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!


  1. I"m glad you had such a great year! It's been nice to get to know you this year. :)

  2. You've had such a great year, Andi. Oh, how life changes!

    I do hope to read The Passage this year. It sounds like such a great book. And one of these days I really will read Addison's books.

    Here's to a wonderful 2011! Happy New Year, Andi.

  3. It's been wonderful to get to know you, too, Amanda! Cheers to 2011!

    It has been a big one, eh, Wendy?? I hope you love The Passage as much as I did, and Addison Allen as well! Happy New Year!

  4. I enjoyed The Passage too. Definitely a book to grab you.

  5. LOVE Sarah Addison Allen and also love Guernsey - such a great book! You are making me want to read The Passage. I am hoping my Kindle will up my reading quotient n 2011 since I can do it with one hand and chase Jude simultaneously - maybe. :) Happy New Year!

  6. Happy New Year, Andi! I think we were both sitting at our computers at the same time thinking about how much trouble those structured year end posts are.

    Glad to see you're getting some reading in on your break!

  7. I enjoyed This Book is Overdue, too. I'm glad to hear it's an accurate account of what it's like to be a librarian.

    Happy New Year.

  8. What a year indeed! I think I will remember 2010 as the year I got married, turned 30 and go my Master's degree, but I will also fondly remember it as the year I started reading deliberately and discovered so many new favorite authors. Happy reading (and life!) in 2011!

  9. I'm planning on reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society later this month. I've heard so many good things about it!

  10. Glad to hear that it's been a good 2010. Here's wishing you an excellent 2011!

  11. I love the way you did this wrap up. I may try to be more free flowing in my reading reports this year.

  12. Happy new year! I will have to look for This Book is Overdue!, since it sounds like so much fun. I remember The Reliable Wife, but I also just hated it. Weird!

  13. Happy New Year Andi! Totally cracked up over A Reliable Wife... I keep hearing pretty much the same thing about that book. See, now I'm curious! ha.

    Hope you have a wonderful year.

  14. So glad to read that The Passage was so engaging for you as well! I planned to download The Passage to my Nook if I ever got one as I knew that it would keep me engaged and initiate me into the world of electronic reading - and so far it has! I love the story so far! Love it!

    The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane was an enjoyable read for me in 2010 - you're right, though, that it definitely has flaws! But a fun book all around! Looking forward to your review!

  15. I got bogged down on about page 200 of the passage. I think I'll have to start over from the beginning because I haven't picked it up in 6 months.

  16. I hope 2011 brings you buckets full of blessings and joy, Andi!!!

    (And I am so reading The Passage this year.)

  17. Right on, Chris! Can't wait for the second in the trilogy.

    Katie, there's a good chance it will up your reading quotient! I read comfortably on the treadmill yesterday with my Nook, too. Fantastic!

    Thanks, Jill! Soon it'll be back to reading during my lunch hour and the slow moments at work. *sigh* It's been a good break though.

    It was great wasn't it, C.B.?

    Right on, Carrie! Here's to more deliberate reading in 2011!

    Kate, I hope you love it as much as I did. I resisted for a long time because of the hype, but it really was very fulfilling.

    Thanks, Olduvai! All the best to you as well!

    Thank you, Trisha! I just couldn't do too much structure this year. I'm definitely free flowing on holiday break. lol

    Kim, I hope you love This Book is Overdue! It strikes me as right up your alley.

    Iliana, I think you need to experience it too. lol The sex was just horrible, but it was OK besides that.

    Thanks, Natalie! I'm enjoying Deliverance Dane. Read quite a bit last night before bed and will probably finish in another couple of days if work isn't tooooo crazy this week. Enjoy the rest of The Passage!

    Beth, I hope it works out better for you the second time around!

    LOL, thank you, Debi! I hope you love The Passage and a happy 2011 to you!

  18. Happy New Year. I hope that 2011 treats you well. Even if you did have a slow 2010 it sounds like you had a good reading year. Looking forward to reading your upcoming reviews.

  19. Haha, I like your categories. Happy New Year! May 2011 be just as full and rewarding for you!

  20. Happy New Year Andi! Wishing you and your family all the best in 2011!

  21. The Passage is on my pile of books to read but as it's a library book I have to pace those out to go along with my resolution to read one of my own books for every library book, and I've already got two library books ahead of that one!

    I read The Good Earth in 2010 as well and was really surprised by how much I enjoyed it! In fact, if I hadn't also read The Woman in White last year, TGE would have been my 'why did I wait so long' book favorite.

  22. The Good Earth is one of those books I've always meant to read but haven't. I really enjoyed Guernsey, too. Wishing you all the best in 2011!

  23. I enjoyed your 'non-traditional' year in review! I hope to do mine soon, before it gets much further into 2011.

    I have The Passage on top of my bookshelf now and have been considering it as a candidate for first chunkster of the year. Your comments about it in this post are definitely a recommendation for it.

  24. Guernsey and Girl Who Chased The Moon are definitely cozy, make-you-smile reads! I enjoyed reading about your picks and will be sure to steer clear of Beatrice and Virgil!


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