Front pages: Literary resolutions [Books]

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This article appears in the January 2011 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe, please visit loumag.com.

To ring in the new year, I asked past Front Pages subjects what their reading resolutions are for 2011. My own: to read the seventh and final Harry Potter book. After having read aloud the first million or so pages of the series to my sons before they were old enough to do so themselves, I stalled on book six when they got older. This year, I intend to find out what happened to those Potter-world kids once they were all grown up and on their own.

Carol Ely, Locust Grove executive director:

“I recently spotted a copy of Catch-22 on a friend’s bookshelf and thought to myself, ‘If I’m going to use that very useful catch-phrase as often as I do, I owe it to Joseph Heller to actually read the book.’”

John R. Hale, archaeologist and director of liberal studies at the University of Louisville:

“I’ve joined an archaeological team that is mapping some lost Mayan sites, and my reading resolution is to read Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Maya and the only record of ancient Mayan mythology and religious traditions. There is a widespread belief that the Mayan calendar predicted that the world will end in December 2012, and my students will expect me to have an informed opinion about this alleged prophecy.”

Bobbi Buchanan, editor of New Southerner magazine and writing instructor at JCTC (Bullitt County campus):

“I follow a daily reading regimen fairly consistently, so I’ve decided my New Year’s resolution will be to maintain that habit. I’ll begin and end each day with a bit of spiritual literature and enjoy a heavy dose of nighttime reading, which includes either a poem or a few pages of educational nonfiction and two or three chapters of a novel or memoir. Alice Sebold’s Lucky and Jim Tomlinson’s Nothing Like An Ocean are next up on my nightstand.”

Bob Bernhardt, Louisville Orchestra principal Pops conductor:

“My resolution is to re-read Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything. And maybe after I finish it again, I’ll try to lead the charge toward making it required reading for every high school senior in America.”

Bryan Warren, Crane House executive director:

“I would love to say that I resolve to read the collected works of Dostoyevsky, but my real reading resolution is to work through the growing pile of books on my nightstand — the next book in the Hunger Games trilogy, the article on Chinese monetary policy, the graphic novel American Born Chinese by Gene Yang. Hmmm…maybe I need a book on how to better organize my leisure time.”

Photo: Flickr/Phing Chov

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