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What’s In Store For 2013?

Last year was slow.

I began the year reading my 34th book from the list, American Pastoral. I finished on Book 50, The Great Gatsby. That’s only 16 books. But here’s the catch: A Dance To The Music of Time is 12 books that counts as 1 on this list. So…I actually read 29.

That’s still a slightly slower pace than I had in 2011, when I got through 31 novels or so.

All that to say, now, with A Dance out of the way, I hope to pick up the pace a little in 2013. My target goal this year is to get through book 75, which would put me on pace to finish this project sometime in late 2014.

My main question this year will be: Which long novels should I tackle next?

Nothing left on the list is even remotely close to A Dance in length, but the longest novels I have left are as follows:

  • Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (784 pages)
  • The Recognitions by William Gaddis (976 pages)
  • The Sot-Weed Factor by John Barth (768 pages
  • The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (1,536 pages)

My heart says I should tackle The Lord of the Rings this year, but my head says I should hold off until next year on a book that long, especially after spending so much time on A Dance this year.

If I choose to leave The Lord of the Rings alone until 2014, that would mean I definitely need to take on the second longest remaining book, The Recognitions. Then I would probably read one of the two remaining lengthy novels above so I don’t have three bulky novels to get through next year.

With the long novels also comes balancing the short novels, of which I still have a few left–including The Crying Of Lot 49, The Day of the Locust, and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

So if you thought I just haphazardly picked novels from the list to read, you’re wrong! This thing takes some strategy, especially from the standpoint of balancing my time and making sure I can keep the blog content interesting with each book.

Some of the other remaining books from the list that I could possibly tackle in 2013: On The Road, Portnoy’s Complaint, The Sun Also Rises, Brideshead Revisited, and Light In August.

In other news, I hope to have some information for you about a possible 101 Books-related book this year. I’ve got a proposal written and will be working with an agent to hopefully get it in some publisher’s hands later this year. Hopefully, by the end of this year, I’ll have approval on the book for release in 2014. Not a lot to share there yet, but it is something that’s going on behind the scenes.

So there you go. Enough with all the looking back and looking ahead and top posts and highlights and lowlights and etc, etc. I’ll get back to the normal post routine on the blog on Monday.

In the meantime, feel free to share some of your input about the blog. Want to see more or less of a certain type of post? Something about 101 Books that you love or hate and want to let me know as we get started in 2013? Fire away!

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22 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ryan #

    I’ve read a few of your possibles for the coming year (but none of the longer ones). Pynchon is interesting but dizzying and I was in the middle on the Hemingway. However, I feel confident saying that you will enjoy Light in August more than you did The Sound and the Fury.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
    • That seems to be the general consensus about Light In August. Good to hear.

      Like

      January 4, 2013
  2. Oh sounds like an exciting two years! I personally vote for LotR, but only because it’s great and I’m planning on rereading them soon. And just a note, Brideshead Revisited isn’t a long book but it’s a long read, or I felt it was.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
    • Im with u, go LotR!! Definitely a series I need to re-read 😛

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      January 4, 2013
  3. Best wishes for good reading for you in 2013!

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    January 4, 2013
  4. I say tackle LOTR. I, too, am trying to make my way through all three of the books. My solution is to listen to them instead of reading them, which I know is controversial, but to me it counts as reading. Also, the books have a lot of music and poetry, so those pages will go quickly, and if you listen to it, you get to hear the music performed. It’s very exciting! Ha. Ha. I am halfway through!

    Like

    January 4, 2013
  5. I always enjoy the odd and unique things you discover out there on the web about the books you are reading. The Seinfeld episode about the Cheever letters comes to mind as does the original Gatsby cover. I am glad you finished the Dance as I must admit, I deleted most of those posts without reading, except for your final review. Happy reading in 2013. I look forward to following along with you!

    Like

    January 4, 2013
    • Haha. Thanks for the honesty. Just from traffic, I got the feeling that the Dance posts were high on most of my subscribers’ list.

      Like

      January 4, 2013
  6. I’m with Emily and Geoff on LOTR, Robert. No reason to fear it. If you get engaged with the story, you’ll fly through it.

    On the other hand, I have as much of a thing about Pynchon as you have about William Gibson: I’ve read Lot 49 twice, once voluntarily, once semi-voluntarily as a class assignment, and hated it both times. Pynchon reminds me of T.S. Eliot: he wants to make sure you know that he’s smarter than you will ever be. With that bias in mind, I don’t know whether to suggest you get Gravity’s Rainbow over and done with or try Lot 49 first.

    Not many people seem to see it but The Sun Also Rises is an almost love story. Read that as “almost-love story” or “almost love-story.” Both apply, but given that it’s Hemingway writing it, it’s anything but gushy.

    Good luck with your selections! Happy reading.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
    • Everyone wants me to read LOTR!

      That one, as well as Lot 49, will actually be re-reads. I’ve read most of LOTR but got tripped up somewhere in the last book. The trick is blog content. I’m sure I’ll find plenty out there about LOTR, but it’s always intimidating to think about having enough posts to cover a book that might take me 6 weeks to 2 months to read.

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      January 4, 2013
      • Well, since LOTR is a trilogy, you could break it up that way, a la (much as I hate to make the comparison) Dance. But I’m SURE you won’t have any trouble coming up with blog topics. 🙂

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        January 4, 2013
  7. turnerbethany #

    Even though LOTR looks like it is a long book, once you get into it you will be able to fly right through it.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
  8. Alex in Leeds #

    I’d argue that Pynchon will take you twice as long to finish as you think it will… so it’s a pretty straight fight between LOTR and Gravity. 😉

    Like

    January 4, 2013
  9. Twelve books counting as one – no fair. I am really enjoying your reviews.

    Did you type out a list? I went to the site and it was in a slideshow format. I am thinking of trying to read these books myself. If you typed out a list, I ‘d appreciate you sharing it.

    Have a blessed and happy New Year.

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    January 4, 2013
  10. I honestly have only read LOTR so my recommendation is biased.

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    January 4, 2013
  11. I stumbled across your crusade as I was setting up my own to tackle the same list. I’m glad to know I’m not the only crazy one & that I’m pretty inspired after reading some of your posts. You’ve also scared me entirely- I didn’t realize that ” A Dance…” was so, huge. Best of luck this year!

    Like

    January 4, 2013
    • Ha. Yeah, I didn’t realize A Dance was that large until about a year after I started this thing. A few other people are out there tackling the list. Good luck and welcome to the blog!

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      January 4, 2013
  12. All the best this year for your reading odyssey and your upcoming book!

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    January 4, 2013
  13. Thank you for the list.

    Like

    January 5, 2013
  14. I vote for LotR–it moves a lot faster than the huge project you took on last year. Is The Hobbit on their list? You probably should read that before LotR since it’s technically the beginning of the series.

    I tried reading Gravity’s Rainbow last year…and gave up swiftly. I think I just wasn’t in the mood for it. I might give it another try this year.

    I don’t know anything about the other two books.

    Like

    January 5, 2013
  15. Mae Silver #

    Lord of the Rings is an absolutely amazing masterpiece, I definitely vote on that one 😛

    Like

    January 5, 2013

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