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2012 in review

20132012 was a good reading year for me, particularly the first half of the year.

Depending on how you count it, I read 156 or 160 books in 2012.  I read 156 distinct books, but I reread some of them, putting my total count at 160.  (That’s not counting books I didn’t finish for whatever reason– there are at least 3 where I made it to the halfway point before abandoning them.)

I went through to pick my top books I read during the year. I came up with a 16 of them I wanted to recognize– a top 10 list and 5 more I didn’t want to leave off :-).

The list is:

  1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  2. The Rook by Daniel O’Malley
  3. The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
  4. Bury Your Dead/A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny
  5. Wonders of the Invisible World by Patricia McKillip
  6. Spy Mom by Beth McMullen
  7. Wallflower in Bloom by Claire Cook
  8. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  9. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  10. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
  11. Garment of Shadows by Laurie R. King
  12. The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel
  13. How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue
  14. The Garden Intrigue by Lauren Willig
  15. How it all Began by Penelope Lively

The books on the list are fairly recently published– 11 from 2012, 4 from 2011, and 1 that I snuck in combined with another book, from 2010.  Only 45 of the books I read were published in 2012, so that’s pretty impressive.  I also read 40 books from 2011, 10 from 2010 and 47 from 2000-20009.  8 were from the 1990s, 3 from the 1980s, and then I had books from 1961, 1953, 1929 and 1595 (Romeo and Juliet).

Of the books on my list, I read 11 of them  before July 2012.  I liked most of the books I read during the year, but not many got past that level in the second half. This indicates that I need to start thinking harder about how I’m picking my books again.   I’ll set that as my first goal going forward to 2013.  I don’t know what form that will take, but I want to read more books I’m going to love, not just like.

My other goal is to get back to writing one review per week.  That won’t be everything– I’m planning to read around 150 books again this year, with an increasing number of them as audiobooks, but it is a number I think I can sustain.

Happy New Year everyone!  May 2013 bring you many books that you love.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2013 in blogging, books, summary

 

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March Reading Summary

My March can be wrapped up with “Quite a bit of  Reading, not much Writing”.

I did a lot of listening to books this month, with 6 audio and 6 paper books.

Paper

Audio

  • Going Bovine by Libba Bray
  • All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #7) by Charlaine Harris
  • Ender in Exile (Ender’s Saga, #6) by Orson Scott Card
  • Shadow of the Hegemon (Shadow Series, #2) by Orson Scott Card (reread)
  • Still Life (Armand Gamache, #1) by Louise Penny
  • The Crime Writer by Gregg Hurwitz

(I also wrote two reviews for books I read in previous months)

This puts my total books read for the year at 33 (I missed listing the audio of Heat Wave by Richard Castle last month).   I’m at 20 books on paper, 13 audio.

My favorite book for the month was Belong to Me.  I enjoyed it and the book that preceded it, Love Walked In.  Nothing has really blown me away so far this year.

Coming Up

I’m really, really looking forward to Laurie R. King’s next Mary Russell novel, The God of the Hive.  It’s due to be released on April 27, but I won an ARC from Library Thing.  I’m checking my mailbox eagerly every day.  Whenever it comes, I’ll drop everything other than pressing commitments to read it.  That probably includes sleep!

Speaking of forgoing sleep, the read-a-thon is next weekend, and I still don’t know how much I’ll participate.  I’m not sure what my family life will bear.  I’ll definitely do some cheerleading, and hopefully some reading as well.  Maybe I’ll pull off full participation, I enjoyed it in October.

Since the beginning of the April, I’ve read this month’s book club books:  Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin; and Making It Up by Penelope Lively.  Since we’ll be discussing The Blind Assasin by Margaret Atwood on May 3, I’ll at least get started reading it this month.

For book tours this month I have In the Shadow of the Cypress by Thomas Steinbeck and Firefly Rain by Richard Dansky.  I’ll also be doing a buddy read of Made in the U.S.A by Billie Letts, with Kailana at The Written Word.

