The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

Literary Resolutions for 2009

Written by: Beth Woodward, CC2K Books Editor

ImageWell, it’s New Year’s Resolution time again.  In this peculiar custom, people resolve to improve themselves, their lives, or their situations in the new year.  (I would think this should be an ongoing quest, not one saved for cold, miserable January.)  At the beginning of every year, the self-help books fly off the bookshelves as people resolve to lose weight, balance their checkbooks, or become better human beings.

But being the devoted Book Editor that I am, I find that my resolutions are all very literary in nature.  Who cares about having a great body or financial solvency when there are literally millions—maybe billions—of books in the world that I haven’t read yet? 

Thus, in 2009, I will…

Image10. Buy Amazon’s Kindle, generation 2.0.  After contemplating whether to buy Amazon’s electronic book reader last fall, I ultimately decided to wait for the second generation model to see whether some of the design flaws could be corrected.  Well, rumor has it that Kindle 2.0 will be released early this year, and will feature a larger screen and better button placement.  Plus, the rumored price drop from $359 to $249-299 won’t hurt, either.

9. Prove that James Patterson is a robot, thus allowing us mere mortals to feel better about our inability to produce 4,219 bestsellers in a year.

8. Read the 2,147,953 books on my bookshelf that I purchased once upon a time but never got a chance to read.

7. Rediscover the classics.  I went through a period back in the day where all I read were classic books.  But lately, I’ve found myself mired in contemporary literature.  So maybe it’s time I revisit our literary heritage, reading all the classics I missed my first time around.  (Methinks when I do, CC2K will have a few suggestions for me.)

6. Read the book before I see the movie, when applicable.  (Note: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which was released in 2008, doesn’t count.  Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.  But hey, at least I’m already covered for The Road.)

Image5. Become best friends with Neil Gaiman, in the hopes that some of his insane amount of talent will rub off on me.

4. Convince Wally Lamb to suddenly become a prolific writer and release another book in 2009.  Lamb’s 2008 release, The Hour I First Believed, was ten years in the making.  Unfortunately, it bit off a bit more than it could chew.  But I know he’s got another I Know This Much Is True in there somewhere, and I don’t want to wait until 2018 to read it.  Maybe I could introduce Lamb to the James Patterson robot.

3. Read all the books that have been recommended to me.  As CC2K’s Book Editor, I have received many recommendations of worthwhile reading material.  I started whittling that list down in late 2008, but I’m still working on it.  If I could quit my day job and just read all the time, I’d be good.  (Lottery Fairy, are you listening?)

2. Be the first in line for the sequels to The Hunger Games and Gone My biggest obsession last year was young adult books, and these two became my top reads for 2008, successfully blending science fiction/fantasy elements with believable character arcs.  Gone is slated to be a six-book series, the second book of which is slotted for release this summer.  The Hunger Games will be a trilogy, and the second book is scheduled for release this fall.  I would also do just about anything for the opportunity to read either of them even a few days early.  (I’m not saying I would sell my mother, but I’ve got a few lesser relatives I might be willing to negotiate.)

1. Cover a wider variety of books for CC2K.  Since taking the position as CC2K’s Book Editor in October, I have made an effort to get out of my comfort zone, reading books that I might not otherwise have picked up in order to bring you the best of the literary world.  This year, I hope to venture even farther away from my roots.  That’s not to say I’m going to start reading, say, celebrity memoirs (which are still evil), but that I will make a concerted effort to read more, and a greater variety of, books.

Selected Book Releases, January 5-11

January 6

Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich—Touted as the first full-length “between-the-numbers” Stephanie Plum novel, which means…actually, I have absolutely no idea what that means.

Eclipse by Richard North Patterson—I’m wondering if this legal thriller will be victim of mix-ups with Stephenie Meyer’s young adult novel of the same name.

Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson—This one got a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly.  Considering I could manage to kill off a pet rock, I think I’ll leave this for the more animal oriented among us.

The Power of Soul by Zhi Gang Sha—This book emphasizes the power of soul over matter.  Sounds a little too New Age-y for my tastes.

Red Carpet Suicide by Perez Hilton—Yet another book feeding into our celebrity-obsessed culture.  Odd…although this is not scheduled for release until January 6, I swear I saw it in the Virgin Megastore in Union Square (New York City) on January 2.  Hmmm…

With Wings Like Eagles: A History of the Battle of Britain by Michael Korda—A history of the 1940 Battle of Britain.

Three Weeks to Say Goodbye by C.J. Box—Adoptive parents are forced to return their daughter to her birth father, but they suspect that he has ulterior motives.

Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos—This novel tackles the death of a mother from the perspective of her three children, 25 years later.

January 8

Daemon by Daniel Suarez—Techno-thriller about a gaming genius who launches a global Internet war just before his death.