2007 – My Year in Reading

Well, this year was a rather dismal reading year for me,  I think. I never really felt like I hit my proper reading mojo. I’m not quite sure the reason for such an abjectly bad reading year, I mean, it’s not like I managed to put my photos in albums or really improved my yoga practice or cooked a bunch of new meals or anything. I’ll reflect more on my year in another post – I think for the most part it’s been a very, very good one – but I did not spend as much time reading as is normal for me.  Perhaps that’s because, despite my poor record at sending material out, I wrote more? Who knows. It is what it is. But my anemic reading year leaves me at a bit of a loss for doing a count-down, or a year in review, or any other such thing. I read exactly 30 books this year, not counting my current reads (Nigella Lawson’s latest cookbook, and a thriller by T. Jefferson Parker), and gave up on one. So, instead, I thought I would give mentions to some of the books I did read this year. So, without further ado…

Books Read in 2007

1. The only book I’ve ever read where I would actually use the word “delightful” : The Probable Future, Alice Hoffman

2.”Literary fiction” I read because I felt I should, but was pretty sure I’d hate, that I ended up adoring: Gilead,Marilynne Robinson;

3. Social Criticism and satirical book that if I was clever I would have found extraordinarily important, but I am not clever and ended up throwing the book across the room: I am Charlotte Simmons, Tom Wolfe;

4. Book I lent to the most people (A., her mom, her sister, my mom, my mom’s friend, mom’s friend’s daughter): Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

5. Book I most likely would have written under different circumstances:

Julie and Julia, Julia Powell (Crazy unattainable project? Check! The need to blog about it? Check! No compunction about blogging honestly about husband and friends? Check!) 

6. One of my favorite books that stood the test of time: Beach Music, Pat Conroy    

7. Book that made my dad cry because of its beauty, but I just didn’t appreciate: Tijuana Straights, Kem Nunn

8. Scariest book: The Road, Cormac McCarthy

9. Best book I read recommended by a fellow blogger: The Other Side of You, Sally Vickers (Thanks, Litlove!)

10. The one book both S. and I read: The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Michael Chabon

11. Most intriguing book: A Brief History of the Dead, Kevin Brockmeier

12. Hands-down, by far, my absolute favorite book of the year, even though it took forever to read, but still, I wanted to stay in the world forever: The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer  

13. Book that I didn’t enjoy in the beginning, but totally won me over by the end: A Changed Man, Francine Prose

14. Book I just couldn’t, couldn’t, couldn’t make it through: Anna Karenina, Tolstoy

And there you have it. I’m sort of sad, now, reviewing that list…fewer than half made any measurable impression, and some of those weren’t necessarily good impressions. I’m still working on my New Year resolutions, but I can safely say improving the quality AND quantity of my reading will be up there on the list. I’m not fully sure how I’m going to achieve this – it will take some planning and some determination – but achieve it I will. One bad year of reading is forgivable, but  two most certainly is not!

 

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12 Responses to 2007 – My Year in Reading

  1. I’ve just finished The Road and it was scary, but kind of brilliant. And I think it’s more than acceptable to have been writing more than you were reading – that’s MY goal for 2008!

  2. Dorothy W. says:

    Many of the books you list I either have read and loved (Gilead; Eat, Pray, Love) or want to read (The Other Side of You, The Road, Beach Music). It doesn’t sound like the year was TOO bad, since you did read some good books, even if you wanted more. But here’s to a better next year!

  3. yogamum says:

    I am so with you on #2 (brlliant), 4 (loved it) and 8 (that book still makes me shiver!!).

  4. Make Tea Not War says:

    Co-incidentally I just got the Mists of Avalon out of the library. It will be interesting to see if I like it as much as you and so many others do.

  5. Emily Barton says:

    Don’t be hard on yourself. Remember, you had this tough year: job change that didn’t work out, scare about whether or not you could have children, a broken oven (okay, that doesn’t rank up there with the other two, but STILL). Probably the best way to accomplish your reading goals for 2008 will be not to make any sort of resolutions about it. And I completely agree: you could SO have written Julie and Julia.

  6. LK says:

    I love your list. You did great. And next year is a whole new start!

    P.S. I felt the same way, about not getting the reading I wanted done. Plus, I lost my list of books I was reading when I messed up my blog template. On to 2008!

  7. Andi says:

    A delightful year-end review! I’m not familiar with the Francine Prose novel you mentioned, but I’ll check it out since I enjoyed Blue Angel so much when I read it.

  8. Carl V. says:

    So glad to get a comment from someone who has read Brief History of the Dead. I certainly agree with your assessment of its being the ‘most intriguing’ book. It is that. I sit here feeling blown away by the experience of reading it despite the flawed ending. I only wish the ending hadn’t been a let down as it would be an even more incredible book!

  9. Pingback: Stainless Steel Droppings » The Comprehensive 2007 Year In Review

  10. Carl V. says:

    Fortunately I rarely pick up books that I end up not liking…that probably says more about my lack of daring in my reading than anything, but this year I was surprised to find three books to be disappointing and all three were from authors who I know have other very good books. Thankfully all three were mercifully short.

    I love the title comments introducing each of your books, quite fun.

    I’ve used the word ‘delightful’ a few times this year. Yes, indeed I have.

    I definitely agree with The Brief History of the Dead being one of the most intriguing books of the year. I’m still thinking about that one!

  11. Pingback: Some Books I Read in 2007 « Make Tea Not War

  12. litlove says:

    However did I miss this post the first time around? Wonderful selection, Courtney, and I’m SO glad you enjoyed the Vickers. I’ll be bookmarking this and returning to it for further reading ideas in 2008!

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