I totally forgot that I made reading goals for 2011. I listed seven books that I had to read within the year. I read a total of 24 books but only three out of the seven books listed. The list included:
1. Noli Me Tangere by José Rizal
2. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
3. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (for re-reading)
4. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
5. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
6. A Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne (or any other Jules Verne)
7. In Cold Blood / Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
I read items 2, 3 and 4. Three out of seven. Almost 50%. Not bad. Anyway, reading Swann’s Way was enough of an achievement for a year, I think. I didn’t bleed with the effort as I thought I would. I actually really liked it. And I read it at a time when something else was particularly engrossing me and I couldn’t help but note that just when I started reading Swann’s Way –this book that I have been wanting to read forever, and I knew was very good, and that didn’t disappoint — then this singular, remarkable, out-of-the-blue thing happened to me. It’s notable how there is a parallel between what we read and what goes on in our lives. I always say that I seem to read just the right book at the right time of my life. There was no connection between Swann’s Way and what was going on with me, except that I was really curious about it and I thought Marcel Proust controversial and I was feeling all sorts of controversial at the time.
I have read The Age of Innocence before. I liked it well enough but it didn’t really hit the mark for me. I re-read it to see if I would like it better but I felt the same as I did after the first reading. Newland Archer, though, would remain to be one of my favorite male characters from a book. The movie was really good, though.
Of Mice and Men. John Steinbeck hit the mark for me with Grapes of Wrath: it is one of my all-time favorites. This book, Of Mice and Men, is a short one and I really can’t comment on it except that I am thankful it’s crossed off my list.
This year, as I’ve said, I won’t be picking what particular books to prioritize. I will go with whatever feels right at the moment and whatever would help me de-stress from my law studies. There is one book that I know I will read before the year is over: Ulysses. It is a done deal.