As for me, a lot of great books were under my Christmas tree and late last night, I finished my first read of the year(Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine) and it also counts as the first book in the Winter's Respite readathon to be completed-bonus points!
While most people do make resolutions for the new year, I'm at the point in my life where I find it best to make ones that I truly have a good chance at keeping,so these are all reading related promises to myself(and one for the blog).
Now, I try not to get too overly organized about this because that can take the fun out of things(not to mention ruin the opportunity for spontaneity reads there). However, there is some method to my literary madness that allows for some wiggle room,especially as far as my library visits are concerned:
Mind you, this year will get off to a late start, due to my still being in the midst of a Poldark title from this past December(and yes, I do intend to read yet another one in this series but I just can't quit Cornwall and Demelza just yet).
A good portion of the Series-ous Reading will be in the cozy mystery category, including Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen stories. In a weird way, this is not much different than when I was into paranormal romances back in the day.
Both genres have strong minded ladies solving crimes and proving those pesky yet sexy men folk wrong when it comes to a woman's intuition and intelligence. The main difference is one has deadly demons to battle while the other has devil's food cake to conquer.
What should also be a blast are Ellie Alexander's Bakeshop Mysteries, with such tasty titles as Caught Bread Handed(I'll be starting the new year with that), A Crime of Passion Fruit and Another Bites the Crust. To sweeten the deal, Alexander has a fun Youtube channel with plenty of updates about her latest works and insights into her writing. A real box of video treats to savor indeed:
I'm happy to report that not only have I finished W&P, I'm halfway through Anna Karenina(highly recommend the Maude translation for both) and it will soon be time to pick up another classic read.
For my next selection, I am going back to Charles Dickens, who happened to be a major fan of Leo Tolstoy's work. I have read a good number of his books but there are plenty that I haven't gotten to and intend to remedy that situation right soon.
The Pickwick Papers was the first of Dickens' bestsellers, weaving a set of tales from the notes of the famed Pickwick Club, with such distinguished members as ladies' man Tracy Tupman, the artistically inclined Augustus Snodgrass and of course, Samuel Pickwick with his fateful bumbling valet Sam Weller. These fine gentlemen found themselves in various silly situations, most of which they manage to escape relatively intact but not without some unexpected help from Sam Weller at times.
This big book has been adapted into film and TV miniseries(the most recent being in 1985) over the years and even inspired a series of novels by present day author Van Reid called The Moosepath League. With the headlines getting stranger and more absurd by the minute these days, it's more than time for a good laugh which Mr. Pickwick and his friends can certainly provide.
Not to mention that the Pickwick Papers are a main influence on one of my favorite novels of all time, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The March sisters had their own version of that illustrious group and now I'll be able to appreciate that section of the story all the more:
THE ELLROY/MURAKAMI CONNECTION: There are some authors whose works you really want to get into but for one reason or another, you just can't quite make that pivotal turn into their respective territory. It may be bad timing or too many other things on your personal plate at the moment but the urge is still there.
Well, I am going to try reading at least one book by two such writers on my list who are an odd pairing to say the least.
No doubt that many of the devoted fans of Haruki Murakami's novels would give me a through list and suggestions on what to read first but I'm choosing to tackle The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle here. I did attempt to read IQ84 but that may have been too big of a bookish slice to sample as an introduction. If all goes well with WUBC, I will gladly go back to that one indeed.
For the other, it's James Ellroy's L.A. Confidential. I did actually meet Ellroy at a book convention signing(for a different book) and he's a strange duck to be sure. Nevertheless, his writing style is amazing to behold yet has such a zig zag style of energy that it's not easy to settle down with.
However, I have seen the celebrated 19997 film adaptation(which is hard to watch now, due to a certain disgraced actor's presence) and recall enough of the central plot line to be confident in getting a firm grip on this story of old school scandal and corruption. I know there will be differences between the movie and it's source material but I suspect that many of the main points and character development details will be well featured on the page:
This sounds like a good set of goals to head off into 2019 with and I hope that all of you with bookish New Year's resolutions(and non as well) find much success with yours. Anything's better than the one by Ross from Friends with his "new thing to do!" every day which resulted in bad pants choices and other hilarious catastrophes before January was over and done with. Make reasonable resolutions, my friends, and you'll be much better off for it: