Thursday, January 1, 2009

Looking to 2009

Happy 2009!

2008 was a pretty good year for reading some good books and here's hoping 2009 will be even better. There are some books coming out I can't wait for, especially Corambis by Sarah Monette, Hope's Folly by Linnea Sinclair, and Kings and Assassins by Lane Robins. Elizabeth Bear also has a new Edda of Burdens book (By the Mountain Bound) coming out later in the year and the next of Ann Aguirre's Sirantha Jax series (Doubleblind) will be out as well as the first book in her new Corine Solomon series (Blue Diablo). I'm sure there will be many, many more too.

Over the last week I've been thinking about some reading goals for 2009:

1. Read 50 Books

I really considered making this number higher since I made that goal in 2008, but in the interest of being realistic with my goals I ended up deciding to just aim for 50 again. If I'm going to continue to review every book I read, I just don't think I'll have time for much more than that unless 2009 is the year I become independently wealthy.

2. Read some urban fantasy

While I've read a few books considered to be urban fantasy, such as Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and Elizabeth Bear's Promethean Age series, I haven't read that much. I can't think of a single werewolf or vampire book I've read where they weren't background characters or in a parody. So I thought this year I'd try to read some more urban fantasy, especially the types of books very different from what I have read before. To work toward that goal, I did get Moon Called by Patricia Briggs and Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison.

3. Read more science fiction that scares me

Although I've become a huge fan of space opera this year, there are some science fiction books that still frighten me because I think they will be too dry or won't have good characters. Not having actually read these books, I don't know that, though, and maybe they aren't as scary as I think. It's time to find out.

4. Read more comic books

Since reading Sandman, I haven't read any graphic novels. On my list is Watchmen and at least the first of the Lucifer comics (which are a spin off of the Lucifer from Sandman).

5. Challenge myself to read one book a month that I'm hesitant to read

This goal is mostly so I'll read some of those books that have been sitting on my shelf for whatever reason (most of these will be books that are there because they're very long, because they're science fiction that scares me, or because the first book is part of a long series/short series containing long books). I might be challenging myself or having John challenge me or do some of both; I haven't decided yet. After I told John about my goal (and my decision for January's book challenge, which is reading Childhood's End, a book he told me I should read), he wanted to give me a book to read every month. So I may try that for a while unless I find I'm not getting to a lot of books that have been sitting on the bookshelf for a while that I want to get off my conscience.

I'm still going to try to manage it so I only read the longer books when I'm behind on reviews and have some catching up to do since I only avoid long books now because I have nothing to review if it takes me forever to read a book.

I thought about having a goal of reading more book published in 2009 than I did books published in 2008 last year but decided that wasn't a very realistic goal if I'm going to only be able to manage about 50 books for the year. There are too many older books I still need to read.

So that's it for reading goals. Anyone else been setting goals for books to read this year?


ediFanoB said...

My number of goals is decreasing the older I get. For 2009 only three:

- Work less hours (40 instead of 60 per

- Spend more time with my wife

- Read 50 books
(Will be difficult because I have a lot of books with more than 600 pages each on my list; 50 books with 300 pages = 15000 pages; 50 books with 600 pages = 30000 pages !!)

Harry Markov said...

Hey, these goals for 2009 are almost the same as mine. 90 boosk will be an awesome achievement and as far as Urban fantasy goes, try Rachel Vincent, Vicki Pettersson, Chris Howard, Karen Chance and Jocelynn Drake. Those are starter authors, but it is advisable to start with the icons such as Rachel Caine, C.E Murphy, Kelley Armstrong and Kim Harrison [best advised, yet to read, but kickass feedback so far]. Too many to count actually.

And January and February are sci-fi months to experience sci-fi. I will post about that one tomorrow.

Kristen said...

Edifanob - Those sound like good goals. 60 hours is way too much time to be working and spending time with your s.o. is always good. :)

I can sympathize with the 50 book goal and having too many long books on the list since I'm worried about that this year as well. Last year I made it because I read a lot of shorter books than the previous year but I just picked up a 900 page book. At least it should give me a chance to get caught up on the 4 reviews I need to write and I'll read a short book or two after that one to make up for it somewhat.

Daydream - Good luck with the 90 book goal! I would love to read more than 50 but I'm afraid that wouldn't be a realistic goal for me at all. Thanks for all the urban fantasy recommendations too! Since I have a book by Patricia Briggs and one by Kim Harrison, I'll be starting with one of those two.

Harry Markov said...

I hope you enjoy the genre, I primarily deal with it, since it's my writing genre of choice and I know a thing or two.

90 books will be impossible, but I hope at least to manage the books on my current list. I want to clear the years before and get to the more recent releases.

Kristen said...

Daydream - I added your blog to my links a couple of days ago; forgot to tell you that.

Harry Markov said...

Thank you very much! ;)

Kristen said...

You're welcome!

CĂ©lia said...

I've read a lot last year... About 70 books. My gool for 2009 is 75, but I don't know if I'm going to make it because I just moved to my new house and I have more responsibilities and things to do :(
I have another goal that is read a lot of different genres and new authors.

PS: I loved Jacqueline Carey's "Kushiel's Dart". I have already read the second one in the series and just bought the third :)

Kristen said...

Canochinha - Those sound like good goals for the year. It's always good to try new books. Good luck with the 75 books goal!

I'm about 200 pages into Kushiel's Dart now, and so far, I like it, too.

Benjamin said...

Hi Kristen! I found your blog recently and I've added it to my list. :-) I managed to read 62 books in 2008. My goal is read at least 60 for this year. Anymore than that and I'd probably kill myself trying. :-P

Here's a few more urban fantasy recommendations if you think you might be interested. I've enjoyed all of these,
Sharp Teeth, Toby Barlow
Storm Front, Jim Butcher
Already Dead, Charlie Huston
Unclean Spirits, M.L.N. Hanover (aka Daniel Abraham)
Kitty and the Midnight Hour, Carrie Vaughn
Snake Agent, Liz Williams

With the exception of Sharp Teeth, all of the above are first books in a series.

Kristen said...

Hi Benjamin! Thanks for adding my blog to your list. I have added yours as well.

I understand keeping your goal at 60 or you'd kill yourself trying. That's why I didn't try for 60 this year - reading and reviewing 50 last year was about my limit.

Thanks for adding more urban fantasy books to my list! :)

Anonymous said...

I want to help with #3 - science fiction books that scare you. Give me some examples or choices.

Kristen said...

Nephtis - Science fiction books that scare me tend to be older ones or ones that have a lot of hard science fiction. Mostly if I think they're going to have a lot of focus on the "science fiction" part and less so on characters, I tend to be hesitant to read it.

Some of the ones I have on the to read list are:

Childhood's End (which I'm going to read this month)
Singularity Sky
Schismatrix Plus (tried to read this one a couple of times and just could not get into it at all)
In the Ocean of Night
A Deepness in the Sky

John told me I should get Ringworld too, but I haven't yet (most of the above are ones he told me I should read or got for me).

You give great recommendations so I'd love to hear some if you have any!

Kristen said...

P.S. I should have included Heinlein on that list. Don't know if I should have counted Schismatrix though since that's one I actually attempted, not one I just thought wouldn't be my type of book without actually having read any of it.