More reading resolutions for the New Year:

1) Read at least one Dickens novel

I will undoubtedly be helped along in this by the Dickens Reading group I have joined. The next two we are scheduled to read are "Martin Chuzzlewit" and (I believe) "David Copperfield," neither of which I have attempted before.

2) A Faulkner novel

A Faulkner and a Dickens a year have been my goals in recent years, but I flubbed Faulkner in 2006. This year I will try to grow a spine and complete "The Sound and the Fury," chosen because my favorite Faulkner thus far was "Absalom, Absalom!".

3) One Alice Munro

4) One Margaret Atwood

5) One Pat Barker

These last three were authors from my "Contemporary Women Authors of Britain and Canada" oral examinations topics a couple of years ago, and I think enough time has now passed that I can peacefully return to them (without twitching or exhibiting any other symptoms of Post Examination Stress Disorder). In the intervening years, my library has filled up with unread works by these women, because of my admiration for the three or four books I had read by each for the exam, and it is time to start addressing the surplus. I anticipate that the works will be: "Runaway" by Munro, "Oryx and Crake" by Atwood, and "Border Crossing" by Barker.

6) A Kazuo Ishiguro novel

Last year I read "Never Let Me Go" and found it neither as endlessly impressive as "Remains of the Day" nor as off-putting as "When we were Orphans." This year, perhaps, will be the year of "An Artist of the Floating World."

7) A Paul Auster novel

Paul Auster was my major discovery of 2006, when I read "Book of Illusions." I am currently in the midst of "The New York Trilogy," which I hope to heaven I will finish in 2007. If not, I will be filled with shame - it is an excellent book.

8) A new play a week

The most challenging and most necessary of my goals. Since I study drama, I tend to give short shrift to reading plays that are new to me, avoiding anything that has a whiff of work about it. A play a week hardly seems like hard work, however, and 52 new plays this year seems a tremendous achievement. Perhaps I will start with Shaw's "Major Barbara," which is still sitting in my inbox, partially read, sent by the wonderful people at DailyLit.

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