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Blarg..!

Hey all,
It's been over a week since an update.. I hate that 😛 I wanted to update more in 2010 but haven't managed to do so this week.
I've been sick on and off since after Christmas, mostly ON. Another cold hit me this week, just as I was recovering from the previous one – and as a result of it all I haven't been focusing on photography much at all in 2010. Just haven't felt up to it, energy wise.
I've been reading a lot in January, but this week I haven't managed to finish a book, either. Blarg!
I have the review for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ready, I'll tweak the text a little more and will try to get it online tomorrow. Meanwhile, let's hope I get out of this cold-induced funk.
Thanks for sticking with the blog,
xo

Challenging myself a little more in 2010: 60 books

I've been getting over a bad cold (or basically, it's probably the flu) and it has slowed me down from posting but I have been preparing reviews while trying to get better so I have new material coming up! 🙂
Anyway, this post just lists the 60 books (I hope to have) read in 2010.

January
001: Jan 02 | Marisa de los Santos – Belong to Me
002: Jan 04 | Christopher Moore – The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove
003: Jan 10 | Stieg Larsson – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
004: Jan 12 | Patricia Volonakis Davis – Harlot's Sauce
005: Jan 17 | Jack Kerouac – The Dharma Bums
006: Jan 26 | Wally Lamb – The Hour I First Believed
007: Jan 29 | Charlaine Harris – Sookie Stackhouse #8: From Dead to Worse



February
008: Feb 02 | Sarah Addison Allen – Garden Spells
009: Feb 17 | Stella Gibbons – Cold Comfort Farm
010: Feb 24 | Stieg Larsson – The Girl Who Played with Fire
011: Feb 25 | Mitch Albom – For One More Day

March
012: Mar 08 | Audrey Niffenegger – Her Fearful Symmetry
013: Mar 15 | Monica Pradhan – The Hindi-Bindi Club
014: Mar 20 | Kathy Reichs – Temperance Brennan #5 Grave Secrets
015: Mar 24 | Michael Cunningham – Specimen Days
016: Mar 28 | Virginia Woolf – Jacob's Room

April
017: Apr 04 | Carol Shields – Dressing Up For the Carnival
018: Apr 06 | Gabrielle Zevin – Margarettown

019: Apr 21 | Stieg Larsson – The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest
020: Apr 24 | Helen Fielding – Bridget Jones's Diary (umpteenth reread)
021: Apr 27 | Ian McEwan – On Chesil Beach

May
022: May 19 | Mike Gayle – Brand New Friend
023: May 23 | Zadie Smith – White Teeth *finally!!*
024: May 28 | Kathy Reichs – Temperance Brennan #6 Bare Bones

June
025: Jun 01 | Nick Hornby – Juliet, Naked
026: Jun 04 | Sophie Dahl – Playing with the Grownups
027: Jun 07 | Joanne Harris – Chocolat

028: Jun 23 | Steve Toltz – A Fraction of the Whole
029: Jun 26 | Mary Ann Shaffer/ Annie Barrows – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel…
030: Jun 26 | Nick Hornby  – 31 Songs


July
031: Jul 05 | Donna Tartt – The Little Friend
032: Jul 08 | Nicci French – The Safe House
033: Jul 10 | Chuck Palahniuk – Fight Club [Dutch translation]
034: Jul 12 | Robert Louis Stevenson – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
035: Jul 19 | Richard Powers – The Echo Maker
036: Jul 21 | Candace Bushnell – 4 Blondes



———-

June 11th 2010:
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeps! I have so many more reviews to add, LOL. Oh dear. Doing my best the next few months. (Though R&R will be on break for a month starting July 24th.)

Year in 'review', so to speak

Hello everyone 🙂
I am back from Barcelona, back from Christmas, and on my way back from a bad cold. I might get a new review up before the new year. I might not.

