Wrap-Ups/ Greetings


Before New Year’s Eve is upon us, let me list my reads for 2010 on my On The Shelf page.  See them here.

I shall only list a few first then simply add as I go along.

As a personal challenge, I intend to stick to these reads and purchase new books sparingly.  My goal for this coming year is to make a serious dent in my TBR pile.

Now that I have made a New Year’s resolution, let me wish you all :

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Peter of KyusiReader suggested that I post my best and worst books for 2009.  So, for this year’s wrap-up, here’s my list of faves and flops (in no particular order):

Most Enjoyable:

1.   Gates of Fire ————————-   Steven Pressfield

2.   The Historian ————————   Elizabeth Kostova

3.   Before The Dawn ———————  Nicholas Wade

4. Exile ———————————–  Richard North Patterson

5.   Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell —Susanna Clark

6.   Memoirs of a Geisha —————-  Arthur Golden

7.   The Book of Joe ———————  Jonathan Tropper

8. The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters – Gordon Dahlquist

9.   The Shack —————————–  William P. Young

10.  The Eyre Affair ———————   Jasper Fforde

11.   Remember Me? ——————–    Sophie Kinsella

12.   Good Omens ————————   Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

13.   The Last Time I Saw Mother ——-   Arlene J. Chai

Most Disappointing :

1.    Full Bloom —————————   Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes

2.    Danse Macabre ———————-   Laurell K. Hamilton

3.    Day of Confession ——————     Allan Folsom

4.    The Scot, The Witch and The Wardrobe — Annette Blair

In terms of discovering great stories and authors, I must say 2009 has been quite a profitable reading year for me with only four duds to mar the good streak.

As we approach the end of this year, let me make an assessment of my reading progress  before I turn to greet the New Year armed with another set of resolutions.

With only about forty three books reviewed,  I’ve been very slow indeed.  A lot of  books on my ON THE SHELF page are still waiting to be picked up (those not bordered in red) as my choices have diverted from the list from time to time.

This year has not seen too much reading and blogging activity on my part, with major slacking during the summer months.  I had a reading slump early this year which I attribute to distraction from other interests.

This is also a year where I’ve discovered that reading challenges actually do me good.  They goad me to stick to my reading list and finish them within the deadline.  So for 2010, I shall be joining more.

No formulated New Year resolutions yet except to exceed this year’s dismal reading record.   But the most important thing I should remember before racing toward that goal is enjoyment.  No point reading without it.  🙂

That being said, let me wish all of you :

Another good challenge completed satisfyingly earlier than the deadline.  I’ve enjoyed the no-pressure to read challenge although I took it upon myself to stick to the list I created and not deviate.  I started with eight titles and added two more to total 10 books (my list here) —actually a very lazy count given the generous three months the challenge runs on.    But at least I’ve made a small inroad, albeit a miniscule one, in my TBR pile and also in my On The Shelf books I’ve listed since I started this blog about a year ago.

As far as the Fall Into Reading 2009 is concerned, I have finished it; but I know my efforts are mediocre at best (in terms of volume)  and I hope to do better next time this challenge comes around.  So, I should have to dive into more books for next year’s Fall Into Reading challenge or pile on the pressure by joining more challenges, aside from this one.

For this exercise, I discovered wonderful Gothic authors like Elizabeth Kostova and Tobsha Learner with their books, The Historian and The Witch of Cologne, respectively,  as two of the best books I’ve read .   Both have exceptional writing styles and concepts that are worth your time imbibing.  But Richard North Patterson’s Exile comes out at the top as well being one of the best contemporary thrillers I’ve read in a long time for its current relevancy and well-researched, impartial presentation of the Mid-East crisis.   This is definitely a very informative book written to encourage your interest in very real world issues with a well-written exciting legal drama, that anyone concerned with the Arab-Israeli crisis should read.

A close second to these three would be William Young’s The Shack presenting deep Christian philosophies made simple for the average person, rendering the concepts even more inspiring with better understanding.

To Callapidder Days : a huge thank you for hosting the challenge.  I’ll certainly be back for the next.

Now that I’m done and done early, I promise to list several more next time this challenge comes around.

I hadn’t realized until yesterday that last October 2nd, I had reached one year of blogging about books!

My 1st Bloggiversary!

I’m glad to note how far this blog has come in terms of readership.  It started out simply as a guilty exercise, a sort of purging by sharing what I’m reading to justify all those books for which I  suddenly had the compulsion to buy.   That and the fact that  I was casting around for a new hobby as well.

After a dearth of reading—I mean sparsely reading—for a number of years, I suddenly had this urge to know all about authors and the stories I’ve missed all this time.  I’ve been catching up since then.  But, I’m having the time of my life doing so!

I’ve discovered some really good authors, know whom to avoid, and actually widened my reading preferences by trying books recommended by other book-loving bloggers.

I’ve also managed to snag author William Napier‘s (Christopher Hart’s) thanks for my positive reviews on his Attila series:  The Gathering of the Storm (Book 2) and The Judgement (Book 3) . Wasn’t I flattered!

Best of all, though, I’ve come to meet other book lovers and know them bit by bit through their blogs, which I believe are as interesting as their personalities.

Writing is a chore (for me, that is).   I hadn’t flexed my pen since the formal theme days in highschool, which was an unmentionably looong time ago.  So for encouraging me to stick to this blog, thank you all very much!   I’m having so much fun!