The other day, all of the calendars in the store went on clearance for $1.00. There is one calendar in particular that I like to get every year. But I'm too cheap to pay even my employee discount price, so I wait for the February clearance.
It is the hardcover, Barnes & Noble Classic First Lines Desk Calendar.
I like it because it lists the birthdays of of famous contributors to arts and literature. It's fun to start the month by checking out who was born that month.
Here is the list for February:
1st - S. J. Perelman, 1904; 2nd - James Joyce, 1882; 3rd - James A. Michener, 1907 & Paul Auster, 1947; 4th - Bet Friedan, 1921; 6th - Francois Truffaut, 1932; 7th - Charles Dickens, 1812; 8th - Kate Chopin, 1851; 9th - J. M. Coetzee, 1940; 11th - Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1909; 13th - Grant Wood, 1892; 15th - Alfred North Whitehead, 1861; 16th - Iain Banks, 1954; 18th - Andre Breton, 1896 & Toni Morrison, 1931; 19th - Carson McCullers, 1917 & Jonathan Lethem, 1964; 20th - Richard Matheson, 1926; 21st - Ha Jin, 1956; 22nd - Sean O'Faolain, 1900; 25th - Anthony Burgess, 1917; 26th - I. A. Richards, 1893; 27th - Irwin Shaw, 1913; 28th - Ben Hecht, 1894.
Most of the people listed are authors of books. But some are composers, playwrites, and even screenwriters. For the purposes of my new reading goal, however, I'm sticking to books.
At the beginning of each month for the year 2009, I'm going to pick one author from that month's birthdays with whom I'm unfamiliar, and read something he/she wrote.
Even though I only have half the month left, I'm still going to tackle February. I've chosen J. M. Coetzee, a Nobel Prize winner with almost a dozen titles on our shelves. It appears I'm about the only person on the planet who hadn't heard of Coetzee or read his books. So, yesterday I started reading:
Since we're planning a month in Scotland this summer, I must read Robert Burns, right? But the 250th anniversary of his birth was January 25th. So it's already past. But, that's OK. I'll add him to my reading one month this spring. I want to read some of his poetry anyway - just to prepare for the trip.