Nobody keeps their New Year's resolutions, right? Wrong. You're just not making the right resolutions. Allow me to change your world: from now on, the only New Year's resolutions you make should be about books.
No more excuses; I don't want to hear any of the old clichés. No more gym plans, no more diet promises, no more swearing to go to sleep before midnight. It's incredibly hard to stick to new habits you've arbitrarily resolved to follow — and resolving to change the way you eat or exercise is only a good idea if it comes from a true place of self-love. Oh, and slurring over a hungover breakfast on January 1 that you're "never drinking again" probably isn't going to work either. If you truly want to make a life change, that's a conclusion you can come to at your own pace; this arbitrary New Year's tradition isn't the right time for that.
But that doesn't mean you can't join in the fun! Now that you've cleared out all the boring, easy-to-break resolutions, you've got room to make some resolutions that will genuinely bring you joy in the new year — like reading more! And in particular, reading more thrillers — because we all know they're the best. So when the clock strikes midnight this New Year's Eve, here are a few resolutions you'll definitely be able to stick to.
1. Read Thrillers By Writers Of Color
As in basically any other genre, writers of color are often overlooked on the thriller scene. The biggest hits in recent years have been written by and about white women, and while it's great to see women take a more active role in suspense novels, it would be even better to see a more diverse range of women represented. Besides, if you limit yourself like that, you'll miss out on some truly incredible novels — like Shelter by Jung Yun, or Trail of Echoes by Rachel Howzell Hall.
2. Read Some Old Classics
There are so many exciting thrillers coming out in 2017 — but if you're a true fan of the genre, why not pay respect to its roots by resolving to read some old classics this year. Thriller novels have been beloved for generations: Barbara Neely's Blanche on the Lam is a great '90s choice; or if you fancy something a little older, you can never go wrong with a good Agatha Christie. And of course, there's War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. This 1898 book was one of the first novels to make thrillers so popular — so we basically have H.G. Wells to thank for Gone Girl!
3. Introduce Your Book Club To A Thriller
Part of the fun of reading a thriller is having someone to chat to about twists, turns, and ambiguous endings — so why not bring a thriller along to your book club? Everyone will thank you for such an exciting read — and you'll finally have someone to obsess over every little detail with.
4. Read The Book Before The Movie
There are a ton of psychological thrillers hitting the big screen in 2017, so make sure you've read the book before you head to the theater. The Circle by Dave Eggers is a must-read, and the movie starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson looks like it'll be a huge hit. Also coming out soon is The Dinner, based on Herman Koch's sinister novel, and My Cousin Rachel, originally a book by master-of-suspense Daphne du Maurier.
5. Clear Some From Your TBR
Don't deny it; we all do it. You've probably got a hidden stash of unread thrillers that you couldn't resist grabbing from the bookstore when they first come out — but never got around to reading them. Before you run out and buy Paula Hawkins' new book, try working your way through your back catalogue of Gillian Flynn novels. That TBR ain't gonna clear itself.
6. Read A Thriller In A New Format
If you usually read off your Kindle, try listening to an audiobook instead — the creepy background sound effects will give you extra goosebumps. Or if you usually listen on the go (in the safety of broad daylight), why not settle down one evening with an old-fashioned paperback. Just don't forget to wrap yourself up in a blanket; these books can get chilling.
7. Read Some Genre-Blurring Thrillers
It's easy to get stuck in a thriller rut. Once you start guessing all the endings before they happen, it's a sign that you might be reading too narrow a range. Bust out of your comfort zone with books that straddle different genres: techno-thrillers like Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park involve of an element of science fiction that can shake up your reading patterns; or go all out with a thriller-romance hybrid like Off the Edge by Carolyn Crane. Now I bet that's unlike anything you've read before.