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.
Here is a list of the books I have read in 2010:
|13 Ways of Looking at the Novel||Jane Smiley|
|A Gate at the Stairs||Lorrie Moore|
|Alias Grace||Margaret Atwood|
|Breakfast of Champions||Kurt Vonnegut|
|Candido’s Apocalypse||Nick Joaquin|
|Complete Works||Arthur Rimbaud|
|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|
|Jimi Hendrix||Sharon Lawrence|
|Last Night: Stories||James Salter|
|Life is Elsewhere||Milan Kundera|
|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|
|Pale Fire||Vladimir Nabokov|
|Palo Alto: Stories||James Franco|
|Pedro Paramo||Juan Rulfo|
|Sailing Around the Room||Billy Collins|
|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|
|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.