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Stack Overflow: 2023 Reading Resolutions

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Happy New Year!

The beginning of the year is an opportunity to turn over a new leaf, perhaps setting aside some goals that no longer feel relevant and choosing some new challenges for ourselves. Our yearly reading resolutions are an attempt to give a shape to the upcoming year, to set some rough boundaries for what we hope to carve.

So, without further ado, here are our dreams for 2023. Happy reading!

Jonathan H. Liu

My reading this past year has felt a little less consistent and a bit scrambled. I’ve struggled a bit with deciding what to read next each time I finish a book: there’s often a tug of war between what I want to read and what I think I should read to fill out a Stack Overflow theme. While I still enjoy reading, I spend way too much time managing books instead of actually reading. I’ve missed my writing schedule more often, too, in part because I’ll hit Sunday and realize the books I’ve finished recently don’t have any particular connection. (Why did I decide Stack Overflow should run on Mondays, of all days?)

This year I’m hoping to just dive into reading a little more and maybe worry a little less about making sure each week’s column has to adhere to a theme. My graphic novels queue has gotten a lot bigger this year for some reason so I’m hoping to read some more of those. I also have a list of (mostly fiction) books that I was excited for when I first heard about them, so I’ll list a few of them here to remind myself to give them a shot this coming year:

Let’s see if I can keep up with these!

Mariana Ruiz

I am trying to read everything by Stephen King, from his old novels to his most recent work, and I am about 60% through. I love the man, I marvel at his insight into our capacity for evil, but most personally love his heroines, (more on that in our favorite books we read in 2022, coming next week!).

I want to continue focusing on diverse voices in YA and comics, by different authors from the US and abroad: Brazilian comic artists, Argentinian novels, and works in translation from Asia and Africa, I am game for all of it.

And, hopefully, I will be rewarded with a translation of a Bolivian Children’s book for next year. Our country is so small I would be able to call and congratulate whoever results translated first personally! Representation matters and exotic and far way places are everywhere, we only need fresh eyes to see our world with, and many different narrating voices.

Jenny Bristol

Following the pattern I’ve kept through the 2020s, my goal for 2023 will be to read 23 books. That’s still less than two per month on average, so I think I can do it. In 2022, I didn’t read any really short books, so if I find myself running out of time in 2023, I may allow myself one or two.

In 2023, I hope to read the third book in Mary Robinette Kowal’s Lady Astronaut series (The Relentless Moon), along with another of my grandfather’s books (he wrote several about creative writing). I’m not sure what else I will read, but I hope to rediscover some books already on my shelves that have sat, neglected, unread, begging for attention.

Robin Brooks

This year one of my more general resolutions is to be more focused. I find I often lose chunks of time pottering about, not really achieving much at all. This is having the knock-on effect that I don’t read as much as I would like. Towards the latter end of 2023, my school-run input is going to be a lot more simple, when all three of my children will be back under the same educational roof. What I manage to do with the extra time this generates remains to be seen. 

Book-wise, I was struck by a comment towards the back end of 2022, that as reviewers we become obsessed with new books. If it’s not hot off the press, we’re not interested. More than once, I’ve read new books, only to be hugely disappointed. There are so many older books that have passed me by, and I would like to catch up with my own to-be-read pile and perhaps pick up some older books that I have missed. In particular fantasy novels. Fantasy started my love of reading 40 years ago, but now I barely read it. I want to return to my roots in 2023 and try to read a fantasy novel each month. For Christmas, I was given the new 40th anniversary releases of the Fighting Fantasy series. I hope to test my skill, stamina, and luck, on these soon. 

I have just finished (but not yet reviewed) Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr, which I absolutely loved. I took against his previous book, All the Light We Cannot See, for no good reason. I need to remedy this and read it at some point in the next twelve months. Finally, I also received Susie Dent’s Word Perfect; a lexicographic almanac with a word for each day. Susie is an understated star of Twitter with her pointed choices of “Word of the day,” which were an absolute joy during the Boris Johnson/ Lizz Truss era. I’m planning to read an entry each day for 365 days of the year. Maybe right after I’ve finished my Wordle! 

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