I really hope to get to a new book by one of my favorite authors, Connie Willis.  I’ve got my copy of  Blackout, and will fit it in whenever I can.

I really want to ramp up my reviewing, at least a little.  I’m setting a goal of 2 reviews a week for April, with a bonus goal of one non-review post (like this one!).  Wish me luck and (more importantly) focus!

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2010 in summary

 

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February summary: I blame the Olympics

February wasn’t a great reading month, but it was a terrible review writing month.  I blame the Olympics.  And real life.

I’ll try to do better in March!

Actually, I did read a reasonable number of books on paper, I just didn’t listen to many, and I barely wrote any reviews.

I read 9 books in February.  2 of them were audio books, 7 were paper.  This puts me at 20 books for the year, 14 on paper and 6 audio books.

Paper books read:

Audio books:

  • The Temptation of the Night Jasmine (Pink Carnation, #5) by Lauren Willig
  • The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares

There were several very good books this month, but Love Walked In was my favorite (I’ll review it after we discuss it at book club next week).  Knots and Crosses, Beautiful Creatures, and Little Giant were not too far behind, each in a very different way.

Right now, I’m reading Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos, which is the follow-up to Love Walked In, and I’m listening to The Crime Writer by Gregg Hurwitz, thanks to a recommendation from Jen Forbus.  Both are very good, and I’ll pick up one or the other when I’m done writing this post :-).

Coming up in March, I’m reading Making It Up by Penelope Lively for Book Club M and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak for Book Club L.    I’ve read The Book Thief several years ago, but I’ll be rereading it for this.  I have Waking Up in the Land of Glitter: A Crafty Chica Novel by Kathy Cano-Murillo and Life Sentences by Laura Lippman for blog tours, so you can count on seeing those reviews!

I hope everyone has a great March, in books and in the rest of your life!

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2010 in blogging, books, summary

 

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My January Reading

My reading for 2010 is off to a good (if not outstanding) start. My reviewing is running a little behind that pace!

So far
7 paper books
4 audio books
11 books total

On paper:

In audio:

  • Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
  • Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson
  • Borderline (Anna Pigeon Mysteries, #15) by Nevada Barr
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

Now I need to decide– am I going to review everything I read?  If so, I need to get my rear in gear.  If not, I need to figure out what criteria I use.  Obviously, I’ll write up any review books I read.   I probably want to comment on (if not review) all book club books. Beyond that, maybe it will just be my whims… What should I take into account in deciding?

Coming up, I have Love Walked In by Marisa de Los Santos (which I’m really looking forward to) for my book club L, Loving Frank by Nancy Horan (which I’m quite curious about) for my book club M, and Dream House by Valerie Laken (which really sounds intriguing) for a TLC book tour.

I hope you had a good reading month in January, and than February is even better!

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2010 in books, summary

 

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November summary

November was a less than stellar reading month, both for quantity and quality. It wasn’t terrible in either respect, but it is my low point since I’ve been blogging.

I read 12 books.  5 of them were only OK, and I had been hoping for more from them.

On paper:

In audio:

The high point for the month was Sometimes We’re Always Real Same-same. I’ll also flag To Desire A Devil, as it may be my favorite romance so far this year.

I’m still behind on my review writing.  I’ve still got several books from the October readathon that haven’t been written up yet.  This hasn’t been a good blogging month, and I apologize to you.  I doubt that December will be better, but I hope to get my act together again in January.  Please hang in there with me!

I’m currently reading Tethered by Amy MacKinnon and listening to Graceling by Kristin Cashore.

I need to read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan for book club next Monday.  My other book club will be discussing Julie & Julia by Julie Powell.  Since I’ve already read it, I’m planning to read My Life in France by Julia Child.

I’ll be reading Buckley’s Story by Ingrid King and A Deep Kiss of Winter by Kresley Cole & Gina Showalter for blog tours.

I have mixed results on my challenges.

I’ll be tallying results from Clear Off Your Shelves Challenge at S. Krishna’s Books soon, but I made my goal just based on my October books, there should be no problem with my total.

