In truth it's been a long time since I made a New Year's resolution. While the tradition is intended to be empowering and bring with it the joy of a fresh start full of promise and an opportunity to exhibit one's capacity for ultimate goodness, I've found that the act of making frivolous pledges to onesself generally just ends up being a way to brutally tear apart the once well-meaning self come June, or at the first sense of a misstep.
The tradition, as I understand it, is based on Janus, a mythological king of Rome, for who the month of January is named. King Janus had one face that looked forward and one that looked backward. The New Year marks the apex of the calendar, where one is able to look to the future and also reflect on the past. Making a resolution is super, but a year of heavy expectations is tough, especially because of the whole human thing...something that Janus obviously wouldn't understand.
Still, as guilty as I've felt for breaking past promises to myself about not smoking or trying to eat more vegetables, I also feel a modicum of shame for not even trying, and letting a couple years slip by without even the acknowledgement that yes, I too, could possibly, potentially, perhaps be a better person.
A compromise: a fun resolution.
Thinking hard about the things that I want to do, but just can never find the time for, I came to the conclusion that the thing I want most, but pretend like I just "can't fit in to my schedule" is to become acqainted with genre fiction. How can I ever understand books if I don't try to get to know all types of them?
Thus, I proclaim 2012 the YEAR OF GENRE FICTION.
I've selected 12 genres and 12 books. Ideally, I'd like to read two books from each genre per month, but I don't want to plan out all 24 books, in case something comes up.
Maybe you'd like to get in on this too, huh? We can be book buds! (We'll all get matching bookmarks and bracelets and have squeeling Skype chats when we get to the Erotica month. OMG!)
Below are the genres and books I've selected. Seriously dudes, this is going to be AWESOME.
January: Fantasy, American Gods by Neil Gaiman
February: Romance, The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
March: Sci Fi, The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
April: Hood Books, True to the Game: A Terri Woods Fable
May: Western, Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
June: Erotica, The Story of O by Pauline Reage
July: LGBT, A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood
August: Chick Lit, The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
September: Historical Fiction, The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
October: Horror, Windeye by Brian Evenson
November: Sports Fiction, The Professional: A Novel by W.C. Heinz
December: Mystery, The Alienist by Caleb Carr