Tuesday, January 5, 2010

December in Review: Books Read and Reflections on 2009 Goals

I feel as though I'm a bit behind in these monthly and yearly wrap-up posts, but finishing off the WWII Reading Challenge at War Through the Generations in preparation for this year's Vietnam War Reading Challenge was a bit exhausting.  I'd fallen behind in updating the site due to a non-functioning computer, and I got the new laptop just in time.  I certainly broke it in between Christmas and the new year!
Anyway, I made good on my 2009 blogging goals.  First, I'd wanted to read 100 books last year, and having read 7 in December, my total for 2009 was 126 books!  Second, I'd wanted to review every book I read, and though I finished the last review of my 2009 reads in the early days of the new year, I'm happy to report that my goal was accomplished!

Here are the books I read in December and links to my reviews:

The Sky Rained Heroes by Frederick E. LaCroix*

Night by Elie Wiesel*

The Silent Gift by Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley

Ivy + Bean: Doomed to Dance by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall (illus.)

Searching for Pemberley by Mary Lydon Simonsen***

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith**

Hitler's Daughter by Jackie French*

*counts toward the WWII Reading Challenge at War Through the Generations
**counts toward the Everything Austen Challenge at Stephanie's Written Word
***counts for both challenges

Reading is not about quantity; it's about quality.  Yet I felt a need to set a goal for the number of books read to push myself to use my time on the train and at home more wisely than napping or watching television (I have a serious addiction to anything and everything on the Food Network).  And while it's not necessary to review every book I read, I enjoy doing it and like to keep track of my thoughts so when I encounter a book and think I might have read it already, I need only check back here to make sure.  (Am I the only one who forgets books a year or so after reading them?  Not all books, but more than I'd care to admit.  Oh, wait, I just admitted it.)

In 2010, I'd like to continue to read a lot and review every book I read.  Also, I plan to accept no more than a handful of new review copies because I'd like to concentrate on clearing away the review copies already on my shelves, as well as read the unread books that have made up my personal library for quite some time and the new books I can't stop myself from acquiring at library sales.  For me, it's all about balance.

Did you achieve all of your 2009 reading goals?  What do you have planned for 2010?


Serena said...

balance is a good thing. I didn't make any goals for 2010 because I failed so miserably at my 2009 goals.

Sandy Nawrot said...

That is an awesome number of books read! I was getting a little worried there about you and Serena, and all those WWII posts. That had to have been a full-time job there at the end of the year! I have a big issue with open-ended ARCs. I feel terrible that they sit there, unloved. I need to be aware of how many I accept. That is a good goal list!

Kaye said...

I am in awe that you reviewed everything you read and hosted a huge challenge. Yowzer! You are so totally awesome. Thank you for all the work you did on the WWII challenge. Both you and Serena worked very hard.

Here's to another great year of reading. I think it's interesting how many bloggers are cutting back on review copies and reading what they have on hand. I know that is the way I need to go to get rid of a lot of these books and make space for new ones.

Melody said...

Congrats, Anna! You did well!
I wish I'm able to read 100 books in a year!

Darlene said...

I agree it's about quality, not quantity. Still I have that problem of wanting to read as many as I can. lol.

I know all about the addiction to the Food Network channel. I can't tell you how many hours are wiled away there. TLC & A&E are bad for me too. lol.

I'm trying to only accept a few books because like you I'd really like to get the ones I did accept read and reviewed.

Anna said...

~Serena: I don't think you failed miserably. You just did better on some goals than others.

~Sandy: It was a lot of work toward the end, but it was fun. I was shocked by the number of participant reviews, but I got a lot of good book recommendations from it! I'm with you on the open-ended ARCs, and that's why I'm being even more selective these days.

~Kaye: Thank you for participating in the challenge! I enjoy reading review copies, don't get me wrong, but I just don't want too many waiting to be read.

~Melody: Thanks! My numbers would be much lower if I didn't have such a long work commute and so much time to read on public transit.

~Dar: Looks like a lot of people feel the same way about review copies these days. I like to keep my tv addition to one channel. I'd never get anything done otherwise.