Some Considerations and a Few Resolutions

Here comes the obligatory and clichéd post to end the year and start a new one. I’ve never been a true believer when it comes to resolutions and promises made during the auspicious night when the year would end. Part of me thinks its bull, a certain way to break these commitments supposedly made while heralding a new year. But for once, I’d like to give it a shot, at least on the literary aspect of my life.

 

1.)    This year, I read sixty-seven books. Not bad considering that in the previous year, 2009, I’ve only managed to read around thirty-four. I’d have to thank F(r)iction, this blog which I have started back in September, for the very noticeable increase in the texts that I have devoured. Initially, it was simply a repository for the thoughts and observations I constantly make during the art of reading and study.  The pressure of keeping a blog actually gave me the irrepressible desire and motivation to pick-up more books and read more. At the same time, it made me more, focused and observant. Right now, I have a notebook where I take note of all my thoughts and remarks made during the reading. I even bought post-its just to mark the pages that I felt was important to the text and a mechanical pencil so I can write on the edge of the pages. That makes me happy and hopeful for the project. Next year, I plan to make my posts more regular. I plan to read more. Target number of titles is 200. That should be sufficient enough.

2.)    I’ve purchased, acquired and received a total number of 389 books this year. I think I’ve only managed to read around ten percent of that number, which I find quite embarrassing. For this year, I need to take a step back in my purchases. I should stop succumbing to temptation every time I’m in a bookstore. I am in need of a budget. I think 1,500 pesos a month is adequate enough. Yes, that should be it. I have to stop drilling a hole in my pocket and remind myself that I am still paying for Graduate Studies.

3.)    I read around eight comic books every week. Multiply that quantity with the number of weeks in a year that amounts to 416 books. That excludes the Ultimate Series, three decades worth of X-Men, X-Force, X-Factor, New Mutants, Thunderbolts, Green Lantern, Justice League, Justice Society, Legion of Superheroes, The Flash, Teen Titans, Superman, Batman and Vertigo titles I read in 2010. Let’s put the number around 1,400. Seriously, the time I spent reading comics could be used for worthier endeavors, like writing, studying, or sleeping. For 2011, I’m going to limit my comic book intake.

4.)    I haven’t published anything in the last year, but its okay, I have been busy with a lot of endeavors in school and in the scene. This year, I plan to write, at least eight short-stories and four critical essays/scholarly articles. This year should be a year of endless submissions, so I have to write, proofread, edit and revise, over and over again. The thought of that seemingly unending cycle excites me.

5.)    More theory, hopefully.

6.)    I need a huge change in my daily environment. This is probably my top priority. The details of this required change, this drastic change, is right now, confidential. But it is most imperative that I pursue this, above all else.

7.)    Finally, I have to begin my Graduate thesis. Damn, just saying it excites, enthralls and scares the living shit about me.

So that’s it. I officially begin kicking 2011 in the balls in a few hours. For now, I’m going to get some tea and enjoy the slice of cake, resting on my mother’s cheesy Christmas saucers, beside my laptop.

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Here is a list of the books I have read in 2010:

 

Title Author
13 Ways of Looking at the Novel Jane Smiley
A Gate at the Stairs Lorrie Moore
Alias Grace Margaret Atwood
Ballistics Billy Collins
Breakfast of Champions Kurt Vonnegut
Candido’s Apocalypse Nick Joaquin
Complete Works Arthur Rimbaud
Couples John Updike
Different Hours Stephen Dunn
Enduring Love Ian McEwan
Ermita F. Sionil Jose
Extremely Loud and Incredible Close Jonathan Safran Foer
From Darna  to Zsa Zsa Zatturnah: Desire and Fantasy in Literature Soledad S. Reyes
Going Back Penelope Lively
Hand of the Enemy Kerima Polotan
Hey Nostradamus Douglas Coupland
How Fiction Works James Woods
Ilustrado Miguel Syjuco
Jimi Hendrix Sharon Lawrence
Last Night: Stories James Salter
Life is Elsewhere Milan Kundera
Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
Lucifer at the Starlite Kim Addonizzio
Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie
My Father’s Tears and Other Stories John Updike
Never Let Me Go Kazuo Ishiguro
Outliers: The Story of Success Malcolm Gladwell
Overlord Jorie Graham
Pale Fire Vladimir Nabokov
Palo Alto: Stories James Franco
Pedro Paramo Juan Rulfo
Praise Robert Hass
Sailing Around the Room Billy Collins
Seeing Jose Saramago
Six Walks in the Fictional Woods Umberto Eco
Stories from Another Time Benjamin Bautista
Swann’s Way Marcel Proust
Sweet Machine Mark Doty
The Art of Fiction David Lodge
The Art of Fiction John Gardner
The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath
The Best American Erotic Poems David Lehman
The Best American Short Stories 1993  
The Corrections Jonathan Franzen
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time Mark Haddon
The Curtain Milan Kundera
The History of Sexuality: Volume 1 Michel Foucault
The Literary in Theory Jonathan Culler
The Lost Language: Stories Marianne Villanueva
The New York Trilogy Paul Auster
The Other Other Isagani Cruz
The Piano Teacher Elfriede Jelinek
The Power and the Glory Graham Greene
The Rachel Papers Matin Amis
The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner
The Trial Franz Kafka
The Trouble with Poetry Billy Collins
This I Believe: An A to Z of Life Carlos Fuentes
To the Lighthouse Virginia Woolf
Tropic of Cancer Henry Miller
Tropic of Capricorn Henry Miller
Ulyssees James Joyce
Vanishing and Other Stories Deborah Willis
War by Candlelight Daniel Alarcon
What the Dog Saw Malcolm Gladwell
White Noise Don de Lillo
You Are Not A Stranger Here: Stories Adam Haslett

 

 

See you all next year.

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