It’s a new year, and we here at the Independent have many bookish resolutions. From finally making a dent in that endless to-read pile to tackling the works of specific authors, here are some staffers’ 2014 reading goals.
Alice Padwe: I am looking to have the discipline to tear myself away from fiction and finish some of the history books on my shelf: Scullard’s From the Gracchi to Nero, Barker’s Agincourt, Ackroyd’s Thames, and Ascherson’s Black Sea.
Carrie Callaghan: I’m excited to read Salman Rushdie’s Joseph Anton, Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, Charlotte Rogan’s Lifeboat, and whatever else lands on my beloved to-be-read shelf (including forthcoming works like Heather Webb’s Becoming Josephine). Here’s hoping for 40-50 books this year.
Christopher Schneidmiller: My goal is to buy fewer books. This might seem counterintuitive for someone at the Independent, but there’s a method to this madness, which is to clear off the ever-expanding piles of books stacking up around the apartment. (Sorry, Eric Schlosser’s Command and Control, I’m getting to you soon. Promise.)
Katie Dvorak: My goal is to re-read some of my favorite books I haven’t revisited in a long while (including Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, and Pillars of the Earth) and to read more nonfiction.
Josh Trapani: I’d like to continue to keep up with contemporary literary fiction. I would also like to tackle at least one of the big 19th-century Russian novels (perhaps Crime and Punishment). And I’d like to read more short-story collections, which—while the writing can be superb—I often find less enjoyable than novels.
Ananya Bhattacharyya: My goal is to read the essays of David Foster Wallace. His fiction can be a bit intimidating, but reading anything he has written is an immensely rewarding experience: very funny and very erudite.
Carolyn Sienkiewicz: I never read poetry (my loss, I know), but I’d like to change that in 2014. Please help me plan. If I were going to read 12 books of poetry or focus on 12 poets for the year, which would our readers recommend?
Holly Smith: My goal—to finish 25 books—must sound pathetic to highfalutin literary types (you know who you are), but it’s a swinging-for-the-fences aspiration for me. With four kids and a frenetic career (not to mention the fact that I have the attention span of a squirrel), finding time to read for pleasure isn’t easy. But I’ll never stop trying.