Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Autumn Wrap-up

This quarter marked the start of a second round of the Read 75 Books challenge on LibraryThing. I completed the first 75 just at the end of June and immediately embarked on another round. I like to track things monthly, but haven’t been doing a particularly good job of wrapping up. So….before I get too far down the road on the last quarter of the year, here’s a wrap-up of how I’m doing on my goals:

Goals and results:
Continue to read in the US Presidents Challenge group. Well….I did check another JQA audio out of the library but then returned it after the first 15 minutes (awful – I can’t even remember the author!), and I did download a brand-new ebook bio of John Quincy Adams by Harlan Unger. Just out in Sept . I so enjoyed his Monroe bio that when I saw this one coming, I decided to wait for it.

Reading ARCs...Let's count on 3-4 /month. Finished this one and then some. I started to list them, then realized that of the 40 books I've read in the last 3 months, 12 of them were advanced review copies and many of them were among the best I've read this year.

Read biographies ---this genre (along with memoirs) is one of my favorites, and I was hoping to read at least one bio/memoir per month.. I didn't quite make it. The only one I managed was the very forgettable That Woman (bio of Wallace Simpson, Duchess of Windsor) by Anne Sebba.

•  I'll be reading lots of mysteries - no brainer.....my favorites. At least 3-5 each month. Definitely did OK here - 22 read and mostly enjoyed. I celebrated my history/mystery theme of the year by resolving to re-read all of Louise Penny's wonderful Three Pines/Chief Inspector Gamache series. I've read them all once, and am currently on #6 of the 8. Wonderful reads. I also completed Colin Cotterill's Dr. Siri series, and have only 3 more to read in Andrea Camilleri's Commissario Montalbano series.

I'm doing a lot more fiction and loving it.  In addition to the mysteries, there were nine fantastic fiction works! A great mix of new and old:
Pocketful of Names by Joe Coomer
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach
and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce head the list.

•   Also since I'm a Maine librarian, albeit a transplant "from away", I'm trying to do more reading of some of our great Maine authors . These have been fun to discover, and I'll be adding more to the list. The aforementioned Joe Coomer was one of the best in this group, but I need to do some more.

•  Book clubs ....Our library has a monthly read and we did Pocketful of Names, Packing for Mars, and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. Each one a stand-out.

•  I was planning on more miscellaneous non-fiction. These are always fun, because I love to read good history, culture, food, just to name a few. But.... Except for Packing for Mars and The Parties Versus the People by Mickey Edwards, it looks like I haven't finished much in this category. However, I'm still slowly absorbing In the Shadow of the Sword about the rise of Islam and want to finish it before getting back to my final goal:

•  My only "challenge" this year is participating in a group called War Through the Generations where we'll be reading (fiction and non-fiction) focused on World War I.  This has been really interesting-- I've read 11 so far and plan at least another 6. I didn't get anything read on this category - got too immersed in real life, current political wars, and comfy escapist mysteries. I do want to read three of my original stack before the year is out.

Best of the quarter:

Fiction: (in no particular order)
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Pocketful of Names
More than Sorrow
The Song of Achilles

Non-fiction: can't pick a best since I only really read one (the other was a re-read).

Later this week, I'll set out some end of year goals. In the meantime, my nook and my MP3 and the pool are calling....


  1. I'm amazed at the amount of reading you do, and having a job!! I'll bet you don't watch tv, right? That is my 'downfall.' I love too many shows, and then there are the old shows I'm catching up with on Netflix Instant and movies, and well, you see. There goes the evening. :<)

    1. You're right Nan, I don't watch much TV except for big sporting events like the World Series. We watch some Masterpiece Theatre, and watch maybe one movie a month. Netflix makes lotss of money off us because we get the movie and it sits there for weeks before we get time to watch it...

      I do often listen to audio books while a sports show is on...I can watch the action with the set on mute, and even get some cross-stitch done at the same time.


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