Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Sunday Salon: Review of 2008

* I've listed all the books I've read here (adult books, anyway, and just a few children's books) at my 2008: A Year of Reading post. I read a total of 59 books (not including umpteen read-alouds to the kids). That's 10 fewer than I read in 2007. I think that is due to a few different occasions during which I forced myself to waste 3 weeks struggling through books that, in the end, I should never have started. These books were: Songs in Ordinary Time, The Way the Crow Flies, and The World Before Her. I don't recommend any of them. I also spent a few weeks on Wendell Berry's Jayber Crow . This, however, is well worth reading. It didn't make my Top 10 list because, frankly, the novel exhausted me. Read the review to find out why.

* I forgot to mention in the post linked above that I also read through the whole Bible this year. I haven't done that in many years, and I found it a wonderful experience. This time I used a different translation than the standard NIV (New Living), and that was fantastic. I am planning to read through again this year, following a chronological approach.

* I will not get sucked into tedious books this year. I've already discarded the first book that I began this year, Ahdaf Soueif's The Map of Love. After reading it for three nights and having no idea what was going on, I made the executive decision to toss it. If you've read this and can give me a compelling reason why I should continue, please do!

* I've started Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential instead as my first book of the year. It's been sitting on my bedside table for months and has finally gotten its chance.

* My TBR list has 170 books on it, including about seven I've added already this year. I'm enjoying reading (and adding from) bloggers' "Best of" lists on Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books. I read 27 books off my TBR list in this past year.

* I joined The Sunday Salon in January of 2008 with North Dakota and a Witch and have participated 29 times this year. My favorite TSS posts were: Reading with Children Part 1, Reading with Children Part 2, In the Mountains, and Lists and Pondering the Classics. I used to read each TSS post faithfully, but since the participant level has grown to over 200, I'm now skimming. Still, I enjoy this place of book talk tremendously. There is great comfort in the company of readers.

* In May I began participating sporadically in Sunday Scribbling. I wish I were more dedicated to this one, but unfortunately I find myself often stumped. My favorites: Curves, Nights, Guide, My Oldest Friend, Ghosts, Solace, Coffee, and Weddings. I need to do this on a more regular basis.

* I used to be fairly regular in Booking Through Thursday, although I have completely slacked off on this meme in the past couple of months. Flavor and Vocabulary are a couple of ones I like a lot, looking back at them.

* I've been a part in three tours at the Children's Book Blog Tour: Jimmy's Stars, This Is the Feast (Diane Shore), and The Raucous Royals. These were all superb books which I was honored to review.

* I try to post each week at Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books, and lately I've been part of the biweekly Book Review Blog Carnival.

This all keeps me reading and thinking about reading, and doing a little writing. I also keep a daily blog that focuses mainly on family life. This is my own little separate reading world here. Coming up in 2009? I probably won't enter any challenges besides the couple that I participate in half-heartedly now. I find that I am burdened by challenges, and so, as tempting as they are, I shall resist. My only goal, really, is to tackle that TBR list and relish books.


Dani In NC said...

After several months, I am still learning when to abandon a book and when to stick with it. I got into a rut where I didn't stick with any books because I was too accustomed to television. So I forced myself to stick with a few books and eventually got back to the place where books excited me again. Then I picked a few books that just weren't for me but I was afraid that I was just giving up too easily. Back and forth -- it's like a dance!

Dani In NC said...

I feel burdened by challenges, as well. I discovered reading challenges in October 2008 and was fascinated by the concept. I joined one challenge and it immediately put a damper on my reading. At this point in my reading life, I think I need to keep things light. Unlike many bloggers, I don't get ARCs (I don't even know how!) so I don't have any reading obligations. I think I should leave it that way for a while.

gautami tripathy said...

I simply stopped signing up for challenges. I found those restricted my reading. Now I have joined only those which I know will make read books of my interest.

SS 1 post!

SS 2 post!

Anonymous said...

I only sign up for challenges that already fit my reading interests. I have learned that I don't like "stretching" myself.

I'd like to participate more in Saturday reviews and carnivals this year as well.