The last time I set myself a reading task for a new year's resolution was in 1999, when I read through as many female American or British writers as I could find. Most of them were 19th century writers; I went through the entire oeuvre of Austen, Wharton, two of the Bronte sisters, Gaskell, Woolf, Eliot, Mansfield, Plath, and a host of Victorian writers who I can't remember anymore. There were dips into fairy tales and children's tales, to ease my brain fever (especially after Wharton, who could depress anyone with a short story), and a few folks I did choose to skip (I didn't read Frankenstein for instance). Poetry was hit and miss. Find myself relating to more male poets anyway, with the cleaner prose and the sometimes subtle messages.
Since then, I haven't given myself any literary tasks to overcome. I did purchase the new War and Peace translation with the intent of doing a chapter by chapter comparison with the older translations. Thus far, I've been reading a chapter every other week and it's taking forever. Enjoyable leisure.
Instead of making it a chore to read, what I know I should try to do is list down the books I have read and make some general points of what I enjoyed. Take note of a couple of quotes, what I think of the plot etc.
Am currently reading: The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf, The Inheritance of Loss by K. Desai, The Good German by Joseph Kanon, The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, and The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. I also have waiting in line the first three books by Cornelia Funke. Which I had planned to give away to kids, but got to read them before dispensing!
The last book I read for 2006 was The Death of Achilles by Boris Akunin, a translation of a mystery by a contemporary Russian author. Charming piece, russian books are only as difficult as trying to track down who the characters are, as their names do tend to change depending on who is attending to them.