Once upon a time, I used to religiously reflect on the year that was, and compose lists of resolutions for the year to come. Like a good Protestant, I saw my life and the world around me as a project that always needed working on in order to feel that things were worthwhile. Like a good Virgo, I would go back and tick off each of the previous year’s resolutions I’d stuck to or achieved (apart from the generalised ones like, say, world peace.) But in the past few years, I’ve lost any interest in trying to better myself on a grand scale, or wishing for things that are impossible. My new year’s resolution for 2006, as I remember, was, ‘Learn to use liquid eyeliner.’ Maybe it’s that I feel that life (touch wood) is generally a lot better than it used to be, and the surprises that come along are generally (again, touch wood) good ones, like getting a new job or having a book accepted, or hooking up with old mates.
So I envy bloggers like the always fascinating Judith Ridge, who summon the energy to summarise their reading and other highlights from the previous year. I don’t blog about my reading here because I’m not a critic, and that’s not what this blog is about. Having said that, I will just mention some of the books I’ve read and loved in the last while, in case you’re short of some summer reading:
Simmone Howell Everything Beautiful
Tim Winton Breath (and can I say, if there’s anyone out there who can write about water and the surf better than Tim, I’d like to read them)
David Sedaris Naked
Marilynne Robinson Home
Alicia Erian Towelhead
Christos Tsiolkas The Slap
Joanne Horniman My Candlelight Novel
I should also mention that much of my reading is due to a) the heat, b) being on holidays and c) writing avoidance. Which is not to say I’ve been doing much of c) as I’m about 12,000 words into the virginity novel, but still, grappling with characters and plots makes reading other people’s completed, edited and bound works highly appealing. Especially on 37 degree summer days when you still have some holidays to go.
To fine reading in 2009!