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Likely Stories

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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Wednesday, January 3, 2007 12:40 pm
My New
Posted by: Keir Graff

I’m finally back in the office, and I think I’m more tired now than I was when I left for vacation. On Christmas Eve, my two-year-old took a tumble and had to go to the emergency room for stitches–he bit all the way through his lower lip when he fell. Fortunately, the little guy is healing fast, and judging from the way he talks about his “adventure,” I was more emotionally scarred by it than he was. The ER staff loaded him up with Christmas presents, and all I got was a can of Sprite to keep me from fainting when they started sewing him up.

Then, the day after Christmas, both boys came down with 104-degree fevers. Fortunately, they were both bursting with energy in time for the flight back to Chicago.

Yesterday, I was looking forward to coffee at my desk and a return to an adult schedule. But because my nine-month-old goes to daycare in a federal building, I was treated to an unexpected extension of my vacation.

I barely made it in here today.

It will probably take me a day or two to get back up to speed, but before I get back to shoveling out my in-box, I thought I’d share my New Year’s resolution.

It might surprise you, but, somewhere between 11:57 and 11:59 on December 31, as I frantically edited my long list of potential lifestyle improvements, I realized that there was something obvious staring me in the face: I need to read more.

I know that probably sounds a bit odd coming from me. I’m always complaining that I don’t have enough time to read books of my own choosing–no matter how many great discoveries I’ve made reviewing books, I’m left feeling frustrated that I don’t get to do much unscheduled exploring.

But the only person who can change that is me. So I resolve to somehow make time for more unassigned books in 2007. I don’t want to merely dabble, either. I want to read books of importance. I want to broaden my range as a reader. In fact, now that I think of it, I want to choose one writer and read everything they’ve written–like auditing a class of my own design.

My first thought was Joyce Carol Oates. But then I realized that I only have one year before I need to come up with a new resolution, and she’s likely to publish a few more times before 2007 is over.

Then it hit me: William T. Vollmann.

April Fool’s!

Seriously, I would love to join the Vollmann Club, but I think I’ll have to wait until my sons are out of high school. Maybe I can read a few Hard Case Crime novels that I missed.

And there are always short stories. As long as they’re short.

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