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Book a Week in 2012 - Week 52 Wrap up


Robin M
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Good morning, merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, happy Holidays or just happy day to each and everyone of you. It's week 52 and time to wrap it up for the year. It's been an absolutely delightful reading year and I appreciate every one of you. Yes, you have until the 31st to finish up your reads so no worries and no rush. Mr. Linky is up on the 52 Books blog to link to your reviews and year end wrap ups.

 

52 Books Blog - Year End Wrap up: While we are wrapping up the year, some of us will also probably be unwrapping books (me..me...me... )left so enticingly under the Christmas tree. Or using gift certificates to search out wonderful end of the year deals. I'm sure all of your wishlists have grown quite long during the year. Talk about what you are reading this week or tell us all about your reading year.

 

 

1) How many books did you read this year?

 

2) Did you meet or beat your own personal goal?

 

3) Favorite book of 2012? Yes, you can list more than one and even break it down by genre if you choose.

 

4) Least favorite book of 2012 and why?

 

5) One book you thought you'd never read and was pleasantly surprised you like it?

 

6) One book you thought you'd love but didn't?

 

7) One book that touched you - made you laugh, cry, sing or dance.

 

8) Any new to you authors discovered and you can't wait to read more of their stories?

 

9) Name the longest book you read? Shortest?

 

10) Name the most unputdownable book you read?

 

11) Book that had the greatest impact on you this year?

 

12) What book would you recommend everybody read?

 

13) Share your most favorite cover(s)

 

14) Do you have a character you fell in love with?

 

15) What was your most favorite part of the challenge? Did you do any of the mini challenges?

 

16) What are your goals for the new year? To read more non fiction? To dip your toes into a mystery or a urban fantasy or horror or romance? What book are you most looking forward to reading in 2013?

 

Congratulations and thank you to everyone for joining in. No matter how many books you finished this year, the important thing is that you read and that makes you a winner in my eyes. Reading to me is as necessary as breathing. And reading is also like drinking a fine wine or enjoying a beer with your friends. Whether you sip and savor or drink it down, the joy is in the experience. I'm glad to have shared the experience with all of you. I'm looking forward to hearing about everyone's reading year and to more fun in the coming new year.

 

 

 

 

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I'll post my wrap up later. Happy day - I can say I finally read Pride and Prejudice. Did I like it. 50/50. Felt like a slog at times but other times enjoyable and humorous and mind boggling. Also finished this morning The Cutting Season by Attica Locke. Interesting but sometimes implausible.

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Thanks, Robin, for hosting this great reading year!

 

I will post my round-up a little later.

 

I did finish Pratchett's Lords and Ladies yesterday. Thoroughly enjoyed it. This is one of the Discworld stories based on the witches &, I must say, I think I'm definitely a fan of his witch-based stories. (The Wee Free Men is one of my favorite books.) Thumbs up.

 

I just started another of my 'dusty' books, one I've had on my shelf for quite a few months after getting it through Paperbackswap: Lietenant Nun: Memoir of a Basque Transvestite in the New World by Catalina de Erauso, translated by Michele & Gabri Stepto.

 

"Named a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 1996

 

One of the earliest known autobiographies by a woman, this is the extraordinary tale of Catalina de Erauso, who in 1599 escaped from a Basque convent dressed as a man and went on to live one of the most wildly fantastic lives of any woman in history. A soldier in the Spanish army, she traveled to Peru and Chile, became a gambler, and even mistakenly killed her own brother in a duel. During her lifetime she emerged as the adored folkloric hero of the Spanish-speaking world. This delightful translation of Catalina's own work introduces a new audience to her audacious escapades."

Though I haven't yet read the Foreword & Introduction (which I may read after I finish the book), I did read the Translators' Notes. Last week, I posted a link to an article by the translator of the book Chinese Letter where she discussed some of the challenges & issues in creating a translation. Similarly in Lieutenant Nun, the translators discuss some interesting (imo) language issues:

 

"There are several challenges facing the translator who would render Catalina's memoir in English. One, at least, is insurmountable -- there is no English equivalent for the gender inflections of the Spanish adjective, which make a primary, grammatical notation of gender with practically every sentence, thus setting up a drumbeat of sexual self-identification that reverberates from one end of the text to the other. The fact that Catalina almost invariably uses masculine endings to describe herself is lost in English, as are those rare moments when she chooses a feminine ending."

Makes me want to read the book in Spanish, even though my Spanish is quite rusty at this point.

 

One more note, Catalina is from San Sebastián, an absolutely gorgeous town in Spain. It is one of the most beautiful places I've visited (and the Basque food in that region was amazing). I find it neat that she's from a place that I've actually visited.

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I just finished Mockingjay.

 

This is the first year I participated in the challenge. I just wanted to read 52 books, and I surpassed that. I did sort of have a goal of reading the Hunger Games trilogy, and I did that too. I read 77 books total, but I may finish a couple more this week depending on how life goes.

 

I really enjoyed Quiet and Overtreated. They are both good books dealing with subjects that are important to me. They definitely affected me the most of all the books I read.

 

I also enjoyed Elizabeth the Queen and John Quincy Adams.

 

I expected to like In the Garden of Beasts but didn't, and also expected to like Unbroken and I did.

 

Dark Tide was a book I didn't expect to like but did, and Left Neglected was a novel I enjoyed more than I thought I would.

 

I think being in this "challenge" made me motivated to read more, and gave me great suggestions of what to read next.

 

I have no goals for next year other than to read 52 books. At this point in my life, I don't need any more challenges than I already have.

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My list for the year, 61 books, not quite in order and maybe missing a couple of books:

*my favorites

 

What the Dog Saw- Gladwell

How to Prosper in Hard Times- Hill

*A Lantern in her Hand- Aldrich

Beatrice and Virgil- Martel

*Summer at Tiffany- Hart

Looking Backward- Bellamy

God of the Hive- King

The Pirate King- King

I'm a stranger Here Myself- Bryson

Ahab's Wife- Jeter (The longest book)

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy- Le Carre

*Can't Wait to Get to Heaven- Flagg

The House at Riverton- Morton

*Tuesdays with Morrie- Albom

In a Sunburned Country- Bryson

*Have a Little Faith- Albom

*The Last Week- Borg

Jesus- Borg

An Acceptable Time- LeEngle

*The Housekeeper and the Professor-

The Hunger Games

The Telling- LeGuin

A Wind in the Door- LeEngle

*Quiet - Cain (My #1 favorite of the year)

The Night Bookmobile- Niffenger

The Death of Ivan Ilych- Tolstoy (Russian author challenge and I think the shortest book)

Stone's Fall

Putting Away Childish Things- Borg

The Arm of the Starfish- LeEngle

The Physics of Christianity

Little Big Man (Book written in the year I was born challenge)

The Graveyard Book - Gaiman (I didn't think I would like this, but I did)

Walk Two Moons

The Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma

It's Like This Cat

Uncharted Territory- Willis (I thought I would like it but I was disappointed in this book , even though I am a Connie Willis fan)

A Swiftly Tilting Planet- LeEngle

The Greatest Prayer-

How to Know God

The Rise and Fall of the Bible

Speaking Christian- Borg

The First Paul

*The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks

Anansi's Boys- Gaiman

Enchantment- Card

*Lies My Teacher Told Me (I would recommend every one read this)

Shades of Murder- Granger

A Season for Murder - Granger

Breaking Stalin's Nose

*The Timekeeper- Albom

Red Delicious Death

Bloodline: A Geneological Mystery

Dandy Gilver and the Treatment of Blood Stains

*La's Orchestra Saves the World- McCall Smith

*Survival of the Sickest- fascinating non-fiction about history, genetics, and the purpose of diseases.

The Sweetness at The Bottom of the Pie

From Chaos to Harmony: The Solution to the Global Crisis According to the Wisdom of Kabbalah

*Oracle of Stamboul

Odin and the Frost Giants

The Secret Life of Bees

 

Currently reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

 

So far on my "Want to read " list for 2013: The Black Count, Night Circus, The Casual Vacancy, and the Consolation of Philosophy which I recently found in a used book sale. It has been in the back of my mind for years, but it was not available at the libraries in my area.

 

P.S. I have no idea why my font is so small, I can't seem to fix it.

