Saturday, December 26, 2009

Year End Reading Wrap Up and Next Year's Goal

(Hello. I hope everyone had a great holiday. I hadn't planned on being back in this space until next week but the excitement around here has died down, the kids are quietly doing their thing, and I've had seven cups of coffee so I have more than enough energy to write a blog post.)

Most of you remember that I reached my reading goal of thirty five books around the middle of the year. I continued reading though and ended up hitting 51 books, not counting The Lovely Bones, which will probably be finished by years end. Here's a run down of what I read this year:

1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
2. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
3. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
4. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Book 1) by Jeff Kinney
6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Book 2) by Jeff Kinney
7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (book 3) by Jeff Kinney
8. Twilight: The Complete Illustrated Movie Companion by Mark Vaz
9. Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
10. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
11. Camp Foxtrot by Bill Amend
12. Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson
13. Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips
14. I'm Perfect You're Doomed: Tales from a Jehovah's Witness Upbringing by Kyria Abrahams
15. Enormously Foxtrot by Bill Amend
16. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
17. Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris
18. Kissed by an Angel (trilogy) by Elizabeth Chandler
19. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
20. Sliver by Ira Levin
21. Club Dead by Charlaine Harris
22. Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris
23. Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris
24. Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris
25. Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint
26. Memory and Dream by Charles de Lint
27. Whistling in the Dark by Leslie Kagen
28. Women Who Eat: A New Generation on the Glory of Food by Leslie Miller
29. All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris
30. From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris
31. Wrapped Up Foxtrot by Bill Amend
32. One Hundred Demons by Lynda Barry
33. Make Your Place by Raleigh Briggs
34. Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
35. A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs
36. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
37. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
38. At a Crossroads by Kate T Williamson
39. Mississippi Sissy by Kevin Sessums
40. Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx
41. When I Was a Loser by John McNally
42. Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney
43. Little Things by Jeffrey Brown
44. Revenge of the Paste Eaters: Memoirs of a Misfit by Cheryl Peck
45. Comfort Me with Apples by Ruth Reichl
46. My Secret: A PostSecret Book by Frank Warren
47. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
48. Not Becoming My Mother by Ruth Reichl
49. Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris
50. Thank You, Lucky Stars by Beverly Donofrio
51. Joe College by Tom Perrotta

When I look back on this years book choices, I am immediately embarrassed because I feel as if I read a lot of fluff, and I did. But looking more closely at the list, I see that I did read a few *real* books too, so mostly I think the list has a pretty good mix.

Worst Book of the Year
I read quite a few clunkers this year but the worst book I read was definitely Whistling in the Dark. UGH. When I think about the me of six months ago trying to trudge through the deadly quicksand of this story only to end no where, I get a pain in my stomach. (You can read my review of it here.)

Best Book of the Year
I'm Perfect, You're Doomed: Tales From a Jehovah's Witness Upbringing completely changed my life. I've mentioned it a few times here but I don't think I ever reviewed it. This book really motivated me to talk more about my life growing up as one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

My reading goal for the New Year is going to be to try and get through NPR's List of 100 Best Beach Books. I've only read about 20 books on the list so that means my reading goal for the year would be close to 80 books. (My list, from August, can be found here.) I'm going to go easy on myself though. While I do plan on trying to read the entire list, I'm not going to worry about finishing a book if it becomes clear that it just isn't my cup of tea. For instance, I'm thinking Lord of the Rings isn't going to be my kind of a read, but we'll see. Plus, I also may want to read other books that aren't on the list. So, this is a goal that remains open for changes and modifications and may end up taking longer than a year. I'll see where it takes me.


Karen said...

I *strongly* recommend Outlander. I'm so glad it's on that list. The rest of the books in that series aren't that great, but I've made my way through them because i loved the characters in Outlander so much.

Tammie said...

ooh karen thank you...i was hoping folks would give me a few books to start off with and i knew nothing of Outlander.

Daphne said...

Great list. I'd love to know what you thought of Memory and Dream. PS I read Outlander and was completely torn between enjoying it and thinking it completely stupid. I never read romances and it was a little too romance-y for me, but it was a good read, if you don't mind a little mushy romance stuff. I need to do my yearly wrap-up!

beck said...

Hey Tammie, I'm loving your list! I am a prolific reader and you have inspired me to write down and count all the books I read in 2010. How fun! I have just started Revolutionary Road which is kind of slow but I'm enjoying it. I might send you an Australian book to about that? I'll look for something very Aussie & get your address sometime ok? Happy reading xo

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

I'm going to have to check out the NPR list....I didn't even know it existed and I'm a big NPR listener. And maybe I'll keep track of what I've read in 2010. That's a good idea.

Aleta said...

I'm impressed with your book list! I loved the Sookie Stackhouse series, read all of them this year as well. Waiting for the next one to come out. :)

If you enjoy vampire books, check out the Dark Lover series by J.R. Ward. It's a different "take" on vampires and definitely more "adult" for some content.

kraftykash said...

My reading habits go in spurts. Lately....Im not reading at all. I didnt meet my goal, and Im totally fine with that. I think its great that you did. I do think Howie Mandell's new book looks very interesting. Im on the hold list at the library. Take care!!

Tammie said...

daphne: i loved all the de Lint that i read this year. i cant wait to read more.

beck: ooh i would love that! and i felt the same way about Revolutionary Road.

jolly: i really like keeping track of what i read, it keeps me motivated. are you on Goodreads? it makes it easy.

aleta: oooh thank you for the recommendation. i wouldnt mind a bit more adult content.

Penny said...

I love to read too. If you haven't read She's Come Undone yet you must run out and get it I love that book so much, AAAAAAAAAANNNNND now I want to read it again.

I really like the idea of going through the top 100 books, but looking through the list there are a few I just know I couldn 't get through (East of Eden, I'm not a John Steinbeck fan)...I have read quite a few but it has helped me make a new reading list.

Right now I'm reading Olive Kitteridge and I'm really liking it.

Lia said...

Wow. I haven't read ANY of the books on your list. That doesn't usually happen to me. I have never set a reading goal- not since the summer reading contests at the library when I was a kid. That's an interesting idea. I don't know if I'm going to set a goal for myself (mostly because it seems like one more thing I wouldn't achieve), but I do very much like the idea of keeping track of what I read this next year. I have never been on Goodreads, either. I'll have to check that out. So much I don't know about.

The NPR list is a great one. I completely agree with Penny- She's Come Undone is amazing. So is the Time Traveler's Wife. It's definitely one of my all-time-favorite books. Couldn't Keep It to My self is another one of my all-time-favorites. It's not on the list, but it is amazing. AMAZING. It's by Wally Lamb, too (She's Come Undone), but it's a collection of memoirs written by women in a prison where he taught writing classes. Their stories are so incredible. You really have to read it.

Daphne said...

PS: I love that NPR beach list, thanks for the reminder. And just a side note, I would be interested what you thought of She's Come Undone if you haven't already read it -- I kind of hated it, which puts me in the distinct minority!!

Tammie said...

i did read Shes Come Undone and i.....didnt love it. although i liked the basic idea of the story (main character has a shitty life and needs to make some serious decisions to change said shitty life) i really grew to dislike the main character and some of the choices she made. i felt like she listened to others instead of making her own path and after a while i stopped feeling anything for her. that being said, when i read the book (about 10 years ago) i read it fast. i just couldnt put it down, but i ended up feeling disappointed by the whole thing. i wish i could remember more about it, but its been a while.

ive read other things by wally lamb (although not your suggestion Lia, which sounds very intriguing) and i liked what i read. Shes Come Undone just left a bad taste in my mouth.