Saturday, December 31, 2011

Farewell and Good Riddance to 2011

To say that 2011 has been a year I would not want to relive is a real understatement. It has been a very hard year for my family (although I must admit that it brought us even closer and served to remind us of how much we love each other) and it has ended with a professional quarter of the year that has turned my life upside down. On the first score, we are expecting nothing but good news in 2012 and on the second score, I'm hoping to have changed my work life soon to get a balance back in my life that includes having time for my family and doing the things I love (including blogging!).

My reading numbers were down considerably in 2011; I don't think that I'll hit 75 books read this year. I did succeed, to some extent, with the goals I set for my reading for the year. I managed to complete about half of my challenges this year but I largely blame my lack of success here on my inability to find the time to read for the past three months so I can live with that. I did read a lot more non-fiction this year and definitely increased the number of books set outside of the U.S. or written by non-U.S. authors (the fairy tale and myth reading certainly helped with this one!).  Given that I had read almost no historical fiction in 2010, that was another goal I met in 2011 even though I only managed to read ten historical fiction novels.

I read a lot of books I liked a lot in 2011 but very few that I would say I truly loved. Surprisingly, the vast majority of the books I loved were written by men, certainly a change over previous years. My top books of 2011 were:

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

Safe From The Sea by Peter Geye

The Coffins of Little Hope by Timothy Shaffert

The March by E.L. Doctorow

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Man In The Rockefeller Suit by Mark Seal

Cocktail Hour Under The Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller

Instant City by Steve Inskeep

This Republic of Suffering by Drew Gilpin Faust

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn

For 2012, I'm hoping to get things turned around, reading wise. Some of my goals will remain the same, fewer challenges will be undertaken but mostly I hope to find more time for reading again in 2012. It brings a sense of calm to my life that has been sorely missing of late. And I miss getting to talk to all of you, so more time for blogging must be made in the coming year!

What was your favorite book in 2011? What are you looking forward to in 2012?

Wishing you all a very happy new year!

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