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Thank you Robin for being such a dedicated hostess.

 

And thank you my dearest Ladydusk for introducing me to more Susan Howatch novels. They were probably my favorite fictional reads of '12 as they were last year! In 2011, I read the Starbridge series. This year I read The Rich Are Different, Sins of the Fathers, Penmarric and The Waiting Sands. The first three in this year list are chunksters: all at least 700 pages, I think. And while they were all good books that continue to live on library shelves decades after publication, Sins of the Fathers was the best of this year's lot for me.

 

My favorite nonfictional book was The Hare with the Amber Eyes. Earlier in the year, I wrote:

#30 on my list for the year is a book that can only be described as poignant and lovely: The Hare with Amber Eyes. Edmund De Waal tells the tale of a set of netsuke that have been in his family since their purchase by a 19th century Parisian banker who rubs elbows with Proust and Renoir. The netsuke are later given to a nephew in Vienna as a wedding gift. And then comes WWI, followed by the atrocities of WWII when this Jewish banking family has its possessions stripped from them. Miraculously the collection of delicate carved sculptures is reunited with the family that no longer resides in Vienna. They make their way back to Japan and then London.

 

The book that surprised me the most was Silent Spring. Fifty years after Rachel Carson penned what is considered a foundational text of the environmental movement, all I can say is that we have not learned our lessons.

 

The author that I was most tickled to discover is Gladys Mitchell who was once placed in the same category as Dorothy Sayers and Chesterton. Good company. Too bad that she is forgotten...

 

Thanks to Stacia I read The Sisters Brothers, which I think is the only western I have ever read. Fun book!

 

If it was not the longest book that I read, it sure felt like it: Balzac's Droll Stories. I was often amused but goodness did I feel like a voyeur! :blink:

 

My goal for the new year is to clear away some of the dusty books; read Hillary Mantel's Booker Prize winning books Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies; and reread an old favorite, Tom Jones. Oh yes...and either reread Dorothy Dunnett's wonderful Lymond series or tackle her Niccolo Rising series. Both of these are huge time commitments. Fortunately two handbooks have been published to help the reader with the historical, literary and geographic references in Dunnett's works.

 

Happy reading in 2013 everyone!

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Good morning, merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, happy Holidays or just happy day to each and everyone of you. It's week 52 and time to wrap it up for the year. It's been an absolutely delightful reading year and I appreciate every one of you. Yes, you have until the 31st to finish up your reads so no worries and no rush. Mr. Linky is up on the 52 Books blog to link to your reviews and year end wrap ups.

 

52 Books Blog - Year End Wrap up: While we are wrapping up the year, some of us will also probably be unwrapping books (me..me...me... )left so enticingly under the Christmas tree. Or using gift certificates to search out wonderful end of the year deals. I'm sure all of your wishlists have grown quite long during the year. Talk about what you are reading this week or tell us all about your reading year.

 

Thanks for doing this, Robin. It's so nice to see how much more reading I'm doing since joining this thread. I one of those people that needs external motivation, and this thread does the trick. There are two books I'm still reading that I believe I'll finish by the end of the year, so I'll answer assuming I finish them and assuming they don't blow me away and become a new favorite.

 

Books I'm still reading: Jagannath - a book of short stories by Karin Tidbeck - really enjoying this so far.

And I'm still reading a Ranger's Apprentice book - books I thoroughly enjoy reading with my son, but since I'm not 10 years old, are not likely to be my among my favorites.

 

1) How many books did you read this year? 98 - counting some graphic novels that probably don't count. Once I passed 52 I stopped worrying about whether a book really counted and just added it to the list.

 

2) Did you meet or beat your own personal goal? Numbers wise - BEAT, but I had a personal goal of reading through several series, and I only made it through some of them.

 

3) Favorite book of 2012? Yes, you can list more than one and even break it down by genre if you choose. Women Without Men by Shahrnush Parsipur - didn't hesitate for a second to name that book as my favorite of the year. Loved it.

 

4) Least favorite book of 2012 and why? Wilson by Daniel Clowes - just didn't find it funny - so not funny I found it annoying.

 

5) One book you thought you'd never read and was pleasantly surprised you like it? Maybe Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold - A book I read for my book group I thought would be awful, but it turned out to be light and fun. Or perhaps Beyond Heaving Bosoms by Sarah Wendell - because I don't read much in the romance category, but I still thought her book was funny and enjoyed reading about romance novels.

 

6) One book you thought you'd love but didn't? Selected Poems by John Donne - Found his poetry dispassionate and sexist.

 

7) One book that touched you - made you laugh, cry, sing or dance. Othello by Shakespeare - though really it was the performance I saw after reading it that was so amazing. Also, Goblin Market and Other Poems by Christina Rossetti and Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg

 

8) Any new to you authors discovered and you can't wait to read more of their stories? China Mieville

 

9) Name the longest book you read? Shortest? Longest: A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin - 780 pages. Shortest - some Serenity graphic novels, then there are some not-quite-graphic-novels by Audrey Niffenegger, then come several Dover thrift books - I read many short books.

 

10) Name the most unputdownable book you read? Hmmm.. The Parasol Protectorate or the Hunger Games triology

 

11) Book that had the greatest impact on you this year? Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics by Liping Ma

 

12) What book would you recommend everybody read? Again - Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics - everyone with children, that is.

 

13) Share your most favorite cover(s)I tried. I don't know how to do this. :blushing:

 

14) Do you have a character you fell in love with? Yossarian from Catch-22

 

15) What was your most favorite part of the challenge? Did you do any of the mini challenges? Favorite part of the challenge? - Reading! - And of course getting tons of suggestions and talking about the books here. Mini challenges - I did not do well here. I did read Picnic at Hanging Rock and really enjoyed it. I read a short story for the Russian challenge, but couldn't make it through the book of short stories I had picked because I just hated them.

 

16) What are your goals for the new year? To read more non fiction? To dip your toes into a mystery or a urban fantasy or horror or romance? What book are you most looking forward to reading in 2013?

I have tons of goals for next year - too many to list - along the lines of read 10 books of poetry, three plays, 30 dusty books, etc. Series I meant to read in 2012 but didn't get to or only started will be rolled over as goals for 2013.

 

I still really want to read My Ideal Bookshelf since it seems to be going over well here! Also, I just requested The Story of the Other Wise Man from my library. Love Vonnegut, but Sirens of Titan was not one of my faves. Will be curious to hear what you think of it....

 

I enjoyed The Sirens of Titan. It wasn't one of my favorite Vonnegut books either, but I still really enjoyed it. I thought it was slow at first, but eventually things started coming together that made me appreciate the parts that seemed like they were slowing it down until they came back into play.

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Ok, here's my wrap-up...

 

1) How many books did you read this year?

 

70 (may be 71 or 72 by the actual end of the year); I think 14 were non-fiction & 56 were fiction (assuming I counted correctly, lol).

My entire list is here on my Goodreads 2012 page.

 

2) Did you meet or beat your own personal goal?

 

It’s fun to track it, but I don’t necessarily have a goal number in mind. I did enjoy beating my page count from last year.

 

3) Favorite book of 2012?

 

I read quite a few great books this year.

 

My top five from 2012:

Colony by Hugo Wilcken

The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje

Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (I read this in high school & fell in love with it all over again when I read it this year.)

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern OR Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

 

Other favorites from 2012:

Zeroville by Steve Erickson

The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

The Dream Life of Sukhanov by Olga Grushin

The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

Dracula by Bram Stoker

John Dies at the End by David Wong

I am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley (Flavia de Luce #4)

Hounded and Hexed, both by Kevin Hearne (Iron Druid Chronicles #1 and #2)

Pink Boots and a Machete by Mireya Mayor (tied for my favorite non-fiction of 2012)

Visit Sunny Chernobyl by Andrew Blackwell (tied for my favorite non-fiction of 2012)

Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (Can you believe I never read this prior to this year? Of course, it’s probably the only ‘kids’ book I read this year as YA is not my genre of choice. Even so, I’d give it 5 stars for kids’ book.)

 

4) Least favorite book of 2012 and why?

 

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Horrible, terrible characters. Hated every one of them. I was MAD I wasted my hours reading this. (Read it for my book club.) Never again.

 

5) One book you thought you'd never read and was pleasantly surprised you like it?

 

?

