Good morning, fellow Salon Members! I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday. I received some loverly books for Christmas this year: my uncle sent me The Annotated Alice in Wonderland, The New Annotated Dracula, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, Anne Rice's Angel Time and the first volume in the Bloom County, The Complete Library series by Berkeley Breathed; my mom got me May Sarton's poetry collection The Lion and the Rose, John Connolly's The Gates and Audrey Niffenegger's Her Fearful Symmetry; my sister got me a replacement copy of Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City as she absconded with my copy earlier in the year; my LibraryThing SantaThing, bookworm12, sent me Richard Russo's Empire Falls, Orson Scott Card's Ender's Shadow and Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next, First Among Sequels; and my friend Kristin got me The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I bought myself a couple of books, as well: Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann, The Impulsive Imp by Howard O'Brien (Anne Rice's father), The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens and Soulless by Gail Carriger. My sister also helped me get a copy of Gregory Maguire's The Next Queen of Heaven from the Concord Free Press. So, I'm looking at a January filled with some great reading!
Looking back on my reading for 2009, I can honestly that I disappointed myself a little. After reaching such a grand goal of 100 books in 2008, I really thought I could do the same again this year. Well, I just squeezed in my 75th book of the year, and that's including 12 audiobooks this year, the most I've ever listened to in a year. So really, I only read 63 books this year. I think part of the problem was that I tried to throw myself into too many ready challenges right at the beginning of the year, so that I was feeling overwhelmed by them from almost the very beginning. Another was that I got so sick in March and didn't feel like reading anything for the better part of 2 months. Then in August, for whatever reason I only read one book, and then the same happened again this month (but December was an extraordinarily hectic month for me, so I'm letting that one slide). Overall, just a unusual reading year for me.
I did read some excellent books this year, though. My top books for the year:
- January - Castle Waiting by Linda Medley
- February - Coraline by Neil Gaiman
- March - Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
- April - Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
- May - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- June - Nothing but Ghosts by Beth Kephart
- July - The Well and the Mine by Gin Phillips
- August - The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
- September - Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
- October - The Maze Runner by James Dashner
- November - The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
- December - A Dog at Sea by J.F. Englert
- Childrens - 6
- Classics - 4
- Fantasy - 2
- Fiction - 17
- Graphic Novel - 9
- Horror - 1
- Manga - 1
- Mystery - 7
- Non-Fiction - 3
- Poetry - 1
- Travel - 1
- YA - 23
- Total pages read (taking audiobooks into account, as well) - 19,456
Looking ahead to 2010, I've set up some reading challenges for myself: a Baker's Dozen Challenge (13 books with the number 13 somehow in the title); If Neil Wrote It, I Want to Read It (basically, I want to work my way through most of Neil Gaiman's work this year as I've read most of his YA and kids stuff, but somehow have never gotten around to his novels...); my 1001 Challenge (1 book a month from the 1001 List); and my Agatha Christie Challenge (1 book a month). I've also joined the 1010 in 2010 group on LibraryThing, where you read any number of books in 10 categories of your choosing. What's good about many of these challenges is that multiple books will be able to cross over into other challenges. So, hopefully we'll be able to see how that goes for me this year. A little more flexibility in these challenges will be better for me in the long run. At least, that's my hope and I'm sticking to it for right now.
Not much else to report on this final Salon of 2009. I've still got the contest open for a set of J.F. Enlgert's Bull Moose Dog Run series of comedy mysteries. I hope everyone enters and then tells their friends about it. The series is a lot of fun to read, and I'd really like to spread the word! The contest will be open until Friday, January 8, 2010 and you can enter here.
I hope everyone has a great New Year's and happy reading!