Plans for 2016


As I said before, this is my Year of Reading India.

The rules are I don’t buy any new local or overseas fiction, with the following exceptions:

  1. my friend’s book, coming out this year some time
  2. books that fit into my written by an Indian author/set in India/about India
  3. books that are necessary for my reading for writing (researchy things, connected to my writing)

This means I had to abandon Ferrante number 3 (I managed to get number 2 in during the last days of December).


I am reading from my owned stock of Indian books, and last night I started with The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. Now, because part of the reason I’ve set this restriction for myself is so that I read things I might find hard work, I am going to not abandon any of the books. This might be too ambitious and might be revised but I don’t want to just cop out and move on to the next thing because that is what I’ve done before when I’ve tried to read them, eg especially Rushdie. So I will persist, and be patient, and look for the things that made this books big.

So wish me luck. I’m excited. But looking at the lists of upcoming books for this year in the newspapers is making me a bit toey about it. But I will stay firm, make lists of those to carry over to next year. I am determined.

Oh, and I also got a lovely final review in Australian Book Review, didn’t know it was in there until my eye fell on it as I was reading through the magazine. Finished off the year rawther well, as Eloise would say.

god of small things

3 thoughts on “Plans for 2016

  1. I also got a bit toey when I noticed a new Lionel Shriver was on the way… I’ve allowed myself six purchases (but those six were really intended for the Stella shortlist). Damn this is going to be tough (and I’m only two days in).

    Went to the cricket tonight and stopped by Pidapippo for gelato on the way home. Of course, Readings was open. Took #ALLMYSTRENGTH to walk on by.

    1. Good on you for resisting the Readings. It’s a strong pull. But I look around where I’m sitting right now and there are just so many books. And I remind myself that those upcoming in 2016 lists are all about creating interest and excitement, and selling books and keeping the industry going, which is fine, but a part of my plan is to not just fall for the hype, especially with new authors. I’m pleased though that Svetlana Alexievich’s Second-Hand Time fits my criteria for allowed purchases (connected to my writing research) as does Julian Barnes’s upcoming The Noise of Time (set in Leningrad 1937). Also a new book about the Romanovs to add to my collection. The local books I’m most miffed about are the new Hannah Kent (as would you be!) and the Helen Garner essays, AS Patric’s Atlantic Black (and I’ve had my whistle whetted, you might say, by reading the first two chapters of that) but that’s not til November so not such a long wait. Also Inga Simpson’s newie about trees and childhood – only because it worries me because my just finished ms is about… trees and childhood. Far out. I might allow myself that one just to put my mind at ease (and because it fits as ‘research’). While her style is so different to mine it sounds so close. ARGH.

      What are you reading at the moment?

      My husband and boy were at the cricket last night too!

      1. HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THE NEW KENT?! (Sorry for the shouty caps). Obviously it will have to be in my allowable six.

        But you’re absolutely right, it’s the industry’s job to get us excited about what’s ahead and it will die down within a few weeks and I can sit around, quietly enjoying my old books.
        I’m sure your book will be different to Simpson’s (I’m intrigued – trees!) but agree, you should put your mind at ease.

        Yes, at cricket last night with half of Melbourne. Great atmosphere.

        Reading Wallace Stegner’s Crossing to Safety at the moment. Have you read it? Had planned to finish it today but got sidetracked. I’m almost done but regardless of ending, have to say it’s pretty much my perfect kind of book – Nee England, relationships, relationships, relationships… Can’t believe I hadn’t read it before now (or anything by Stegner for that matter) – proves why reading from what I have is a good thing!

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