 

6) One book you thought you'd love but didn't?

 

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris. As I mentioned at the time, I really enjoying listening to & or seeing his works performed. His tales just don’t translate nearly as well on the written page. I also thought I would enjoy Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple, but I didn’t end up liking it.

 

7) One book that touched you - made you laugh, cry, sing or dance.

 

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson had me laughing hysterically in a few places.

In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut made me cry.

 

8) Any new to you authors discovered and you can't wait to read more of their stories?

 

Many. I tend to try new authors much more than sticking w/ my old ones. So, I feel like I constantly discover new authors that I enjoy. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll read their other books anytime soon, though.

 

9) Name the longest book you read? Shortest?

 

Longest was Dracula. Shortest was probably The Vampyre by John Polidori.

 

10) Name the most unputdownable book you read?

 

Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi.

 

11) Book that had the greatest impact on you this year?

 

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

 

12) What book would you recommend everybody read?

 

The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje.

 

13) Share your most favorite cover(s)

 

 

14) Do you have a character you fell in love with?

 

Probably John & David from John Dies at the End. They’re just so absurd & funny that I adored them.

 

15) What was your most favorite part of the challenge? Did you do any of the mini challenges?

 

Loved all the challenges I participated in -- Europa books, Russian authors, Rosie’s local challenge, Banned Books Week – as well as participating weekly here. I also love chatting with everyone here about books, hearing various opinions on books, adding to my 'want to read' list, etc....

 

16) What are your goals for the new year? To read more non fiction? To dip your toes into a mystery or a urban fantasy or horror or romance? What book are you most looking forward to reading in 2013?

 

Hmmm. Don’t know. Have some various ideas in mind, but I like being open to what pops up too. I would like to work on the dusty books challenge & read some of the ones sitting on my own shelves. Looking forward to reading Hopscotch w/ you Robin (along w/ anyone else who wants to join in), as well as the Canadian challenge (since I already have my books on hand for that one). I always really enjoy picking a book by its cover too.

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I am not quite ready to wrap up and so will return later this week. Until then, I will say that I've finished two books since I last posted:

 

#135 Say This, NOT That to Your Professor (Ellen Bremen; non-fiction)

#134 The End of Your Life Book Club (Will Schwalbe; non-fiction)

 

 

My complete list of books read in 2012 can be found

here.

 

 

 

Those two put me at 50 in my quest to complete 52 non-fiction titles in 2012. I have not yet thrown in the towel; hence, the delayed wrap-up. *wink*

 

Here are my favorite fiction, non-fiction, and YA titles from this year:

 

â–  Tell the Wolves I'm Home (Carla Rifka Brunt; fiction)

â–  The Age of Miracles (Karen Thompson Walker; fiction)

â–  Things We Didn't See Coming (Steven Amsterdam; fiction)

â–  A Thousand Cuts (Simon Lelic; fiction)

â–  The Art of Hearing Heartbeats (Jan-Philipp Sendker; fiction)

â–  Sister (Rosamund Lupton; fiction)

 

â–  Counterfeit Kids: Why They Can't Think and How to Save Them (Ron Baird; non-fiction)

â–  One for the Books (Joe Queenan; non-fiction)

â–  Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything (Joshua Foer; non-fiction)

â–  The Autobiography of an Execution (David R. Dow; non-fiction)

■ The Memory Palace (Mira Bartók; memoir)

â–  The Fiddler in the Subway (Gene Weingarten; non-fiction, journalism/essays)

â–  The Power of Habit (Charles Duhigg; non-fiction)

â–  Hamlet: Poem Unlimited (Harold Bloom; non-fiction)

â–  My Ideal Bookshelf (Thessaly La Force, editor, Jane Mount, illustrator; non-fiction)

 

â–  Feed (MT Anderson; YA fiction)

â–  The Fault in Our Stars (John Green; YA fiction)

â–  Going Bovine (Libba Bray; YA fiction)

â–  UnWholly (Neal Shusterman; YA fiction)

â–  I Am the Cheese (Robert Cormier; YA fiction)

â–  Adventure Unleashed (______ __. _________; unpublished YA fiction)

 

More when time permits. Until then, thank you -- again and again -- Robin, for hosting the 52 Books.

 

Edited to add my favorite book cover:

 

A choice that was, as they say, a no-brainer given how much I talked it up. *wry grin*

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This week...

 

Started reading:

Legend

The Violets of March

 

 

Still reading:

Pride and Prejudice

 

Completed:

50. The Girl Who Chased the Moon

49. Shepherding a Child's Heart

48. Shiver

47. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

46. Forbidden

45. Instructing a Childs Heart

44. Stuff Christians Like

43. Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose

42. Gone Girl

41. Matched

40. Days of Blood and Starlight

39. Daughter of Smoke and Bone

38. The Hole in our Holiness

37. Romeo and Juliet

36. The Night Circus

35. Alone With God

34. What Angel's Fear: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery

33. The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

32. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

31. Frankenstein

30. The Lotus and the Cross

29. Desiring God

28. Blood Feud: The Hatfields and the McCoys

27. Among the Gods

26. The Deadliest Monster

25. Faith of My Fathers

24. A Good American

23. They Say/I Say:The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing

22. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

21. Insurgent

20. Stand: A Call for the Endurance of the Saints

19. The Strength of His Hands

18. The Meaning of Marriage

17. Funny in Farsi

16. The Constantine Codex

15. What the Dog Saw

14. What is the Mission of the Church?: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission

13. Gods and Kings

12. A Skeleton in God's Closet

11. My Hands Came Away Red

10. The Omnivore's Dilemma

9. Dead Heat

8. Redeeming Love

7. Family Driven Faith: What it Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk with God

6. Organized Simplicity

5. Year of Wonders

4. The Holiness of God

3. The Paris Wife

2. The Peach Keeper

1. Relic

 

 

I set a goal of 52 books and I am in the middle of book 51 and have book 52 on my iPad ready to go and still 7 days to go so I will definitely make it this year. I am so excited!!!!! I probably won't finish Pride and Prejudice in time but it will be book 1 in 2013.

 

My favorite fiction this year by far was the Lynn Austin series Gods and Kings. Those books were amazing. Second would be Gone Girl.

 

My least favorite fiction was Forbidden by Ted Dekker. I didn't like the last book I read of his but my friend convinced me to give him another try. Ugh. Just awful.

 

Favorite non-fiction: Quiet, and The Hole in our Holiness.

Least favorite non-fiction: I really like all that I read this year!

 

Goals for next year: 52 more books!!!

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Not ready yet to do the wrap-up - will do it towards the end of next week.

 

This week, I finished:

 

#67 - A Virtuous Woman, by Kaye Gibbons. Each chapter alternates husband and wife first person narration, which lends itself well to realistic writing. Overall, just okay.

 

#68 - The Best of Me, by Nicholas Sparks. Brain candy/fluff/as expected, but a nice brain-rest . . .

 

Currently reading:

 

#69 - Summer at Tiffany: A Memoir, by Marjorie Hart. To all who recommended this - Thank You! I am totally enjoying this very engaging narrative.

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Robin, thank you so much for your gracious hosting. Looking forward to another year of your leading us in our reading!

 

No books this week: a stomach bug struck down the family, and there's barely been time for the most basic housework. Christmas? Is that soon?

 

1) How many books did you read this year?

- Twenty.

 

2) Did you meet or beat your own personal goal?

- I would have liked to have managed a book every other week. Try harder in 2013!

 

3) Favorite book of 2012? Yes, you can list more than one and even break it down by genre if you choose.

- Tie:

Tolstoy, War and Peace

Gogol, Dead Souls

 

4) Least favorite book of 2012 and why?

- Polidori, The Vampyre. I can see how Stoker would have read it and said, "I can do that better."

 

5) One book you thought you'd never read and was pleasantly surprised you like it?

- Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country. It was assigned my senior year in high school and I hadn't bothered (senioritis...), and then this year a South African friend was so horrified that I hadn't read it that I had no choice. Of course, it was incredible.

 

6) One book you thought you'd love but didn't?

- Verne, Around the World in 80 Days. Meh. Though I did like the chapter where the train has to cross an imminently collapsing bridge, and the crew decides to barrel across at maximum speed and hope they can get across before it falls apart under the train's weight and they all die; when Passepartout, the Frenchman, suggests everyone except the engineer walk across the bridge safely first, the Americans are first puzzled then horrified at his lack of daring spirit. And being Americans, they go with Plan A.