Since I realized I have 6 more months than I thought on the Sookie Stackhouse Challenge, I’m in great shape there with 6 of 9 books read and 7 months remaining to read them in.

The Everything Austen Challenge is not going as well, as I have one more month to complete 3 items.  We’ll see what happens.

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2009 in books, summary

 

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October wrap-up

Calendar-OctoberThanks to the Read-a-thon, I read 23 books in October!  Other things contributing to my total were several audiobooks that I’d started the previous month and some very quick reads.  This brings my total for the year to around 124 (although my records don’t match each other, so I’ll need a final recount this year).  I think that’s 47 audiobooks, 77 on paper.

I’m running really behind on reviews, but on paper I read:

  1. Breaking the Bank by Yona Zeldis McDonough
  2. The last four Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace:
  3. Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell
  4. Unseen Academicals (Discworld, #32) by Terry Pratchett
  5. The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter
  6. The Impostor’s Daughter: A True Memoir by Laurie Sandell
  7. Blue Smoke and Murder (St. Kilda Consulting, #4) by Elizabeth Lowell
  8. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
  9. Spell Hunter (Faery Rebels, #1) by R.J. Anderson
  10. Vision in White (Bride Quartet, #1) by Nora Roberts
  11. Murder Sucks: Chiana Ryan, (sort-of) PI by June Whyte
  12. Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby

I listened to:

  1. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
  2. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
  3. The Merchant of Death (Pendragon, #1) by D.J. MacHale
  4. The Deception of the Emerald Ring (Pink Carnation, #3) by Lauren Willig
  5. The Seduction of the Crimson Rose (Pink Carnation, #4) by Lauren Willig
  6. Dead as a Doornail (Sookie Stackhouse, #5) by Charlaine Harris
  7. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  8. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I’m having a hard time picking favorites this month– there were too many good ones.  The Help, The Thirteenth Tale, Beat the Reaper, and Betsy and the Great World are probably my top choices.

I also had two books that I started but am not planning to finish. I’ve said that once before, but was convinced to give The Merchant of Death another try.

I listened to the first three stories in The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling as accompaniment to The Graveyard Book for a book club discussion.  When it seemed that no one else was going to read it, I decided I wasn’t interested enough to continue, although I may change my mind.

I listened to the first two hours of Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie during the Read-a-thon.  I simply couldn’t get interested in it, even when I tried again the next day. I bought it from an Audible.com sale because I was pretty sure I’d heard something good about the author somewhere on the Net.  If I get a couple of people telling me it’s worth another try, I might try again, but I’m not very hopeful.

Coming up in November

My book club L is discussing Olive Kitteridge, which I’ve already read (and loved).  I may flip through it, I may re-read it, or I may just wing it, I’ll see.  I’m not sure what my Book Club M is reading, I should know tomorrow night.  Twitter Book Club is reading Tethered by Amy McKinnon.  I’ll probably read it so I can join in the discussion.

For blog tours, I have To Desire a Devil by Elizabeth Hoyt on 11/4, Now & Then by Jacqueline Sheehan on 11/12, and Tales for Delicious Girls by Barora Knobova on 12/1.

Challenges

I have three challenges in progress.

Sookie StackhouseFor the Sookie Stackhouse Challenge, I’m planning to read all 9 of Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse books by the end of the year.  I’ve read 5 so far, so I’d better step up my reading:

  1. Dead Until Dark
  2. Living Dead in Dallas
  3. Club Dead
  4. Dead to the World
  5. Dead as a Doornail

everythingausten2The next is the Everything Austen Challenge.  For this one, I’ll be reading or watching 6 Jane Austen related items by the end of the year.  I didn’t add anything else this month. So far, I have

  1. 1972 BBC production of Emma
  2. An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aidan
  3. Emma (movie)

This month,I’ll probably read one of the two Austen-related books I bought for the challenge, to help make progress towards clearing my shelves.  I’m still tempted to have two of the slots be the newer BBC production of Emma and the movie Clueless.

