My 2011 goal: Read a book a week for the year

I’ve made a couple resolutions for this year.

Some are your typical New Year’s resolutions: Work out and lose weight, pay off debt, write more.

But there’s something else I’ve wanted to do for a long time that I never really have had the time for and never really understood how to make time for it.

It started with a blog post by my friend Ron last January when he introduced his 52 in 52 project — 52 books in 52 weeks.

I thought he was nuts, but also thought it was a cool project.

Then last month, I saw a blog post by the great Dave Fleet, where he gave tips on how to read 26 books a year — one every two weeks.

And it got the wheels in my head turning.

I used to read all the time. As a kid, there was hardly a time that a book would not be in my hands. Heck, when I was in university I couldn’t wait to graduate so that I wouldn’t feel so guilty about reading for personal reasons over doing readings assigned for my classes.

Then I graduated and my reading went by the wayside.

For a year, I drove to work. My commute was a daily total of three hours. It was easy to say that is why my reading dried up — I just didn’t have the time. And you can’t read while you drive, unlike reading when you commute by public transit.

It’s been nearly four months since I left that job, and I still haven’t read much more. I went through a peak after I got my Kindle in September, but then it fell by the wayside again.

So I’ve decided to steal Ron’s project — and hope to achieve 52 books in 52 weeks. Armed with Ron’s idea, and Dave’s determination (as well as a great post he linked to about how to read a book a week), here I go.

Here’s a look at the books I have on my list so far:

A few notes before I start:

I started the Secret Daughter at Christmas. So I’m a quarter of the way through it. Because of this, I am adding Under the Dome by Stephen King. It’s another book I’ve started, but can’t get through. So those two books will cancel each other out and balance out the 52.

After each book, I’m aiming to do a blog post about it. Not a review per say, but just a post to talk about the book and get a discussion going. If you’ve read it, or would like to read it, hop in and talk about it.

I’m also looking for suggestions. I’d like to branch out from my usual chick-lit, and would like some more non-fiction books up there. Leave some suggestions in the comments.

If you want to read along, here’s a preliminary schedule (don’t feel you have to keep up, but I’d love for people to read books that jump out at them): UPDATE 03/28: This schedule is outdated. Please click here for a listing of the books I have read so far.

Jan. 1 — The Secret Daughter

Jan. 8 — How Music Works

Jan. 15 — Ender’s Game

Jan. 22 — I’d Know You Anywhere

Jan. 29 — Every Last One

(Photo courtesy of mccun934 on Flickr)

Leave a comment with your book suggestions below. Or leave a comment with a suggestion for what to call this series. Or just leave a comment with your moral support. I’m going to need it.

  • spydergrrl

    What a great idea. In the Fall, I started listening to audiobooks on my 2+ hour-a-day commute. Between those and all the podcasts i listen to, I’ve never been more well read. And I don’t think of my time in the car as wasted anymore.

    Fluffiest read: “French women don’t get fat”
    Best read: “Wikinomics”

    • Sarah Millar

      I could never get in to audiobooks, Tanya. I tried, but found my eyes just glazed over and I tuned them out.

      I’ll definitely add these two to my list. Thanks for the suggestions!

  • davefleet

    @sarah_millar Awesome! Let me know how it goes, and if you find any interesting reads!

    • sarah_millar

      @davefleet Let me know if you have any suggestions (I may steal some from your list)!

  • Guy

    If you want to do a late-night double feature, I can lend you Late Shift, Bill Carter’s book from the original Letterman-Leno war in the early 90s.

    A couple of years ago, I started “This Is Your Brain on Music” by Daniel J. Levitin, but it bogged down in minutiae. Your selection sounds better.

    • Sarah Millar

      I’d love to borrow Late Shift, Guy — I’ve just seen the TV move and even that was years ago.

      Yeah I wanted to read This is Your Brain on Music, but had second thoughts. I’ve heard from a couple people it bogs down. We’ll see how this one goes.

  • Mette Millar

    I wish I could keep up with you in your weekly endeavors. However, at the rate I’m going these days I would be left in your dust!

    I’m always looking for new books to read so will be interested to hear what you thought of the titles you’ve chosen.

    If I could make some recommendations for your non-fiction selection:

    Freaks, Geeks, & Asperger’s Syndrome – Luke Jackson

    Born on a Blue Day – Daniel Tammet

    These are both autobiographies of what it is like to live with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Luke Jackson wrote Freaks, Geeks, & Asperger’s Syndrome when he was a teen. Daniel Tammet has some amazing talents and has a documentary made about him. I’d be happy to lend them to you.

    Good luck!

  • lizz

    I’m a terrible reader so I’ll just leave you a list of the books I’ve read “recently” (keeping in mind that I’m always a late adopter):

    Never Let Me Go
    Her Fearful Symmetry (the book that Audrey Niffenegger got the giant advance for after the success of The Time Traveler Wife)
    The Time Traveler Wife
    Fall on your Knees (creeped me out and I didn’t finish but it’s a good book)

    Waiting to be read: We need to talk about Kevin

    Other books I like:

    The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland
    Lamb by Christopher Moore

    I have a pile of unread (and likely never to be read) books on my shelf I could donate to your cause

    • Sarah Millar

      I’ve read Room (loved it), The Time Traveller’s Wife and Fall on Your Knees. I’ve started Her Fearful Symmetry three times to no avail. Perhaps this is the year. The others I may have to add to the list! Thanks Lizz!

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  • Patrick

    War and Peace
    Moby Dick
    Anything by Jonathan Franzen.

    What? Too long?

    Seriously though, I am impressed by your ambition. Will have to ponder a good one week book. (added by Mobile using Mippin)

    • Sarah Millar

      Actually Patrick, I’ve been thinking about picking up some classics in this project, so your suggestions are noted. And I am a quick reader, so may just be able to tackle a larger book like War and Peace (after all The Dome isn’t short by any means either!

  • lizz

    I found HFS hard to get into, but once you wrap your head around everything it’s good goin’ (until the end, when it falls apart – but still worth the read)

  • Zalina

    My recommendation! It’s called The Dispossessed, it’s by Ursula K. Le Guin, an amazing and highly acclaimed (sci-fi) author. My advice: try not to get wrapped up in the physics that she throws in; in some of those cases, it’s better to read without trying to comprehend and just trust that it will become clear in a holistic sense. I’ll make another in a few months. Good luck! :)

  • Zalina

    Oh, oh, oh! Never mind that “few months” thing, here’s another that I think you’d really like if you haven’t already read it: Prisoner of Tehran, a memoir from an Iranian women who now lives in Toronto. Her story is pretty amazing.

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