Sunday, December 30, 2007

reading wrap-up '07

This year has been an amazing year of reading for me. Not in terms of number of books read. In fact, I have no idea exactly how many books I did read, because I didn't start keeping track until late March. But suffice it to say, it was nowhere near as many as most of you out there. I'm probably amongst the slowest readers on the planet, and I just can't seem to carve out enough time for reading (one of my goals for the new year is rectify that).

It's been a horizon expanding year for me. Something I was in definite need of. I'd been stuck in a reading rut for many years, reading almost exclusively psychological thrillers and mysteries. Don't get me wrong, I still love these type of books. But it's been so incredibly fun to try new things. I've grown to love fantasy. I read some wonderful non-fiction. And even a few classics, something I haven't touched since school, all those many, many years ago. My love of horror and the like was reawakened. And I even began my first journey into the world of graphic novels (though I haven't quite finished my first book yet).

I joined my first reading challenge this year. And was amazed at how quickly that became an obsession! Of course, I didn't actually do all that well at actually completing these challenges, but I consider them worthwhile nonetheless. Thanks to them, I read a lot of books I otherwise wouldn't have, and even better, made some wonderful friends along the way.

Challenges joined for 2007 included:
*Spring Reading Thing (not completed-2 out of 5 read)
*Once Upon a Time (not completed-2 out of 5 read)
*Book to Movie (not completed-2 out of 3 read)
*Newbery (not completed-4 out of 6 read)
*Southern (completed late-3 out of 3)
*Non-Fiction Five (completed-5 out of 5)
*R.I.P. II (completed- 4 out of 4)
*Medical Mystery Madness (completed-3 out of 3)
*2nds (completed-3 out of 3)
*Four-Legged Friends (not yet ended-2 out of 5 read so far)
*New Authors (not yet ended-3 out of 6 read so far)
*Book Awards (not yet ended-4 out of 12 read so far)

I also participated in Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon, which was an awesome experience!

So, what were my favorites for the year?

*Favorite Challenge:
Carl's Once Upon a Time Challenge. For many reasons. It opened my eyes to a world of reading I hadn't ever bothered to explore before. It was a wonderful way to connect with Annie. It brought me into contact with so many incredible people.

*Favorite Kid's Lit. and/or Young Adult Book:
Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke. An absolute treasure of a book!

*Favorite Non-Fiction Book:
We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families: Stories from Rwanda, by Philip Gourevitch. "Enjoy" is not the right word to use when describing my feelings about reading this book. I don't know quite how to say it, in fact. But this was one extremely powerful read.

*Favorite Re-read:
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. What can I say...this will always be one of my favorites.

*Favorite Picture Book:
Halloween Night, by Elizabeth Hatch. The story was just fine, but it was the delightful artwork by Jimmy Pickering that made me fall hopelessly in love with this book!

*Biggest Surprise:
The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd. Don't ask me why, but I didn't expect to like this one. Maybe because of its mainstream popularity, I don't know. But not only did I like this one, I absolutely adored it!

*Biggest Disappointment:
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. I'm not saying this is a bad book, of course. I just went into it with such high expectations, only to find out it just wasn't for me.

*Favorite Read of the Year:
American Gods, by Neil Gaiman. In fact, this is my favorite read in the past several years. I just finished it last night, and am still so caught up in the story that I haven't had a chance to write a review (or what for me passes as a review, anyway) yet.

Plans for reading next year? Well, that can wait for another post, huh?


DesLily said...

I'm with you on Inkheart! and it set me off on many YA authors that I'd never heard of before and now totally enjoy. I can't wait for the movie!

Nymeth said...

It makes me happy to know that your absolute favourite of the year was American Gods :) I can't wait to read your full thoughts on it.

I was also extremely surprised with The Secret LiFe of Bees... that ought to teach me not to judge bestsellers until I read them.

Very nice list, and I look forward to another year of reading alongside you and everyone else :)

Debi said...


I'm so looking forward to the movie, too!


It really is fun "sharing" one's love of reading with others, isn't it? Kind of like fuel to an already burning fire or something.

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

Great wrapup! I think you do incredibly well to read as much as you do, with everything else you have going on each and every day. I would probably, in your shoes, do good to read one or two books a year :)

I also loved Secret Life of Bees, so glad you liked it :)

Ok, now for the new year?! :)

Lynne said...

Just wanted to wish you and your family a very happy new year!

Anonymous said...

I'm still laughing that you think you are a slow reading, considering I read at a snail's pace! I received quite a few nice books for Christmas, and I am just dying to wade through the one I am currently reading so that I can start a new one. Oh, and I still need to sign up for Annie's reading challenge!!

Lis Garrett

Melody said...

Great wrap up, Debi! I think you did pretty well with the reading challenges. I'm looking forward for more next year, although I try to tell myself not to get too ambitious, hehe...

Happy New Year! :)

Carl V. said...

Great year in review. Don't worry about the speed, it is the quality of the experience one has with a book that matters, not how quickly one gets through it.

Frankenstein is a bit of a disappointment. I like it, but it is a let down compared to books like Dracula and Phantom of the Opera.

So glad you enjoyed American Gods so much, it is amazing.

I'm also thrilled that you expanded your reading horizons so much, that is always a good thing to do.

gail@more than a song said...

I really enjoyed Bees too! Wasn't sure I would but it ended up being a really good one for me...I should reread Mockingbird, it is such a good book! And did I hear or did one of my kids tell me, it was the only book she ever wrote?

Chris said...

What a great year in review, Debi! I had such a good time following your reading journeys since the Once Upon a Time Challenge. That's been the greatest thing about this whole blog thing...meeting all these cool people!

And American Gods is your favorite read of the year!!! You know I have a big smile on my face right now :D I'm glad you felt the same way about as me. I'm going to read your review on it now...I'm playing catch up on blogs!