New Year’s Eve Read-a-Thon

Last night I was feeling kind of down because I didn’t have any plans for New Year’s. I got on Twitter to check out my fellow bloggers tweets and found out that Jenn from The Picky Girl was doing a New Year’s Eve Read-a-Thon with a few other fellow bloggers. I believe that Becky from One Literature Nut is hosting the event and Heidenkind from Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Books is the other organizer.

Anyhow, I asked Jenn if I could join in and she welcomed me into the event. There are a few books that I wanted to hit on today now that I DO have New Year’s plans with these lovely people.

Here they are:
The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
--I actually finished this book earlier today. I had only 5% left to go on my Kindle and I was determined to hit ,*sigh*, 20 books read this year.

The Disappearing Spoon and other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the Periodic Table of Elements by Sam Kean
--I am currently reading this and just by the introduction know I’m going to enjoy it. It starts off talking about laxatives containing mercury! Fantastic! I’m in!

Grave Peril by Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files, Book #3)
--I need to work on my TBR shelf. It sits at 237 right now and this has been sitting on my shelf for some time. The Dresden Files are fun and quick reads, and I’m definitely in need of a little fun in my reading life right now.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
--Oh yes, this poorly neglected book on my shelf has been sitting there for a year without me picking it up. Lydia from The Literary Lollipop started a read-a-long last year and guess what….we all put it down for an entire year. We’re trying to get back into it right now. We’ll see how it goes. It’s a fantastic book so far. I plan to pick it up at some point this evening.

In all, 2011 was an abysmal reading year for me. I didn’t like most of what I read, and felt pretty unsatisfied every time I finished a book. In fact, it sounds like a lot of people had mediocre reading years and a mediocre 2011, too.

My favorite book of the year was probably On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan. He is simply an amazing author. My least favorite books of the year were probably Tinkers by Paul Harding and The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. City & the City by China Mieville is probably third in this Year of Blah. Maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to read these books at the time I read them. I can’t really say what it was that made me dislike them as much as I did.

As for goals for 2012? Well, I was just talking to Fiona from The Book Coop and I decided that I would try to finish some other poor, neglected books that I started and haven’t finished:

  • Finding Chief Kamiakin by Richard D. Scheuerman – I was enjoying this book when my life very suddenly and drastically changed. I put it down and never picked it back up.
  • People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks – I was also enjoying this book and all of a sudden didn’t feel like reading it anymore so I put it down.
  • North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell – OK…I don’t know why I put this book down. I was enjoying it immensely. Mr. Thornton, I love you. I actually think I put it down because I was ruining my copy in my bag that I carry on the train. I can’t stand books that don’t look pristine!
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – I’ve read two of the books. I felt “meh” about them, but I want to finish the series to see if they get better. Maybe I’ll just try for one or two of the books in 2012.
I hope that everyone has a wonderful 2012. This past year has seemed to be a challenging one for a lot of people. I feel your pain if this has been a challenging year for you. It’s definitely been one for me, but I am better for it and happier. I still have days where I struggle, but overall I think my life has changed for the better and brighter days are ahead. I hope that all of you feel that way too. Without struggle, we don’t grow so I hope to keep that in mind for the upcoming year.

I also hope that everyone has a fantastic 2012 reading year! Good luck and keep me updated on what you’re reading! I love to know about new (and old) books!

Being Bookish…

During the last year, I’m not sure I could say that I’ve actually been bookish, but I’ve been realizing over the past few weeks how much I enjoy my bookish friends. There are several bloggers I’ve kept in touch with since I’ve more or less put blogging on the back burner, and it’s these people that keep me going.

Let’s face it. New Mexico is not a book-loving state. There are a few bookish people I know here, but the fact that the state capital has only a few small independent bookstores reinforces that people in this state don’t really read. So what has kept me going? For one, my blogging friends that I keep in touch with either over email, Google+, or Google Talk. None of them act like I’m crazy for loving books and wanting to delve into a story or character. It’s been my outlet during a rather abysmal year of reading for me. I’ve been through some really big life changes this year (new job, moving back to the state where I grew up, etc.), and in the process I lost the book club that I used to go to. I really miss it. I miss sitting around the table with my friends and talking about how filthy Jack Reacher is and how despite that, women still love him. I miss being an active blogger where I made many bookish friends and no longer can keep up with them.

However, things have not been all bad. I still talk to some of my blogging friends like I’ve mentioned above, but I’ve also made some new bookish friends at work. My work, *gasp*, even has a book club! It has been a life saver. They are the only people I talk face to face with about books and without them I think my life would be less full. I like that we can complain about some of the books we’ve read together and laugh about some of the situations characters we’ve read about have been in. I like the deep discussions we’ve gotten in about some of the books we’ve read, and I like ribbing them for ruining my TBR list (just today my coworker from the UK introduced me to the Folio Society—I am still shaking my fist at him for mentioning those beautiful books).

Even though I don’t have as much time to read now, I still have friends that view me as bookish and don’t make me feel bad about how little I’ve read this year (I don’t even think I’m going to break 21 books for the year). I feel so thankful for these people who understand a part of me that most people don’t understand. It makes me feel a little bit normal and a lot bit loved. I love all these people’s passion for reading and books, and I hope that I continue to find people that are that passionate about reading but without being book snobs (just today my coworker told me he bought Cicero and I told him I wanted to get back to The Dresden Files. He didn’t blink an eye. I loved that).

I am thankful for all my bookish friends and I just wanted everyone to know that even though this has been a year of ups and downs, you all have made it so much easier to get through with our little escapist conversations about kava juice drinking, Mr. Thornton (*sigh*), and book sniffing. I love you all, and I hope to continue to keep in touch with the blogging community (and get back to blogging). Thank you all so much for sending me cards and little presents over this year to show me that you have thought about me. You guys are all amazing and I feel lucky to have all these great bookish friends.
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