February seems like a funny time to get this post written, but I am actively avoiding reading Emma (sorry, Jane) so it feels like a good time to update.
In this post from September (oh dear, I have not been particularly diligent, have I) I discussed the evolution of my perspective on my own reading life. It has been an exciting and validating process for a life-long "book-worm" to take a "hobby" and begin to view it as a life-style. That being said, I will keep this brief and express a couple of goals I have for myself in 2015 as a reading year.
Read more diversely. 2014 was the year that I really became aware of the existing disparities in the publishing community, particularly for authors of color. My own reading experience has been pretty white-washed up to this point and I want to change that. The scope through which I see the world seems small for the amount that I have read, but that can be attended to. I am also trying to expand my reading of the history of people of color as penned by people of color. The victors write the history for the schoolbooks, but the truth is infinitely more complex and it is definitely out there.
The year of Arthur. In 2015, my major reading project will be the original Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur paired with the complete T.H. White's Once and Future King saga. Growing up, I could not put anything Arthurian down. T.A. Barron's Lost Years of Merlin series and Gerald Morris's The Squire's Tales , paired with so many other stand-alone titles and a brief spat of obsession with the questionably decent musical "Camelot", defined my reading and writing dork self in major ways. Last year, I binge-watched BBC's "Merlin" and I binge-watched it hard. My Morgana Pendragon love is a roaring fire. Anyway, this particular project is the extension of that obsession, but in a more grown-up way. Not to mention, Pendragon Cycle? I'm coming for you.
Reread The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and complete The Silmarillion and Books of Lost Tales. These books are so familiar to me that my tattered copies of the movie editions have soft corners from my greasy child-thumbs. I read and re-read the Battle for Helm's Deep over and over again. An entire wall of my room is a topographical map of Mordor. And, as I'm sure it was for so many people, Tolkien's masterpieces are the reason I started to write fantasy fiction, my dearest literary love. With that in mind, it has been too long since I sat down and disappeared to Middle Earth.
Hundreds of pages of poorly written LOTR fan-fiction in binders with maps hand-drawn in pencil. Fighting over the Legolas bookmark with my best friend.
Jejune summerwinterautumnspring afternoons spent living life as "the last of elf-kind" in the backyard.
Prophecies. Rhyming prophecies everywhere in everything I wrote forever.
I think that's all that need be said.
So those are my three major reading goals for 2015 (with all of the other books to be read in between). As for the reading goal I'm working on at this very moment? Jane Austen. Read a Jane Austen book. Any Jane Austen book. Trust me, I will have a lot to say whenever this book is over. That is, if it is ever over.