Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New (Reading) Year!

After an unintended lengthy break from posting, I'm back at work and raring to go for 2008. I had a great holiday with family and friends and even managed to stay on my diet (sort of). I didn't gain anything, which I consider a success. However, I do have one regret. I didn't quite end the reading year with a bang. As usual, with almost two weeks off work, I was looking forward to reading several books. I had them all picked out, and I couldn't wait to get started. But, it never happened. I'm not sure why. Yes, there was Christmas shopping to finish and gifts to wrap, and decorating to be done, and knitting to finish -- well, you get the picture. But, that still doesn't explain it. I'm always busy, but when I'm working I seem to still find time to read. I read at lunch, I read in the evenings before bed. I always carry a book with me to read in case I'm stuck waiting somewhere. I'm one of those people who can't just sit and do nothing. So, you would think being out of work, I'd be able to get a great deal of reading time in. But, it never happens that way. I guess I just function more efficiently on a schedule. I wanted to read 50 books this year, which is a pretty meager goal considering the staggering number of books some of you read. I was sure I would make it, too. But, I didn't. I read 42 books in 2007. I've never really kept up with the number before so I don't really know if that is typical or not. It was really difficult to choose a favorite book for the year. If I don't like something after a few chapters, I usually give it up. So, if I stick with it, that means I liked it. I was able to narrow it down to a tie for my favorite. Taking a cue from some of the rest of you, here are some of my reading statistics for 2007:

Favorite Book (It's a tie -- couldn't choose just one):
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
The Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin

Top 5 Books (not counting the above and not in any particular order):
1. Cross Creek by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
2. The Water's Lovely by Ruth Rendell
3. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
4. The Lost Mother by Mary McGarry Morris
5. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

Number of Fiction vs. Non-Fiction Books:
36 Fiction Books
6 Non-fiction Books

Books in Series:
Sunday Philosophy Club
by Alexander McCall Smith
The Sunday Philosophy Club (this was a re-read for book club)
The Careful Use of Compliments

Knitting Mystery by Maggie Sefton
Knit One, Kill Two
A Killer Stitch
Needled to Death
A Deadly Yarn

A Mobile Library Mystery by Ian Sansom
The Mobile Library: The Case of the Missing Books
Mr. Dixon Disappears

Professor Dr. von Igelfeld by Alexander McCall Smith
Finer Points of Sausage Dogs
Portuguese Irregular Verbs
At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances

The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber
The Shop on Blossom Street
A Good Yarn
Back on Blossom Street

Funniest Book:
A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

Saddest Book:
For One More Day by Mitch Albom

This is just a partial list, but doing this has helped me remember just how much I enjoyed many of these books. Hopefully, I'll find time to read more in 2008. I certainly added some great new books to the tbr pile, including all five of the John Dunning Bookman series and the new Ken Follett, World Without End.


Tara said...

The Thirteenth Tale and The Handmaid's Tale are favorites of mine as well. I'll be rereading the latter in 2008 for bookclub. Nice to see you back!

Lisa said...

Thanks, Tara. It's nice to be back! I hope you have a great 2008!!

Stefanie said...

Nice stats! I love reading everyone's year-end round ups! Happy New Year and happy reading!

Lisa said...

Thanks, Stefanie! I hope you have a great year, as well.

Jill said...

Lisa! It was great to hear from you on my blog! I just checked our LT stats, and we are up to 58 common books. =)

Therefore, I wasn't surprised that we shared a top book: The Thirteenth Tale! I loved that story. I have Cross Creek on
my 2008 reading list (because I am using it for three reading challenges). I am glad to see you enjoyed it.

But I have to check out your other favorite book. I haven't heard of it, and I bet I will like it if you did!

Happy New Year!
Jill (aka mrstreme)

BooksPlease said...

Happy New Year. I like your analysis. I'm still thinking of my favourite book of last year and like you I'm finding it very difficult. The Mistress of the Art of Death is one of the contenders.

Lisa said...

Jill, Cross Creek was a really great read. I read far more fiction than non-fiction, but Cross Creek reads like a novel. It is a memoir of the time that Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings spent in Florida. It is funny, sad, compelling and more. I read it for a face to face book club, and I'm so glad I did. I probably wouldn't have picked it up otherwise.

You have to read Mistress of the Art of Death! It is very well-written. I absolutely loved it. Historical fiction, especially with women protagonists, is one of my favorite genres. The protagonist is investigating the deaths of local children. The ending is quite intense.

Iliana said...

Happy New Year Lisa! Mistress of the Art of Death was a good read. One of these days I will read something by Christopher Moore!
It's so funny, I've been unemployed for 3 months now and I totally expected to be in a reading frenzy but it still hasn't happened. Something always comes up so I'm not actually reading more than before. Weird isn't it. Ah well, it looks like you had a great reading year so wishing you lots of good books in 2008!

Paula said...

Our numbers are practically identical. I read 43 books. Of those there were 9 non-fiction. We were building a house and I did use quite a few books on house-building but didn't count those. I am a big fan of Alexander McCall Smith and have read everything he's written except the latest Ladie's Detective book. Although my blog is primarily knitting I'm going to list some of my favorites as well. I've also written down a few of your books on my "to read" list. I also purchased The Literature Lover's Book of Lists that you recommended.

Lisa said...

iliana, I know exactly what you're talking about. I think it's when we're the busiest that we crave stealing moments during the day to read. A Dirty Job is the only Moore book that I've read. I definitely plan on reading some more. I think his books are funny, fast reads when you want something a little different. Wishing you a great reading year, as well!

Lisa said...

Paula, that's pretty wild that our numbers are so close. I enjoy visiting your blog because it is about knitting. I keep thinking I may start a separate knitting blog since I try to use this one to encourage reading as an outreach for our library. Oh, well there are only so many hours in a day! I absolutely adore Alexander McCall Smith, obviously. I love his sense of humor probably more than anything else. I'll be looking forward to seeing your list of favorites, as well. Thanks for stopping by.

Dewey said...

The Thirteenth Tale was so close to being my favorite book! But when I made up my favorites post, I decided that Half of a Yellow Sun was more "important" since it portrayed war so well, and chose it. I really did enjoy them both about the same, though.

Unlike you, I amazed myself with how much I read over break. I swear if I didn't have a job I could read like 600 books a year! ;)

Lisa said...

Yeah, you read so much more than I did. I don't know how you have time to do anything else. I'm impressed. I haven't read Half of a Yellow Sun, which I'll have to pick up. Thanks!

Gentle Reader said...

I love Cross Creek, it's one of my all-time favorites, especially since my mom is from near that area of Florida. Glad you liked it!

Anonymous said...

One of the things I love about readers is just how different we are. I loved the Ariana Franklin (Diana Norman, I discovered) but really couldn't stand the Setterfield. There's just no predicting what's going to appeal, is there? By the way, I'm trying not to be jealous that you still have the Dunning to read. There not easy to get hold of in the UK, but definitely worth the effort.

Lisa said...

It is funny how different books appeal to different people. I think sometimes it has a lot to do with what's going in life at the moment and what mood I'm in, etc. I'm looking forward to the Dunning books! Thanks for stopping by.