 

7) One book that touched you - made you laugh, cry, sing or dance.

- Well, Balzac's Droll Stories made me blush.

 

8) Any new to you authors discovered and you can't wait to read more of their stories?

- This year was my first foray into Balzac and Ariosto. I plan to read more of both.

 

9) Name the longest book you read? Shortest?

- Longest: Augustine, City of God

Shortest: Shakespeare, Macbeth

 

10) Name the most unputdownable book you read?

- Tolstoy, War and Peace. Who knew something so long and Russian would be such an addictive page-turner?

 

11) Book that had the greatest impact on you this year?

- Edward Gordon, Centuries of Tutoring. I no longer see homeschooling primarily as parent-led education, but as a common variant of tutoring, which throughout history in the west - except for the outlier that was the Twentieth Century - was considered the normative, and unquestionably preferred, form of education, and was done by whoever was the best qualified tutor the parent could afford. I'd never realized how utterly out of the mainstream of history it was for a western society to think it was not just normal, but obviously best, to have children taught in large classes.

 

12) What book would you recommend everybody read?

- Centuries of Tutoring. A shame it was published by a vanity press; it's just unfindable. It needs a good proofreading and a real publishing house.

 

13) Share your most favorite cover(s)

- All my books had very dull covers.

 

14) Do you have a character you fell in love with?

- Handsome, wealthy, easygoing, kind and considerate Christopher Newman, the hero of James' The American. Poor Newman. In Europe, nice guys finish last.

 

15) What was your most favorite part of the challenge? Did you do any of the mini challenges?

- Getting to read what everyone else was reading. I love the literary diversity of this group.

 

16) What are your goals for the new year? To read more non fiction? To dip your toes into a mystery or a urban fantasy or horror or romance?

- This was a stressful year, and as a result featured more escapist fiction reading than I usually prefer. The only poetry I read was Ariosto (Orlando Furioso, vol. 1), and I'd really been wanting to spend more time in poetry than that.

 

What book are you most looking forward to reading in 2013?

- I don't know - they all look so good. The GLBT challenge makes me want to dig out the Genet we hid when Great Girl learned to read.

 

Also read this year:

Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!

James, Selected Stories

Borges, Doctor Brodie's Report

James, The Turn of the Screw and Other Stories

Forster, A Passage to India

Forster, A Room With a View

Leslie Alcock, Arthur's Britain

Greene, Our Man in Havana

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1) How many books did you read this year?

 

At a guess, about 70. I very diligently kept a list this year, and LOST IT when dd dropped and broke my laptop.

 

2) Did you meet or beat your own personal goal?

 

Actually, my personal goal was not to read too many, since I'm prone to that. :p Contrary to one's initial reaction, there are other worthy things to do. :p

 

3) Favorite book of 2012? Yes, you can list more than one and even break it down by genre if you choose.

1. Half of a Yellow Sun

http://www.amazon.com/Half-Yellow-Chimamanda-Ngozi-Adichie/dp/1400095204/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325472918&sr=1-1

 

and

 

2. Tarka the Otter

 

4) Least favorite book of 2012 and why?

 

Happily, I can't remember.

 

11) Book that had the greatest impact on you this year?

 

Spiritual Hunger http://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Hunger-Integrating-Ritual-Daily/dp/1844095606

 

Not that I was especially hungry spiritual at the time, either. It really advanced some ideas I already had and allowed me to perfect a theory. :p

 

12) What book would you recommend everybody read?

 

Definitely the Spiritual Hunger book.

 

14) Do you have a character you fell in love with?

 

Ridiculous. I'm not even over my 10th Doctor crush yet.

 

16) What are your goals for the new year? To read more non fiction? To dip your toes into a mystery or a urban fantasy or horror or romance? What book are you most looking forward to reading in 2013?

 

I'm going to continue on with my Shakespeare reading. I continued after the Hive group folded, but had to take time off because Life was in the way, and have just got back to it. I shall need to hit the library to continue when it reopens in a few weeks.

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I did finish Pratchett's Lords and Ladies yesterday. Thoroughly enjoyed it. This is one of the Discworld stories based on the witches &, I must say, I think I'm definitely a fan of his witch-based stories. (The Wee Free Men is one of my favorite books.) Thumbs up.

 

Oh, I am too! And I haven't read that one! I'm not a witch in my every day life, but if I were a fictional character, I'd like to be a Terry Pratchett witch. I'd have a grand time of it, I'm sure. :D

 

Last night I finished reading Anne of Green Gables to dd. Not sure how much of the last chapter she heard because she'd turned her bed into a cubby house so I couldn't see her.

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I am not ready to do my wrap up. I have not reached 52 books but am hoping to do that this week over the holidays.

 

I finished 'Falling for Hamlet' by Michelle Ray and am now reading 'Finding Casey' by Jo-Ann Mapson. This is an un-put-down-able book. I am confident I will finish this tomorrow then I will move on to 'Sweet Tooth' by Ian McEwan.

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Thank you for putting this together! I fell far short of my reading goals this year. The best thing about this is I realized that I need to set aside time for me, and it's okay to be a little selfish with my time. (this kills me)

 

I always look forward to everyone's weekly list, and have discovered so many great recommendations that I have been able to pass on to other people.

 

Thanks!

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Here is my 52 in 52 recap on my blog.

 

Thanks so much for hosting this, Robin. I loved going back through what I've read and answering these questions. It was fun to revisit some of the reading I've done and to celebrate the accomplishment of meeting this challenge. I'm looking forward to next year!

On your blog, you wrote about Doctor Zhivago:

Too much snow and too many long train rides.

 

:smilielol5:

 

I love the book but this completely cracked me up. I think Zhivago is one of those books that can only be read when one is the mood for bleakness.

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Good morning, merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, happy Holidays or just happy day to each and everyone of you. It's week 52 and time to wrap it up for the year. It's been an absolutely delightful reading year and I appreciate every one of you. Yes, you have until the 31st to finish up your reads so no worries and no rush. Mr. Linky is up on the 52 Books blog to link to your reviews and year end wrap ups.

 

52 Books Blog - Year End Wrap up: While we are wrapping up the year, some of us will also probably be unwrapping books (me..me...me... )left so enticingly under the Christmas tree. Or using gift certificates to search out wonderful end of the year deals. I'm sure all of your wishlists have grown quite long during the year. Talk about what you are reading this week or tell us all about your reading year.

 

 

1) How many books did you read this year?

 

2) Did you meet or beat your own personal goal?

 

3) Favorite book of 2012? Yes, you can list more than one and even break it down by genre if you choose.

 

4) Least favorite book of 2012 and why?

 

5) One book you thought you'd never read and was pleasantly surprised you like it?

 

6) One book you thought you'd love but didn't?

 

7) One book that touched you - made you laugh, cry, sing or dance.

 

8) Any new to you authors discovered and you can't wait to read more of their stories?

 

9) Name the longest book you read? Shortest?

 

10) Name the most unputdownable book you read?

 

11) Book that had the greatest impact on you this year?

 

12) What book would you recommend everybody read?

 

13) Share your most favorite cover(s)

 

14) Do you have a character you fell in love with?

 

15) What was your most favorite part of the challenge? Did you do any of the mini challenges?

 

16) What are your goals for the new year? To read more non fiction? To dip your toes into a mystery or a urban fantasy or horror or romance? What book are you most looking forward to reading in 2013?

 

Congratulations and thank you to everyone for joining in. No matter how many books you finished this year, the important thing is that you read and that makes you a winner in my eyes. Reading to me is as necessary as breathing. And reading is also like drinking a fine wine or enjoying a beer with your friends. Whether you sip and savor or drink it down, the joy is in the experience. I'm glad to have shared the experience with all of you. I'm looking forward to hearing about everyone's reading year and to more fun in the coming new year.

 

 

 

 

Link to week 51

 

I only kept up for the first couple of months, but I love that this challenge is there!

 

I can't remember how many books I have read. The list includes many books that I had previously wanted to read, but had put off. This challenge was the kick in the pants to tackle them.

