New(ish) Year’s Book Resolutions!

I know, I know. January is almost over and I’m just getting around to posting about my New Year’s book resolutions! I guess I’ve already blown it if I say that my first one is not to procrastinate about blogging, huh? KIDDING. Anyway, without further nonsense, here they are:

To Finally Read Ellen Glasgow, Edna Ferber, and Rumer Godden

As it turns out, I did the same darn thing with all three of these bestselling writers: I started collecting their works without, technically, having read anything by them to test out if they were any good. I have at least three books by each of them.

I’ve at least seen a few movies based on Ferber’s books: she wrote books that tended to get turned into Oscar-nominated films (Cimarron, Saratoga Trunk, Show Boat). And, come to think of it, I’ve seen a Rumer Godden film too: Black Narcissus, where Deborah Kerr plays a nun living in the Himalayas (sadly, they didn’t film on location, although the painted backdrops were amazing).

In any case, I’m determined to finally dig in to all of these writers’ works in 2019 to ensure that I actually want all these books I’ve collected by them!

To Broaden My Horizons

In doing an assessment of the geography of books I’ve already read in the library not too long ago, I noticed that I tended to read books over and over from the same geographic concentrations (NY, CA, the southeast U.S., North Dakota, New Mexico, London, and Paris). Despite having read many novels by women authors set in New Zealand, I’ve never read a single book by a woman author set in Australia. How can this be?! But so it is.

I’m already looking to remedy this – I’ve begun Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career, and I’m enjoying it as much as I enjoyed the Judy Davis film that was made of the book. I’m also thinking of tackling Sigrid Undset this year, and looking to fill in some U.S. states that I often don’t gravitate towards (like those in the Midwest).

To Buy And Read All The Works Of Zora Neale Hurston

I mean, this might be a bit ambitious, but then again, every time I read one of her books, I burn right through it. So I don’t think it’s all that much to bite off. I’d have to track down Moses, Man of the Mountain, Tell My Horse, Seraph on the Suwanee, Mule Bone, and Barracoon (which was just published last year!). Some of these books are non-fiction, but hey – it’s Zora Neale Hurston. She’s a matriarch and one of the great writers of the 20th century – whether a book of hers technically is fiction or not is a piddling detail to me!

On the one hand, it doesn’t seem like much, and on the other, these goals seem like quite enough to get me started! Especially since at the rate I’m going I’ve only got 11 months to get these goals accomplished…better get to it!

6 thoughts on “New(ish) Year’s Book Resolutions!

  1. Hi Lorraine, I am so thrilled you are reading Miles Franklin. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts. We have quite a few excellent women writers here in Australia. You might find the Australian Women Writers challenge (http://australianwomenwriters.com) a useful resource for discovering more Australian female writers. The challenge has been running since 2012 and has quite a long list of book reviews. It’s interesting that you’ve read many books set in New Zealand. Considering it is just across the Tasman, that’s something I need to rectify! Happy Reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that link! It looks like a great resource – I can’t wait to check these out. And My Brilliant Career is one of those books where I can’t decide if I should tear through it or force myself to slow down so I can enjoy it for longer! I’m loving it.

      Janet Frame and Katherine Mansfield are two of my favorite writers, so that’s where most of my NZ reading got started. I’m also a fan of Keri Hulme’s The Bone People, although I haven’t read it for a long while. Probably due to reread it soon!

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      1. I always find it hard to slow down when I’m really enjoying a book. But then, I can always reread at a slower pace and discover what I missed the first time round. I actually have The Bone People on my reading list for this year, but I will look into Janet Frame and Katherine Mansfield as well. It’s so nice to be able to share resources and faves with other book worms across the world. Thanks!

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  2. Good luck with reaching your resolutions this year! Making your way through all of ZNH’s books should be rewarding. I read all of James Baldwin’s nonfiction last year, and it was interesting tracking how his style developed over the course of a lifetime.

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    1. Thanks! I’m excited for ZNH too, even though it’s a bit of a lofty goal. Reading her complete short stories last year was like a mini-journey through her style over her career, so I thought it’d be amazing to expand that to her novels, non-fiction, plays, everything. She’s a giant!

      Speaking of Baldwin, I just saw If Beale Street Could Talk (what a great film) and I’m feeling inspired to pick up his nonfiction myself, since I’ve read most of his novels but only a few of his essays. I’ve been very immersed in women’s novels but I can always make an exception for James Baldwin!

      Liked by 1 person

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