Reading Wishlist 2016

books

I’m only a few books off completing my 2015 Reading Challenge, though I’m still a little behind with the reviews. As we rush headlong towards 2016 I think it’s only fitting to consider what I aim to read in the coming year after finishing the current challenge.

Actually, “challenge” is rather a pretentious term to use as I intend to make my goals a little more open-ended than this year’s rigid categories with their set number of books targeted. So for the time being I’m calling this a wishlist, a way of flagging up general areas which I hope to explore over the course of twelve months. I don’t expect to be alone in planning for next year — are you contemplating the same? — but do bear with me as I waft a wishing wand over my own vision for the New Year.

First off I want to embark on a number of re-reads, in particular re-reads of series that I’d like to polish off in some order, largely determined by internal chronology. Mostly fantasy or speculative fiction, these will hopefully include Joan Aiken’s Wolves of Willoughby Chase sequence (roughly one a month should see that through); Robert Silverberg’s Majipoor science fantasy series about a large planet where future human colonists and indigenous peoples interact; Philip Reeves’ steampunk Mortal Engines sequence (with its prequels) and Philip Pullman’s Miltonic His Dark Materials trilogy (and its associated novellas); and Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea quartet and other titles, along with her Ekumen books. Frankly I don’t really expect to complete many of these but I would like to make a start.

Then here is another open-ended wishlist opportunity. ReadingNEReading New England is a year-long challenge run by Lory on The Emerald City Book Review that encourages readers to explore books set in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Lory writes that the challenge is “intended to draw attention to the wonderful writers and books of the six New England states, along with publishers, booksellers, literary locations, and more. Each month will have a special focus, and readers will be encouraged to choose books from those twelve categories if they wish, but there are no requirements other than to read at least one title that falls within the general theme.”

Even though I don’t live in the United States (and have in fact only visited twice, both times just to the Emerald City itself, Seattle on the east coast) this seems to me like a worthwhile way to focus attention on the authors and books of New England, a place (as Lory says) “with a long and proud literary history”. On the ECBR site there are links for the official sign-up post and challenge categories. In addition there are link-up pages for posts on the individual states and on genres, plus a New England Book List.

Thirdly, I’d like to keep up with non-fiction, classics (including the two remaining major Austen titles I’ve yet to tackle) and no end of standalone fiction titles; I intend to pop these in as and when I want a change on my self-imposed tasks. Maybe I might even manage to fit in an attempt to read authors whose last names begin with each of the letters of the alphabet. A tall order? Probably, but then — as they say — nothing ventured, nothing gained. And nothing beats the pleasure of burying yourself in a good book — unless it’s a few more good books.

And you?

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26 thoughts on “Reading Wishlist 2016

  1. Have fun with all these. I am currently reading Le Guin and will be starting 2016 with Murkami and then Robert McFarlane and no particular plans after that – I’m always reading something though. Happy reading and happy new year when it arrives 😄

    1. Thanks, Alastair, I’m certainly looking forward to a mix of old favourites and new-to-me titles. Which Le Guin are you starting with? Would love to read about your literary forays as well as enjoying the visual journal of your journeys!

  2. earthbalm

    Good luck with the venture – it’s a tough job but somebody has to do it.
    I’m with you on some of the target texts though I doubt I’ll re-read the Pullman trilogy in the near future – I didn’t enjoy the resolution, though I have to say I love his books – The short Lyra spin-offs are my particular favourites.
    I have many children’s classics I’d like to re-read in 2016 (Phillipa Pearce’s books near the top of the list) and I need to complete the “Wolves” series as a priority.
    So be resolute, don’t be put off – you know you can do it. Onwards and upwards!

    1. Thanks, Dale, it’d be good to compare notes on target texts that we share, like the Aiken. It’s been yonks since I read Pearce, library copies since I don’t have my own copies: maybe I can fit the odd one in …

  3. Good luck – so many books, so little time. I see you have ‘Journeys of Frodo’ by Barbara Strachey on (what I assume to be) your shelf. I guess that, like me, you never venture into Middle Earth without it.

    1. The Strachey has been with on my last two forays into Middle Earth, Steve, and will no doubt be in the backpack next time too! (I’ve reviewed it too, if you haven’t yet spotted that post yet.)

  4. Oh, forgot to suggest a recommended addition to your list: ‘The Prospect of This City’ by Eamon Martin. He was my creative writing tutor at Grimsby College and, in ‘Prospect’, has written a fine piece of work. Check it out.

  5. It has been a few years since I attempted to make a list of reads for the coming year. I will be honest and admit that I fail at the challenge; other books pop up on my radar and I end up abandoning my list.
    I do enjoy the Steampunk genre so I may join you and start the Reeve books. I have yet to tackle science fiction in any serious manner so this may be the winter I jump in and see what the fuss is all about. Other than than that, my only wish is that 2016 includes some amazing new titles for readers to enjoy.
    Happy New year!

    1. 2015 was the first year I attempted a reading challenge, Sari, a change from relying on serendipity. I hope the open-ended 2016 goals are less prescriptive, and it sounds as though your plans are reasonably achievable too!

  6. Hi, how are you? Did you have a good Christmas?
    I don’t tend to do resolutions – being the kind of person who’s always disappointed by their own failure! There aren’t any specific books I’d like to read during 2016 – though I was given The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness for Christmas which I’m really looking forward to and Let The Right One In byJohn Ajvide Lindqvist, also on my TBR shelf. Overall, I just want to read and write more – be more disciplined and less distracted, though I think to do that I’ll have to turn the internet off!

    1. The internet is certainly distracting when it comes to either reading or writing, which is why I tend to read away from any electronic gizmos. I’ve got a Ness to read (though it’ll be part of my 2015 challenge) though don’t know the Linfqvist.

      Christmas has been good so far, lots of family either en masse or separately, with half a dozen grandchildren helping to make it especially magical. Hope yours is/has been as special and magical, Lynn!

      1. You’re right about the internet beng a huge distraction – it’s the one massive drawback with the blogging for me. My writing output has plummeted since I began my blog. But I’m determined to be more structured come the New Year – I have a YA sequel to write!
        Which Ness are you reading? Did you say before you had A Monster Calls on your TBR list? Terrific read, that one. 🙂
        And yes, a good Christmas, if a little stressful at times. Sounds like your’s has been lovely – always nice to have small children in the house at this time of year.

  7. Best of luck with all your reading for the coming year.

    I suspect that most of my reading in 2016 will be dominated by my intention to re-read a host of books for a number of high fantasy and urban fantasy series that I have stalled upon; rather than simply resume where I left off.

    1. Thanks very much, and apologies for only just picking up on your comment. Good luck with your rereads, and if our lists overlap in any way it would be good to compare notes!

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