Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, January 01, 2016

Some of my reading resolutions for 2016

Happy New Year to all of my fellow readers and pop culture enthusiasts out there, hope you are as eager to start 2016 with a few good resolutions in mind as I am.

Most of my plans for this brand new year will be reading related as well as blog connected, so this post is all about my major book reading goals for 2016. I do want to achieve other things, such as finish a novel that I'm working on, but books are a big part of my life(especially my TBR piles) and focusing on them is a good way to motivate myself even more:

 TRY HEMINGWAY: Late last year, I read Paula McLain's The Paris Wife, the novel about Ernest Hemingway's early years as a writer told from the view point of his first wife Hadley, and not only enjoyed it but longed to read The Sun Also Rises, which is a focal point for the story.

Granted, Ernest Hemingway was quite the jerk when it came to his wife(not to mention the other women in his life) but he still created some ground breaking books that changed the course of American literature. Part of what makes that work still relatable today are the deep character flaws of  Hemingway's protagonists, which are based upon him and his friends, some of whom were not too happy about the comparisons, I'm sure.

The only Hemingway book that I've ever read was A Movable Feast, about those days in Paris(I was on a Sylvia Beach kick back then) and was never assigned him in school, so while I know about his work, I haven't really experienced it for myself and it's time that I did.

So, while on a post-holiday buying binge, I added The Sun Also Rises  to my stack,along with a non fiction title called The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo, where a teacher of English uses The Old Man and the Sea to guide her class of war torn students. I haven't read OMATS either(that one I'll borrow) but reading how that book helped these people connect ought to be encouraging.

I don't know if this will lead to an extensive reading of Hemingway or not but I am willing to try and see what all of the fuss is about. Should be a fun challenge and even though the books are so well known, discovering them for myself could be rather surprising:

 TAKING A WINTER'S RESPITE:  Taking part in more online reading challenges is something I'd like to do for this year and my first one will be A Winter's Respite over at Seasons of Reading, which is from January 19 to the 24th.

There's no particular theme for this readathon but you are encouraged to discuss your book choices online. The main book that I will be reading for that week is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, a novel that I've heard much about yet have not picked up until recently. I did plan to read it this winter and having a readathon to share my take on it with makes it more fun.

This story of two magical rivals who fall in love and face the wrath of their circus community for doing so really sounds like a delight and hopefully, a film version will arrive soon. What I am most anxious to see here is if the hype around this novel is well earned or at the very least, a nice prelude to another grand book waiting in the wings from this author:

LRG BOOK BOUTS: As an ongoing blog project, I will be having a series of "book bouts" where two books with a similar theme can face off against each other. Since I have to read each one(in some cases, reread), these literary matches will occur about once or twice a season throughout 2016.

Currently, I am preparing for Round One: Literary Insiders, where a pair of novels about publishing novels will step into the squared circle. In this corner, we have Olivia Goldsmith of The First Wives' Club with her down and dirty look at fictional publishing house Davis & Dash in The Bestseller. 

This page turning story of how five authors(some first timers, others seasoned pros) strive to reach the heights of the best seller lists is set in the 1990s, making it somewhat dated yet rather amusing in it's depictions of behind the scenes book warfare.

The challenger stepping into this ring is James Michener's The Novel, which takes a more sedate look at the realm of publishing as it focuses on one author and the last novel in his acclaimed series. The book is divided into four parts, starting with the writer, then from editor to critic and at last, the reader, that covers the journey of one novel to make it to the shelves.

The Novel is also set in the nineties, making that playing field a bit even with Goldsmith's Bestseller, and at this point, appears to be based on much of Michener's own personal experiences in getting his work out there. So far, so good but which one packs more of a publishing punch? Stay tuned for this and many more bookish battles to come:

Those three resolutions seem like a good start to me and hopefully the rest of my literary year will be a wonderful one. However, I am somewhat saddened that Downton Abbey begins it's final season this weekend.

I know that it's not based on a book yet it does feel like one of those lovely long saga novels that you hope never truly ends. On the bright side, there are new seasons of Poldark and Outlander(both of which I have some of the books for) to look forward to. Yet, saying farewell to Downton will be a bittersweet joy. Then again, all good stories must reach a conclusion and there will be many more to come as Downton Abbey sings it's swan song, I'm sure:


JaneGS said...

I'm looking forward to reading The Paris Wife myself this year, and I'm rereading The Sun Also Rises as part of the Back to the Classics Challenge. My daughter really likes Hemingway, so I thought I would give him another try. I also have A Moveable Feast, which I would love to read as well. You're right, he may have been a jerk but he influenced the American literary landscape profoundly.

Happy reading in 2016.

lady t said...

Thanks, Jane and The Paris Wife is a wonderful read, I think you'll really like it!