Friday, January 14, 2011

Reading Last Year, Reading This Year

Those pictures above just make me happy. Like tingly happy.

Since the beginning of the new year, I have bought more books than just about anything (well, I have bought some groceries; but, books have come in a good second place). And, thank goodness, my girls get just as much joy out of buying books as I do (hence, the pictures of them surrounded by piles and piles and PILES of books).

My favorite place to buy books has always been thrift stores (not that I don't enjoy a good Barnes and Noble. I certainly do. I just enjoy being able to buy books for $1.48), but we've recently been blessed with a new bookstore called 2nd & Charles. It's this wonderful used bookstore that literally towers above you, and around you, and inside of you. (The first time we visited, Scout and I went in with no idea of what to expect. Three hours later, we walked out still reeling. And with our arms overflowing with books.)

So, I have a ton of books on my metaphorical bedside table (because the really don't all reside there; they're all over the place) that I have bought from this new store, and from B &N, and from the thrift store (just had a productive shopping visit there today). I can't wait to experience each and every one of these books.

With that thought, I wanted to share a few recollections of my favorite books from the last year and some insights into what I'm planning on reading this year.

And, since I could go on and on and on about these books, I think I'll just provide you with a few short lists instead.

Favorite books I read last year--

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. (I jumped on the HG bandwagon a little late, but the hoopla was true. This young adult thriller--and the rest of the trilogy? Excellent!)

2. Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott. (Lamott inspires me like no other writer. Her "radical" thoughts on Christianity get me going every time!)

3. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. (It's always good to revisit a classic--especially if you never read it in the first place. All the references to Alice on "Lost" made me go check it out a little late.)

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. (It's also always good to revisit Harry, as I did this year in anticipation of the latest movie. The re-reading reminded me of why this is my favorite Harry book of them all, and in my Top 10 books of all time.)

5. Aunt Dimity's Death by Nancy Atherton. (I love discovering a new mystery series and author and this was my 2010 discovery. I love, love, love this character and this series.)

6. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. (This was my token can't-put-it-down and I-stayed-up-all-night-until-I-finished-reading-it addition to this year's list. Gothic and atmospheric, and oh so good!)

7. Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner. (Sydney and I read Skippyjon Jones and all the ensuing books in the Skippyjon Jones series more times than I can even think of counting. These books about a siamese cat who thinks he's a chihauhua is fantastic, and an extra benefit is that you get to read them in your best Spanish accent.)

Favorite books I've read since 2011 started two weeks ago--

1. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. (Young adult, paranormal, picked as Amazon's best YA book of the year. Just plain fun, and I can't wait to get the sequel.)

2. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. (I'm not sure why I've never actually read this book before now, since people have raved and recommended it to me so many times. Labeled as "nonreligious thoughts on Christian spirituality," this is right up my alley. And the writing is beautiful.)

3. The Lost Encyclopedia by various editors. (The tv show "Lost" was and will always remain my greatest obsession, so I've been sucking in all the minutia in this huge tome. And I have loved it!)

Books I can't wait to read this year--

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. (As I do each year, I will re-read my favorite all over again.)

2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle. (I recently realized--after I found a gorgeous hardback copy at the used bookstore--that the last time I read this classic was when I was in the fourth grade. I think it's time to read it again.)

3. A bunch more young adult books. (For some reason, young adult literature really strikes me lately as some of the best written stuff out there.)

4. The Bible by You Know Who. (As always, I'm gonna do my best and read it more than I did the year before.)

5. All those books in the above pictures. And a lot more than that.

And now you know the drill...

I would LOVE to know what books you read and loved last year. And I'd love to know what's on your to-read list for this next year.


Phats said...

I absolutely LOVED the hunger game series!! I am definitely planning on re-reading them at some point probably before the movie comes out. Literally could not put them down

Love that you read mockingbird over every year! A wrinkle in time is one of my favorites as well

I got a ton of new books for Christmas I am currently reading a John Saul book, I have a lot of Patterson's to get thru and eventually going to start King's Under the Dome. As for last year besides the Hunger Games, my sister turned me onto an author Mary Jane Clark loved her books as well. Great post on one of my fav topics, I might have to steal this idea :)

Anonymous said...

I just read a wonderful book entitled Look Again. It was absolutely fabulous! One of the best books I've read in a very long time.

hippo chick said...

Cheryl, I love, love, love Annie LaMott. My daughter met her some years ago and said she is so cool. She inspires me to write.

I did like Blue Like Jazz when I read it a few years back. I think I'll pull it out again.

I want to read the new book by the author of The Memory Keeper's Daughter. I have Jan Karon's latest on my "metaphorical" bedside table too.

I think I'll do a blog about the books of 2010. Thanks for the inspiration, as always.

~hippo hugs~

Phats said...

How about Bama beating Kentucky HELLO!! :) thanks for the slight RPI bump

Andy said...

i want to read the hunger games and can't believe that i haven't yet
loved a wrinkle in time
i think i may have read it this year or maybe last year. i just have a paper back copy but jealous of your description of your hard back (vintage/older) one.
thought about reading the thirteenth tale, must get it now.
i'm reading the girl with the dragon tatoo but with an 8month old and a 3 and a half year old reading time is limited since my 2011 goal is to read the bible in a year. i've read it through before since i went to bible college and read it for classes but i have to say that i have never read it all the way through on my own. embarrassed. can't wait to hear how you like your 2011book choices