The Outlaw Life

running, reading, blogging, loving

Happy New Year, My Beauties

on January 2, 2013

Hello, all! Hopefully your New Year dawned bright and clear and lovely, today! The Kansas City area got hit with a good deal of snow yesterday (alright, like three inches, but still) and it turned to ice overnight, making today the perfect day to stay in, stay warm, and get on the All Powerful Interwebs to chat with you fine folks about all the amazing things coming up in 2013 – hopefully!

So, I shared a post with you a bit ago about my desire to read more consciously, and I put forth a list of general categories (gratefully stolen from Maple & a Quill) that I think will help expand some of my reading boundaries in 2013. I’m one of those people that, frustratingly, loves lists in theory, but feels stifled and confined by them in reality, so I’m hoping that having some dedicated categories with otherwise free choice will be a format that works really well for me. You can check out that past post for the full list, but some of the categories I’m most excited about are essay collection, lit studies, history non-fiction, and children’s books. I mean, how to not get excited about that?!

In addition to reading the 52 books off that list, I’m hoping to do a couple other things with my reading life in 2013: I’m hoping to read more globally,wanting to read along with the Tournament of Books and I’m hoping to spend a significant chunk of time with Toni Morrison over the year. Let me explain. No, there is too much – let me sum up:

I read a lot of books by white people, about white people, set in a white, English-speaking world. I’m not proud of this fact. I often like to pretend it isn’t true, and greatly admire those people who seem tapped in to this global reading vein. In a potentially proud effort to correct this nature of my reading life, I’m planning on using this website to explore some geographical and cultural regions that, ashamed to say, I’ve never visited before (meaning that, in addition to the few places I have and enjoy reading about – Latin America, the British Isles, Nigeria and Kenya – I’m also planning on reading literature from China, Japan, Russia, Eastern Europe, the Pacific Islands, other African countries, and pretty much all of South America). I’m not necessarily sure I have overarching goals in terms of something to “get out” of this project, so much as I just want the personal satisfaction of knowing I’ve expanded my reading frontiers.

And then there is the 2013 Tournament of Books, which is an event that I first heard of last year, but came to WAY too late to the table to get involved in. So I kept an eye out for it this year and I think SO MANY of the books look awesome. I’ll most likely be coming out with another post about this before too long, but suffice to say that if you follow the link you’ll find a pretty heady list of the great books that came out in 2012.

Lastly- the Toni Morrison thing. I love Toni Morrison. By which, I mean I love Beloved and The Bluest Eye. Which are the only two I’ve read. But this year, her  book Home came out and I heard lovely things and I’ve realized that I need to do a bit better about reading deeply as well as widely, especially with authors I know I love. Which is why many authors made the list, and will eventually see the light of day with similar projects (John Steinbeck, Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens, Neil Gaiman, etc.) but I was just in a mood when this idea came to me, and decided to go with Toni Morrison. Because she is lovely and beautiful and talented beyond words, and the idea of the project makes me quite excited.

That, my blogging darlings, is just a bit of an outline of the amazing things I hope to see happen in 2013, where my reading life is concerned. I have no 2012 summation because, to be honest, I spent pretty much 80% of the year tits-deep in Mr. George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series (but I’m FINALLY on the last available volume, Dance with Dragons, and by God I WILL FINISH SOON), and that would be pretty much the answer for any question asked, good or bad. In fact, that’s the new answer for everything in life: Game. Of. Thrones.

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