Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year! 2010 Recap

It's been many months since I have posted anything on this blog and my sincere apologies. It was an incredibly busy fall at work, and for a few months the majority of my reading was strictly for work or courses. Eww!

It also seemed that for a long while I was in a reading response slump. It was the season of reading neutrally. Everything I picked up seemed just mediocre to me. Funny, because many of these books appeared on several favourites lists (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - - sorry to Jenny, she says that every time she recommends something, I am underwhelmed by it - - so maybe its just me; Fall of Giants - disappointing for Follett - thin characters entombed in a history text, honestly, there was so much time devoted to the description of the ammunition -just how many words do you need to say "bullet"? -sigh).

However, I ended the year on a high note with Girl in Translation, a debut novel by Jean Kwok. Basically, the story of a mother and daughter who come to America from Hong Kong after it had returned to Chinese rule. Brilliant!

Over a year ago, I challenged myself to read 26 books in 2010. I then enthusiastically joined a bunch of book challenges of which I completed precisely zero. I got about half way through each challenge and what I found out about myself as a reader is that I simply cannot schedule or plan my reading. One book sometimes leads me to the next, or I hear about a book in a blog post, or posted on someone's TBR list and the next thing you know, I have to read it too. (Like my dieting pledging- you know, the "I swear I'm going to start my diet on Monday, because we're doing that thing Friday night ... and I have to find some exercise clothes that cover both the moose in my caboose and my front bum! so definitely Monday - and then, what you will see with me will be complete devotion" pledge.)

However, not only did I reach my goal of 26 books, I almost doubled it! So, I think that the challenges did help me and the posts were fun to do. For 2011, I resolve to read 100 books. I only need to join one challenge, the 100+ Books 2011 Challenge - more on this in my next post.

Here is a list of the 49 books that I completed in 2010. Some books are linked to reviews I have posted and many were selections for challenges I participated in:

Top Ten Reads of 2010

1. The Help
2. The Forgotten Garden
3. Angela's Ashes
4. Girl in Translation
5. The Shifting Fog
6. Say You're One of Them
7. Her Fearful Symmetry
8. The Lace Reader
9. The Crimson Petal and the White
10. Life

Bottom Five Reads of 2011

1. The Kite Runner (I know some of you are raising your eyebrows right now, sorry, didn't dig it) 2. Mr. Peanut (What was that?)
3. Finger Lickin' Fifteen (I know, what was I hoping for with this title? - but if you have read the early Janet Evanovich, you will know what I mean)
4. Wolf Hall (Oh dreary 9000 pages of Thomas Cromwell - and historical fiction is my thing)
5. The Postmistress (The Guernsey Potato Peel Pie Society wannabe)

Books I Am Still Dying To Read But Didn't In 2010

1. The Distant Hours
2. The Book of Negroes (Thanks to Heather, who is bringing this to me tomorrow)


1.Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte (All About the Brontes Challenge)

2. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (451 Challenge, To Be Read Challenge)

3. Wishin' and Hopin': A Christmas Story by Wally Lamb

4. Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan

5. The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes

6. Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich

7. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

8. Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier

9. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (What's in a Name 3 Challenge)

10. The Red Tent by Antia Diamant


11. Villette by Charlotte Bronte (All About the Bronte's Challenge)

12. The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry (To Be Read 2010 Challenge)


13. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel


14. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Nifenegger (To Be Read 2010 Challenge)

15. Angela's Ashes by Frank McCort (To Be Read 2010 Challenge)

16. Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella (To Be Read 2010 Challenge)

17. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini


18. The King of Lies by John Hart

19. Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler

20. The Shifting Fog by Kate Morton

21. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

22. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake


23. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber

24. Killing Floor by Lee Child

25. The Last Summer of You and Me by Anne Brashares

26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling (audio book)


27. After All These Years by Susan Isaacs

28. The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

29. The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

30. Peony in Love by Lisa See

31. Sarah by Marek Halter

32. Down River by John Hart


33. Die Trying by Lee Child

34. Zipporah, Wife of Moses by Marek Halter

35. The Inheritance by Annabel Dilke

36. Lilah by Marek Halter

37. Secret Relations by Annabel Dilke

38. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen


39. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson


40. Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross

41. The Constant Princess by Phillippa Gregory

42. The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillippa Gregory

43. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters


44. Fall of Giants by Ken Follett


45. Life by Keith Richards

46. Chelsea, Chelsea, Bang, Bang by Chelsea Handler

47. Ghosts Among Us: Uncovering the Truth About the Other Side by James Van Praagh

48. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

49. Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok


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