Saturday, January 01, 2011

Why 2010 Did Not Suck - A Nontraditional Year in Review

Top 10 list?? Not this year!
I just can't seem to drag that much structure out of myself. As we're saying a heave-ho to 2010 and welcoming 2011 today, I'm just thinking back over my year in reading, and life in general. I've been heartily blessed with a gorgeous little boy who is just the cutest, sweetest little thing ever!!! Although, we have to start working on putting him down in bed and walking away. Oh God, I dread that.

But I digress...

The family is healthy and thriving. The kids are growing like weeds, are super fun, and while they are often teenagery, they are great kids.

This year has also been a whirlwind with the big promotion to Program Chair at the college. While it's sucked up a good bit of the free time I used to enjoy, I wouldn't change it for a moment. I love the people I work with and the job I do is a challenge but also a bunch of fun.

The year in reading was much slower than I'm used to, but the quality did not lag. Here are a few memorable books:

Most Engaging, Grab-Me-By-the-Hair Book of 2010: The Passage by Justin Cronin. I'm not giving out a favorite book award this year because that sort of diminishes the complexity of the books I read in 2010. This one did grab me by the hair the most, though. I could not put my Nook down while reading this book. I bounced through 800 pages with a newborn in the house, and looking back, that is a great tribute to the book.

Best Classic of 2010: I didn't read many, but one stands out heads above the small pack: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. I hope you all will join me for the discussion I'll be leading over at The Classic Reads Book Club. I'll be posting a discussion schedule here and there in the coming week.

Coziest Books That Made Me Smile:
This is really a toss-up. I can't really give JUST ONE this little honor, so I'll go with two!
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
Both were sweet and delightful and quirky and heartwarming. Good for busting a slump, especially.

Best Non-Fiction:
Hands-down this one goes to Marilyn Johnson for This Book is Overdue! She champions librarians like no one else I've read in a while, and she does it wonderfully. I can speak from experience: it's the next best thing to being in library school.

Most Memorable Book That I Didn't Love:
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick. You might remember that I thought there was far too much sex in this novel (and I'm totally not opposed to novel sex). I believe I said it was as exciting as an OBGYN visit. However, while this novel was not a complete winner, I remember a striking amount of it! In this fast-paced year, that's nothing to sneeze at. For being memorable, it certainly deserves a nod.

Biggest, Fattest, Dismal Failure of the Year:
Beatrice and Virgil. Hated it.

2011 seems to be off to a good start. I'm enjoying The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe, and it will certainly be my first completed book of 2011. Is it without flaws? Certainly not. But it's good fun all the same.

I also had a bit of a reading surprise right there at the end of 2010. Thursday night I raced through Reginald Rose's classic play, Twelve Angry Men, so expect a review of it in the next day or so.

I hope everyone is having a fantastic New Years day. Be safe and have a great time!

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