I may be young, but I have big plans for my life as a reader. Huge plans! I expect to live to be at least 90 years old and you can be sure I will be reading until my very last breath.
OK, perhaps I’m being a tad dramatic. But you know how us book bloggers feel about reading…
The “big” plans I’m talking about are life goals I have set for myself. They are long-term plans that show my commitment to authors who have stood out as remarkable in my eyes and have earned my admiration and respect.
I specifically have committed to complete the bodies of work of the following 8 authors:
- Benjamin Alire Sáenz
- Nnedi Okorafor
- Sandra Cisneros
- Junot Díaz
- Louise Erdrich
- Haruki Murakami
- Octavia E. Butler
- Toni Morrison
I don’t think my plans are unrealistic. 65+ years is a long time for reading, and I am in no rush to finish the works listed below. However, I do want to clarify that I am only committing to their novels and books of short stories. Some of them are prolific writers in other literary formats, so I wanted to rein in the scope and narrow it to their fiction. It’s already a massive list as it is.
So, without further ado…
Benjamin Alire Sáenz
- Nnedi Okorafor just won a Nebula Award for Binti! That’s wonderful news. What’s even better news is that at least 2 new stories in are in the works for Binti. Exciting times are ahead.
- Okorafor is a leading voice in Afrofuturism who writes incredible works of fantasy and science fiction centered around women. Her stories are powerful and epic. I am eager to read all her work. Down to every short story and novella.
- Sandra Cisneros has become a household name after a long career. But to my surprise, she hasn’t written as many works as I expected. I’ve only read The House on Mango Street. Nothing else yet, but I do own Woman Hollering Creek and A House of My Own. Getting through all her work should be a breeze!
- I expected Junot Diaz to have written more than 3 books, but that seems to be the extent of his major works so far. Though he is still very young and I foresee him writing many more. He has written short stories and essays in the past, but again, I am only counting major works. The only book of his I have not read is This Is How You Lose Her.
- Erdrich will prove to be the most daunting challenge. I have only provided 8 of her novels, but she has written 15 as of 2016. She has also published several works of poetry, nonfiction, and children’s literature, but I will modify my goal to include only her novels. 15 is a much more manageable number than 30+.
- Murakami is an international best seller, a celebrity among authors if there ever was one. His writing is uniquely Japanese yet global and universal because it is concerned with issues of identity and the self. Some of his novels give off the impression of being dense and complex, but that only entices me to read them further. I seldom shy away from challenging books.
Octavia E. Butler
- Octavia Butler is a legend in Science Fiction and one of the most prominent voices in Afrofuturism. I have only read Kindred, but look forward to my next Butler novel, which will be Parable of the Sower.
- Completing Morrison’s novels has been a life goal of mine for a few years now. I have read Song of Solomon, Sula, The Bluest Eye, Beloved, and God Help the Child. I’ve got a solid head start on her work, so I should be able to read all her novels easily in the coming years.
What authors are on your list? Remember that this is a life-long goal, so you shouldn’t feel intimidated by authors with massive bodies of work. Life is long!
Before anyone mentions it — yes, I do plan to read all of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s work. I have read almost everything she has written, minus Purple Hibiscus and her most recent short story, The Shivering. I didn’t include her on the list because everyone should read her work.
(I want to thank Izzi for inspiring me to write this post.)
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