Saturday, January 7, 2012

Goodbye, 2011; Hello, 2012!

Hello, all! I trust that the crickets have been doing a good job during Yes, that two-month absence was completely unplanned, but life got crazy, my brain got fried, and I just couldn't do it. But I'm back! And it's a new year! Let the resolutions begin!

Last year, my main bloggy resolutions had to do with posting more often, reviewing more of the books I was reading, fully committing to challenges, and participating in a Classic Circuit tour. Here's how I did:
*I did post more often, but I didn't quite manage the post-once-a-week goal.
*Ironically, even though I posted more often, I managed to review FEWER books than I did last year. Like by a lot. Go figure.
*I sort of failed at the challenges. Okay, not sort of, I DID fail at the
*But I saved the best for last! I met this goal: I participated in not just one
Classic Tour but three! I was part of the Ancient Greek Tour, the Jane Austen Tour (sort of...I read my book for it, but I was too traumatized by our tornado to actually post my review), and the Steinbeck Tour. This makes up for all my other failed/semi-failed goals, right? Right.
But here's the thing: despite not meeting all of these goals, I don't feel bad. Why? Well, as I was tallying up my stats (oh, the delights of the nerdy life), I realized that it is still about the reading for me. It will ALWAYS be about the reading for me. And I'm glad that reading is so important to me.

Given that 2011 was all about the reading, I guess I should share exactly what I read! I think these stats are pretty impressive given how stressful my teaching year was, but I guess there are some perks to not really having friends in the same city where you are living (please don't tell my mother I said this...). Overall, I read 104 books (!!!!), but I only blogged about 18 (oops...). 69 were (adult) fiction, 8 (*hangs head in shame*) were nonfiction, and 27 were young adult fiction. 20 were rereads, and 65 were from the library (I'm particularly proud of this number).

Here are my reading highlights (in the order that I read them) from 2011:
1. The Sevenwaters Series, by Juliet Marillier (but especially Son of the Shadows)
2. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Bettie Smith
3. The Middle of Everywhere, by Mary Pipher
4. Rose Daughter, by Robin McKinley
5. Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell
6. South Riding, by Winifred Holtby
7. Forever, by Maggie Stiefvater
8. Testament of Youth, by Vera Brittain
9. Let Not the Waves of the Sea, by Simon Stephanson
10. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
11. A Song of Fire and Ice Series, by George R.R. Martin
12. The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater

Favorite Rereads of 2011 (in the order that I read them):
1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
2. Attachments (I read this multiple times this year. Don't judge me.)
3. The Hunger Games Trilogy
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
5. Anne of Green Gables
6. Anne of Avonlea
7. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
8. The Great Gatsby

Things I'm Glad I Discovered in 2011:
Testament of Youth: This book changed my life, and helped set me off on my current obsessive pursuit of reading about World War I.
Downton Abbey (aka the best thing on television): This miniseries is AMAZING; it is also responsible for starting my obsession with World War I. And the good news for you is that the first season is streaming on the Masterpiece website, and season 2 starts TOMORROW!
Tumblr: I might be a little addicted...
Doctor Who (aka the other best thing on television): Guys, this show is ME; it includes everything I love, and I don't know how I didn't know about it before this summer. I watched all six seasons over the course of two months, which was awesome, but also probably indicates that I need a life...
Mumford and Sons: These guys are amazing. They also wrote my "I-am-stressed out/worried/upset/angry/stressed out-and-must-find-my-happy-place" song. It's called "Timshel", and it will change your life.

Okay, this is now a ridiculously long post, so I'll keep my goals for 2012 short: keep reading, keep blogging, keep interacting. Short, sweet, and to the point! May you all have a wonderful 2012!

P.S. I'm participating in three challenges so far (but A Century of Books will last past 2012!), and here they are: