Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday Salon: Becoming the Reader I Wanted to Be

There's been so much talk about reading deliberately this year. For me, the focus has been on the awards lists, but I've also tried to balance those with other new releases I think are award-worthy. 

As a true list-lover, my first plans for 2011 reading are to read the Best of the Year lists. As a liberal, academic northeasterner, my go-to list is, of course, The New York Times. When their Top 10 Reads of 2010 were announced earlier this week, I was amazed. The Top 5 Fiction are:
Freedom: A NovelThe New Yorker StoriesRoom: A NovelSelected StoriesA Visit from the Goon Squad
  1. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
  2. The New Yorker Stories by Ann Beattie
  3. Room by Emma Donoghue
  4. Selected Stories by William Trevor
  5. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
As someone who used to begin her goals with the New York Times Top5 Fiction list, it feels amazing to have already read the three novels on the list. I'm rather ambivalent about short stories collections, so those may not even make it onto my list of books to read. As rewarding as it is for me to have read the three novels on the list, it's even more amazing to agree with their selections. Both Room  and A Visit from the Goon Squad will also be in my Top 5 for the year (assuming December reads don't completely blow me away.) 

I realize the New York Times list is not the end all or be all of quality literature, but to already have a voice to weigh in on their best of the year selections when they're announced makes me feel like I've become the reader I've wanted to be since I was a teenager, and that feeling is amazing.

What accomplishments have made you feel you've become the reader you want to be?

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  1. To become the reader I've always wanted to be? I focus on 1001 books, especially the children's list. And I finished Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children.

    Good question.

  2. I read three books in November. Two of those are Tintin albums and the third carried over from October!

    Right now I am happy to be back in the reading mode, although a bit slower!

    Here is my Weekly Geeks post!

  3. I know exactly how you feel! This is the first year that I've read enough newly released fiction to feel as though I can discuss the choices of major publications too :-) Room is my book of the year, but I haven't read Egan's book yet - I'll have to add it to the list :-)

  4. I know what you mean - I too have read several from the NYT Most Notable List this year which may be the first time I've actually made my way through books on the list BEFORE the list was announced (I also loved Room!). I have been reading a lot of contemporary, new fiction lately ... and discovered some new authors and that has made my reading quite enjoyable of late!

  5. It is satisfying to agree with the NY Times though isn't it?! Pretty cool for you!

    I must say I've thoroughly enjoyed knowing I can turn to you this year to know that you will be reviewing this year's award winners first so I can see if they are worth reading :)

  6. I have read loads more new releases and award nominatws books this year than I ever have previously. I notice Willam Trevor is on that list, I read his novel The Children of Dynmouth earlier this year and I really enjoyed it.

  7. This year I read more of the books I wanted to read versus last year when I read mostly what was sent to me. In the coming year I am hoping to read at least one classic a month, and also to try a few authors that have been a bit intimidating to me, like Proust and Pamuk. Very cool question!


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Happy reading!