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Books to Read: January 2013

Books to Read: January 2013

Happy New Year! New Happy Year! Either greeting works fine, don’t you think? When a new year unfolds, people have this habit of changing some things to align with the changing of the years. I usually have that going on, and my blogging is no exception.

The first set of changes that will take place over here is the way I pick my books to read for the month. I will have required categories and I have come up with three. They are the following:

  • A book for my Noble Nobel Project – I feel so ignoble for ignoring this personal project. I must continue.
  • A book for the Classics Club Project – If I keep at my current pace, I won’t be able to finish my 75 books in 5 years. Although I still have 4.25 years left, I don’t want to rush this in the future.
  • Our book club’s book of the month – Yes, I will continue to read them and join the monthly discussions.

This doesn’t mean that I will only read three books a month. Sure, I may have failed a couple of months now to even finish that number of books, but hey, this is a good time to improve my reading, right? So I will pick four books per month that I will challenge myself to finish, and if the month is pretty good for reading, I will pick an extra book which I will be reporting. Note that the fourth book can be any book (a random book, a buddy read), but I’m leaning toward short story collections for this year because I noticed the dearth of short stories in my read shelf. I find that shocking because I remember I was inured to the wonders of literature by the short story, not to mention that I used to write amateur short stories back then.

So yes, here’s this month’s reading plan:


  • The Noble Nobel Project: The Fish Can Sing by Halldor Laxness – this is what I got for our book club’s exchange gift. Yay! I want to read it for three reasons. First, I want to take in the freshness of a new book. Second, it was David Mitchell’s favorite book for a time. And third, I miss Laxness’s storytelling.
  • The Classics Club: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo – I know, this was in my last month’s reading plan, but I figured I should start the new year with a gigantic book. This, I think, is a perfect choice for that requirement. We also have a reading support group ongoing at our book club. I’m excited to join the participants to rave about this.
  • GR-TFG’s Book of the Month: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – this book beat Dune by Frank Herbert and Unwind by Neil Shusterman at our offline and online polls. I voted for it, so yes, I’m excited to read it.
  • The Fourth: This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz – another book that has been selected in one of the previous months. This time, I will finish it. I will stick to this plan. What use is a plan if I don’t follow it, right?

I’d also like to list down the second set of changes that I’ll be doing over here. First, I’ll be scratching off two categories. Let’s bid goodbye to Diaries and Quarterly Rhapsody. The Diaries is signing off because I don’t think I will be able to find extra time to chronicle my progress with thick books. I think doing a single extra long write-up will suffice for such books, right?

It’s actually such a shame to give this up because I was able to inspire another blogger to do the same. I hope she continues the tradition (she’s a bit inactive as of late). Anyway, all existing posts under this category will be filed under Reading, which I really have no use as of this moment. I will think of something to do with it soon.

As for the Quarterly Rhapsody, it won’t really say goodbye. The nature of posts under this category are similar to my Sunday Salon and Whatnot posts. I’ll file all existing posts under the latter.

What else? Well, if I intend to finish Les Miserables this month, I have to start reading now. Let’s raise our virtual glasses to another bookish year. And thanks for always visiting my blog, for reading my posts, for sharing your thoughts, for liking, for following, for linking, for reblogging, for everything. It means a lot to me. Happy New Year! New Happy Year! :)

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22 Comments

  1. *dumps tons of support from the Les Miserables Support Group* Unlike Eponine, you won’t be on your own! Heh. And yay, Fahrenheit 451! I love Ray Bradbury :D

    Happy New Year, Angus!!

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  2. Les Miserables is amazing, have fun! Though I think if I were trying to read it within a month, I would find myself skipping some of the long tangents.

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    • Now that’s a danger. But I won’t. I’ll try (and I think I always do) not to sacrifice quality reading just to merely finish a book. :)

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  3. Hi, Angus! I wish you all the luck on your reading plans for the year! I myself am thinking of reading more classics this year, although I read quite a few already last year. I was looking at the Penguin website the other day and noticed that there are still several authors of classic works that I haven’t even read such as Thomas Mann, Thomas Hardy, the Bronte sisters, and Trollope! And to think I have some of their books in my shelf!

    Happy new year, Angus!

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    • I have Thomas Mann on my reading plan this year. I picked Buddenbrooks because I feel that it’s his masterpiece. Thomas Hardy is promising (but I feel that he’s a bit underrated). I hope I could squeeze Tess of D’Urbervilles this year.

      Like you, I’m also saying No to reading challenges hosted on other blogs. I’ll keep to my personal goals. Happy reading and Happy New Year!

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  4. Monique says

    The way I would choose my books for the month will depend on only one factor, still: variety. Heheh. :D

    Good luck with Les Miz! I think you’re going to read a lot of doorstoppers this year, yes? Don’t forget our Jonathan Strange buddy read in April! ;)

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    • I know! Gosh. But after reading the first 1% of Les Miz, I can definitely say that the reading groove is back. I already have Jonathan Strange in my mental map. Of course I won’t forget it; April is my favorite month. :D

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  5. Every time I see the thickness that is Les Miserables, I feel like cowering. BUT WE CAN DO THIS! :D I got to page 11 earlier. Hee. It’s kind of hard to hold with one hand.

    Oh and I definitely will read a Junot DIaz book this year. I swear, I love the title of that book, This is How You Lose Her. It sounds so romantic and sad.

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    • Yay! I got to page 31 last night. I hope to gain more ground. I will immediately let you know if Junot’s latest book is as good as it sounds. :)

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  6. swright9 says

    It’s commendable you are diving into Les Miz. (Better you than I, ha!) It’s a bit intimidating to start eh? I saw the film so I feel I’ve had my feel for the moment. cheers in 2013! http://www.thecuecard.com/

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    • It is intimidating but to ease the fear, it’s very readable. I just finished Book One and now I just recently got acquainted with Valjean. :)

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  7. I think I haven’t greeted you yet, so, Happy New Year, Angusssss!!! :D

    I would’ve loved to join the Les Mis gang but the sheer volume just depresses me. Haha! Maybe I’ll just wait for the movie or, like your chami Maria, buy the Lampara classics edition! :)) Aaand, I’m getting curious about that Diaz guy, which book of his would you recommend I read first?

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    • Happy New Year! It’s never too late; it’s still January. Anyhoo, Junot has only three books. He is admittedly a slow writer. I’d recommend Oscar Wao. I have yet to read more of his novels, but Oscar Wao should be enough to make you want more. :)

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