Tuesday, 3 January 2012

2012 - Plans and Challenges

A new year is like a blank canvas for bloggers; we are able to forget about the constraints of the last few months and embark on a new reading direction.  Sadly, being the people we are, we tend to make elaborate plans and fill up that canvas pretty quickly, leaving ourselves just as hemmed in for space by the end of the year as was the case twelve months earlier...  Still, January is a great time for readers, and I always enjoy launching into a new year and wondering what the next twelve months will bring :)

Last year, I only took part in a few challenges, all of which I comfortably completed, and that's the way I like it!  To start off 2012, I'll be putting my name down for a few Australian-themed ones, encouraging me to read more local fare.  For the third time, I'll be taking part in the Aussie Author Challenge, and I'll also be trying the Australian Women Writers Challenge - if I add the Reading Matters January Australian Literature Month, that'll be three birds with one stone :)

I'm also reserving a little reading space for events which may be coming up later this year.  The fifth Japanese Literature Challenge wraps up at the end of January, and given my love of J-Lit, this is another challenge I'll be signing up for when it returns later in the year.  I'm also hoping that after the huge success of German Literature Month last November, Lizzy and Caroline will be up for repeating the event at some point in 2012!

That's more than enough to be going on with for the moment as I don't want to fill up my particular canvas in the first week of the new year!  However, January is already looking pretty scheduled - I have decided to get the year off to a flying start by reading only books by female writers...

I have already set aside a few books from each of my specialist areas: from J-Lit I have Banana Yoshmoto's The Lake and Yoko Ogawa's Hotel Iris; in the German language I can choose from Herta Müller's Herztier, Christa Wolf's Nachdenken über Christa T. and Jenny Erpenbeck's Heimsuchung (Visitation); for Oz-Lit I have put a hold on Miles Franklin's My Brilliant Career and Alexis Wright's Carpentaria at the local library; I also have a couple of Victorian classics up my sleeve in the shape of Anne Brontë's Agnes Grey and George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss.  And if that little lot doesn't take up the whole month, I'm sure I'll be able to find another couple somewhere on my shelves...

That's quite enough planning for one post - I'm off to do some reading...  So, what are you all planning to do with 2012?

Post-Script - Although I have no plans to read any more of Haruki Murakami's fiction in 2012 (as I've read it all over the past couple of years!), my arm has been gently twisted, and I will be taking part in Tanabata's Murakami Challenge again this year :)

How, you may ask?  Well, I've had a copy of Jay Rubin's Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words sitting on my shelves for a while now, so it's about time it got read.  I'm also planning to purchase a couple of his non-fiction titles this year - Underground & What I Talk About When I Talk About Running -, and I may even get around to the anthology of short stories he selected, Birthday Stories.

But that's definitely it...