ENG 2013: Modern Literature and Non-Fiction

Look at me, getting all academic with my post title. I blame the fact that I’m surrounded by course information all day.

In plain English, it’s time for me to address my personal reading goals for 2013! I didn’t have any for 2012, except to read 50 books. That didn’t work, but I’ll consider it “close enough”, since the first half of the year I spent more time reading academic journals than reading for pleasure. Other than not meeting my goal, I realized that most of the books I read were written at least 100 years ago (I will attribute this entirely to the Scarlet Pimpernel and Sherlock Holmes series, which accounted for at least 10 of the books I read overall). I feel like I should change that next year.


Next year will be different. I have goals! Achievable ones! Room for flexibility and whims!

Cindie’s 2013 Reading Goals:

  • Read 50 books. Simple, straightforward, anything goes. Fiction, nonfiction, any genre, any format. I should be able to do this.
  • Read at least 4 books for my Presidential Reading Challenge. I don’t believe I’ll be won’t be done with Nixonland by January, so there’s number one. I would love to get my hands on a copy of Mr. Jefferson’s Hammer (which is actually about William Henry Harrison, not Jefferson), but it seems to be a rare find, and when found, is exorbitantly expensive. I even checked the library from my grad school in the attempt to ask a friend/current student to borrow it on my behalf, but no dice. Sigh.
  • Read at least 5 books that have been written in the last 5 years. I spend so much of my time reading old nonfiction, or old fiction (see above) that I rarely get around to reading books that were written recently. I know there are some great ones out there, I just need to start reading them. Fiction only. Perhaps this will be the year I finally jump on the Michael Chabondwagon.
  • Finish Tropic of Cancer. I am thisclose to being done, I just never finish it. I have to be within 50 pages of the end. I will finish it this year and then I can finally chuck it on the sidewalk for some other curious Brooklynite to pick up and then be disappointed when it’s a load of garbage. Sorry, I know it’s famous and acclaimed and all that, it’s just nowhere near my cup of tea.

There. Easy peasy. Out of the 50 I want to read, I’ve only earmarked 10 for semi-specific use, and even those give me myriad options. That gives me 40 other chances to snuggle up with some Victorian Lit or sports-related nonfiction or dare I say it, young adult books. Eh, maybe not YA.

What are your 2013 reading goals?


13 thoughts on “ENG 2013: Modern Literature and Non-Fiction

  1. I like the idea of setting goals for the reading year ahead! I’d support jumping on the Chabon bandwagon, but ONLY if it’s to read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. It’s his best, and really the only way to start. I’m also glad to know you didn’t like Tropic of Cancer. I keep adding it and then taking it off my reading list, but now I’m definitely leaving it off! Good luck with your reading and enjoy your holidays!

    • Oh, definitely K&C. My friend got Telegraph Avenue for Christmas and wants to choose that for our book club, but I know I need to read that one beforehand!

      Thanks, happy holidays to you too!

  2. You should defnitely check out The Fault in Our Stars by John Green as one of your recent books – I loved it and have lent it to loads of friends who like different books and they’ve all had good things to say too. Some great goals too – good luck! I’d like to be ambitious enough to go for 50, but I think I’ll probably say 30 books. I’d also like to keep a track of everyhting I read :)

    • I’ve seen that book pop up in a bunch of places, so I will definitely add it to the list! I’m glad people who like different books have enjoyed it–I was worried it wouldn’t be up my alley. Thanks for the rec!

      I think I can do 50 if I cool it on the nonfiction :). I rip through novels, but even if I’m enjoying the subject matter, a 700 page nonfiction book slows me down. I think 30 is perfect!

  3. I’ve been reading more lately than ever but can only seem to manage about a book a month. My goal is to do at least better than that!

    ANd yes Michael Chabon = awesome.

  4. I actually don’t think I’ll be doing a reading goal this year. I have for the past few years (with a goal of 52, then 26 and I think 21 this year, getting more realistic as I go through this haha). I find that I’m actually more apt to read when I feel like it’s by choice rather than something I *have* to do. I have branched out and made a point to read more nonfiction, since I read probably 95% fiction normally. Good luck on your goal!

    • Thanks! I definitely get what you mean about reading by choice, I’d never be able to keep really restrictive goals. One year I tried limiting myself to reading only the books on the “1001 to read before you die” list, and that lasted about two days!

      Thanks! And thanks for stopping by, I’m loving all of these new wonderful blogs I’m finding on 20sb!

  5. I really wish that I could set reading goals for myself. I recognize a terrible personality trait within myself, however. I tend to lean towards sabotaging my goals when I am right within reach. I don’t make goals, but I am excited for new literature to spur my brain during the year of 2013. I applaud your goal and am excited to hear of any reviews you have :).

  6. 50 books is an excellent goal… one I’d like to set for myself, too. I did a fair amount of reading in 2012, but kind of fell off the last couple months of the year. I think one way of changing that in 2013 is to STOP internetting before bed. That’s time I could spend reading (and getting in the mood for actual sleep) instead. Good luck!

    • I read somewhere that you’re supposed to stay away from all “screens” (phone, tv, computer) for at least 30 minutes before bed so your brain starts shutting down for the day. I hope Kindle doesn’t count as a screen :). Thanks, good luck with your reading goals too!

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