The true university these days is a collection of books.
-Thomas Carlyle

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Looking back and looking forward...

It has been quite a year, ups and downs with a whole 2 months not reading at all, but some great books along the way. I did beat my total books read from last year nevertheless, with 18 books completed in 2012. One of those was a graphic novel and 2 were non-fiction books which is 3 down on last year. The ratio of male and female authors was exactly equal with 9 each, so many more female writers than last year. This is always coincidental however and the sex of the author does not drive what I read. There was one set of short stories all by the same author (Dubliners by James Joyce).

The Nationalities of authors was as follows...
English - 7
USA - 5
Swedish - 2
Irish - 1
Norwegian - 1
Chinese/American - 1
Australian - 1
The genres of the books read during 2012 were as follows...
Modern Fiction - 2
Natural World (non-fiction)- 2
Childrens - 2
Horror/Ghost Story - 1
English Victorian Drama - 1
Dystopian - 1
Semi-autobiographical - 1
Family Biography - 1
Family Drama - 1
Humourous Fiction - 1
Graphic Novel - 1
Thriller - 1
Play/Drama - 1
American History/Wild West - 1
- 2 titles were prizewinners
- 2 titles were known classics
- 4 of the titles were first works by new authors
Favourite Reads during 2012 were...
We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist
The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
Notes From Walnut Tree Farm by Roger Deakin
Oldest and Newest...
Oldest - Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, 1847
Newest - Harry Hop-Pole by Wispy Gorman, Nov 2011
Favourite Cover Design...
I would say the Oxford World Classics edition of Wuthering Heights depicted the mood of the book just right for me. The picture of the desolate moors provided the perfect atmospheric cover.
Unexpected disappointment...
The Lost And Forgotten Languages Of Shanghai by Ruiyan Xu
Favourite Character...
John Grady Cole from All The Pretty Horses. An old fashioned style hero with timeless qualities but still very human.

Challenges for 2012...
My 8 resolutions (and their results in red) were:-

1. To not buy any new books, only acquiring them as gifts, borrowing, or second hand if I have to. This is to get my TBR pile under control and tied in with The TBR Double Dare run by Ready When You Are, C.B.
TBR Double Dare was completed and passed as was the rest of this challenge for the year.
2. To read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte Completed March 2012

3. To read 1 or 2 titles that came up during our lit hol discussions
Completed The Summer Book by Tove Jansson in April, which came up in our Jane Austen holiday in Hampshire in 2010.
Completed The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad in July, which was my lucky dip title from CS on our Thomas Hardy holiday in Dorset in 2011.

4. To read 3 literary articles and blog about them (Uncompleted)

5. To compare 3 book to film stories
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (Feb post)
We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (March post)

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald (June post)

6. To read at least one dystopia novel
Completed The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist in March 2012

7.To read the Zola I have wanted to read since 2009 (this is the 3rd year it has made it on this list and still uncompleted - sigh)

8.To read another George Eliot if possible (Uncompleted but being transferred to next year)

About the same as last year. As I say, these are guidelines for the year and not set in stone.

There are also the books recommended by my work colleagues which I have marked in red if completed. We only have to read at least one of the 3.
AR - The Dubliners by James Joyce, Seize the Day by Saul Bellow and August: Osage County by Tracy Letts
BD - The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Trick or Treat by Richie Tankersley Cusick and Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer

So how about 2013...
1. Read another classic American novel
2. Find second hand copies of
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
Under The Greenwood Tree and/or The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
3. Read another novel by George Eliot
4. Read a detective mystery
5. Read one or two titles that came from our literary holidays
6. Read at least one title acquired in a Book Swap at work
7. Read a book associated with a previous World Book Night event.
8. Read a prizewinner, either Man Booker Prize or Orange prize for literature, or similar.

I would also like to continue not buying any new books and try to beat this years total books read. I will let you know how I get on. There may be the possibility of another literary weekend later in the year but I will need to see how the year pans out.

Wishing you All The Best for 2013 with lots of reading time with some fantastic books.

No comments:

Hay on Wye

Hay on Wye