Okay so I’ve given my ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ a lot of thought. Every year before this one I would set a few completely unrealistic life goals that required me to change my entire lifestyle. As I’ve grown wiser (which just means knowing myself better), I know that doing a complete 180 on who I am, and the things I do…is just not feasible. One activity has remained constant in my life and that is: reading. However, the deeper I get into reading, the more I branch out for the purpose of reading contemporary things, keeping updated, and staying ‘relevant.’ See my rant below “End of the Year Wrap-Up | Reflection.” I think the best ways to make reading goals and resolutions this time is to figure out WHAT makes me happy in the first place; then just stay true to the list. It was such a revelation when I figured it out, but now it seems so obvious. So here are my reading goals in 2018, things that make me happy, and a few personal goals:
(Reading) things that make me genuinely happy
Gothic themes and Gothic literature (all genres and formats)
Victorian Literature and Russian Literature
Sci-Fi and Fantasy
Medieval Studies as topic (lifestyle and hagiographies)
Everything around Shakespeare
Nature books, nature memoirs, herbalism books
Poetry of: Plath, Frost, Dickinson, and Rilke
Children’s Classics (including fairy tale collections)
Nonfiction (usually about topics 1-9)
Reading Goals 2018
Review only 1-2 ARCs per month and choose them carefully.
Use the library more: both through audio-books (from Overdrive) and physical books
Read Responsibly – by this I mean, ensure that the reading material I’ve chosen is not because of peer pressure, nor because I must ‘get through’ something, but because I genuinely enjoy it. I want my critique and analysis to reflect careful consideration. New rule: if I don’t like a book, I will not finish it.
Participate in the SFF Babbles, Victober, and Nonfic November (makes me feel like I’m part of a community).
Learn more about Sci-fi and Fantasy, and explore the genre of “Western.” I recently watched a few episodes of Godless, and realized that ‘the western’ had been such a huge influence before with its problematic themes and heists—I’d like to at least learn about it as a genre, and explore some of its main ‘classics’ I know nothing about it. Also learn more about “cyberpunk” and “steampunk.” Let’s say #5 is an exploratory “learn more about” kind of section into a genre that I have never been near.
Read as many books as possible that fit into the list of “Things that make me genuinely happy” rather than things I think I should read because everyone else is reading it. I’ve wasted TOO MANY days that way this year.
Read 1-3 books on skill building that are career-focused– which could also be library history, reference related, or librarianship (one every four months)
Build a better wardrobe. Stay away from fast fashion, invest in good quality clothing that is professional and comfortable
Try to watch classic Hollywood films and recommended good films from this movie list
Live authentically – I know this is a vague statement, similar to the ‘read responsibly’ but I want to do things because they genuinely interest me, rather than being dragged into things because other people want me to do them
Try to eat better—healthier—learn to cook a variety of things, take many walks, and try to move toward more physical movement in the way that’s not radical, excessive, or to which I would build-up a mental resistance
Paint and draw more
Take one trip somewhere meaningful (to me) — avoid hyper-touristic areas, a trip that speaks to me and doesn’t reflect Instagram accounts or what other friends have been doing.
These are my goals for the new year. They are guidelines with a lot of wiggle room, but having written out the things that make me happy before-hand is now just making me feel very excited about the reading I will complete in the year to come. I think that not naming book titles (concrete TBR), or country names to visit, or specific things that are 100% black or white will allow me to respect my mood changes throughout the year while still accomplishing my goals. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and that your reading goals will make you very excited about 2018 as well. Happy Reading!
“Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow. of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy“
This post is part announcement, part resource. Earlier today I came across a tweet from Ennet House announcing that they will begin reading Infinite Jest as a group this summer starting with June 1 and ending with September 18. That is a total of 15 Weeks and 4 days, or 109 Days. I figured I might read this work properly and take better notes. The first and only time I read this work was by using Audible as a crutch and without too much highlighting/note-taking. This shouldn’t come as a surprise but this reading journal blog’s name is heavily inspired by Infinite Jest, so I figured why not provide a reading schedule and various resources, as well as opportunities to join read-along groups on this very same forum. The Ennet House Reading group will be meeting in Vancouver, but they allowed an open window for those of us willing to join in online. Ennet House has a Tumblr as well as a Reddit Page where there will be discussion. Main discussion HERE <–
I created a downloadable and printable form of the reading schedule with space for noteworthy quotations and notes. Click here for the Infinite Jest Reading Schedule. If you can’t join in now for this summer and you want to appropriate it to a different 15 week chunk it is up to you. The resources will still be here for you to use. The breakdown was created by Ennet House but I added the spaces for notes and created the PDF for convenience.
You can find copies of Infinite Jest on Amazon, your local bookstore, several used bookstores, and it doesn’t matter if you use the 20 Year Anniversary edition or the earlier ones. Ideally, you should use the softcover edition like the one in the image above because I can say for sure that the pages correspond to the reading schedule.
Public Library Dewey Decimal Number
Academic Library, Library of Congress Call Number:
David Foster Wallace Bibliography
By David Foster Wallace
The Boom of the System (1987) Written as Masters Thesis
Infinite Jest (1996) Excerpts from Infinite Jest first appeared in Grand Street, 1992.
The Pale King (2011) Published posthumously—his unfinished novel.
Short Story Collections:
Girl With Curious Hair (1989) published in Europe as: Westward the Course of Empire Tales Its Way
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (19(99)
Oblivion: Stories (2004)
Non-Fiction / Essays
Signifying Rappers: Rap and Race in the Urban Present (1990), coauthored with Mark Costello
Fate, Time, and Language: An Essay on Free Will (2011)
Both Flesh and Not (2012)
String Theory: David Foster Wallace Essays on Tennis (2016) published posthumously
About David Foster Wallace—Biography/ Interviews
Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself by David Lipsky (2010) Mostly a transcript of an interview between David Lispky and David Foster Wallace back in 1996 near the end of the tour for Infinite Jest. Recent film The End of the Tour featuring Jason Segal as DFW is based on this transcript.
Every Love Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace by D.T. Max – Biography of DFW
Conversations with David Foster Wallace edited by Stephen J. Burn (2012) A compilation of several interviews with David Foster Wallace/ The transcripts
David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest: A Reader’s Guide by Stephen J. Burn (2012)
The David Foster Wallace Reader(2014) This 976 page book contains almost every other aspect of David Foster Wallace’s work, for instance it has the syllabus he designed as a professor for writing/reading courses at Pomona College, and additional excerpts not present in the texts above.
Audible has a 56 Hour-long Audiobook for Infinite Jest, and all his other works are there as well. I found that the audiobook really kept me going the first time.
Don’t forget your public library! Both academic libraries in universities and public libraries will have most of Wallace’s works. If you prefer the online forum, OverDrive is connected through your library card and you can access most of the works mentioned.
In 2015 another group kept detailed records of their reading in a blog called Infinite Summer