Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Reading Life After One Year-Part II-The Future

Yesterday I did a post observing the one year  anniversary of my blog in which I looked back on what my first year of blogging meant to me.     I intentionally kept the post relatively brief as I could have gone on for a long time about how much blogging and the international book blogging community means to me.    I want to now consider my plans and hopes for year two.    One thing I have learned in life is that something will always come along to totally surprise you but I will talk of  my plans anyway!

I plan to continue reading Japanese novels and posting on them.     I am continually discovering new to me Japanese writers whose work I want to know better.    As a quick note, reading novels by Asian authors is really not a way out of the limits of a purely Euro-centric education.     The only way out is to go deeper in.
I also want to read more works by Indian, Filipino, Indonesian and  Malaysian authors.    

Four months ago I began after a very long period of avoidance to read short stories and post on them.   Short stories will be a fixture on my blog from now on.    I have found them a great way to discover new to me writers and I am coming to appreciate the short story as a literary art form.    

I like to do "reading projects".     As of now I have three on going projects on my blog.   One is reading and posting on all of the short stories of Katherine Mansfield.    I am one third of the way through this project and expect to complete it this year.    I also recently started a big long term project which perhaps I will never finish, the fiction of Virginia Woolf.     I also have a 3rd project, Australian Bush Writers.   I think I am the only one in the blogging community posting on this topic on a regular basis.    There some really good writers in this category and I will continue on in this project indefinitely.    All of the works I will read in this category can be read online.  

In August I will be starting another reading project.     I will be posting on short stories by authors from Asian countries on the day in which the country celebrates its independence from colonial rule.   I will start on August 17 with Indonesia.    I got this idea from  Novroz' Favorite Things and will be doing my first post for this project in conjunction with her celebration of Indonesia culture on August 17.     Malaysian Independence day is observed August 31and I have found some promising  Malay writers of short stories I hope to post on that day.    I am open to a joint project on this also with a blogger with a special knowledge or interest in Malaysia.    India, Pakistan and Afghanistan also observe their independence day in August so this project has a lot of possibilities.   I am starting this on a trial basis with Indonesia on August 17 and Malaysia on August 31 and will see in September if I will continue it on.    I will read only works that are available online so others can read them also if they wish.     I am very open to suggestions or partners for this project (which I have not yet named.)

I am open to more reading challenges and group reads.

I will continue to read classics and post on them.     I do not have a structured method for which canon status books I read I just sort of let one book lead to another.    I am open to reading quality 21th century fiction and I love to discover new to me 20th century writers.  

I am open to any suggestions and comments and always like to hear from readers even if it is just to say hello.

Thanks to everyone who reads my blog-

Mel u


B said...

This all sounds fantastic. Congrats on your 1 year!

Novroz said...

thank you for meantioning my project here :) and receiving such a warm enthusiasm from you is a bliss.

I'm looking forward for your post.

Rebecca Chapman said...

Great planning. I really like your reading projects. I think you are write about the Australian Bush writers. I try to make every second book I read an Australian one, but I I haven't really focussed on the bush writers at all. I will look forward to reading your posts. This post has made me want to start my own reading projects. I would love to read everything written by Isabel Allende and Margaret Atwood. Maybe that will be my project?

Anyway, I am looking forward to another year of the reading life

Michelle Stockard Miller said...

Your plans sound interesting. I especially like the Virginia Woolf project. I have several of her books on the agenda this year, although the year is halfway over and I think I've over extended myself in the reading challenge department. I just started my blog last August and when I found out about all the reading challenges, I was like a kid in a candy store...LOL!

I look forward to hearing about what you've read over the next year.

Amateur Reader (Tom) said...

Wonderful plans. Congratulations on the anniversary.

Suko said...

I admire your ability to plan ahead for the next year. I'm sure you will exceed your goals for all challenges and projects (as you've done in the past). Again, congratulations on a very successful first year of book blogging. During my first year of book blogging, I was more or less unknown. This was before I realized the importance of reaching out to other book bloggers and readers.

Josette said...

Hi there Mel! You have an interesting post here about your ongoing and upcoming reading projects. :) But I'm most interested in the project regarding Malaysian literature.

Being a born Malaysian, I'm quite ashamed to say that I have not read many books by local authors! The only ones I've read (and they are short stories) were by Chuah Guat Eng, Karim Raslan and Robert Raymer. Have you heard of them? They're fantastic. Their books were discussed for my English class in uni.

This year I definitely hope to include more Malaysian lit into my reading. I also plan to write up a post soon about a voting contest, held by a bookstore here, for favourite local authors.

Marieke said...

Happy blog anniversary! You have achieved a huge amount in one year, all I can say is Wow! I admire your reading plans and love finding notes on your blog to books and authors 'off the beaten path' so to speak. Happy reading!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful plans. I'm also a fan of short stories. I'm currently reading Dusk by F. Sionil Jose and I have Breaking the Tongue by Loh on my TBR pile. I look forward to your recommendations on Filipino and Malaysian Lit.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Mel. How nice you're doing something together with Novroz! No wonder her guest post on my blog is so interesting to you.

Good luck with all the reading plans!

Rise said...

Congratulations! I'm inspired to think of a reading plan similar to yours next year.

mee said...

Happy bloggiversary! Sounds like you have great projects lining up there. I'm definitely interested in a few of them. What a great challenge to find Indonesian short stories that have been translated to English. I'm surprised that you even found one!