Happy 2013, everyone!
Scott always keeps a list of the fiction he's read, and I admire it and never do it myself. In 2012, the books I remember reading, in no particular order are:
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connell
Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata
Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata
Dear Life by Alice Munro
White Horse by Alex Adams
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
Plainsong by Kent Haruf
There might be others, or there might not be. I'm not sure. There are many books I started and didn't finish, shamefully, and not necessarily because I wasn't enjoying the book.
Among these I remember, my favorite was Mrs. Bridge. This is a really lovely book. It's clever, emotional on a personal level, powerful on a historical level, funny, and so concisely written my lips get pruny just thinking about it. I also think some of my faithful readers would enjoy Plainsong. That's a lovely and delicate book...not as dark as I usually prefer.
This year, although I told everyone I wasn't making any resolutions, I realize that I made a couple of resolutions. 1. I intend to finish at least one book a month. In January, it's shaping up to be Wonder Boys, my third attempt at finishing a Michael Chabon book--I'm enjoying it so far. And in February I'm planning to read The Master and Margarita, which Scott G. to the F. Bailey kindly got me as a gift. Thank you, Scott!
2. I also have in mind the idea of writing one new short story every month, or at least the strong foundation for one that I can revise later. I want to force myself to rush a bit, because I think it has been a while since I've accessed that more panicky part of my emotions...novels offer a lot more time for reflection, at least the way I'm writing them. I have a catalog of stories that I started years ago that address important things in my life. For whatever reason, I don't think I was prepared to conclude many of them at the time, but I think I can now. I'm excited about that, as I'm excited to finish Cyberlama and maybe, maybe write a book for my sister-in-law and her sister because I think they would get such a kick out of it. In truth, this is probably more than I can handle well, but there you have it.
What's Peanut Eating? A stray dog's ear (granted, "eating" is an exaggeration, but it was troubling all the same).