2017 Reading Plans

Check out Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish.

I haven’t done a specific reading theme for the past few years. Since 2014, my theme has just been diversity, and trying to get as much of it as possible—but this is no longer a reading event for me, it’s just the way I read. So in 2017, I want to start focusing on the books I’ve been Meaning To Read.

I’ve been getting caught up in the awards lately, and when all the lists start coming out toward the end of the year—particularly the Goodreads Choice Awards, for some reason—I start putting other things aside that I’d been intending to read. In fact, for one of my reading challenges this year, all I had to find was a book written by a woman and published before 1960—but I have nothing. (Actually I have one book published in the 1400s but I need it for another category.) Usually I don’t have to try very hard to fill most of the categories, I just choose from things I was already reading; but in this case I have to specifically designate Virginia Woolf—a book I’ve been meaning to read for forever anyway, because I love Virginia Woolf, and why haven’t I just read it yet?—but here it is, December 8, and I still haven’t done it. This year, I’ve read more than thirty books that were published this year.

I have this list on Goodreads called my Shelf of Shame, and that’s where I started getting ideas for next year’s reading. Some of these books have been on my TBR for years or even decades, and the sense of accomplishment (and relief) from finishing them is so much better than when I read something I’d never heard of before last month. So these are some of the ones I’d maybe like to cover:

Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace
Assata: An Autobiography, by Assata Shakur
Women, Race, and Class, by Angela Davis
The Purity Myth, by Jessica Valenti
Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami
Hild, by Nicola Griffith
Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters
One Hundred Years of Solitude / Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Tale of Two Cities / Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath
diaries of Anais Nin
The Theory of Everything, by Stephen Hawking
Feminism is For Everybody, and other things by bell hooks
Moby Dick, by Herman Melville
Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides
Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
The Bonesetter’s Daughter, by Amy Tan
Me, by Katharine Hepburn
The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula LeGuin
Brave New World, by Alduous Huxley
The Golden Notebook, by Doris Lessing
poetry by Adrienne Rich
The Tale of Genji, by Murasaki Shikibu
Solanin, by Inio Asano
Blindness, by Jose Saramago
My Bondage and My Freedom, by Frederick Douglass
Fear of Flying, by Erica Jong
Zami, by Audre Lorde
more (everything) by James Baldwin
something by Louise Erdrich (The Round House)
Boy, Snow, Bird, by Helen Oyeyemi
White Teeth, by Zadie Smith
Breath, Eyes, Memory, by Edwidge Danticat
The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro
something by Nnedi Okorafor
something by N.K. Jemisin

Update 2/13/17: I’ve read three already! And I have at least two more coming up soon.


12 thoughts on “2017 Reading Plans

  1. Love the “shelf of shame” idea! Like you, I read a lot of just published books this year, including most of the booker long list. From
    your list of possibilities, I just finished Fingersmith & really enjoyed it.


    1. One of my coworkers created the Shelf of Shame, and I thought it was brilliant.

      I read The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters a couple years ago, and I loved it, so I’ve been meaning to read another of her books ever since then! I want to read Fingersmith especially now that they’ve made that movie adaptation that looks so outstanding. I can’t wait to see it, too.


  2. You’ve got so many great books on this list, but I particularly recommend The Bell Jar. I keep a running list of my TBRs, and I need to get to more of them in 2017. I just read Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth, if you’re looking for an amazing book written by a woman before 1960 (not that Woolf isn’t amazing). Good luck with your list!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tried to read Dickens but could not get into him, ( and two of the books you mentioned are ones I attempted.) I did like Anna Karen in a and crime and punishment, although I will warn you that both are a bit religious in nature. The bone setters daughter was pretty interesting. I love the tale of genji, but I will mention that it’s a difficult read, although highly worth it 🙂 i started out with Edward Seidensticker translation because I found language to be beautiful and characters have names 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reading Tolstoy and Dostoevsky while you’re not religious is fine. They’re religious in that Russian way. Crime & Punishment transcends the religion to become a book about being human and needing redemption in whatever place we can find it.
    I love your reading theme. I’m doing the same this year, and trying to clear a few of the 128 books I had. I’m down to 119 at the moment.
    By the way, I’m still not getting notifications when you post. I might need to unfollow and refollow. Changing my settings hasn’t worked, and I’ve missed lots of your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Crime and Punishment has got to be the most ridiculous item on my list, because I read over half of it . . . Probably fifteen years ago, in junior high or high school. I was really enjoying it, got busy, and never finished it. For nearly two decades. So if I don’t read anything else off this list in 2017, I’d better read that one.

      How frustrating about the notifications! That happened to me with my sister’s posts on Facebook, and I never could figure it out. I hope WordPress will be more cooperative.


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