I’m happy with what I read last year. But I want more out of 2014. I’d like to have some structured goals for this year’s reading. I’ve got a few thoughts.
I’ve already started off by reading 10 books in Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series. That gave me an idea: why not make 2014 the year I focus on reading different series? There are several that I’ve been interested in but I’ve always been leary of tackling. Now that I’ve caught up on the Dresden Files, I like the idea of devoting a year to mowing through several others and finally indulging myself.
Here are some of my top choices:
- Iain M. Banks: Culture
- Robert Jordan: Wheel of Time
- Terry Pratchett: Discworld
- Sharon Lee & Steve Miller: Liaden Universe
- Mark L. Van Name: John & Lobo.
I also want to read some more non-fiction. I have several choices in mind. I already own a copy of Coolidge by Amity Shlaes. I’ve been interested in Silent Cal for a while. It’s time to finally learn more about him. Likewise, Showdown at Gucci Gulch has me intrigued. It’s the inside story of how Reagan’s 1986 tax reform made it through Congress. I’ve heard good things about The Rebirth of Education, Days of Fire, and The Gamble. Moving away from politics slightly, The Last Battle sounds like a good history book while Design Crazy is a look at Apple and its design studio.
I have some other goals too. This year, I bought a supporting membership to Worldcon, the premier convention for science fiction and fantasy fans. Worldcon members get to nominate works for the Hugo awards (this year and next year) and get to vote on this year’s nominees.
During the year, I’d like to read some books actually published in 2014, in hopes of finding something that I like well enough to nominate for next year’s Hugos. In addition, Worldcon members generally get free copies of the current year’s nominees. I’d like to read through several of this year’s nominees, to be able to cast informed votes for the awards. I’ve been a fan long enough. This year, I’d like to exert a tiny bit of influence on the genres.
Flotsam and Jetsam
Of course, I reserve the right to throw in other things as well. I have a large number of books that I’ve bought or borrowed over the last several years and then never read. I’d like to try whittling down that down so that I feel like I’m actually getting some value from my purchases. Things that don’t fit the other categories but that intrigue me enough (like George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois’s anthology Dangerous Women) have a chance of being read too.
For the past several months, I’ve been blogging my book reviews here. I intend to continue doing that this year. I’ll probably add a new snippet of information to each review: which goal each book fits into. That’ll let me track my progress, keep me honest, and keep me focused on the goals.
I think these goals are fairly ambitious, but I’m excited about tackling them this year. The real fun is in the trying, whether or not I meet all (or any) of them.