The third challenge is the Clear Off Your Shelves Challenge at S. Krishna’s Books. I’m trying to make sure that at least 20% of the books I read are books from my bookshelves (not review copies, not library books) to try to clear some of the backlog of books that I’ve bought.

For my 15 paper books read:

  • 9 (60%) were review copies.
  • 1 (6.7%)was a library book.
  • 1 (6.7%)was bought in October (but it still counts!).
  • 4 (26.7%)were from my backlog.

For my 8 audiobooks:

  • 2 (25%) were bought from Audible in October.
  • 4 (50%) were older books from Audible.
  • 2 (25%) were library books.

So, my totals (out of 23 books) are:

  • 11 (48%) qualified for the challenge.
  • 12 (52%) did not qualify.

That’s much better than I expected.  November won’t be as good, but I should easily make my goal.  Yay!

I hope everyone had a good October, and has a better November.  Happy Thanksgiving!

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2009 in books, summary

 

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September Summary

Calendar-September18 books read in September, thanks to the short and sweet early Betsy Tacy books!  14 paper, 4 audiobooks.

I’m a little confused on my total books read, since my running total doesn’t match with a new check at GoodReads.    For now, I’ll go with my running record and I’ll straighten it out at the end of the year :-).

So: 101 books read so far this year!  39 of those are audiobooks, 72 paper.

On Paper

In Audio

I started out strong on the audiobooks, but didn’t finish any after the beginning of the month.

My favorite books of the month were Catching Fire and 31 Hours.

In Progress

I have a record 4 audiobooks in progress right now:

  1. The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig (which I was listening to when my MP3 player died :-( )
  2. The Merchant of Death by D.J. McHale wasn’t quite working for me, but it was picking up. I’ve been convinced to come back to it and give it a second chance when I finish the next two books.
  3. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley was next. I was enjoying it, but I realized I needed to get started on
  4. The Thirteenth Tale by Dianne Setterfield for my book club M meeting next Monday. I’m enjoying it!

Upcoming

On paper, I’m just about to start

  1. Breaking the Bank by Yona Zeldis McDonough (for a blog tour next Monday)
  2. Betsy Was a Junior/ Betsy and Joe by Maud Hart (for a blog tour next Tuesday)

After that, I have very few commitments at the moment:

  • I’ll read Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell as soon as I get my copy.
  • I’m reading The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter for a blog tour on October 20.
  • For Book Club L, I’m reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.
  • The next book for Book Club M is The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

Challenges

I joined a new challenge this month:
Clear Off Your Shelves Challenge at S. Krishna’s Books.

During October and November, I’m going to make an effort to read books that are already on my shelves (or floor, or Audible manager).  Other than the book listed above, I don’t think I have anything new coming in for review.  I’m trying to continue my restraint through the rest of this year, I think.

I’m expecting most of my progress will come during the 24 hour read-a-thon.  I hope I’ll be able to work out the details, and try to spend 24 hours reading and talking about my reading progress on October 24-25.

I have two challenges in progress.

Sookie Stackhouse For the Sookie Stackhouse Challenge, I’m planning to read all 9 of Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse books by the end of the year.  I’ve read 4 so far:

  1. Dead Until Dark
  2. Living Dead in Dallas
  3. Club Dead
  4. Dead to the World

I hope to listen to one or two more during October.

everythingausten2The other is the Everything Austen Challenge.  For this one, I’ll be reading or watching 6 Jane Austen related items by the end of the year.  So far, I have

  1. 1972 BBC production of Emma
  2. An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aidan
  3. Emma (movie)

This month,I’ll probably read one of the two Austen-related books I bought for the challenge, to help make progress towards clearing my shelves.  I’m tempted to have two of the slots be the newer BBC production of Emma and the movie Clueless.

Giveaways

I have two giveaways running right now:

Thanks for sticking with me through this rather long summary.

One last note

October 17 will be my 6 month bloggiversary.  Does that mean I’ll have to stop referring to my blog as new, or can I keep that qualifier until I reach a year?

I hope you had a good September, and have a better October.

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2009 in books, summary

 

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