Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Wrap Up and Looking Forward to 2011

2010
The best books of the year: In a year of quite a few really good books, there were a few that stood out.  You can see my top ten books of the year on the tab above.  But only a couple of books really stood out as books I loved and two of them belonged to Thrity Umrigar: The Space Between Us and The Weight of Heaven.  Also on that love list would be To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee and The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

What I read: I finished 89 books this year--29 fewer than last year which is a huge disappointment.  But when I changed jobs, I couldn't listen to books on CD at work any more and that accounted for about 20 of my books last year.  On the other hand, about 20 of my books this year were childrens books and probably shouldn't even be counted!

Challenges: I had both success in challenges (completing the Gilmore Girls Challenge, Our Mutual Reads Challenge, You've Got Mail Challenge and Everything Austen Challenge) and failures. Those failures hurt--I had every reason to believe that I could finish all of them.

Books for review: I had absolutely sworn that I was going to cut back on books I accepted for review in 2010.  Yet in the end, I read over 50 of them. Some of them were among my favorite reads, but the majority of them were, for me, only good and some were even really bad.

2011
Books I'm looking forward to: 


The Great Night by Chris Adrian (April)
Galore by Michael Crummey (March)
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (June)
The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier (February)
The Coffins of Little Hope by Tim Schaffert (April)
The Relief of Missing Children by Sarah Braunstein (February)

There is, of course, a long list of books that were published this year that I didn't get to and am looking forward to reading in the coming year.  But I'm most eager to get to the great books that have been patiently waiting for me to get to them that are in stacks and on shelves all over my house.  This year I will add far fewer books for review and tours to my reading.  Will you all please be kind enough to remind me of that periodically?  I'm always afraid I'll miss something great and always looking for those really unique stories. 


Challenges: So far so good on my goal to cut back on these in the coming year.  It helps to be in charge of one of the challenges; I've cut back on the books needed to reach the levels of the Gilmore Girls Challenge and added movies to the options.  I'm also participating in the Michener Challenge and the War Through The Generations Challenge.  If Our Mutual Reads extends into 2011, I'll do that one as well.  That's it.  No more.  None.  Stop me if I even suggest I'm thinking of adding anther one.

Fairy Tale Fridays: I'll continue with this throughout 2011.  Thanks to Mini-him for the Christmas gift of "Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales."  There are a lot of stories in it that I've never even heard of before.

Mystery March: This is something that I've been thinking of doing.  My mom and dad read a lot of mysteries and have been passing them along to me. It's time to make a dent in those.  I know I'll enjoy a month filled with them.

After not getting through 90 books this year, you'd think I'd be realistic and cut back and the number I hope to read in the coming year. But 50 sounds like so few and nothing else has that nice ring to it like 100 does.  But I'm not going to stress about it. The real goal is to make reading enjoyable in 2011!

22 comments:

  1. Looking forward to your thoughts on the new books you listed for 2011. I'm always looking for good books for my list!

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  2. Sounds like a good goal to me! Happy New Year!!!

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  3. Happy New Year!!! Hope you have an enjoyable reading year in 2011, and good luck on your challenges!

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  4. The closer we got to the end of 2010, the more I wanted to read just two more books (to make it 75)--but reality set in and I knew that wasn't possible. I'm happy with my 73 though, when all is said and done.

    Three of your top books this year made my list too. I love Thrity Umrigar's books. I think I have one on my shelf to read. I read both the ones on your list and will always have a special place in my heart for The Space Between Us.

    Of your list, two are books I hope to get to. Captivity and The Danish Girl. Not sure it will happen this year, but I am looking forward to reading both.

    I wish you luck with your goals this year! Have a Happy New Year, Lisa!

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  5. I would also say The Space Between Us is at the top of my list, followed by The Heretic's Daughter and The Weight of Heaven.

    I'm reading The secret lives of Baba Segi's wives - LOVE this book. It might be the best book I have read in two years, definately gives Space between Us a run best book. I'm so happy to be reading it.

    I read more books than I have ever read this year - thanks to audio (keeping me company while moving/unpacking and running).

    Sounds like you have a good strategy for 2011 - I'm going to focus on noting the countries I'm reading books from... if only to read more variety. I read so many books set in Africa and India. Baba is set in Nigeria so I'm off to a good start repeating my comfort zone! HA

    Happy New Year Lisa!

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  6. Just purchased The Space Between Us with a Christmas gift certificate - can't wait to read it! I'm glad to hear Ann Patchett had a new book coming out.

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  7. Quality over quantity! Still, like you I wish I had read more books...or had the time to read more books than I actually did.

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  8. Yes, enjoyment really is the true goal. Happy New Year!

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  9. Review books, while often (in my experience, at least) not amazing, do offer variety and exposure to one's reading, as well as often contextualize it. While the books are not always the best (and some, as you say, are downright, bad...), they do give the reviewer a clear shot of the modern reading world. You may have wanted to cut back some more, but you gained a lot (whether you felt it or not) by reading and reviewing these books.

    May your reading be most enjoyable in 2011!

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  10. Working does interfere with our love of reading doesn't it? The same thing happened to me when I went back to work in 2010....35 fewer books and more childrens books.

    May 2011 be a year of enjoyable reading Lisa.

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  11. I look forward to reading your Fairy Tale Friday posts - and perhaps participation every once and a while :)

    I hope you and your family have a wonderfully relaxing New Year's weekend.

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  12. I look forward to reading your Fairy Tale Friday posts - and perhaps participating every once in a while :)

    I hope you and your family have a wonderfully relaxing New Year's weekend.

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  13. Happy New Year Lisa and I wish you all the best in 2011!

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  14. Happy New Year to you! I think I'll shoot for that nice round 100 books as well for 2011!

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  15. You will do great in 2011 and remember no stress. I have signed up for a lot of TLC tours but so far they've been some of my favorite reads last year. I'm so going to participate in your Friday meme...should be fun and of course, I will do so much better this year with the Gilmore Challenge!!

    here's to a wonderful 2011 in books and life!

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  16. That's some awesome reading! Congrats. I utterly failed with all of my challenges...can't wait for your awesome reads this year. Thanks, Lisa!

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  17. Happy New Year, Lisa! I know what you mean about those ever present review books as well. I keep telling myself no more, and then I get weak and fold. I hope that your reading for 2011 is magnificent and I look forward to hearing all about it!!

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  18. Thanks for the heads up! State of Wonder by one of my favorite authors, Ann Patchett, will be added to my 2011 list.

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  19. The Space Between Us was on my best list, too!

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  20. You had a really successful reading year it seems. It's always good to remember to have fun and ENJOY reading!

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  21. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the books I'm happy to have finally read last year. The Handmaid's Tale is pretty powerful as well.

    Have fun with your 2011 reading!

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  22. Wow, 50 books for review -- that's a chunk! I loved To Kill a Mockingbird this year as well, plus a few other Atwood titles (I read Handmaid's Tale a few years back). I did not love The Weight of Heaven, but I have a copy of The Space Between Us waiting for me and am willing to give Umrigar a second chance!

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