New Year's resolutions for readers: For me, it's Jane Austen (hold the zombies) | EW.com

Books | Shelf Life

New Year's resolutions for readers: For me, it's Jane Austen (hold the zombies)

A new year is fast approaching, and it’s a good time for me to take a good, hard look at my leisure reading and resolve to do better. Or at least to be a little more ambitious in my reading choices (even if it’s only to finally tackle that daunting pile of books accumulating on my nightstand that I really, truly do intend to get to someday). It’s rather embarrassing for a guy who regularly reviews books to admit to some of the glaring gaps in his reading, I admit, but I’m hoping that a public confession will spur me to action. So I hereby resolve that in 2010 I will read:

1. More poetry. I love poetry and find that I don’t make nearly enough time for it. First up: Amy Gerstler’s Dearest Creatures, which sounds brilliant in this review in the New York Times Book Review.

2. The zombie-free oeuvre of Jane Austen. (Yes, I was an English major in college. No, I never did read an Austen novel.)

3. Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. I’ve never been a comic-book guy, and I think that that aspect of this Pulitzer-winning novel always put me off. But I loved Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which boasts a comics-fixated hero, so I’m willing to take a chance.

There are other items on my to-read list (I want to chase down the acclaimed locked-room mysteries of John Dixon Carr, for instance, and go back to Lee Child’s early Jack Reacher thrillers), but that should be enough to get me started. The biggest challenge – for me, anyway – will be carving out time for already-published books when I’m so busy reviewing new titles. But what about you, Shelf Lifers? What books do you resolve to read in the new year?

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