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(Owlet header image found via a Google Image search, and came from Etsy artist Bestiary Ink)

04 January 2012

Reading Challenge 2012

I've waxed poetic about my love of reading, my nerdy nature, and my obsession with Goodreads (the social network for book nerds) plenty around here. I know. But as I've said before, I am who I am. So, here I go again.

In addition to helping you track your reading, catalog your thoughts on what you've read (I try to write something every time I finish a book, and I've found that it actually helps me remember the books better - beyond just, "I really loved that book," or "I think I liked that one, but I can't remember the characters' names" - know what I mean?), and get good recommendations from friends and fellow readers, Goodreads also offers various giveaways, contests, online chats with authors, and challenges. Last year I jumped on board with the 2011 Reading Challenge. I assessed my previous years' reading and my overflowing to-read bookcase at home, and decided to try and be realistic. I challenged myself to read 20 books. That seemed do-able. And it was! In fact, it was more than do-able. I read 26 books in 2011! Every time I logged into Goodreads, a little bar graph told me where I was in my challenge, and what percentage of my goal-total I'd already accomplished. It didn't make me anxious that I wouldn't make it, rather, it encouraged me that I was tackling this goal month by month. So for 2012, I definitely wanted to challenge myself again, and up the goal a bit. But I don't want to be to bold. So, I'm going for 25 books in 2012. We'll see how I do. You can see what I'm reading in that little window on the right-hand side of the blog, actually, which I've connected right to my Goodreads account. Right now, as you see, I'm reading my first book of 2012 (this one's for my online book group, Reading Without Borders -- which you're welcome to join!): The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. So far, so good.

Want to know what I read in 2011? They weren't all big winners, but overall, I did a lot of really good, really satisfying reading last year. Here are the titles and authors:

  • Gun, With Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem
  • Bamboo People by Metali Perkins
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  • Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
  • March by Geraldine Brooks
  • Breathing Underwater by Marie Darrieussecq
  • The City & The City by China MiĆ©ville
  • If Today be Sweet by Thrity Umrigar
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  • A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
  • Tinkers by Paul Harding
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
  • Room by Emma Donoghue
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  • The Motel Life by Willy Vlautin
  • A Short History of Women by Kate Walbert
  • The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson
  • The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
  • The Pleasing Hour by Lily King
  • Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
  • Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
  • Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
PLUS! I just realized I'd totally dropped the ball on my "What I'm Reading Now" photo posts. I will try to pick that up again. Yeesh - how'd I do that?! Anyway... that's my 2011 reading, and now, here I go burrowing my nose into my 2012 books! What are you reading now?

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