Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Out with the Old; In with the New

I'm finally getting around to my 2010 end of year post; it would have happened earlier, but I was so stir-crazy after the blizzards that I really couldn't sit still. Then I was busy inhaling Daughter of the Forest (look for a post soon) and staying up way too late reading. Needless to say, this was a Bad Life Choice (the staying up late, not necessarily the reading).

Anyhoo, on to the year in retrospect.

2010 was definitely a year of firsts for me in pretty much every aspect of my life. I started this blog and read more than fifty books for the first time since I started recording book totals; I read mostly library or already-owned books; I left East Tennessee, where I had been living and teaching for five years, and moved to North Dakota; I am teaching American Lit for the first time EVER; I have to shovel my own garage out when it snows( obviously a very significant milestone). In other words, the year has been one of exciting changes, worrisome unknowns, and thrilling twists and turns, and it is a year that I will not soon forget.

Book-wise, I read a whole lot this year. I attribute this to the fact that I had started the blog and, let's be honest, the one tv show I was still watching ended (RIP Lost). It also helped that I stopped having a commitment four nights a week! In general, most of my reads were fiction; all seven nonfiction reads were memoir/autobiography. A lot of the fiction, especially from summer on, was Young Adult. This is largely due to the fact that block scheduling gives me more freedom in assigning/providing free reading to my students, and I want to be familiar with what they're reading so I can make suggestions and connect things in class to things that are current and appealing to them.

And for next year? I've thought about this quite a bit. My first priority actually has to do with the blog itself. Last year, I read 100 books; I reviewed (in some way, shape, or form) twenty-seven books. This, my friends, is pitiful. Pitiful! I am really going to try to be more consistent in reviewing the books that I read, and I am going to make it a point to post at LEAST once a week (no more six-week absences for me!). I am also going to make it a point to fully participate in any challenges that I sign up for. So far I'm signed up for the Victorian Literature Challenge; I also plan to sign up for the Historical Fiction Challenge (Severe Bookahalism leve) and the Support Your Local Library Challenge (Jumbo level). Both the Victorian and Historical Fiction Challenges will have a Mr. Linky each month, and I plan to be there!

I still pretty much plan to read what I want to read (which means a lot of rereads this year: Possession, Time Traveler's Wife, the Hunger Games Trilogy, and as much Sharon Shinn as I can fit in) since I do so much prescribed reading for my job, but I would like to participate in the Classics Circuit at least once this year. Also, I have been thinking quite a bit about doing some sort of "My Life in Books" feature. I would like to tell the story of why certain books are so important to me by explaining when I first encountered them and why they were so right for me at the time. I'm thinking it will be something very much like what I did when I talked about Jane and Jane Eyre.

So there you have it! Up next: my Top 12 Books of the Year and reviews of Bleak House (IT IS FINISHED!!!!!) and Daughter of the Forest.

Happy New Year, everyone!


Mystica said...

Like to see what you think of Bleak House.

JoAnn said...

Hurray!! You finished Bleak House! Can't wait to see what you thought...
Good luck with your blogging and reading. I'm glad to have met you in 2010.

Read the Book said...

Thanks for stopping by, Mystica! I hope to post about Bleak House sometime this weekend.

JoAnn, I enjoyed meeting you, too, and I was SO glad to have your moral support on Bleak House! Here's to a Dickens-filled 2011!