To Do 2011: Read Non-Fiction

Gee whiz, it looks like I’ve done nothing in 2011 except eating. Partly, that’s because I’ve taken on a more difficult task this  year in terms of reading.

Last year’s reading journey ended up including 11 “Asian-American” novels and a handful of others (like, Year of the Flood and Self-Made Man). This year so far I have finished P.D. James’ Children of Men, a science fiction novel, but otherwise plan on focusing on non-fiction, you know, to make me a better person.

Judging from the way it’s going so far, it’s going to be a tougher reading year. I have been “reading” The F1rst Born Advantage for months now, tending only to pack it in my suitcase and perhaps read it during a flight… and I’m afraid I don’t fly often enough to finish it this year!! I couldn’t finish Naturally Thin, it was so repetitive and was due back at the library. And Eating Chinese was nothing like I thought it would be, reading much more like a college Asian Studies text than engaging non-fiction.

Have I mentioned before (no?) how much I love reading on my iPhone using the Stanza app? It fits in the palm of my hand like a good iPhone does and it is not an additional device like an e-book reader. If you see me on the bus totally absorbed with my phone, chances are I’m reading a book and not surfing the web or text messaging.

I have plenty of books queued up electronically and we’ll see how I get along trying to make notes when I’m used to reading physical books and jotting down thoughts in a spiral-bound notebook.

This will also be the year I read everything that came out in the past two years about Chinese family restaurants (darn, I got scooped!!) including two listed above, a re-read of Jennifer 8 Lee’s Fortune Cookies Chronicles, Andrew Coe’s Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States, and Bonnie Tsui’s American Chinatown: A People’s History of Five Neighborhoods. I also want to re-read and blog about some non-fiction including Claire Chow’s Leaving Deep Water and Cathy Bao Bean’s The Chopsticks-Fork Principle: A Memoir and Manual. Finally, a 2011 novel, Erin Khue Ninh’s Ingratitude: The Debt-Bound Daughter in Asian American Literature.

We’ll see just how many books I get through this year without the distraction of fiction (which is allowed in small doses but otherwise frowned upon). Looking on this, although some are re-reads, I’m convinced this is a tall order….

On this day..