 

Before I answer your questions I want to ask how you all read sooo much? Audiobooks? I couldn't keep up with 1/2 of most people's reading lists!

 

Q1: Not sure of the number read. 20 or 30 total.

Q2: Meet goal? Not initially, but after setting a more realistic personal goal, yes.

Q3: Favorite...Hunger Games. Read the series twice.

Q4: Least favorite? Moby Dick. Only because I didn't finish it. I am going to try again this year!

Q5: Surprise...Hunger Games

Q6: Didn't meet expectations...Moby Dick. Each chapter didn't connect with the previous one as much as I expected.

Q7: Emotional for me...Hunger Games.

(regardless of my answers I DID read more than these two books! Lol!)

Q8: New authors...Ayn Rand, Orwell, Dickens

Q9: Longest...Moby Dick. Shortest...Anthem

Q10: unputdownable....hmmmm.....maybe Catching Fire?

Q11: biggest impact? 1984

Q12: Recommendation? Hunger Games

Q13: Favorite covers...Special Edition Hunger Games

(maybe I am borderline obsessed?)

Q14: Favorite character? Whatever book's characters of which I am presently reading. Right now it is Don Quixote. He's a little....quirky.

Q15: favorite part? The fact that you didn't give up on us even what we fell behind. Also that you persevered!

Q16: Goals for next year. Tackle Moby Dick and Les Miserables, plus go at my own pace. This is not a keep up with the Jonses challenge!

 

Thank you for doing this! It is stretching and I love the camaraderie!

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Robin and fellow 52 Friends: Thanks for the thread, the blog, the info, the on-line friendship, the good book recommends, the actual books (Dawn and Jane!) the laughs and lit chat. You've expanded my world- literally!

 

Here's my 2012 wrap-up (the 3rd year I've made it after 2 false attempts- my big "aha!" was realizing I had to actually read a book a week!). I'll probably get a couple more in before the end of the year- a read-aloud and 2 unnamed nemesis books! So far, I'm at 61 books- I think I go up by a book or two a year. I'm counting the YA read-alouds. Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project) gave me permission to count it as true lit.

 

And, I know you'll be shocked Robin, but Lord Peter was my BIG win this year.

.

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I will have more time after today to post my year end wrap up, and to actually finish my 40th book of the year. In the mean time I wanted to add a few comments to the conversation.
 

Hoping everyone has a cozy day today!


Coziness starts tomorrow. Today I will be at church for 8 hours because I'm playing in 4 services! (Hope the rain ends by the afternoon cause I'm supposed to serenade the congregation on my violin as they light candles outside. The fire department no longer allows 800+ people to hold 800+burning candles inside.) But thank you and right back at you!

And about Terry Pratchett and Lords and Ladies. That is one of the many Discworlds I haven't read. In fact I have yet to actually read any of the Discworld witch books, something which I hereby resolve to fix in 2013. Because I am totally with Rosie on this:
 

I'm not a witch in my every day life, but if I were a fictional character, I'd like to be a Terry Pratchett witch. I'd have a grand time of it, I'm sure


I think a special award of merit goes to Violet Crown for reading so much great literature. I am inspired to read War and Peace, too, thanks to your glowing comments on it!

10) Name the most unputdownable book you read? - Tolstoy, War and Peace. Who knew something so long and Russian would be such an addictive page-turner?


Oh and I am going to have to hunt down Sins of the Fathers and other Howatch thanks to Jane.

And thank you my dearest Ladydusk for introducing me to more Susan Howatch novels. They were probably my favorite fictional reads of '12 as they were last year! In 2011, I read the Starbridge series. This year I read The Rich Are Different, Sins of the Fathers, Penmarric and The Waiting Sands. The first three in this year list are chunksters: all at least 700 pages, I think. And while they were all good books that continue to live on library shelves decades after publication, Sins of the Fathers was the best of this year's lot for me.

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Here is my list for the year. I read 67, which surprised me because I read *several* books that I didn't finish for one reason or another! I didn't count until just today. :)

  1. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  2. The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian
  3. We Is Got Him: The Kidnapping That Changed America by Carrie Hagen
  4. Starship Academy by Nick James
  5. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (YA; really liked this one. Hard to describe but the world and characters were very well imagined!)
  6. The Affinity Bridge by George Mann
  7. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  8. Gideon’s Sword by Preston & Child
  9. Thirteen Hallows by Michael Scott
  10. Pure by Julianna Baggott (I loved the world-building in this dystopian YA novel. Can't wait for the next ones.)
  11. Agent 6 by Tom Rob Smith
  12. The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill (New author to me and I love this series. Simon Serrailler series)
  13. Ashes by Ilsa Bick
  14. The Whisperer by Donato Carrisi (This was one book that kept me reading until very late. Not as smooth in some spots due to translation from Italian, but a good thriller.)
  15. Choosing Forgiveness by Nancy Leigh DeMoss (I will recommend this book to any Christian friends who struggle with forgiveness.)
  16. The Pure in Heart by Susan Hill
  17. The Outlander by Gil Adamson (This book was beautifully told, atmospheric; the story of a woman escaping "justice" from the brothers of her husband, who she just killed.)
  18. Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson
  19. The Risk of Darkness by Susan Hill
  20. Variant by Robison Wells
  21. Legend by Marie Lu
  22. Seven Days That Divide the World by John C. Lennox (Non-fiction about the 7 days of creation and its theories; very balanced, IMO.)
  23. The Vows of Silence by Susan Hill
  24. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  25. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella (The most surprising read for me. NOT my type of book! I don't tend to do girly fiction, but this was funny and a riot.)
  26. The Vault by Ruth Rendell
  27. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  28. The Hunt by Andrew Fuduka
  29. White Horse by Alex Adams (If you don't mind suspending disbelief a bit, this was a really good apocalyptic story. A good debut in this genre.)
  30. The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones
  31. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  32. Niceville by Carson Stroud
  33. Amped by Daniel Wilson
  34. Four Views on Divine Providence
  35. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (One of my favorite new series; wasn't sure I loved Flavia at first, what a stinker! But I read the others with enthusiasm and like her voice.)
  36. The Year of Goodbyes by Debbie Levy (Non-fiction; snippets from the journal of a girl living at the start of the holocaust. I thought it was so good I assigned it to my upper elementary and up kiddos.)
  37. Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community by Andrew Marin (I loved the heart behind this book, but there wasn't enough practical advice. Listening and loving are crucial, but sometimes HOW is very important, too.)
  38. Stay Close by Harlan Coben
  39. Soulless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate series--loved it and have recommended it countless times this year. LOL)
  40. Changeless
  41. Blameless
  42. Timeless
  43. The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley
  44. The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston (This was fascinating!)
  45. The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny
  46. The Most Misused Verses in the Bible by Eric Bargerhuff
  47. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
  48. A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley
  49. A Death in Italy: The Definitive Account of the Amanda Knox Case by John Follain
  50. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  51. Origin by Jessica Khoury (Written by a formerly homeschooled young woman. Good!)
  52. The Third Gate by Lincoln Child
  53. The Twelve by Justin Cronin
  54. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (The characters become dispicable, but the plot is so juicy and riveting! Great story-telling, even through the novel's format.)
  55. Panorama City by Antoine Wilson (Picked this up on a wim and really loved the main character, a Forrest Gump-ish young man who is finding his way in the world after the death of his father.)
  56. Monster Island by David Wellington (Zombie fiction.)
  57. Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith (This was fun, but much more violent than I expected. But because it was such a surprise and I loved the characterizations, it was a top pick.)
  58. Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh
  59. The Dead Path by Stephen Irwin
  60. The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury
  61. Altared: The True Story of a She, a He and How They Got Too Worked Up About We by Claire & Eli
  62. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer Smith
  63. City of Women by David Gillham (Great writing; tells the story of German women left behind to care for and support the Fatherland in WWII. One woman's hard choices to continue to look the other way or do something different.)
  64. Wild Girls by Mary Stewart Atwell
  65. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip & Dan Heath
  66. The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan (I thought the ending was a tad flat, and it's not necessarily a new story, BUT I've been thinking about the choices made by the characters and asking "Why?" so much since reading it that I had to make it a top pick.)
  67. The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton (I loved Morton's Forgotten Garden and already like this one quite a bit.)

Favorites are in RED!

