'm benefiting from the various challenge threads - one in particular, I should say, the TBR Challenge, since it best suits my reading speed:

I embarked on a project a few years back to try listing every book I'd ever read from age 12 and up, and arrived at a couple of conclusions: a) I'd read shockingly fewer titles in my lifetime than I had assumed, something less than a thousand; and b) there was no rhyme or reason to my selections, and a whole lot of content that might have been better chosen. Doing a challenge keeps me more aware of what I'm choosing and why. Rumour has it I can only read a finite amount before I expire, so I'd like to keep the quality "top shelf" from here to the end as much as possible.

Editat: gen. 15, 2016, 11:27am

>20 dianeham:, I'm all about encouraging more Canadian in your diet (possibly because I'm one myself). I see our two Margarets are listed in your profile's favourites, and Carol Shields was sort of ours too. Other big names we like to pronounce include Alice Munro (won the Nobel for her short fiction), Robertson Davies, Timothy Findley, Mordecai Richler, etc. Farley Mowat is great on the non-fiction side on the topics of war and the environment, while Pierre Berton relates our nation's history in a way anyone can enjoy. If ever your reading dips into fantasy you might want to sample Guy Gavriel Kay who is just about unique in his genre stylistically, or Charles de Lint.

abr. 4, 2016, 6:29am

>24 Cecrow: thanks. I read Fifth Business, my first Davies, last week. I love Findley. I read Headhunter in March and I have 2 collections of his short stories. I think I've read all off his novels. We're reading Michael Crummey in my book group this month. I'll look for into the other authors you recommend. Thanks