2012 Reading Manifesto


So far, I've been light on resolutions, because I've adopted a different approach this year. Rather than some idealized list of things I'd like to achieve this year, I wanted to think a little bit more seriously about what's realistic to achieve, and what I would genuinely benefit from achieving.

What I'd like to do in 2012 is to only read novels in translation. Realistically, I'm going to aim for 70%. Amazingly, about 70% of the books I read in 2011 were written by women, so I know this sort of limitation is achievable.

Ideally, I'd visit a different country with each new work, but I'm not sure that's something I could actually do. At any rate, my resolution affords me the opportunity to delve deeper into my beloved dead Russians, offer some thoughts on the efforts of translation, and hopefully learn to love some authors whose work has been long forgotten in English-speaking nations.

I aim for a mix of seminal favorites and contemporary hits (therefore, I won't be reading a hundred books by Bolaño). I can finally read 100 Years of Solitude, Heinrich Böll, more Murakami, Cosette and Borges.


This year, I'm going to attempt, yet again, to read 100 books. I only made it to 45 this year, which is a pretty healthy hint that I cannot both read 100 books and watch 100 movies (which I did, hooray! or...oops?).

Hopefully I don't drown in experimental fiction, so wish me luck! Please leave your recommendations in the comments.

This entry was posted on and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 . You can leave a response .

5 Responses to “ 2012 Reading Manifesto ”

  1. May I suggest a few titles?

    In Japan you want to check Yukio Mishima's work. In France Frederic Beigbeder and Michel Houellebecq and in French Canada Rejean Ducharme and Francois Avard. You can thank me later ;)

  2. Thanks so much for the recommendations! I already had Houllebecq on my list, but the rest are new to me :). Onto the list they go!

  3. I am particularly excited about Mishima. His Temple of the Golden Pavilion sounds FANTASTIC.

  4. Read 100 Years of Solitude now, then read it AGAIN at the end of the year :-)

    But seriously, sometimes after I finish a book I know it will be even better after a few reads, and that is definitely one of them.

    Also I have been slowly reading all of the currently translated work for adults of Tove Jansson, author of the Moomins books. The beauty of it is that it's really short, clear and simply written so can provide a handy palate cleanser after any russian giant novels!

    Heck, if you haven't at least read one fo the last 2 Moomin books (Moominpappa at Sea and Moominvalley in November) they are just as much aimed at adults as anything else she has written, and make you want to run away to a finnish island to boot.

  5. Fine, I will! Maybe...

    I've read some short stories by Tove Jansson and absolutely loved them, so thanks for reminding me to put those on the list!


Powered by Blogger.