January 4, 2013

My 2013 Reading Resolution: Around the World in a Dozen Books

Each year I try to make a New Year's resolution. None of that "I'm gonna quit smoking" hooey. Something I'll actually work on. So, I keep my resolutions focused on books.

For 2012, I told myself I was going to attempt gender parity in the books I read throughout the year. Not an easy task considering the fact that probably 80-90% of the advance review copies sent my way were penned by guys. Come December though, I did it--as long as you don't count comic books, because the comic book industry inexplicably seems to have a no-girls-allowed policy.

I thought I did all right considering how, in 2011, only one out of every five books I read was by a female author. Again, because of the review requests being predominantly from men. I suppose the trick will be seeing if I can keep that up through 2013. But that's not my focus this year.

This year, my reading resolution is a little different. I'm an anglophone. I read English, I speak English, and that's the only language I'm likely to use in my lifetime. As such, I read precious few books from non-English authors. I've had the good fortune to read some books like Koushun Takami's Battle Royale and John Adjvide Lindqvist's Let the Right One In, but those are few and far between. I want to change that this year.

Aside from reading two of Lindqvist's novels last year I don't think I read any other books by non-English authors. So this year I want to see if I can read a book by an international author each month. I'd especially like to try out some horror literature from around the world. I've had a peak at Japan and Sweden, but there's surely more good horror out there. What about Brazil, for instance--or Russia?

Mind you, it'll all depend on what's been translated, and then if it can be bought or borrowed. The local brick-and-mortars aren't exactly known for carrying books from anywhere more exotic than Ireland. That's where you come in. I need recommendations. The books don't have to be horror, or even dark fiction, just good books from other countries that you enjoyed. I'm going to try and track some down and read them before the year is over.

Sound like a good idea? What's your reading resolution this year? Do you even have one?


  1. Great resolution. I look forward to your reviews! Have you read Patrick Suskind's Perfume? That one immediately springs to mind.

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  3. I suggest you the tales of Jose Maria Merino, a kind of combination between Jorge Luis Borges and Stephen King or the horror and thrillers of Jose Carlos Somoza but I don't know if they are translated to english

    La piel fria by Albert Sanchez Piñol is translated


    lovecraftian adventures on an island near to the Antarctic

    el perfume is one of the most overrated books in history