Wrapping Up 2011, Looking Forward 2012

Well, here we are again! When I wrote this post in 2010, I had only been using this blog for four months. This time I have an entire year to reflect on. Let’s consider how my book reading went…I took on a goal to read 100 books, as well as a handful of other book challenges which turned out to be a bit more than I could handle! The beginning of the year went well, but there were four months surrounding the Jasper disaster that greatly lacked in book reading followed by the most difficult semester of school I hope to experience. Excuses aside, I did read 76 books which I am satisfied with. Here’s a recap of the challenges I undertook:

  • 100+ Reading Challenge – As mentioned above, I finished 76 books, including just over a dozen rereads. Next year I am confident I will be able to reach 100. I won’t be participating in any official 100+ challenge in 2012 (especially as Amy, the host of the challenge I took on this year, is upping it to 150+ which I am confident I would not be able to achieve :P), but I do have a personal goal of reading more books in 2012 than I read in 2011, the ideal number of which would be 100 😉
  • 2011 Global Reading Challenge – I didn’t think I would come anywhere near completing this challenge, but I pulled it together in December and nearly reached the easy level (one book from each continent – I only made it part of the way in to my books from Africa and South America), even though I had initially signed up for medium. If only I hadn’t gotten carried away with Japanese authors ;P I liked this challenge because it made me expand my reading, so many of the authors I read are just American or British.
  • Memorable Memoirs Reading Challenge, 2011 Edition – Here’s a challenge I completely bombed! When I was browsing challenges back in December 2010, I liked the idea of reading more memoirs and selected some that I had heard of and sounded like must-reads, but I didn’t really have any desire to read the books I’d chosen and sort of ignored them for the entire year…I do plan on reading Girl, Interrupted early in 2012, though.
  • Foodie’s Reading Challenge 2011 – This was my favourite challenge that I participated in. I love reading about food; food plays such an incredibly significant role in our lives and it can be fascinating to read about. I easily completed this challenge, which was nice ;P
  • 2011 TBR Pile Challenge – I have only just noticed that this challenge is supposed to be 12 books, not 10. I managed eight out of ten, thinking ‘Not so bad’ but it’s really eight out of 12. Oops. This is the only official challenge I’ll be taking on again next year, so hopefully I will get it right this time!  This challenge helped me discover some new all-time favourites (1984, Kafka on the Shore, Catch-22) and I very much liked the other books I read as well. I enjoy reading Adam’s blog and look forward to tackling this challenge again.
  • Harry Potter 2011 Book Challenge – Last and, honestly, least, the Harry Potter challenge I took on  and completed in the first part of the year. I felt like it was my duty to reread the series before taking on my duty of watching the final movie. I’m glad I did because I’ve only read each book once, often just at the time of its release, and it was good to give the whole series another shot and reflect on the story.

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve greatly lessened the number of challenges I’ll be taking on in the new year. I found myself thinking ‘Ahh, I need to finish this book so I can read all those other books!’ and focusing too much on just finishing books instead of enjoying them. Also, I felt obliged to read some books that I ended up not really being interested in, all for the sake of meeting a challenge. I set all those goals and just wanted to achievethem which sort of ended up defeating the point of reading so many books. I want to just focus on enjoying whatever I am reading at the moment and not worrying about rushing through a bunch of books. That being said, I will be taking on two TBR challenges because I really do want to work on my TBR list, books I actually do want to read, and I hope these challenges will me help guide me through this. In this spirit, I greatly overhauled my TBR list. I’ve also created a personal Tolkien challenge as a guide to all the Tolkien related books I’ve read bits of or always wanted to read, so I can finally get down to reading them all. The second official TBR challenge I’m taking on is the TBR Double Dare to read only books on my TBR list through January 1 to  March 31. I hope to read 20 books on my list that time, even if I don’t manage to stick strictly to the list.

That summarizes my 2011 and my goals for 2012. I’m looking forward to blogging in the New Year! 🙂

Extra Books – December 25 to 31

  • Everfound by Neal Shusterman
    • Published: May 2011
    • Genre: Young adult fiction (after death story)
    • Why I picked it up: Love the series
    • Rating: 4 stars
    • Challenges: 100+
    • My Thoughts:
      • The first book was relatively juvenile (which is appropriate, given the intended audience), the second book got increasingly dark towards the end and this book, the final in the trilogy, was very very dark and that is part of the reason why I loved it so.
      • What I liked most about this trilogy was the premise and the little quirks and rules of the in-between world of Everlost. The entire trilogy was smartly written, thoughtful, intense and overall a great read.