As New Year's Day nears, it's time for some book-related resolutions!
1. I resolve not to get too upset that 2012 will be only the third year since 1997 without a Harry Potter novel or movie. Besides, that void frees up Lord Voldemort to be drafted as a last-minute candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.
2. I resolve to avoid books authored by (or ghostwritten for) GOP presidential hopefuls because those tomes are usually spin-filled rubbish. I'd rather read stories and blog posts to stay informed about the hypocrisy of Newt, the flip-flopping of Mitt, and other nonsense from politicians trying to please the ultra-rich and Tea Party.
3. I resolve to not re-read Barack Obama's The Audacity of Hope as he seeks a second term. His Dreams from My Father was a compelling 1995 memoir, but his 2006 Audacity was oh-so-careful pablum designed to not offend anyone as he sought higher office. (Yet Audacity was prescient in its way, because Obama became an oh-so-careful president who compromises too much with conservatives.)
4. I resolve to continue reading many 21st century and late 20th century novels along with older classics. After all, the past few decades saw the publication of many titles -- such as Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible and Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin -- that might be considered classics in 100 years. They would certainly deserve that designation.
5. I resolve to continue shopping at independent bookstores. (I'm lucky to have two in my town.) Sure, these retailers stock just a smidgen of the selection one gets online, but they happily order anything you want if you're willing to wait a few days. And independents pay local taxes, hire local people, and provide a very pleasant place to visit.
6. I resolve, when buying presents for birthdays and other occasions, to continue to first think of books as gift possibilities.
7. I resolve to raise a (nonalcoholic) toast to the 50th anniversaries of these 1962-published novels: Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook.
8. I resolve to also toast the 100th anniversary of Alexander's Bridge. That 1912 book was not one of Willa Cather's better novels, but it was her first -- and many great fictional works subsequently flowed from her pen.
9. I resolve to also toast the 150th anniversaries of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables and Ivan Turgenev's Fathers and Sons. If nihilism is the plan, Turgenev is the man! (At least in that 1862 novel.)
10. I resolve to keep writing for HuffPost Books, because I love the interesting and intelligent comments that readers submit.
Do you have any book-related resolutions for 2012?
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