Daily Archives: December 17, 2011

Looking Forward to 2012

I love the start of a new year – I would even go so far as to say my favorite day of the year is January 1st. I like looking back at what I accomplished, and then planning ahead – especially when it comes to books and reading. Here are my goals, plans, and general ruminations for 2012:

Fewer Time Restricted Challenges

I found in 2011 that I did not miss the reading challenges. I like reading from the literary prize lists. I don’t like deadlines. BUT, I do have one project in 2012 which will encourage me to not only read from my TBR stacks, but will get some books crossed off the lists. I belong to some perpetual challenges which have no time restrictions (The Orange Prize Project, The Complete Booker, The Pulitzer Project, Read the Nobels, The Notable Book Challenge and Reading the World – Africa, South America, North AmericaEurope, Australia/Oceania, and Asia) and I will continue with these. I also host The Chunkster Challenge (along with Vasilly), and I will be joining that challenge in 2012. But, except for The Chunkster, and my personal reading from the Literary Prizes – there will be no time restricted reading projects for 2012.

Reading MORE Books:

I found that in 2011 I spent a lot of time on the computer. More time than I really wanted to spend. Most of that time was non-productive. Even still, I will read nearly 100 books in 2011. It got me thinking – what if I curtailed my online time even more and focused that time on reading? I want to try to do this in 2012…and so my goal is going to be to read 10 books a month – or 120 books. If I reach this goal, it will be the most books I have ever read in a single year.

Accepting Fewer Review Books:

Something has to give. I am awash in review books. I am really bad at saying “no” but I am getting better. I probably get close to twenty book review requests per week. I get numerous unsolicited books sent to me as well as those that I have agreed to receive. Many look wonderful. But, I simply cannot read all these books. So, I am establishing a strict criteria in 2012: once I have accepted four books for any given month (based on their release date), I will say “no” to everything else. I admit, this will be my hardest goal to achieve. I know I will still get unsolicited review books – but I have no obligation to read those…and my plan will be to either give away or donate many of these books. I have already made changes to my Review Policy here…and at this moment I am not accepting any books whose publishing date is prior to April 2012. I am really hoping that this will allow me to catch up on reviews from 2011, while keeping the influx of new books under control.

Participating in Book Club Reads

In 2011, I re-discovered the joy of book club reading. I plan to continue this into 2012. I belong to Bookies Too Yahoo Group and love their selections. I am also loving Nicole and Jen’s BOOK CLUB which reads and discusses one book a month (subscribe to their blogs to get updates on what they are reading and to sign up to receive a free book). I will continue to participate monthly in that. Also, I am really excited about the newly created Chunky Book Club which Vasilly and I are hosting over on The Chunkster Challenge blogwe’ve started a poll to vote for the books we’ll read in 2012 and I hope you’ll consider joining us! As far as other book club reads, I will pick and choose as things come up in 2012 – I’m watching Erin Reads Reading Buddies group and would love to know of more such groups. Do you participate in on line book club discussions?

Orange January and Orange July

Jill at The Magic Lasso is my partner in crime over at The Orange Prize Project – and she hosts Orange January and Orange July every year (check out this post about what is happening in January). I love any excuse to read books from the Orange Prize lists…and Jill makes it fun with daily posts on the Facebook Page and weekly giveaways of some terrific books. I’ll be participating for both months.

The BEA and BBC in June 2012

I am planning on going! I am VERY excited about getting to New York City this year and meeting up with other bloggers, publicists, authors, and friends. This takes a lot of planning and some financial balancing, but I think I will pull it off. How about you? Are you going to BEA in 2012? What about the BBC?

Booktopia in Santa Cruz in October 2012

Have you heard about Booktopia which is hosted by Books on the Nightstand? There are three retreats planned in 2012: Manchester, VT; Oxford, MS; and Santa Cruz, CA. Trish from Hey Lady! Watcha Readin’? tipped me off and I am planning on going for a weekend of books and connecting with friends. What about you? If you are going to Santa Cruz, please let me know!


I will be participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon – hopefully in both April and October. I will also be watching for other Read-a-thons which will help me reach my goal of 120 books in 2012!

Other Bookish Events in the Blog-o-Sphere

I follow many, many blogs and am always eager to join in with bookish events such as Book Blogger Appreciation Week and Bloggiesta – so I’ll be keeping an eye out for what is happening out there and will continue to be involved as much as possible.

What Will You See on My Blog in 2012?

  • Lots of book reviews – especially literary fiction, my favorite genre
  • Book Giveaways
  • Book Tours of selected books
  • Mailbox Monday weekly posts (as books arrive at my house)
  • Sunday Salon weekly posts
  • General literary opinion about books, blogging, authors, and everything in between
  • My quilts – I plan on continuing to design and make quilts in 2012 and will share them with you (check out my quilt pages)
  • Raven – you know me, I love talking about my dog!
  • Movie Reviews – I have been getting some movies for review lately, and I hope to continue doing some selected movie reviews in 2012. My focus will be on movies inspired by books.
  • Occasional personal posts about things of which I think you might be interested (travel, special events, memes, etc…)

Is there anything you would like to see here that I have not mentioned? Let me know and I will see if I can accommodate your interests!

2011 Memorable Memoirs Challenge – COMPLETED!

January 1 – December 31, 2011

December 16, 2011: I have completed this challenge! Many thanks to Melissa for hosting. Follow the links below to read my reviews of the books I read for the challenge.


Once again Melissa at The Betty and Boo Chronicles is hosting The Memorable Memoir Challenge – a challenge that introduced me to looks of awesome books in 2010. So, it was a no brainer to do this one again. Melissa writes:

About the Challenge: If you enjoy reading memoirs or really haven’t explored them as much as you’d like to, then this is the challenge for you.  Anything that in your mind qualifies as a memoir will meet the challenge requirements. Letters, diaries, autobiographies, books on writing memoirs … in my book, they all count as Memorable Memoirs.  Books, e-books, audiobooks are all fine.

Requirements:  It’s up to you!  I want this to be a fun and low-key challenge, yet one that will be worthwhile of your valuable reading time. If that means reading one memoir, that’s great.  If that means reading three dozen, even better.  You decide what works for you.  Overlaps with other challenges are more than fine … even encouraged.

Sign ups are here.

Review link ups coming soon.

I’ve learned from past experience that I should not overextend on challenges. So I’m planning to read SIX books for this challenge. I’ll list them as I go…

  1. The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure – COMPLETED April 22, 2011; rated 4/5; read my review.
  2. The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown – COMPLETED June 18, 2011; rated 5/5; read my review.
  3. The River of Forgetting by Jane Rowan – COMPLETED September 1, 2011; rated 4/5; read my review.
  4. Love at First Bark by Julie Klam – COMPLETED October 22, 2011; rated 4/5; read my review.
  5. Maman’s Homesick Pie by Donia Bijan – COMPLETED December 8, 2011; rated 4/5; read my review.
  6. The Puppy That Came for Christmas by Megan Rix – COMPLETED December 16, 2011; rated 3.5/5; read my review.