Friday, April 1, 2011

2011 Goals: Checking In

On January 1, I made some bold reading goals. Now that one quarter of this year is over, it's time to check in.

1. Read all the Orange Prize winners
I hoped to read one each month. I succeeded in January (Larry's Party) and February (A Crime in the Neighborhood). My March reading has been slower, largely due to moving, which ate into my reading time for several weeks. I'm still on track to complete this goal, although my pace of reading one a month has slowed. Total: 2/12

2. Finish the 2010 Orange Prize longlist
I've only managed to read one (Small Wars) of the remaining thirteen, but I'm confident I can finish by the end of 2011. Total: 1/13

3. Read 12 Shakespeare plays
I did manage to finally read Hamlet in January, but I've fallen behind on this goal too. Total: 1/12

4.  Year of Feminist Classics
I completely abandoned this reading project. I'd read most of the titles, and I decided I would rather focus on reading new-to-me books than re-reading books from college. I have been enjoying the posts of those who are completing the project, however. Abandoned

5. 1001 Books to Read Before You Die
I planned to read the 21 titles published before the 1700's this year. I didn't anticipate that most of them are discouragingly long and many are difficult to find. I still plan to read all 1001, but I'm considering letting pick my reading order instead of reading them chronologically. The project is on hold for now. Abandoned (for now)

6. 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Literature
I'm eagerly awaiting the announcement of the winner and two finalists on April 18 at 3 p.m. I've starting piecing together my predictions, but I'm eager to see what will be added to my reading list! Total: ?/3

7. 2011 Orange Prize longlist
I've managed to read eight of the twenty already! Granted, I had the good fortune to have read five before the list was announced. I'm on track to complete the other twelve before the winner is announced June 8. (The shortlist will be announced April 12.) Total: 8/20

8. 2011 Booker Prize shortlist
I may end up reading the longlist too, which will be announced July 26. Total: ?/6

9. 2011 National Book Award for Fiction
The five finalists won't be announced until October, so I have plenty of time for this one. Total: ?/5

10. Have fun!
I'm having a great year of reading. I've found a nice mix of accomplishing specific goals and prize lists but also reading books just because I want to. Success!

Overall thoughts
I'm meeting some goals and abandoning others. I've read 27 books this year. March was my quietest reading month, as I managed to only finish six books, but I hope to pick up the pace in April. The total number is less important to me. I've read some long books and some short books. I'm read some easier books and some more challenging one. I'm enjoying balance, and I'm enjoying starting my days with reading.

I've read three five-star books in 2011:
One Day (Vintage Contemporaries Original)The Sweet Relief of Missing Children: A NovelThe First Husband: A Novel
What's you favorite book of 2011 (so far?)

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  1. I didn't realize you were such a literary prize aficionado! I am too; the Booker & Orange prizes are my favorites. I'm looking forward to your impressions of all those upcoming reads.

  2. Your goal breakdown is seriously impressive. And we, the blogging community, benefit from all the reading and reviewing you're doing. I've tried finding the Orange Prize titles at my library without luck, and I really can't afford to purchase more than one at the moment. I'm hoping that I'll get to some sooner, but anticipate your reviews so I'll know exactly what to grab first. Good luck with the rest of the challenges!

  3. Wow--that is quite the list of goals! Have you seen the interactive spreadsheet that a blogger created to help you track the 1001 books? It's an excel document--bet you can find it by googling it. Anyway, it's really neat. But I agree about some of those pre-1700 books. Long and hard to find!

    Good luck with the next quarter.

  4. Eeek, I can't even imagine how I did this first quarter -- I might try this and see!

    A Year of Feminist Classics seems like such an interesting challenge but like you, I'm so pressed for reading time that I'm loathe to do any rereads unless hugely motivated.

    I've always wanted to tackle a whole lit prize like you do -- Orange Prize might be the way to go because it features authors I tend to enjoy. I had to laugh that you'd already read so many on the longlist!

  5. Those are some ambitious goals, so I'm glad that you're doing well on many of them! I hope you get them all crossed out!

  6. I like the idea of reading the Orange winners as there aren't a huge number so its quite doable in a year. I've read a couple anyway so might look into this.

  7. Your goals are ambitious and they still are even if they've been modified. Best of luck this year!


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