 

I thought I would really like A Prayer for Owen Meany but I *hated* that kid. LOL I was also very excited to read Daniel Wilson's new novel because I enjoyed Robopocalypse so much, but Amped was a major disappointment.

 

I made most of my short comments above in the list. I was a little bummed by some of the books I tried this year. There were a few gems; even those that I labeled as top picks were not outstanding, though. I read more non-fiction than I usually do, though! There are a couple that I am still reading little by little, too.

 

I was riveted by The Monster of Florence! It was one of my could-not-put-down books of the year, along with Scorpio Races, Gone Girl, The Outlander, White Horse, Panorama City, and The Lifeboat. I'm kind of ho-hum about most of the others, though.

 

I was slightly let down by The Twelve by Justin Cronin because I loved The Passage, but it was one of few books to make me tear up at points because his writing was *better* and I care about the characters. I was overjoyed to discover some new, great series this year, too. (Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler series and the Flavia de Luce books)

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Okay. Here you go:

 

How many books did you read this year? 129 at this point and half were ebooks

 

Did you meet or beat your own personal goal? I actually read less than last year

 

Favorite books of 2012?

 

Top 5

  1. Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall. It was one of the most unique stories I ever written.
  2. The Rose Labyrinth by Titanie Hardie
  3. Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  4. The Last Refuge by Ben Coes
  5. By the Light of the Moon by Dean Koontz

Favorite Series: Urban Fantasy Allie Beckstrom series by Devon Monk

 

Favorite Audiobook: J.D Robb’s In Death series.

 

Least Favorite Book: Switched by Amanda Hocking. I really didn’t like Wendy, the main character.

 

One book you thought you'd never read and was pleasantly surprised you like it? Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund.

 

One book you thought you'd love but didn't? Bram Stoker’s The Snakes Pass. Had been looking forward to reading it a long time but couldn’t get past the writing style.

 

One book that touched you - made you laugh, cry, sing or dance: A Light in the Window by Julie Lessman.

 

Any new to you authors discovered and you can't wait to read more of their stories? Dean Koontz, Devon Monk, Jennifer Estep,

 

Name the longest book you read? The Passage by Justin Cronin at 784 Shortest? A Light in the Window by Julie Lessman

 

Name the most unputdownable book you read? It was a tie between Raw Shark Texts and The Last Refuge by Ben Coes

 

Book that had the greatest impact on you this year? James Scott Bell’s Revision and Self Editing

 

What book would you recommend everybody read? Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

 

 

What are your goals for the new year? To read more non fiction? To dip your toes into a mystery or a urban fantasy? What book are you most looking forward to reading in 2013? I’m looking forward to reading Hopscotch with Stacia and whoever else wants to join us. Delving into a few non fiction and inspirational books, plus a bunch of chunky and dusty books. I think the books I’m looking forward to reading most are Vanity Fair by William Thackary and a couple non fiction books: Echoing Silence: Thomas Merton on the Vocation of Writing and The Write-Brain Workbook: 366 exercises to liberate your writing by Bonnie Neubauer.

 

Going to start my new reading year with Vanity Fair. Anyone care to join me?

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1) How many books did you read this year? 102

 

2) Did you meet or beat your own personal goal? I didn't really set a goal, just to read and keep track of books.

 

3) Favorite book of 2012? Yes, you can list more than one and even break it down by genre if you choose.

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett - I thoroughly enjoyed this.

 

4) Least favorite book of 2012 and why? Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. Meh.

 

5) One book you thought you'd never read and was pleasantly surprised you like it? Confessions of a Prairie Bitch by Alison Angrim. I've never watched the series, but loved the book.

 

6) One book you thought you'd love but didn't? The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma.

 

7) One book that touched you - made you laugh, cry, sing or dance. Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott.

 

8) Any new to you authors discovered and you can't wait to read more of their stories? Anne Lamott, Terry Pratchett, Brene Brown.

 

9) Name the longest book you read? Shortest?

 

10) Name the most unputdownable book you read? The Murder of Rodger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. I read it in one evening.

 

11) Book that had the greatest impact on you this year? Not sure.

 

12) What book would you recommend everybody read? Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.

 

13) Share your most favorite cover(s) The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs. :D

 

14) Do you have a character you fell in love with? -

 

15) What was your most favorite part of the challenge? Did you do any of the mini challenges? I loved reading everyone's lists and reviews. They helped me to discover some great authors.

 

16) What are your goals for the new year? To read more non fiction? To dip your toes into a mystery or a urban fantasy or horror or romance? What book are you most looking forward to reading in 2013? Not sure yet. I'll take on the Canadian authors challenge.

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) How many books did you read this year?

35(Give or take a few)

 

2) Did you meet or beat your own personal goal?

No, I got sidetracked in October with the cross-stitch project.

 

3) Favorite book of 2012? Yes, you can list more than one and even break it down by genre if you choose.

Unbroken, Gone Girl, and Killing Kennedy

 

4) Least favorite book of 2012 and why?

Let's Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

 

5) One book you thought you'd never read and was pleasantly surprised you like it?

Confessions of a Prairie Bitch

 

6) One book you thought you'd love but didn't?

Anne Lamott's Some Assembly Required

 

7) One book that touched you - made you laugh, cry, sing or dance.

Know-it-All by Jacobs made me laugh, Unprotected made me angry.

 

8) Any new to you authors discovered and you can't wait to read more of their stories?

William Landay - Defending Jacob, also Jon Krakauer

 

9) Name the longest book you read? Shortest?

 

10) Name the most unputdownable book you read?

Gone Girl

 

11) Book that had the greatest impact on you this year?

Imagine: How Creativity Works

 

12) What book would you recommend everybody read?

Unbroken

 

13) Share your most favorite cover(s)

 

12987640.jpg

14) Do you have a character you fell in love with?

Alison Arngrim

 

 

15) What was your most favorite part of the challenge? Did you do any of the mini challenges?

 

16) What are your goals for the new year? To read more non fiction? To dip your toes into a mystery or a urban fantasy or horror or romance? What book are you most looking forward to reading in 2013?

Ready to do it all again. Love being a part of this group.

Here's my list:

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Some Assembly Required by Anne Lamott

Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

UnPlanned by Abby Johnson

The Bishop by Steven James

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

Swimming to Antarctica by Anne Cox

This Life Is in Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family Undone by Melissa Coleman

The Know-it-All by AJ Jacobs

Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick

Defending Jacob by William Landay

Confessions of a Prairie Bitch by Alison Arngrim

NurtureShock by Po Bronson

Dark Tide by Stephen Puleo

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper

Imagine by Jonah Lehr

In Harm's Way by Doug Stanton

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Pink Boots and a Machete by Mireya Mayor

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf

The Litigators by John Grisham

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Killing Kennedy by Bill O'Reilly

Diary of A Stage Mother's Daughter by Melissa Francis

The Worst Hard Time By Timothy Egan

Unprotected: A Campus Psychiatrist Reveals How Political Correctness in Her Profession Endangers Every Student by Miriam Grossman

The Racketeer by John Grisham

 

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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This is the first year I participated in the challenge. I just wanted to read 52 books, and I surpassed that.

...

I really enjoyed Quiet

...

I expected to like In the Garden of Beasts but didn't

 

Yay on exceeding your goal! I want to read Quiet (just didn't get around to it this year, maybe in 2013). Like you, I found In the Garden of Beasts less engaging than I had hoped it would be.

 

*The Housekeeper and the Professor-

...

*Quiet - Cain (My #1 favorite of the year)

...

*Oracle of Stamboul

...

 

and the Consolations of Philosophy which I recently found in a used book sale. It has been in the back of my mind for years, but it was not available at the libraries in my area.

 

Some of your favorites are on my wish list. Is the Consolations of Philosophy the one by Alain De Botton? That looks pretty interesting.

 

Thank you Robin for being such a dedicated hostess.

...

My favorite nonfictional book was The Hare with the Amber Eyes.

...

Thanks to Stacia I read The Sisters Brothers, which I think is the only western I have ever read. Fun book!

...

My goal for the new year is to clear away some of the dusty books; read Hillary Mantel's Booker Prize winning books Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies

 

I agree -- thank you, Robin, again for hosting this thread all year!

