Monday, January 6, 2014
This week at the library: prospects for the new year
The winter solstice is passed and December has ended, beginning a new year regardless of your reckoning. In the past few days I've used my time off, and the fact that it's too cold and dark out to do anything outside, to finish a few books begun in late December -- Bernard Cornwell's Stonehenge, and The Red Queen, a book on sexuality and human nature. With the year anew, what lies ahead?
January is a kind of penitent season, as people start New Years resolutions to get out of debt and lose all the weight they accumulated eating Christmas goodies. In that spirit, I'm going to be making an effort to read some books I've long intended to read, but have never quite gotten around to. That includes the first book in a Roman historical fiction series (spotted on Seeking a Little Truth), as well as some science fiction. I will also be resuming the Story of Civilization series by Will Durant sometime this..ah, year. The problem at this point is that the last three books all seem to be about the same things: the climax of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and Napoleon.
In the coming year I will of course have the usual tributary readings; a focus on English culture in April, for St. George's Day; a set on the American revolution in late June for the Fourth of July; some French items in mid-July for Bastille Day, and something in October for Germany. As previously announced, throughout 2014 I will be reading books on the Great War, one a month. I won't be combining the Great War theme with the heritage readings.
I suspect historical fiction is going to take a hit, because once I read Sharpe's Waterloo, I will have not only finished Sharpe's series but exhausted virtually all of Cornwell's fictional offerings. There remain a few books I've not read, like the second in his Grailquest series and a historical romance he wrote under a false name (yes, really), but after a few years of dedicated, wholly enjoyable reading, I'm reduced to waiting for him to write new books. Alas.
I also think that 2014 will be a boom year for science and nature reading, because I've discovered an author whose work I think I'll take to. We'll see..
2014 will continue readings in city planning, food, and the like, with everything under the sun also under consideration.
A year of fascinating reads to you all!