The OF Blog: 2009 Resolutions (and 2008 ones revisited)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2009 Resolutions (and 2008 ones revisited)

Last year, I made a few reading-related resolutions for 2008. Let's look at them:

1. To review a wider variety of books that fall within the broadest definition of the "speculative fiction" genre.

Yep, did this and it's reflected in my 20 Favorite Fictions for 2008.

2. To review not just the newest works coming out, but older books that I feel deserve a new generation of readers.

Started this with the Blogger Book Club, among other things.

3. In relation to #1, to review more books written by female authors and by people of color, in hopes of learning even more about the various perspectives that people have about each other and humanity in general.

Yes, to a degree. Still lots of room for improvement, however.

4. To read more books written in non-English languages, either in English translation or in the original language whenever possible.

Slight drop-off from 2007, where I read over 120 books in Spanish and over 130 in non-English languages. Still, a combined 90 or so isn't too shabby, but again, more room for improvement, especially in reading short fiction.

5. To review at least 50 and hopefully 100 books this year, with 50% of those being late 2007 or 2008 releases.

To an extent, I did this, but not as many longer, proper reviews as I would have wished.

6. To do more author interviews for this blog and also for wotmania's Other Fantasy section.

Totally failed at this, with only two interviews (Ekaterina Sedia, Tobias Buckell) this year. Furthermore, I decided last month that I'm taking an indefinite hiatus from doing any work at wotmania, so I can concentrate on other projects, including this blog.

7. To get more readers to at least consider reading at least one of the following authors: Jorge Luis Borges, Umberto Eco, Ursula Le Guin, Gene Wolfe, José Saramago, Edward Whittemore, Jeff VanderMeer, Nalo Hopkinson, and R. Scott Bakker.

I did some Author Spotlight features on many of these authors, but could have done more, I think.

8. To discover at least one new author's works and to promote those works here in hopes of that author gaining a wider audience.

Discovered a few (and expanded upon my awareness of Roberto Bolaño's life and writings), but more needs to be done.

9. To engage in more conversations with authors and with genre fans/bloggers on more blogs and forums, in hopes of learning more and sharing more.

Yes, 2008 was a great year for getting to know several authors/bloggers/genre fans. Made quite a few new friends on several continents, so hopefully 2009 will see more of the same.

10. To have even more fun running this blog and to challenge myself to continue this activity in light of personal/professional plans for later in 2008.

Yes, although this is always a work in progress.

Now for the 2009 resolutions, many of which are more personal in nature.

1. To go ahead and have surgery on at least my left knee, instead of trying to make it an even 20 years of "walking it off." I aggravated it this past September and my dad thinks there might be ligament damage, based on how it feels over three months later.

2. To have my blood sugar tested for diabetes and to make dietary changes as necessary. Just over a week ago, my dad learned he has Type II diabetes. His oldest brother contracted it earlier last year. My mom's oldest brother was diagnosed with it two years ago. I'm entering my mid-30s, when this disease often manifests itself. I'm worried, to say the least.

3. To travel the entire Blue Ridge Parkway this year, alone. The southern end of the Parkway, around Asheville, NC, is one of my favorite spots on this planet, but I haven't been there for 7 years (since my grandfather died) and I just want to travel the full length of the trail for once.

4. To work with others in promoting the translation and reading of fiction produced outside the Anglophone markets. Some very good stuff is being written in other corners of the world. Would be nice if I could help in promoting it.

5. Related to #4: To do more translations of passages from Spanish-language authors. It seems some here enjoyed my translations of those passages from Carlos Fuentes' La voluntad y la fortuna, so there may be more in the future, likely during the summer months.

6. To write better reviews. Self-improvement is a must.

7. To cut down on certain internet activities. Began this by dropping wotmania and I might expand this to other forums. Too much sameness to them now.

8. To challenge myself to learn more. Life-long resolution.

9. To meet more of the goals listed for my 2008 resolutions.

Bah, who needs 10 this year? All I know is that I better come close to achieving the first few, or else my health will suffer greatly. What about you? What are your reading/personal resolutions for 2009?


ediFanoB said...

The older I get the shorter my resolutions are. So this year only a triple:

- Work less (40 instead 60 hours per week)
- Spend more time with my wife
- Read 50 books

The Witchfinder said...

The same ol' resolution I've failed at five years in a row:

Lose the damned Christmas-weight!

Other than that, I want to try and spend more time hunting and fishing, as I do that less and less as I have to work more and more to support my jet set lifestyle (er...). It's not like I don't have the time, it's just that the free time I do have, I tend to waste. Bah, lifelong habits, cramping my style...

Happy new year's!

Larry said...

Good resolutions, both of you. But yes, lifelong habits, especially the bad ones, are hard to break :(

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