So, I’ve decided that, in an effort to gain a deeper understanding of and appreciation for certain topics that I have always been interested in or curious about, I am going to arrange my reading in 2014 into themes/categories. I am selecting 12 themes and will spend one month on each. In that month, I will focus on selected readings for that topic – some months may have just 2 or 3 books, depending on the complexity of the topic and the length/density of the works, whereas other months may have 4 or 5 books planned.
Of course, I will still be doing other reading as well – reading for my own classes, reading whatever interesting books happen to pop-up throughout the year, reading whatever is on my shelf that calls to me, etc. If I read, say, 3 books per theme throughout the year, that’s still just 36 books in the year, and I tend to read about 70. So, plenty of room to still do other things!
This is just my effort to dig deeper into the things I’ve really always been curious about but feel that I don’t know as much about, or at the level I would like to know about it. Once I have the calendar completed, I will create a page here on the blog specifically devoted to it. For now, here is what is starting to take shape:
January: Walt Whitman
Reading: The Complete Poems by Walt Whitman
February: John Steinbeck
Readings: To a God Unknown by John Steinbeck
March: Literary Theory
Reading: Beginning Theory by Peter Barry
Reading: Mythologies by Roland Barthes
Reading: Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis
Reading: Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
Reading: Cosmos by Carl Sagan
June: On Reading and Writing
Reading: On Writing by Stephen King
July: The French Revolution
Reading: Ninety-Three by Victor Hugo
Reading: Poetics by Aristotle
Reading: The Republic by Plato
September: International Literature
Reading: South America?
Reading: Middle Eastern?
October: LGBT Studies (Literature/History)
Reading: The Absolutist by John Boyne
Reading: Annabel by Kathleen Winter
November: Romanticism (American & European)
American: Walden by Henry David Thoreau
European: A Sicilian Romance by Ann Radcliffe
Supplemental: Romanticism: A Very Short Introduction by Michael Ferber
Reading: The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
If you would like to join me in pursuing these themes (any or all of them) throughout the year, please feel free! You do not need to read the exact same works as I do – in fact, it could be fun to interact with folks who are reading different texts within the same theme.
Also, if you have thoughts about or suggestions for any of these categories, let me know! This is a work in progress up until the start of the new year.