Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome 2010!

2009 went out with a blue moon--the second full moon of the month which just happened to fall on New Year's Eve this time. This picture was taken on the University of Kansas campus; what a fantastic shot!

I had every intention of posting a year-end recap but, like so many other things, it slipped away from me. New Year's resolution Number 1? Get caught up!

Top Books of 2009:
1. City of Thieves by David Benioff
2. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
3. The Housekeeper and The Professor
by Yoko Ogawa
4. Serena by Ron Rash
5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Honorable Mention:

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
Mighty Queens of Freeville by Amy Dickinson
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennet
Gilead by Marilyn Robinson
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stout
The Last Beach Bungalow by Jennie Nash
The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish by Elise Blackwell

I read a lot of books that were out of my usual comfort zone this year and was rewarded with having many of them turn out to be amongst my favorites.

What I've Learned About Blogging Since I started In June:

1. Blogging is much more work than I had expected.
2. Blogging is much more fun than I had expected!
3. It will increase your to-be-read list tenfold--I will never, in my lifetime, read all of the books I want to read.
4. Awards are so much fun to get and a great way to get to know other bloggers. But it's so hard to pass them on; it takes a lot of time and you have to pick favorites which was so hard for me.
5. Blogging is a great way to meet people all over the world. I had no idea when I began that I would soon count people from across the country, from Finland, from Canada, and from Australia as friends. Nor would I have thought that this would give me the opportunity to talk to so many people in the book industry. This reason alone makes it worth continuing!

Goals For 2010:

1. Complete all of the challenges I signed up for. I feel a bit like I've been through all all-you-can-eat buffet line when it comes to challenges. I make have taken on more than I should have. Fortunately, if I "clean my plate" when it comes to challenges, I won't have to feel guilty.
2. I want to move my blog to a three-column format. This will involve getting my oldest, who is also the resident computer expert, to find the time to help me.
3. Read 100 books again this year. At the beginning of 2009 my goal was 50 books. I ended the year with 118 so I think 100 is definitely doable.
4. Get more organized--this one crosses into all areas of my life as a goal for the year.

Happy reading to you in 2010!


  1. I love your analogy of book challenges to the all-you-can-eat buffet. You are SO right :)

    I wish you a great reading year in 2010 and I look forward to reading the reviews.

  2. Oh, the TBR pile, such a lost cause!

    Glad you joined us this year!

  3. I haven't read any of your top 5, but I have 3 of them in my TBR pile. Good luck with your goals! Happy New Year!

  4. We just ordered City of Thieves!

    Great goals - hope you make the 100!

  5. your top picks, especially The Help, Housekeeper and the Professor and Olive Kitteridge. Happy reading in 2010

  6. Happy New Year! Can't wait to see your new format - moving from two to three columns is pretty easy so don't worry about that. I had three columns for a while but received feedback that my site was to cluttered looking so I went back to two (just food for thought). This is why I added the tabs at the top of my page.

    It's always something... :) It's so much fun to play with formatting!

  7. Dropping in to wish you a Happy New Year!!

  8. The Help is on my list of favorite books for 2009 also. I haven't read any of your other favorites but have People of the Book on my TBR shelf along with several of your honorable mentions.

    You've only been blogging since June?! You've done a great job and I'm glad to get to know you!

    I've not finished most of the challenges that I've signed up for so I'm being careful this year. Your analysis to the all you can eat buffet made me laugh, but it's so true!

  9. Loved a lot of the books that made your top 5 list! Blogging is a lot of work but it is so much fun!! I like your goals...#4 is one that I need to work on!!

    Happy 2010!

  10. That is a beautiful photo! Thank you for sharing.

    I enjoyed reading your list of favorites, Lisa. I haven't read any of them, sad to say, but they are all ones I want to read, so in that way it's good--something to look forward to. :-)

    I still have trouble accepting lesson #3--the last part of that, I mean. I know that, logically, I won't be able to read every book I want, but the dreamer in me wants to keep trying!

    I wish you the best of luck with your goals for this year, Lisa. have a Happy New Year.

  11. Ah yes, getting organized is also on my list. The Housekeeper & the Professor was in my top ten this year too.
    Hope 2010 is good to you :)

  12. Those are some great goals, and I think you'll go great!

    Wishing you the best in 2010!

    Diary of an Eccentric

  13. Happy New Year! Great goals for 2010. My goal is also to get all the Reading Challenges completed, just yesterday I made lists for the books so I stay in count with the challenges. I am already reading the first book which I can count to the Gilmore Girls reading challenge. :)

  14. I'm hoping to read Housekeeper & the Professor this month. :) But I haven't read any on your top list! And only one off your honourable mentions (Uncommon Reader, which I loved).

    I love your lessons learned from blogging; they're all so true! :) AND your metaphor of challenges to an all-you-can buffet! Good luck meeting your goals. :D

  15. I added Serena to my TBR pile--can't wait to get to it!

  16. Congrats on your fine accomplishments this year! So glad I can call one of my blomies! I'm very excited about the Gilmore Girls Challenge since I'm going to actually watch the series and listen for the all the books they mention and read a few that have been on my list anyway! Blogging is a big time sucker, but it's so fun and I just love reading what others are doing and bringing my TBR pile to an astronomical number! Here's to 2010!!!

  17. Awesome photo! It was too cloudy from the snow & freezing rain to see the Blue Moon here, but it was spectacular on the Eve of New Year's Eve! (I'm adding the Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge pic/button to my blog! I narrowed down my list of books, I have a shelf on gr's with the same name as the challenge if you want to take a peak).

  18. I am glad to have found another reader like myself.

  19. Great goals! LOVE the challenge buffet line concept. how true...

  20. Happy New Year, Lisa!

    I agree that blogging is more work than expected but a lot more fun & more rewarding than expected. I am hanging my head in shame as I am a blogger who is terrible about posting awards given to me and passing them on. I am not good at singling people out but I am extremely appreciative of being given awards. I am working on a post about them now. Let me just say, Thank you so very much for the awards you have given me!

    I plan to read at least 3 out of your top 5 books and look forward to re-reading your reviews when I finish the books. I am also reading "Olive Kitteridge" this year and a different book by Marilyne Robinson. I am going to keep your top books and your honorable mentions in mind for my future reading plans!

    I, too, hope to change my blog to a 3-column format - more room for cat photos! LOL Maybe I can get some assistance from you as I am not computer literate!

    I wanted to tell you that I signed up for the Gilmore Girls challenge. I thought I had posted my list but it seems I forgot. I will post it today or tomorrow just to have a "public" list of the 20 books I plan to read to fulfill it!

    Best wishes for a wonderful year, Lisa! Keep warm & out of the snow!
    ~ Amy

  21. I really enjoy adding to the TBR list (in theory) but when I actually get the books and they sit on the shelf, only to stare at me longingly...then I feel a bit overwhelmed. I have plenty of books to read, yet I cannot, will not say no to more. It's an illness.

  22. It seems like People of the Book made quite a few 'best of' lists this year - yours and mine included! Olive Kitteridge is on my TBR list for March and I'm really looking forward to it.

    Here's to another great year of reading!