 

The Hare with Amber Eyes is one (yet another) I've been meaning to read for a couple of years now. Like you, I think The Sisters Brothers is the only western I've read. And, again, like you, I'll probably be tackling Wolf Hall in the upcoming year (because my book club plans to read it at some point).

 

Women Without Men by Shahrnush Parsipur - didn't hesitate for a second to name that book as my favorite of the year. Loved it.

...

8) Any new to you authors discovered and you can't wait to read more of their stories? China Mieville

...

I enjoyed The Sirens of Titan. It wasn't one of my favorite Vonnegut books either, but I still really enjoyed it. I thought it was slow at first, but eventually things started coming together that made me appreciate the parts that seemed like they were slowing it down until they came back into play.

 

Crstarlette, I always enjoy reading your posts & I've gotten some great ideas from your posts. I definitely want to read Women without Men this year. Looks fabulous. I've also wondered if I would like Mieville's works & maybe 2013 is the time to try. Any specific book of his that you would recommend as a first one? It has been sooooooooo long since I read The Sirens of Titan that I don't even remember that much about it, other than it was not my favorite Vonnegut. Maybe I'll have to spend some time re-reading some of his books....

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â–  My Ideal Bookshelf (Thessaly La Force, editor, Jane Mount, illustrator; non-fiction)

...

Books. Edited to add my favorite book cover: A choice that was, as they say, a no-brainer given how much I talked it up. *wry grin*

Definitely on my want to read list based on your review & the gorgeous cover art!

 

Gogol, Dead Souls

4) Least favorite book of 2012 and why? - Polidori, The Vampyre. I can see how Stoker would have read it and said, "I can do that better."

...

What book are you most looking forward to reading in 2013? - I don't know - they all look so good. The GLBT challenge makes me want to dig out the Genet we hid when Great Girl learned to read. Also read this year: Faulkner, As I Lay Dying Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom! James, Selected Stories Borges, Doctor Brodie's Report James, The Turn of the Screw and Other Stories Forster, A Passage to India Forster, A Room With a View Leslie Alcock, Arthur's Britain Greene, Our Man in Havana

Hope you are all healing by now! http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/grouphug.gif

 

Violet Crown, you always blow me away with your reading list! You must make a fascinating dinner companion. Wouldn't it be just dandy if all of us could jet into a central location for a great dinner & books discussion among this group?

 

I would like to read Gogol. Lol about Polidori's book. Your 2013 list looks fascinating. Faulkner is another author I've never read & keep thinking that I need to...

 

1. Half of a Yellow Sun

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Ridiculous. I'm not even over my 10th Doctor crush yet.

Another on my to read list. And http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/laugh.gif on the Doctor crush.

 

Oh, I am too! And I haven't read that one! I'm not a witch in my every day life, but if I were a fictional character, I'd like to be a Terry Pratchett witch. I'd have a grand time of it, I'm sure. http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/biggrin.gif

I think you'd be a fab Terry Pratchett witch, Rosie. http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/thumbup1.gif
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The best thing about this is I realized that I need to set aside time for me, and it's okay to be a little selfish with my time.

 

Absolutely!

 

I posted my wrap-up last week that answers most of Robin's questions. It is here on my blog for anyone who wants to take a look. To date I have finished 85 books in 2012 (30,500+ pages), an all-time personal best. I. Am. Awesome!! :hurray: My Top 5 reads this year were:
  • Song of Achilles (Madeline Miller),
  • Broken Harbor (Tana French),
  • The Stockholm Octavo (Karen Engelmann),
  • Rebecca (Daphne du Maurier),
  • The Passage (Justin Cronin)

 

Enjoyed your wrap-up & I always look forward to your posts & reviews! You've given me some great leads on books... and now I'm adding some of your top 5 to my lists too....

 

Here is my 52 in 52 recap on my blog. Thanks so much for hosting this, Robin. I loved going back through what I've read and answering these questions. It was fun to revisit some of the reading I've done and to celebrate the accomplishment of meeting this challenge. I'm looking forward to next year!

 

Nice recap. Your comment about Oscar Wao was just too funny.

 

Robin and fellow 52 Friends: Thanks for the thread, the blog, the info, the on-line friendship, the good book recommends, the actual books (Dawn and Jane!) the laughs and lit chat. You've expanded my world- literally! Here's my 2012 wrap-up (the 3rd year I've made it after 2 false attempts- my big "aha!" was realizing I had to actually read a book a week!). I'll probably get a couple more in before the end of the year- a read-aloud and 2 unnamed nemesis books!

 

:thumbup:

 

I will have more time after today to post my year end wrap up, and to actually finish my 40th book of the year. In the mean time I wanted to add a few comments to the conversation. Coziness starts tomorrow. Today I will be at church for 8 hours because I'm playing in 4 services! (Hope the rain ends by the afternoon cause I'm supposed to serenade the congregation on my violin as they light candles outside. The fire department no longer allows 800+ people to hold 800+burning candles inside.) But thank you and right back at you! And about Terry Pratchett and Lords and Ladies. That is one of the many Discworlds I haven't read. In fact I have yet to actually read any of the Discworld witch books, something which I hereby resolve to fix in 2013. Because I am totally with Rosie on this: I think a special award of merit goes to Violet Crown for reading so much great literature. I am inspired to read War and Peace, too, thanks to your glowing comments on it! Oh and I am going to have to hunt down Sins of the Fathers and other Howatch thanks to Jane.

 

Wow, hope your violin serenade went beautifully!

 

You've never read any of the Pratchett witch books? :svengo: You must remedy that!

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I read *several* books that I didn't finish for one reason or another!

...

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (YA; really liked this one. Hard to describe but the world and characters were very well imagined!)

The Affinity Bridge by George Mann

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The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston (This was fascinating!)

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I was overjoyed to discover some new, great series this year, too. (Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler series and the Flavia de Luce books)

 

Yeah, I had a few that I read but didn't finish. Just couldn't get into them....

 

I think my dd might enjoy The Scorpio Races -- looks like a neat book. I'd like to read The Affinity Bridge. The Monster of Florence looks fascinating (but maybe too creepy for me). Agree on the Flavia books -- she's such a great character!

 

Eating Cheetos and drinking tea while working on my wrap up list while waiting for the chicken to defrost while hubby is in the bedroom wrapping last minute gifts. Such fun!

 

MMMMM. Cheetos!

 

Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall. It was one of the most unique stories I ever written.

...

Name the most unputdownable book you read? It was a tie between Raw Shark Texts and The Last Refuge by Ben Coes

...

What book would you recommend everybody read? Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

What are your goals for the new year? To read more non fiction? To dip your toes into a mystery or a urban fantasy? What book are you most looking forward to reading in 2013? I’m looking forward to reading Hopscotch with Stacia and whoever else wants to join us.

 

I loved The Raw Shark Texts too. Really a neat & unique book. And, I thought The Night Circus was just lovely. Morgenstern wrote such sumptuous descriptions. Definitely looking forward to reading Hopscotch in 2013!

 

3) Favorite book of 2012? Yes, you can list more than one and even break it down by genre if you choose. Going Postal by Terry Pratchett - I thoroughly enjoyed this.

4) Least favorite book of 2012 and why? Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. Meh.

...

13) Share your most favorite cover(s) The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs. :D

 

Pratchett is always a good choice for fave! I tried Inkheart many years ago & couldn't get into it. (Didn't ever finish it.) LOL about the A.J. Jacobs cover.

 

I'm enjoying reading everyone's wrap-ups. I'll post mine either tomorrow night when things quiet down, or on Wednesday. I just wanted to pop in and wish a Merry Christmas to those who celebrate. I've enjoyed spending time and talking about books with you all, and look forward to the 2013 threads.

 

Merry Christmas to you too!

 

11) Book that had the greatest impact on you this year? Imagine: How Creativity Works

 

Will have to look into this one!

 

Ok, now I'm off to check & see if my night-owl children are finally asleep! (I hope so!) :laugh:

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Merry Christmas to all!

 

I received a fascinating cookbook for Christmas which I'll mention here since it is more than a book of recipes. The Great American Cookbook is a revision of the classic How America Eats by Clementine Paddleford. (What a name! I am envisioning a series of mysteries with Clementine Paddleford as detective.)

