Saturday, December 31, 2011

Library Loot - 12/31/11

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.   

Starting the New Year with a big 'ole loot of new books to chose from:

New Loot: 
I hope they serve beer in hell / Tucker Max.
Drinking : a love story / Caroline Knapp.
The children in room E4 : American education on trial / by Susan Eaton.
Sugar in my bowl : real women write about real sex / edited by Erica Jong.
Shucked : life on a New England oyster farm / Erin Byers Murray.
Newjack : guarding Sing Sing / Ted Conover.
A personal stand : observations and opinions from a freethinking roughneck / Trace Adkins.

Gracefully insane : the rise and fall of America's premier mental hospital / Alex Beam.
The burn journals / Brent Runyon.
My green manifesto : down the Charles River in pursuit of a new environmentalism / David Gessner.
One small boat : the story of a little girl, lost then found / Kathy Harrison.
This beautiful life : a novel / Helen Schulman.
Wicked : the life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West : a novel / Gregory Maguire.
Twelve / by Nick McDonell.
Dying young / Marti Leimbach.
The Friday night knitting club / Kate Jacobs.
We need to talk about Kevin / Lionel Shriver.
Monster / Walter Dean Myers.
Unmeasured strength / Lauren Manning.
Salvage the bones : a novel / Jesmyn Ward.
The taking of Pelham one two three / by John Godey.
Carry me home / Sandra Kring.
Up from the blue : a novel / Susan Henderson.
The jungle / Upton Sinclair ; with a new afterword by Barry Sears.
One of those hideous books where the mother dies / Sonya Sones.
Under the Watsons' porch / Susan Shreve.
You are not alone : Michael, through a brother's eyes / Jermaine Jackson.
Please look after mom : a novel / Kyung-sook Shin.
The orchard / Theresa Weir.

Leftover Loot:
Handle with care : a novel / Jodi Picoult.
A secret gift : how one man's kindness--and a trove of letters--revealed the hidden history of the G
Salt marsh diary : a year on the Connecticut coast / Mark Seth Lender.
The road / Cormac McCarthy.

Take me home : an autobiography / John Denver with Arthur Tobier. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Year End Survey - 2011

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Graphic created by THE AMAZING Ginger at G-Reads.  

I can't believe that 2011 is just about over!  Its been an interesting year full of craziness and chaos, but also full of exciting changes!

For one, I started my blog in January of this year! Unfortunately, in my learning process I lost my first blog posting. Duh!

Then, I disappeared for a while due to a broken foot and a last minute home purchase.  But finally, I got my stuff together and returned with purpose.  I expanded to Twitter, though I'm just in the beginning stages and really have yet to learn how to use it well. Something to look forward to in 2012!

This year I read a total of 52 books, which is actually a bit lower than previous years. I hadn't really been tracking prior to this year but that is what Shelfari is telling me, so I'm going to believe it.  With the broken foot you'd have thought I would read more not less, but in truth what occurred is I was just as busy working from home, but everything just took twice as much time. So, it was a slower year. Of course, this will help me out with next year's Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge!

So, in review of 2011, here we go:
1. Best Book You Read In 2011? 

I read such an eclectic mix of books, and so many memoirs, its hard sometimes to say one was better than the other. But, if I have to chose one, it would be: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?

The Alchemist by Paul Coelho was a nice book, but it wasn't earth moving. I was also very disappointed in Swamplandia. Lots of folks loved it and I just didn't appreciate it. But the most disappointing of 2011 has to be Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. I was really excited to love it and just couldn't get there. Too old I guess, missed opportunity.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

I really enjoyed Chaz Bono's Transition and Bristol Palin's Not Afraid of Life, but I was most surprised by Rob Lowe's Stories I Only Tell My Friends, so well written and interesting!

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

I didn't do much recommendation this year, but I loved Go The F**k To Sleep by Adam Mansbach and would definitely tell more folks about it if asked!

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?

None, I hate series. My attention span is usually used up at the end of one book. The only series I have gotten all the way through is Harry Potter and I had to do so over years to break them up.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

Laura Hillenbrand, I had not read anything by her and really enjoyed her work.

7.  Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

I don't really have a lot to choose from. Again, my reading tastes are so eclectic but I read Journey Through Heartsongs by Mattie Stepanek, which is basically poetry which I never, ever read. It was pretty enjoyable.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

This is a tie between Room by Emma Donoghue, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, and Zeitoun by Dave Eggers.

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

Rob Lowe's memoir. I was waiting for that one.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

Because I read so many memoirs, I honestly don't pay much attention to covers. But how about:
11. Most memorable character in 2011? 

Lily Owens in The Secret Life of Bees.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

All That Is Bitter or Sweet by Ashely Judd, her memoir was quite moving.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011? 

Nothing, really.

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read? 

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, definitely.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011? 

Hmmm...nothing stands out. I'll have to take better notes in the new year.

16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012? 

I don't reread. I have so many books on my TBR list, there's no time for rereading. But if I had to pick one, I'd likely chose Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Looking Ahead...

1. One Book You Didn't Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012?

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Foer
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?

So many...

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?

Reading -- Increase my numbers. This past year was so crazy I decreased quite a bit. I'd like to get back into a good rhythm and get through some of my TBR list.

Blogging -- Consistency and networking. I need to review regularly and reliably. Also, I am doing my first blog tour, which should be fun and hopefully will increase my readers. 

Also, to comment more. I read folks sites via Google Reader, on my Droid. So I don't find it particularly easy to comment. But I often want to...and I am always reading, but folks just don't know it! I'll have to make more effort to be sure folks know I'm listening!

Here's to a prosperous New Year full of great reading!!
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