New Reading For 2021

Yeah, it’s new since I haven’t read any of the listed titles yet, but it’s actually the same old reading that covered so much of my time over the last year. Although I am very appreciative of the opportunity to make such a splash in my reading pool, it’s a sad commentary about how awful and how tedious 2020 actually was. Will 2021 be a less frightening year? Will I wear out my trusty iPad? Will the sky still occasionally be sunny and blue?

I expect to follow an eclectic yet sturdy plan to mix classical literature with contemporary entertainments and to concentrate on filling the obvious gaps in my reading experience. The problem is, of course, the maddening truth that no matter how much I read, they keep publishing more and more texts. I feel like the snail in the well.

Two sources I intend to concentrate on for my reading lists are the roll=over titles I failed to read in 2020 and the big ones in my Bucket list. Otherwise the plan is to read favorite authors, books that have sat on my shelves for years, new books that adorn the front rounders at Barnes and Noble, classical novels (especially American) I should have read in college, and anything which suggests an unusual or exotic experience. Oh, there are also so many mystery/detective novels to fill in the any loose available time .. I’m truly blessed.

One note, however. I find my traditional interest in some nonfiction is waining as I age. No longer do I gorge myself with literary criticism, cookbooks have no identifiable use, exposés of criminal presidents are so 2020, and I do not intend to explore the world traveling to exotic venues.. However, I do still have an interest in imaginative essays, selective histories, and the world of Jazz.

So before I break to practice my boogie-woogie riffs on the ukulele, here is the reading list I project for the first month of the new year:

  1. They Were Counted — Miklós Bánffy
  2. Snow — John Banville
  3. San Miguel — T. C. Boyle
  4. The Secret Garden — Frances Hodgson Burnett
  5. The Spy — James Fenimore Cooper
  6. John’s Wife — Robert Coover
  7. Homeland Security Ate My Speech: Messages from the End of the World — Ariel Dorfman
  8. Six Walks in the Fictional Woods — Umberto Eco
  9. A Daughter of the Middle Border — Hamlin Garland
  10. Mary Barton — Elizabeth Gaskell
  11. Blithedale Romance — Nathaniel Hawthorne
  12. The Crossing — Cormac McCarthy
  13. Solar — Ian McEwan
  14. The Black Book — Orhan Pamuk
  15. The Watery Part of the World – Michael Parker
  16. Operation Shylock : A Confession — Philip Roth
  17. Reveries of the Solitary Walker — Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  18. Against Interpretation — Susan Sontag
  19. The League of Frightened Men — Rex Stout
  20. Le Rêve — Émile Zola

2 thoughts on “New Reading For 2021

  1. Happy New Year, Mike. Thanks for your suggestions and all you do for us retired readers amongst your readership. Let’s hope 2020 allows us all to get our normal lives back.

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    1. Normal?

      I may complain but it’s actually comforting to be isolated. I never have been much of a traveller and meeting strangers is usually outside my zone. In college I often preferred browsing through the stacks at the university library to attending the weekly social dances. Now I pretty-much know what tomorrow will bring: more of the same; no surprises. However, although Dr. Johnson is ahead in the line, Melancholy is a distinct possibility for 2021.

      Stay well.

      Like

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