January 2, 2010

Happy New Year

I'm not a huge fan of celebrating the new year in the dead of winter (here in Winnipeg, where I am right now, it's a crisp -31), but I am a big believer in new beginnings and for that reason alone it seems like a worthwhile holiday. I haven't written down any resolutions this year yet (but I should...apparently people who write down their goals are more likely, statistically, to achieve them), but I've been working on a 101 Things in 1001 Days for a while now, and my ongoing writing- and reading-related goals look something like this:

- read more American fiction
- read more British fiction
- read more poetry
- finish my novel (so close right now!)
- write another one
- try writing something in another genre (essay, poetry, etc)

In case it's not obvious from my to-do list, I mostly read contemporary Canadian fiction, and I don't plan on stopping. I've made some progress with this list (let's see, I read Netherland last year...and...uh...), but not enough that I feel I can stop making a special effort yet. If you have any recommendations for British and American writers I should be reading, I'd love to hear them.

Here's hoping that 2010 sees us reaching all our reading and writing goals!


Ariel Gordon said...

In the category of books-I-can-recall-right-now, with the caveat that I am still half-frozen from a jaunt outside:

The British Barkers: Pat and Nicola.
Jane Smiley (California)
C.E. Morgan (Kentucky)

Jonathan Ball said...

My 2009 reading list is online here: http://www.jonathanball.com/?p=530 --- I would recommend MOST of the books on this list.

For Americans, go for Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Cormac McCarthy, Steve Erickson, Willa Cather, Marilynne Robinson (for a start).

Two of my favourite novels this year (Canadian) were The Humbugs Diet (Robert Majzels) and Automatic World (Struan Sinclair).

saleema said...

@Ariel Ahhh, another friend of mine just seconded the Jane Smiley. Maybe that'll be next on the list. Thanks so much for these recommendations!

@Jonathan Ah, I loved Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson *so much* when I read it a few years ago. Not sure why I haven't sought anything else out. And I've never dipped into Willa Cather.

And oooh, I keep meaning to track down Struan's book. I've heard nothing but good things. And I'm definitely going to revisit your 2009 list.

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