Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2010: A Year In Review

"The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."
~ Robert Burns

As is evident from my silence for the last month plus the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011 did not go exactly as I had hoped. It's still a little early to say whether life will permit me to return to a regular schedule of posting in this blogging world, but for now I will take what I can get.

Before we get any further into the year I thought I would return to the tradition of the last two years (2008, 2009) and recap the last year by listing some fun statistics and highlight what I believe were the best and worst reads of the year. (** Note: All books that I have reviewed are hyperlinked to my review and you can view them by clicking on the title and author. ** )

TOTAL BOOKS READ IN 2010: 53 (listed here, just over half what I read in 2009)

TOTAL PAGES READ IN 2010: 18,120 pages. (Though on average I read longer books in 2010 than I did in 2009. Ex: Average page count in '10: 341.89 compared with 2009, which had an average page count of 268.29)

LONGEST READ IN 2010: The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope at 802 pages.

SHORTEST READ IN 2010 (excluding children's books): The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald at 180 pages.

BEST BOOK DISCOVERY in 2010: Mrs. Tim of the Regiment by D. E. Stevenson. While it wouldn't win any book awards, this was a very witty and entertaining read. And it led me to read the rest of the series (four books total), which I likewise enjoyed... No... I didn't just enjoy. I grew to love the characters within. Delightful series, all worthy of a read.

WORST BOOK DISCOVERY in 2010: I do not think there was one book I read last year that I "hated," though there were a few I didn't really care for. Perhaps the Girls Night Out short stories collection. Some of the short stories were good, some fair, and some just lousy. All-in-all I was not impressed and I gave the book back to the library. In the end I consider this an improvement from 2009.

FAVORITE CLASSIC READ IN 2010: The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope

BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT IN 2010: Hosting the second annual Maud Hart Lovelace Reading Challenge right after participating twice in the Agatha Christie Blog Tour.

BIGGEST FAILURE TO COMPLETE IN 2010: My blog. I ended 2010 without the time to finish reviewing my reads. I left 7 books un-reviewed. Still in debate as to whether it's too late for me to post something.

TOP 5 BOOKS IN 2010 THAT SURPRISED ME (in order as read):
1. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
2. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
4. Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo
5. The Classic Hundred Poems: All Time Favorites Edited by William Harmon

GREATEST READING ACCOMPLISHMENT IN 2010: The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky wins this category not simply because of it's length (702 pages), but also for it's genre: Russian Literature, and it's era: 19th century. This was a hefty read, but well worth the effort. In second place, The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope for it's length at 802 pages. Another worthy read.

1. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (this is a carry over from 2009 and 2010)
2. A Study in Scarlet by Sir. Arthur Conan Doyle
3. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
4. Something by Dorothy Sayres.
5. John James Audubon: The Making of an American by Richard Rhodes

1. Lavender And Old Lace by Myrtle Reed
2. The Blue Sapphire by D. E. Stevenson
3. So Long Insecurity, You've Been a Bad Friend to Us by Beth Moore
4. An Autobiography by Agatha Christie
5. Gentlemen From England by Maud & Delos Lovelace

TOP FIVE LEAST FAVORITE BOOKS IN 2010 (in order as read):
1. Girls Night Out edited by Carole Matthews - didn't finish.
2. The Master's Violin by Myrtle Reed
3. Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler
4. The Importance of Being Married by Gemma Townley
5. Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattillo

In closing I turn my attention to the new year. I am excited about 2011. I think it has a lot of potential. For me as a reader, 2009 was an astounding year. I read 101 books and reviewed every single one, quite a personal achievement. On the other hand, 2010 was a difficult year. I only read 53 books, but I did so to quench my insatiable thirst for reading all the while juggling my increasingly busy life. But this year, 2011 -- I hope to achieve balance. Yes, I want to keep reading and I'd like to keep reviewing, but foremost I need to find a healthy balance between my relationships, my career, and my hobbies. I may only read a half dozen books or I may find time to read 100. I may only review my favorites or I may review them all. Whatever happens I am sure the journey will be fun. So here's to 2011. I hope you'll stick around and see where it takes us.


Marie said...

You had a great year in reading. I left a bunch of books unreviewed too but I will get around to them soon, I hope! I don't want to give up on them quite yet.

Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

Perhaps not to your satisfaction but you had a great year 2010. Balance is always important and I believe you would achieve it without giving up much of your readings. I would be around to read your reviews and other postings. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Carrie said...

What a fun post! And I agree with NF-A - you managed to read a lot and keep up with a hectic, hectic schedule.

I don't know what 2011 is going to bring my way. I just assume change and we'll see what happens!

Anonymous said...

Just put The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope on my wish list!

Nan said...

So very glad you are back!! Of course it isn't too late to talk about those seven books! Life is a flow. Forget the calendar.:<)
Gatsby is one of my top five favorite books of all time.
And I adore the Mrs. Tim books.
Isn't it interesting that a top five fave and a top five least fave were written by the same person?!