In the new year, I will continue to try to update this blog once or twice a week. But sometimes other things – the rest of my life – catch up on me. I have other hobbies, not just reading (meaning not just this blog).. and they get attention from me, too. Sometimes I'm simply not at home or – the other way around, at home dealing with making a home. Sometimes, like yesterday, I get up from bed realizing I have no energy, and my throat hurts. And sometimes, I just need a break from this project, which I love, but in which I invest a lot of time and thought – even though it doesn't translate to number of posts per week. I can't predict when I will feel, or not feel, like updating. But one thing you can count on:
There will always be a new update. In 2010, this project will enter its third year. And it's going to be a good one.

Crunching some numbers:
– I have read 47 books this year
– I have reviewed 43
(some of which were from 2008)
(in 2010, I have to review some more books from 2009)
– Most read author this year is Charlaine Harris with 7 books
– 4 books I've read in 2009 were written by Kathy Reichs
– 3 were written by JK Rowling
– I barely read any classics this year: 2
(I plan to do better in 2010)
– I have thrown 1 book across the living room out of anger with the author
– have read books by 21 authors that were 'new' to me
– I have started, and not yet finished 6 books this year.
(3 I am slowly continuing, 2 I will save for later, 1 I started yesterday and will finish early 2010.)

My 5 favorites this year (in no particular order):
– Dracula, by Bram Stoker*
– The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
– The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde
– The Memory Keeper's Daughter, by Kim Edwards
– We Need to Talk about Kevin, by Lionel Shriver*
*to be reviewed
Honorable mention goes to the Sookie Stackhouse series, for having entertained and charmed me this year. Thank you Charlaine Harris for restoring my faith in vampire-related books. *cough* Twilight *cough* (And Bram Stoker too of course.)

My 5 least favorites this year (no order):
– How Starbucks Saved my Life, by Michael Gates Gill
– Julie & Julia, by Julie Powell*
– The Coma, by Alex Garland
– The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown
– My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult*
*to be reviewed

Books I look forward to reading in 2010 the most:
– Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger
– The Hour I First Believed, by Wally Lamb
– The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson
– Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer*
– The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery
– a reread of Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
– the books by Jane Austen I have yet to read
And the rest of the Sookie Stackhouse series of course
*don't have a copy of this yet

Some resolutions:
– I want to bring out a new Blurb book with more content and double the reviews. Or find an alternative way to publish this project.
– I will do a read-a-thon in some form in 2010! 😀
– For me, reading 47 books in one year is a lot. I used to read between 20-24 books a year. But I want to go further. In 2010, I will read 60 books.
– I want to get those last 2009 reviews done in the first few months of 2010.
– To not keep shoving titles ahead of me, but to actually read them and allow myself to be (mostly) pleasantly surprised, wondering why on earth I hadn't read this or that book sooner.
– Oh. And to um. Not shop for books as much as I did in 2009. Shamefully huge TBR pile over here LOL. Gotta appreciate what I have right here.

How about you guys?

Are you pleased with this year's reading? What were your favorites? Which books would you not recommend to anyone in the world? Which books are you excited about in 2010? Do you have resolutions?

So. Maybe you'll see a new review tomorrow. Otherwise, here's to a happy new year for everyone! 🙂

Where I read: our new living room

This is it: the place where I sit down to read (couch on the left usually!), and where I jot down my notes for reviews, and where I take my laptop to type it all, editing until I'm satisfied. This is my living & reading room.

BOOKCASES
View a larger version here. (I hope this link works, let me know if it doesn't.)

Those book cases weren't ready & filled until Sunday though… and we've been living in this house since June. Now, we really feel at home here. The house feels finished now that those bookcases are ready. We've made them ourselves, so a lot of work went into them, but we're both so happy. We have enough space for our books and for personal things, photo frames, souvenirs from travels and decorative items.

I hope you like how it turned out. I'm going to sit by the fire now, tuck my feet under a warm afghan, have some chai tea and read a little more. (I've started reading "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett.)

*siiiiiigh* 🙂