Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday Salon: And A Booker Prize Winner: December's Accomplishments, January's Goals

New Year's was another laid back occasion for the Boston Bibliophile family; we spent the evening at home with relatives, several of whom are visiting from out of state. It was very nice but I do miss going out to Boston for the First Night festivities. I've had a lot of fun times at concerts, film showings, performances, and just walking around the moonlight New Year's Eve looking at ice sculptures and taking in the scene. But then again, by the time New Year's Eve actually rolls around, oftentimes all I really want to do is have a nice dinner and curl up on the couch anyway.

Reading? I did somewhat poorly in my project to read 2010 releases in December; I enjoyed those I read but I didn't get to too many, mainly because it took me almost the entire month to read David Grossman's wonderful new book. In December I read:
  • The Swimming Pool, by Holly LeCraw,
  • Bad Marie, by Marcy Dermansky,
  • The Finkler Question, by Howard Jacobson,
  • From the Land of the Moon, by Milena Agus, and
  • To the End of the Land, by David Grossman.
I thought about continuing this project through January but have decided to just take January as a "free read" month and just pull some things off my shelf more or less at random. However, since Santa was very nice and brought me several Booker-Prize-winning novels, and since I have stacks of them sitting around, I'm also making a vow to read one Booker Prize winner per month, as the first book I read that month. So, to that end, I'm starting today with Anita Brookner's Hotel du Lac. Then I'm going to find something else. Since there will only be one new Booker Prize winner in 2011 I figure I can't fall too much farther behind.

I'm also working on a blog-improvement project: I'm creating two indices of books I've reviewed, one by author and one by title. The title index will be simple. The author index will take a little time, but I think both will represent a step forward.

How did you do with your December reading? Do you have any plans or reading resolutions for the New Year?

More Sunday Salon here.

UPDATE: The indices are done and are live on the blog! You can see them on the left hand sidebar near the top.

19 comments:

Space Station Mir said...

In answer to your questions, my December reading was a little disappointing, mostly hurriedly finishing up or skimming books for school, then trashy books to pick up the pieces, and I just wrote a whole post answering the second question.

That's a good idea to read one Booker Prize winner a month, you're not overloading any one month, but you'll still have made a dent by the end of the year!

Laura said...

I like your Booker Prize winner idea! I can't wait to see what you choose. Happy New Year !

Michelle said...

Looks like we have similar plans! I have to get a review archive up as well I've just been procrastinating it. UGH, so much work.

Sounds like you had a fantastic new year. Best wishes for a great 2011!

Mystica said...

December reading for me hit an alltime high! I think January is going to be a slump.

nanscorner said...

My reading overall in 2010 was down. My blogging was even worse! I'm hoping to increase both in 2011.

I also had a nice laid back New Year's Eve.

Happy New Year and happy reading!

gautami tripathy said...

I read around 60 books less in 2010 than from 2009! Hope it changes in 2011.

Happy New Year to you and your family. Have a wonderful reading 2011!!!

Here is my Sunday Salon post!

bermudaonion said...

December wasn't a great month for me - reading wise or personally. Good luck with your Booker Prize project.

unfinishedperson.com said...

Free read month: oh, how I miss those. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I'm locked in for a couple of months on my reading plans...and not to be a smart aleck, but you can read about them over on my Sunday Salon post (sorry, they're a little too long to list here).

Nise' said...

Happy New Year!

I thought about organizing by authors too. Could be this year's project.

Biblibio said...

Ah yes, the free-read choice. December always seems to be the most stressful reading month, not so much for lack of time but because it seems like every reader wants to get in a few last kicks before the year ends. Enjoy the freedom (and the new year)!

Amy said...

My December reading was fine though I read a lot of young adult books. I have no set plans for 2011 other than a few reading projects (Year of Feminist Classics, GLBTQ challenge, TBR Dare). All the best to you in 2011 and I hope you have a great one.

Alexia561 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alexia561 said...

New Year's Eve was nice and quiet in our household as well. Sometimes, you just want to spend the time snuggled up on the couch and watch the ball drop in Times Square.

My reading resolutions for 2011 is to break 100 books for the year, and to be more timely with posting my book reviews. Hope to squeeze in more reading time as well.

Happy New Year! :)

Zibilee said...

We also had a rather quiet New years celebration, and it was kind of nice! It sounds like you have a great month ahead and I am impressed with your goal to read more of the Booker winners. I have wanted to do that for a long time now. This year I hope to read more books that are exciting to me, rather than having such a prescribed regimen of ho-hum books. I did start the year off right when I picked up We Have to Talk About Kevin though! I am completely mesmerized with it!!

Vasilly said...

I did okay with my December reading but not as great as I would have liked. I hope January is much better. Have a great week and happy new year!

Kathleen said...

December was a slow reading month for me. I was so rushed to get ready for the holidays after returning from Hawaii. But I'm off to a good start for 2011 and determined to take out plenty of time to read in the new year. The indexes are really useful on your blog. I really need to do some blog improvements this year myself.

bookmagic said...

You had some good reading for December. Glad you finally finished the Grossman book. Bad Marie was so awesome, I wish I could read it again for the first time

Blodeuedd said...

I do like a good index, great work :) Sure makes it easy to find things.

Saw a book winner book at the library, meant to write it down, but forgot, eh, will see it next time :)

AS said...

I made a goal to read one classic or one award-winner per month. any many I have on hand already so I can clean off shelves too.