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Monday, January 08, 2018

Reading Plans for 2018 (and Beyond!)

As I have no doubt said before, many years ago when I was a lot younger and a lot less wise to the ways of the world, I hardly planned my reading at all. Whenever I finished a book I’d look around to see what else I had immediately available that looked good and I’d read that. OK, it was almost exclusively SF back then but the point stands. Needless to say it meant that some books hiding at the bottom of the TBR pile never got read and I drifted along without a care in the world. It actually got a bit boring. So I began planning my reading – at first I’d plan the next book, and then the next few until I’m now planning my fiction reading (at least) quite a bit ahead. Presently I’m about half way through my Hard Boiled Crime 10 set so that’ll be finished fairly soon. After that I have the much mentioned 20th Century Classics 10, followed by 10 Historical Crime novels. Both of those should be completed this year all things being equal and if I keep on track for my aim of hitting 75 books this year. Depending on how things go I might start the 10 after that which are all novels based in and around WW1.

Now, as to non-fiction triple reads I made big predictions last year of which very few came to fruition. They were as follows:

The Less than Special Relationship (Completed)
Days at the Beach
War: What is it Good For?
Reporting from Afghanistan
The Weak Fight Back (Possibly this year)
Women @ War
Early Royal Naval engagements in WW2 (2/3 complete)
Things Fall Apart
The City, the City (1/3 complete)
The Starting Gun: 1914
Mother Russia (Soon)
Investigating Murder
Intelligent Agents: The Psychology of Economic Behaviour
Something on the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s.

So, whilst not a complete failure on my part it came pretty close. What’s actually going to happen this year – rather than any grandiose plans – will be as follows:

I’ll finish the Early Royal Naval engagements in WW2 (2nd book finished on Sunday) as well as The City, the City triple. Then I have a few filler volumes before moving on to Russia (finally) and a triple on how technology is affecting our culture and us as individuals. I fully expect to read a much talked about triple on China and, as it’s the 100th anniversary of the founding of the RAF this year, a handful of books on that organisation (exclusively in WW2 presently). I do hope I can finish all of those this year and if I do I’m going to try to shoehorn in at least three books on a much neglected (and much promised) area – WW1. I’ll cover ‘Significant’ books next Monday. There’s one in the review pile sitting next to my PC and a few others scheduled for later in the year. Again we’ll see how successful I am in getting them off the shelves (or actually off my floor) to be reviewed here.

Oh, I almost forgot: R4. There should be a lot more activity in this category (Revolt, Rebellion, Resistance and Revolution) with 2 books already in my review pile and at least 2 more in my ‘Read Next’ pile sitting at one end of my sofa. Future activity will mostly be in the rebellion and resistance area and, generally, based from the 19th century onwards. Finally I had really hoped to schedule in something about the Middle East after being inspired by my reading of ‘Blowback’ last year. The way things are going this might have to wait (in any substantial sense) until 2019 – not that I’m planning too far ahead! Lots happening and, hopefully, lots to look forward to both for me and for you. 


Stephen said...

"Things Fall Apart" sounds interesting. I always like poetic references!

I've also been considering a Mother Russia theme. One book that seems interesting is "Natasha's Dance", a cultural history.

I seem to be picking up your planning habit, by the way...ever year sees me using a little more structure.

Mudpuddle said...

impressive planning, i must say... i was soaked in sci fi when young and got so i really liked being plummeted into a new world when i opened a book; hence, i never developed the planning thing... it's still one of the things i like about reading... the serendipity...

CyberKitten said...

@ Stephen: The 'Things Fall Apart' triple isn't about what you might think it's about... [grin] I've had 'Natasha's Dance' recommended to me on Amazon a few times. Some Structure is good. Too much structure is deadening!

@ Mudpuddle: I too dived straight into SF when young (well, early teens) and read at such a rate that it didn't really matter what I read next. I found that I was missing too much without planning but I'm trying to retain enough spontaneity to make things interesting and fresh.

VV said...

As usual, I am impressed by your reading list. I read _Things fall apart_ by Chinua Achebe, many, many years ago. As I recall, I believe I enjoyed it. Currently I'm still working my way through _The Power_ by Naomi Alderman, and tonight I began reading the Fusion GPS testimony before Congressional investigators, while jumping to the Steele Dossier on occasion to read what they were referring to in the testimony. The corruption in our government goes deep, into many branches and agencies. I don't know if we can successfully weed them all out. 🙁 It's a shameful betrayal of this country and its people.

CyberKitten said...

@ V V: I was pretty pleased for my 2017 reading despite just missing my target of 70 books read. [grin] I was more disappointed that my non-fiction reading plan got away from me but I'm going to be more on target this year with that one. There's some good stuff coming and some interesting surprises too.....