 

From the jacket:

Imagine a person with the culinary acumen of Julia Child, the cultural inquisitiveness of Margaret Mead and the daring flair of Amelia Earhard. This is Clementine Paddleford, the first American food journalist.

 

Paddleford did more than write for the New York Herald and Gourmet magazine. She piloted a Piper Cub about America to learn about regional cuisine. The book that was given to me is not organized by recipe type but by regions and then states. Essays about implements, ingredients, and the people who shared their food and recipes with Paddleford pepper the book.

 

What a treasure!

 

By the way, I finished Roald Dahl's short story collection, Kiss, Kiss. They are penned for adults but share the dark humor of Dahl's works for children. My favorite story was probably Edward the Conqueror about a woman who believes that the cat that wanders into her garden is a reincarnated Franz Lizst. The ending is predictable (unfortunately) but I chuckled a great deal as I read this story.

 

What to read next? I don't know...

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How many books did you read this year? Approximately 130

 

Did you meet or beat your own personal goal? Hit it. I was trying for a 120.

 

Top 5 of 2012:

Cut to the Quick (Julian Kestrel mystery) by Kate Ross

Carry On, Mr Bowditch by Jean Lee Lanthem

Beauty by Robin McKinley

The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

Very Good, Jeeves! By PG Wodehouse

 

Bottom 5 of 2012:

Hounded by Kevin Hearne

The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien

Abandon in the Old Tokyo by Yoshiro Tatsumi

The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger

Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

 

One book you thought you'd love but didn't?

Tie between Edenbrooke and Hounded. Both of those are genres I love but the books didn’t click with me.

 

One book that touched you - made you laugh, cry, sing or dance. Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto. It almost made my top five list because it was so good. I had just lost my grandmother when I read it and the character in the book loses her grandmother so I cried along with her and continued with life despite the loss along with her.

 

Any new to you authors discovered and you can't wait to read more of their stories? Kate Ross of the Julian Kestrel mysteries. A fun traditional British mystery where even the butler is a suspect and everyone gathers in the library to find out who the murderer is. Sadly Kate Ross died young so she only wrote five books.

 

Name the longest book you read? The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins – not long by this places standards but I tend to avoid chunksters. I think long books still intimidate me.

Shortest? Green by Laura Seeger – a picture book with only about ten words but I wanted to mention it here because I loved the illustrations.

 

Name the most unputdownable book you read? Cut to the Quick (Julian Kestrel mystery) by Kate Ross – this book kept me up way too late because I just HAD to know who the killer was.

 

What book would you recommend everybody read? See top five list. J

 

Do you have a character you fell in love with? I am having a long term love affair with Bertie Wooster. The relationship was merely continued this year.

 

What was your most favorite part of the challenge? I love seeing everyone’s recommendations and having a place to talk about books with friends every week.

 

What are your goals for the new year? I want to read some chunksters, do the 5/5/5 challenge, and read less books (goal is 70) so that I can take my time and savor them. If I set a high goal then I’ll force myself to meet it but I’ll also choose shorter books and then fly through them to check it off my list. I don’t want to do that this year.

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What are your goals for the new year? I want to read some chunksters, do the 5/5/5 challenge, and read less books (goal is 70) so that I can take my time and savor them. If I set a high goal then I’ll force myself to meet it but I’ll also choose shorter books and then fly through them to check it off my list. I don’t want to do that this year.

 

 

What is the 5/5/5 challenge?

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1) How many books did you read this year? 64

 

2) Did you meet or beat your own personal goal? Yes

 

3) Favorite book of 2012? Yes, you can list more than one and even break it down by genre if you choose. The Night Circus

 

4) Least favorite book of 2012 and why? Can't think of one.

 

5) One book you thought you'd never read and was pleasantly surprised you like it? The Lacuna--Barbara Kingsolver

 

6) One book you thought you'd love but didn't? Gone Girl

 

7) One book that touched you - made you laugh, cry, sing or dance. All Creatures Great and Small

 

8) Any new to you authors discovered and you can't wait to read more of their stories? Stephanie Barron--The Jane Austen Mysteries. Sarah Addison Allen.

 

9) Name the longest book you read? Shortest? Anna Karenina; 84, Charing Cross Road

 

10) Name the most unputdownable book you read? The Night Circus

 

11) Book that had the greatest impact on you this year? Several had at least some impact--hard to choose.

 

12) What book would you recommend everybody read? The Night Circus

 

13) Share your most favorite cover(s) Don't remember covers--they don't affect me much.

 

14) Do you have a character you fell in love with? No one stands out more than others. Many that I liked.

 

15) What was your most favorite part of the challenge? Did you do any of the mini challenges? Best part--an excuse to keep picking up new books (and lots of great recommendations here). I did the Russian Lit challenge for April, but it took me a few months! (Anna Karenina)

 

16) What are your goals for the new year? To read more non fiction? To dip your toes into a mystery or a urban fantasy or horror or romance? What book are you most looking forward to reading in 2013?Goals: keep reading! Not too worried whether or not I hit 52. Hope to read more classics (12? one a month?). Have a few "dusty" books around I would like to read--several that were my mom's.

 

Books Read in 2012 (* = contenders for my 2012 Top Ten)

64. 84, Charing Cross Road-Helene Hanff

63. Kristin Lavransdatter II: The Wife-Sigrid Undset*

62. Imagine-Jonah Lehrer*

61. Beauty-Robin McKinley

60. The 19th Wife-David Ebershoff

59. Jane and His Lordship’s Legacy-Stephanie Barron

58. Coraline-Neil Gaiman

57. The Graveyard Book-Neil Gaiman

56. Silas Marner-George Eliot

55. The Orphan Sister-Gwendolen Gross

54. The Secret Life of the Lonely Doll-Jean Nathan

53. The Rook-Daniel O’Malley

52. All Creatures Great and Small-James Herriot

51. The Hobbit-J.R.R. Tolkien

50. Jane and the Stillroom Maid-Stephanie Barron

49. Jane and the Genius of the Place-Stephanie Barron

48. Jane and the Wandering Eye-Stephanie Barron

47. The Power of Habit-Charles Duhigg*

46. Anna Karenina-Leo Tolstoy*

45. Jane and the Man of the Cloth-Stephanie Barron

44. The House of the Seven Gables-Nathaniel Hawthorne

43. Mockingjay-Suzanne Collins

42. The Vitamin D Solution-Michael F. Holick

41. Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor-Stephanie Barron

40. Suspense and Sensibility-Carrie Bebris

39. Catching Fire-Suzanne Collins

38. Pride and Prescience-Carrie Bebris

37. The Night Circus-Erin Morgenstern*

36. Houskeeping-Marilynne Robinson

35. Death Comes to Pemberley-P.D. James

34. The Language of Flowers-Vanessa Diffenbaugh*

33. The Peach Keeper-Sarah Addison Allen

32. 11/22/63-Stephen King*

31. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer-Mark Twain

30. Quiet-Susan Cain*

29. The Paris Wife-Paula McLain

28. The Girl Who Chased the Moon-Sarah Addison Allen

27. The Feast Nearby-Robin Mather

26. The Sugar Queen-Sarah Addison Allen

25. The Invention of Hugo Cabret-Brian Selznick

24. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks-Rebecca Skloot*

23. The Hunger Games-Suzanne Collins

22. Not a Fan-Kyle Idleman

21. Wildwood-Colin Meloy

20. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children-Ransom Riggs

19. The Mysterious Affair at Styles-Agatha Christie

18. A String in the Harp-Nancy Bond

17. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats-Jan-Philipp Sendker*

16. The Lacuna-Barbara Kingsolver*

15. I Am Half-Sick of Shadows-Alan Bradley

14. Garden Spells-Sarah Addison Allen

13. The Prince and the Pauper-Mark Twain

12. Romeo and Juliet-William Shakespeare

11. The Shallows-Nicholas Carr

10. The Handmaid’s Tale-Margaret Atwood

9. Mudbound-Hillary Jordan*

8. The Other Wind-Ursula Le Guin

7. What the Dog Saw-Malcolm Gladwell

6. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall-Anne Bronte

5. Tehanu-Ursula Le Guin

4. The Scarlet Pimpernel-Baroness Orczy

3. The Paleo Diet-Loren Cordain

2. Peter Pan-James Barrie

1. The Farthest Shore-Ursula Le Guin

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