Monday, January 10, 2011

Things I learnt from reading in 2010

It's already the second week of January and most people are firmly looking forward to all the good things 2011 will bring.

Me? I'm looking back and taking stock of my literary life in the year just been.

Here's what I learnt...

  1. I managed a paltry 52 books in 52 weeks. While that is always my stated aim for a year, it's not necessarily the aim I have gnawing away in my tiny little brain. Must try harder, if only because I can't afford to lose too many more brain cells to the aim muncher.
  2. My love for Animal Lit continues unabated; in fact I am in danger of becoming a one trick pony at the moment, so heavy is my reading diet in this genre. Part of me thinks "man cannot live by bread alone" while the other part thinks "screw it, if you enjoy it, why not?" I'll let you know which voice wins.
  3. Speaking of enjoyment, late 2010 saw me regain reading purely for fun - and what a relief it was. Don't get me wrong I love reading and reviewing books and nothing gives me more of a thrill than hearing someone say they have read one of my reviews and decided to grab their a copy, I just needed a break and a chance to read what I want, when I want. I'm still relishing that freedom.
  4. I rediscovered the joys of the library! Not only did I get a job in one - and could you ask for a better job for a bookophile? - I actually began using it...but if I am truthful not without some initial resistance. I'm a creature of habit okay? And also, I LOVE having my own copies of books, to look at them all pretty on my shelves and to lend to people and share the love. But libraries! All those endless, wonderful options - for free! Pretty soon I became like all the other staff members, with a maxed out card, reserve list heaving. I even roped my non-reading boyfriend in to getting a card so I could get even more books out at a time!
  5. Just as 2009 saw me saying goodbye to chick lit (with exceptions of course), 2010 saw me saying goodbye to something too, or more accurately someone: Jodi Picoult. I think I am done with her as a "must read" author. I really enjoyed her earlier books; they were fresh and original, tautly written with great emotional depth. But I think Ms Picoult may be suffering from creative fatigue. Her latter books seem to be recycling ideas from earlier ones, they lack their predecessors pace and punch and are crying out for a fiercer edit. Just my humble opinion of course.
  6. I still love a good young adults novel...
  7. ...and books set in the Southern US during the Black Civil Rights era.
  8. Sometimes it pays to believe the hype. I've got this natural resistance to anything that gets too popular; like I'm suspicious of anything the masses like - snobby huh?!? But then along came my most amazing read in 2010 - Room by Emma Donoghue. I cannot recommend this book enough and it was so deserving of its many accolades. Funnily enough though, I have not been even slightly tempted to read Donoghue's previous six novels. Maybe something to rectify in 2011...?
  9. As much as I tried to, I am not a crime/thriller fan. Stieg Larsson's Girl With The Dragon Tattoo scared me and squimmed (yes, that's a word :P) me to much to derive any pleasure from it. But I still love the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay. Go figure.
  10. Sometimes remakes don't spoil the original; I loved the faithful and tender handling of the beloved Winnie the Pooh series by David Benedictus in his Return to the Hundred Acre Wood. It gives me great hope for British actor Emma Thompson's proposed addition to the Peter Rabbit stories originally by Beatrice Potter due out in 2012.
  11. And lastly, I still don't do vampires that sparkle. Not even a little. :P


/fish said...

I'm listening to "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" for my commute audiobook at the moment... absolutely loving Larsson's precise use of language and carefully plotted dialogue. Not up to any nasty bits, although it's usually only when such bits are clearly gratuitous that I won't like them.

I love, love, love that sweet innocent slaughterfest that is our Dexter.

Heather said...

11. Me either!

Café Chick said...

A book a week is still impressive! I makes my leisurely goal of at least one book a month pale in comparison. I really enjoyed reading a couple of books for pleasure (as opposed to work) over the holidays and hope 2011 will bring more of that for me. I have always been the ultimate library chick. I think that working in one would make the heaving pile of books by my bed well and truly fall over!

Katie said...

Awesome post! And happy reading in 2011 :-)

Diana said...

I am green with envy that you work in a library. I too am a recent library addict made worse when I volunteered there last year when I was "between jobs." It took me forever to shelv books because I would stop to read the book summaries (or whatever you call it). Good luck with your 2011 reading goals!