The OF Blog: A quarter of the year gone by, some reflections on my 2014 reading goals (and a few new ones)

Saturday, April 05, 2014

A quarter of the year gone by, some reflections on my 2014 reading goals (and a few new ones)

I'm not someone who typically embraces strictures, even positive ones.  I tend to chafe under such guidelines, not only as a means of trying to escape what I have set out to do, but also because I find there to be other things that occur to me later that are perhaps just as important, if only for a moment.  But I do try my best to meet those goals that seem most like bets against myself.  Reading goals certainly qualify as such.  Can I manage to read X amount of something by the year's end?  What if I struggle to find the words when writing a promised review?  What if I run out of things to say or books to read on Topic X?

These thoughts are coming now as I stare at a few books that I should have reviewed weeks, if not 2-3 months, ago:  Manuel Vicent, Pascua y naranjas and Carlos Droguett, Todas esas muertes (Premio Alfaguara winner); a few histories and novels on World War I for my WWI blog; various women writers I want to read to make sure my reading, tilted askew by other projects, isn't too heavily male; the various Italian, Portuguese, and French-language works I want to read in order to meet that 50x4 goal (the Spanish-language portion is already near 50% of that mark); and reviewing each of the 2014 releases that I highlighted in a January post, approaching 30 titles.  All this around working two jobs and prepping to take a college course this summer in order to renew my teaching license.

It's a lot on my plate, yet for the most part, I feel like I'm "getting things done."  Hope to finish at least one more Premio Alfaguara review this weekend, perhaps two, in order to reach 50% of that goal.  Then I'll read some French and Italian-language novels on WWI to further my progress in those two areas.  Perhaps in a couple of weekends, I'll review more 2014 releases that I've already read, so that there will be a lot of reviews to refer to later when trying to decide which 2014 releases were the best come December.  Maybe I'll write that Leonora Carrington review shortly.  Or perhaps a few more by women authors who've intrigued me lately.  Come to think of it, perhaps the purpose of having certain goals is not to restrict oneself to a narrow area but instead to force one to open his/her eyes to the wide-ranging beauties there are out there, both in the literary world and the larger one encompassing it.

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