Saturday, November 30, 2013

2014 Reading Plans

So, here we are, the final day of November. In 14 hours, we'll be in December and on the home-straight to the end of the year (and I've not even had my birthday yet), and it's at this time of year that reviewers and bloggers start to think about the next year and what it may or may not bring. There's a general idea of what books may or may not come out in the coming year, and some like to plan to try to fit those books in. I'm a little different, though.

I think first of all it's good to look at what's coming out next year, and what I'll be getting. I've already got a handful of pre-orders placed for next year's books, and they are:
Baptism of Fire - Andrzej Sapkowski (Gollancz; Feb)
Fortune's Pawn - Rachel Bach (Orbit; Feb) [Note: The US edition is already out, as is UK Kindle. This is the UK MMPB]
Blood and Iron - Jon Sprunk (Pyr; March)
Antiagon Fire - L.E. Modesitt, Jr. (Tor US; March) [Note: This is the MMPB, the HC is already out]
Alabaster: Pale Horse - Caitlín R. Kiernan (Dark Horse; Feb) [Note: Re-release/Update of the earlier Alabaster prose collection]
So as you can tell, I've got my first few books of next year down. I'm also expecting we'll see another Drakenfeld novel from Mark Charan Newton, I know L.E. Modesitt, Jr. has another three or four novels out, there's a new Stephen King out in the first half (or so) of the year, and of course there's a fair number of comics/graphic novels to get. Out of the ones I've mentioned so far, I think Jon Sprunk and Andrzej Sapkowski have me the most excited, but I've heard a lot of good about Fortune's Pawn, so that's certainly something to look forward to.

Aside from 2014's releases, I've got a really big plan that I'm hoping I'll actually go through with, and I'm planning to in the first couple of months of the year. Having watched the three extended editions of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings adaptations, the extended edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and now waiting on the theatrical release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and on top of that having played The Lord of the Rings Online a little more and LEGO Lord of the Rings, I've decided it's finally time to re-read the core books of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth franchise. I'm going to rebuy the books in their illustrated forms, starting with The Hobbit (w/ Alan Lee illustrations), something I bought ahead of time, and then move into The Lord of the Rings, then - if all goes well - The Silmarillion and The Children of Húrin. I won't really go into the rest of the works finished or edited by Christopher Tolkien, because I have to admit that's a lot of material and I'm not sure I'd particularly be able to enjoy it.

I'm also hoping that I'll be able to get The Chronicles of Narnia, The Chronicles of Prydain and perhaps even Earthsea under my belt (I already own the vast majority of the core reading material for these series, if not all of it), and considering their styles and pre-young-adult positions, they should be fairly quick and enjoyable reads for me.

In terms of more modern releases, I'm going to do my best to press on with L.E. Modesitt, Jr.'s Saga of Recluce, especially as I've only read three of the sixteen (soon to be seventeen and eighteen) novels in that series, and towards the end of the year I'm hoping that I'll be able to read the second sub-series of his Imager Portfolio (starting with Scholar, ending with Rex Regis). I'll also be continuing with my Stephen King reading, as I have a collection of his books that grows faster than I read them.

Amongst all this, I'll be dipping and diving in and out of series, finishing a few here, starting a few there, reading odd books and so on. I'm certainly hoping I'll get to Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian at least.

And there we have it. My vague reading plans for 2014.

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