Our Reading Resolutions: Omer Wahaj, Managing Editor

New year, new books, new resolutions! This month, the Desi Writers’ Lounge team is sharing its reading resolutions: goals for the new year, finally tackling those to-be-read piles. Join the conversation by sharing your resolutions in the comments and on Facebook and Twitter.

Since my job involves a lot of reading and writing, I have begun to have a difficult time reading and writing what I really want to in my free time. When I get off work – most of the days after staring at the computer screen, reading and writing, for up to 18 hours a day – I usually don’t want anything to do with reading, writing, or staring at computer screens. This has considerably and mostly negatively affected my reading habits, as I don’t read as much I used to or like to. In this regard, the DWL Readers’ Club has been a great help, as it forces me to read at least a book every month. It feels funny saying that because up until a few years ago, I would literary devour large volumes of books every month and also make witty puns, one of which I am still able to do.

Some of the books that I have managed to read over the last year and a half include:

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
The Pale King by David Foster Wallace
Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew by Shehan Karunatilaka
The Prisoner by Omar Shahid Hamid
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Odysseus Abroad by Amit Chaudhuri
Possession by A. S. Byatt
The Scatter Here is Too Great by Bilal Tanweer
Narcolopolis by Jeet Thayil
Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson

I was also able to re-read the following:

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
Moth Smoke by Mohsin Hamid
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death Five by Kurt Vonnegut

I am currently reading: And Then One Day: A Memoir by Naseeruddin Shah

Over the past year, I’ve collected several books that are lying around my room, some half opened, others with nary a page turned. Most importantly, I have a few collections of short stories that I really want to read.

So, in the spirit of this blog post, here’s my resolution to read – in 2015 –  all of the books in the following list:

The Time Traveler’s Almanac (short stories) edited by Ann & Jeff Vandermeer
A Century of Science Fiction (short stories) edited by Damon Knight
The Complete Stories, Vol. I by Isaac Asimov (can’t find Vol. II)
21st Century Science Fiction (short stories) edited by David G. Hartwell & Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Time After Time (short stories) edited by Denise Little
Timegates (short stories) edited by Jack Dann & Gardner Dozois
The Moslems are Coming (short stories) by Azad Essa
Best Indian Short Stories, Vol. I and II edited by Khushwant Singh
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad by Lesley Hazleton
Home Boy by H. M. Naqvi
Breath of Death by Saad Shafqat

Also, a list of books on my ongoing, incessant and interminable fascination with Karachi:

Migrants and Militants: Fun and Urban Violence in Pakistan by Oskar Verkaaik
Karachi: Ordered Disorder and the Struggle for the City by Laurent Gayer
Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi by Steve Inskeep
Karachi, You’re Killing Me! by Saba Imtiaz
The Prisoner by Omar Shahid Hamid
Karachi: Our Stories in Our Words (anthology of short stories) by Oxford Pakistan

And of course:

Broken Triad: Storm of Assassins by Mohammed Qasim Mehdi

And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfe, which I’ve owned since 2009 but haven’t been able to bring myself about to read. Probably won’t read it in 2015 either.

Here’s hoping that 2015 is the year in which I am able to read all these books and short stories so I can finish writing all those anathematized, half-written stories of my own that have slipped into a stream of unconsciousness, half-dead and vegetating, waiting comatose to be revived, or euthanized, to see some kind of an end at least.

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