Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Look Back at 2011

2011 was not too shabby - in reading and in life.  Dennis and I are in the same (stable) jobs, which is wonderful.  I started my Master's degree at Boston University.  My mom was diagnosed with endometrial cancer this past summer, which seems like it would be a bad thing - however it got her to take her health seriously.  She had surgery and has a clean bill of health.  Dennis and I are happy and healthy and excited for what 2012 has to offer.  

So let's talk books - that's what we do here, right?!

Favorite book of 2011:
Jane Eyre
I had never read this classic, and I can't believe it took me so long!  I thought the writing was really personable and accessible.  The story is very real and interesting.  Since it was written so long ago I was expecting language far more dense than it was in actuality.  I didn't expect to like it so much!

Least favorite book of 2011:
Like Water for Chocolate
It wasn't bad necessarily.  I just wasn't really that into it.  

Biggest "guilty pleasure" book of 2011: 
Love the One You're With
I didn't even "read" this one... it was an audiobook!  I don't typically read the "chick lit" genre, but I wanted something fun to listen to on my drives to work and this really hit the spot.  It was fluffy.  It was predictable.  It was fun.

Fastest read of 2011:
The First Four Years
The Laura Ingalls Wilder books went by pretty fast in general.  The award for fastest goes to The First Four Years because I read it in a day during hurricane Irene.  No power.  Not really much of a hurricane.  I just hung on the couch all day.  Perfect!

Slooooowest read of 2011:
Tie between War and Peace and The Poisonwood Bible and The Virgin Blue
Okay - it's not really fair to call War and Peace a slow read because I intended for it to take a year.  Technically though, it took the longest.  After that we have The Poisonwod Bible and The Virgin Blue, both of which took me a month.  Once again, to be fair, I was in the middle of an insane concert season and barely had time to sleep.  I really liked The Poisonwood Bible, and it wasn't a short book.  The Virgin Blue was a short read that took forever.  I didn't really care for it.  So it was the fewest number of pages over the longest period of time.  I'm completely talking in circles, aren't I?  

Biggest letdown of 2011:
The Virgin Blue
I expected to really love it because I enjoyed Girl with the Pearl Earring so much.  Unfair?  Yes.  Still... the bar was high and The Virgin Blue just didn't get there.

Hidden jewel of 2011:
Cat's Eye
I didn't expect to like this very much at all.  I got it a couple of years ago from a friend who offered to let me pick through a box of books she was getting rid of.  I grabbed it.  It sat on the shelf forever.  I'd read the back and be like, "eh..." and go for something else.  I was pleasantly surprised!

2011 Stats:

  • 31 books (Pretty good considering I was dealing with a new job January-June and started grad school in July!)
  • 12,045 pages read!
  • 3 of the 31 were ARCs.
  • 3 of the 31 were audiobooks.
  • 18 of the 31 were from my bookshelf.
  • 6 of the 31 I purchased.
  • 1 of the 31 was from the library.
  • 5 of the 31 were ebooks.
  • I read the least in May and June (concert season!).
  • I read the most in August (on my Laura Ingalls Wilder kick - kind of easy reads).
Ugh.  I've made peace with the fact that my challenges will not finish on time.
  • War and Peace Challenge.  Done!
  • TBR Challenge.  7/14 completed (12 books + 2 alternates = 14).  Halfway!
  • Back to the Classics Challenge.  3/8 completed.  Not quite halfway.  I'll get there though.
Here's where I've had my bookmark in 2011!  

1251.  January, 2011 - Exit the Actress by Priya Parmar

1252.  January, 2011 - Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin

1253.  January, 2011 - Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood

1254.  February, 2011 - The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

1255.  February, 2011 - Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

125 6.  February, 2011 - Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

1257.  March, 2011 - The Christmas Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini

1258.  March, 2011 - A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Photobucket9.  April, 2011 - The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

10.  April, 2011 - The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee

11.  May, 2011 - The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Photobucket12.  June, 2011 - The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier

12513.  July, 2011 - Emma by Jane Austen

12514.  July, 2011 - Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

12515.  July, 2011 - Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

12516.  August, 2011 - Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

12517.  August, 2011 - On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder

12518.  August, 2011 - The Secret Between Us by Barbara Delinsky

12519.  August, 2011 - By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder

12520.  August, 2011 - The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

12521.  August, 2011 - Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

12522.  August, 2011 - These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

23.  August, 2011 - The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

12524.  September, 2011 - The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure

12525.  September, 2011 - The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

12526.  October, 2011 - Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman

Photobucket27.  October, 2011 - To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

28.  November, 2011 - Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan / Cacilda Jetha

War and Peace Readalong - 201129.  November, 2011 - War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

12530.  December, 2011 - Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Photobucket31.  December, 2011 - Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquirel

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