Friday, January 9, 2009

My Reading Goals for 2009

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For the New Year, I have set out two reading goals for myself. I read entirely too many mysteries (I'm now working through Donna Leon's Inspector Brunetti series set in modern Venice; what great characters! what corruption! what great food!) so I would like to stretch myself a bit and read more widely. Here's what I plan to read in 2009 to expand my knowledge of the world and its literature:

Classic Novels:

Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf
A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
Pere Goriot, by Honore de Balzac
O Pioneers!, by Willa Cather
Recollections, by Colette

I have never read anything by these authors before, so I will hopefully be able to proudly crow about them the next time some punk kid asks me about them at the shop.

Books about Food:

The Language of Baklava, by Diana Abu-Jaber
A Bowl of Red by Frank X. Tolbert
A Glutton for Punishment: Confessions of a Mercenary Eater by Jay Jacobs
Stealing Buddha's Dinner, by Bich Minh Nguyenn
We Are What We Ate: 24 Memories of Food, edited by Mark Winegardner

I read a lot of cookbooks and foodie novels for escapism, but I would like to know more about the social history of food, hence this challenge for myself. I have just finished Diana Abu-Jaber's book above for the Cook the Books club, and I have also found out that there is an organized Books About Food Challenge which I may join if I can get my butt in gear for the March 31st deadline.

Books about Science:

Bully for Brontosaurus, by Stephen Jay Gould
Ravens in Winter, by Bernd Heinrich
The Extinction Club, by Robert Twigger
The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco, by Marilyn Chase
Equations of Eternity: Speculations on Consciousness, Meaning, and the Mathematical Rules that Orchestrate the Cosmos, by David Darling (this last selection will really test my resolve!)

There's a Science Books challenge for 2009 which asks readers to read only 3 books all year to help spread science literacy. I SHOULD be able to do that.

Back to the books....

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