My first book of the year is... The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg! I've been wanting to read this book since it came out and it's been sitting on shelf for what seems like forever. Last year, my goal was to read more Christian Fiction, which I did- I read 27! This year my goal is to read more literary fiction. I've been kind of kicking this around in my head, but I feel like Christian Fiction isn't intellectually stimulating me at all. They're nice sweet stories, but I never feel like I grew as a person or simply as a reader because I read a Christian book. One might argue that the spiritual aspect of Christian Fiction is what the reader should value, but hardly do they ever spiritually stimulate me either. I've never left either of the 27 Christian books I read feeling like my faith in Christ grew because of it. I'm not saying the books aren't good, but I do feel I dumb myself down a bit when I read them. I sort of just find that "Christian" is another word for "wholesome" and is a bit like watered-down fiction. I think i'd rather have the sex and cursing if it means I feel like I'm reading a raw and honest story that really stimulates my mind and makes me think.
Anyways... none of that had to do with The Middlesteins, but it's my fresh start for the year towards my new goal of reading more literary books. I don't plan to stop reading Christian books at all, but they're not going to be the driving force behind my reading this year.
Happy Reading in 2014! What are some of your reading goals? What book are you ringing in the New Year with?