"A room without books is like a body without a soul." - Marcus Tullius Cicero

Thursday, 9 January 2014

A Year of Books: 2013 & 2014 Reading Goals

Happy New Year everyone! Sorry I’ve been rubbish at producing regular reviews recently but I have had several work and uni commitments which have kept me very busy, among other things. I will try to remedy the hideous backlog of reviews I have waiting from 2013 as soon as possible.

2013 was a great reading year for me. I didn’t read a single book I really disliked, read several I absolutely loved, I beat my Goodreads reading challenge by one book, and I discovered a new favourite author – Irvine Welsh.

First of all let’s look at my top 5 reads of 2013 (excluding short stories and re-reads):
5. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

and my favourite book I read last year was...

I have a huge list of books that I’m eager to read in 2014. Firstly, I want to get through some books I've had for yonks but haven't got around to reading yet, rather than always buying new ones. Theses are novels such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Beach, Don't Look Now and Other Stories, and Good Omens. I’m also keen to read more translated fiction – on my list I have a few Russian novels, such as: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky; The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I also have lots of Japanese books waiting to be read, including: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, After Dark and after the quake - all by Haruki Murakami; The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto; Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata; The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe and Real World and The Goddess Chronicle, both by Natsuo Kirino.

And of course, I’m hankering after some more Irvine Welsh after reading the amazing Filth and Trainspotting in Autumn. Sitting on my shelf at the moment are Reheated Cabbage, Marabou Stork Nightmares, Crime and Porno

I’d also like to make an effort to read more classics this year, as I read pitifully few in 2013, and one was a re-read (Jane Eyre). So on top all the Russian ones listed above, I’m thinking I should try another of Charlotte Brontë’s works, and one of Anne Brontë’s. And I also want to read The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins since I meant to get round to that last year but never did, as well as attempting another Jane Austen: after my unsuccessful encounter with Pride and Prejudice some years ago, I think I should give her another chance.

 And finally, I’m going to try to read some non-fiction because I never ever read it: I’ve had Stephen Fry’s Moab is my Washpot sitting on my shelf for years, and Emma Forrest’s bipolar memoir Your Voice in my Head is likewise calling to me. I recently purchased Michael Palin’s Diaries 1969-79 The Python Years and Graham Chapman’s A Liar’s Autobiography after I managed the secure some tickets to Monty Python Live (mostly): One Down, Five to Go, both of which I’m keen to read before I see the show in July.

What were your favourite books of 2013? Do you have any titles you are particularly keen to get through this year?