Saturday, 28 December 2019

The Great 2020 Re-Read

Over the years I have compiled a not insubstantial library. There are over 200 books presently in my collection, and two thirds of those are science fiction, fantasy and historical fiction, a fraction mystery, and about a quarter are history books covering everything from the Crusades to a two part biography of John A. Macdonald, evened out by a smattering of poetry and philosophy books.

While most of my non-fiction books serve as reference books, occasional re-reading and useful guides, I have read many of the books in my library at least twice over the years, but not all of them. However, with so many books to go through I have decided I will probably be downsizing in 2020. To do that though, I have to reread a significant amount/decide how to dispose of them.

But I would be lying if I said this great re-read was really about downsizing.

In reality, much of this re-read is going to be going through series I love once again and enjoying them. It will be a huge roll down memory lane, looking to jump back into fandoms and various authors worlds. It is going to be probably my most ambitious reading project ever undertaken.

Now while I tell myself this will mean I won't buy any new books in 2020, I'm well aware that would make me a huge liar. But, the biggest focus for this coming year is going to be on re-reading some series I haven't picked up in earnest in a while. Allow me to give you a small sampling of the reading goals for 2020:

Finishing a re-read of the Wheel of Time series. This has actually been in the works since 2016, but with so many other books and some limitations on my reading time, I have worked hard to pack it in. As of 2019 I am nine books in, having finished Winter's Heart most recently. The goal is to reach the 14th book again by the end of 2020.

Revisiting the First Law universe. I originally read these books way back in, I think, 2014. I devoured them all in about a month, and only finished all the outrigger novels (not counting short stories) last year. I have started what promises to be an exciting new trilogy, and a going back means I will probably be able to refresh my memory on a lot of things from that series.

A Song of Ice and Fire is a world I have not revisited since 2015. I will be, starting in January 2020, diving back in to Westeros and re-familiarizing myself with that world, with a hopeful look towards 2021 for it to continue.

I will also be looking at The Stormlight Archive once again. I actually originally picked up that series at a dark time in my life, and it helped me through a serious case of both writers block and personal ambivalence. Doing a deep re-read of that series will really help me understand what will be happening for when the fourth book in the series premiers in 2020.

Similarly, I will also be again going through the Mistborn trilogy and its successor series as it currently stands. Those books have fond memories in my mind, and going through them again will be extremely fun.

Outside the realm of fantasy, I will also be re-reading The Expanse series starting in January. I have had a soft spot for this series since my brother introduced it to me while I visited Australia. It's one of the best science fiction series I have come across, and I really do want to dive further into it before the final book comes out.

These and other single novels will be my main focus for 2020. Some I may end up chucking, but others I will probably keep waiting to explore more of their settings or revisit them again in a few years time.

My goal is also to catch up on and finish some other series. The Gentleman Bastards by Scott Lynch and The Broken Earth trilogy by N. K. Jemsin along with The Dark Tower by Stephen King. These have been slow starts in the last half of 2019, not for lack of interest but a mere lack of time! Driving through these is hopefully going to help expose me to more author's styles and give me plenty of enjoyment at the start of the new decade.

So, in addition to pledging myself to writing over 100k words in the coming year, I am aiming to read numerous fat novels as well. Can I accomplish it all? Only time will tell and I hope you'll join me in this long journey through the new decade!

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