Saturday, January 1, 2011
The best books of the year: In a year of quite a lot of 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.
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!