Book(ish) Ends

December 23, 2013

I did it! I completed both the reading challenges I joined in 2013. 

I got off to a strong start with my Mount TBR challenge, and actually read more than 24 books from my own shelves, but the rules said I could count only those books that were on my shelf prior to Jan. 1, 2013. I continued to buy books throughout the year (possibly ending up with more than I started with—I’m afraid to count) and read quite a few of those during 2013, too. I will continue to read from my shelves in 2014, but I’ve resigned myself to the fact that the only way I’ll be able to make any real headway in reducing the stacks will be if I put myself on a book-buying fast for a few months. I may do this, though I know I’ll find it quite painful!

While I came it at “just” 24 (my goal) for the Mount TBR challenge, I exceeded my goal for the Vintage Mystery Challenge. It was so much fun! I loved the different categories, with names like “Colorful Crime” (“a book with a color or reference to color in the title”) or “Country House Criminals” (“a standard—or not so standard—Golden Age country house murder”). I plan to join 2014’s Vintage Mystery Challenge, which has a Bingo theme. (Click here for a complete list of the books I read for each challenge.)

I’m down to two books left to finish for my year-end reading, Personal Pleasures and Wherever You Go, There You Are. I don’t think I’ll finish them by the end of the year, but you never know. I plan to take the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day to relax and do some extra reading

Other than the two books mentioned above, what will I be reading? I’m so glad you asked!

I went a little crazy with the library holds, which, of course, all came in at the same time. (I don’t expect to finish all these within my three-week borrowing period—I’m sure several of them will have to be renewed.)

Here is the book bounty:

Unpacking My Bookshelves—Writers and Their Books, Leah Price. I can hardly think of a more appealing book to a nosy book fiend like me. This book will probably inspire a post all on its own. 

The Heroine’s Bookshelf, Erin Blakemore. I’ve only just flipped through this book, but already I wish I had written it.  

Thin Is the New Happy, Valerie Frankel.  I’m already halfway through this memoir of Frankel’s efforts to “exorcise her bad body-image demons, to uncover the truths behind what put them there, and to learn how to truly love herself.” 

Ten Dollar Dinners, Melissa D’Arabian. I am always looking for creative and inexpensive ways to feed the family. 

The Myths of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky. Subtitled: What Should Make You Happy, but Doesn't, What Shouldn't Make You Happy, but Does.” I’m looking forward to reading this book that “empowers readers to look beyond their first response, sharing scientific evidence that often it is our mindset—not our circumstances—that matters most.”

Why We Ride: Women Writers on the Horses in Their Lives, edited by Verna Dreisbach. I can’t wait to read this collection of essays exploring the ways horses have enriched the lives of the contributors, including Jacqueline Winspear, author of the Maisie Dobbs mysteries. With an introduction by Jane Smiley.

You’re probably wondering where the fiction is. I’m already reading Every Secret Thing by Susanna Kearsley, and I’ll pick something else from my own overloaded shelves when I finish that. 

So you see I’ll have plenty to occupy me as the 2013 reading year comes to an end. I’m looking forward to curling up with a cup of tea or coffee and immersing myself in some of these.

What are your plans for year’s end, reading or otherwise?

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  1. Congrats on reaching your goals. I reached my goal in my Revolutionary War reading challenge too, but didn't manage to do much with my sketchbook challenge this year for some reason. I think I'm going to take next year off from challenges, although I will of course continue to read; how could I not? I'm reading Cloud Atlas right now, at my son's recommendation. I think I like it, but I'm not sure yet. I'm only about 65 pages in and it's 509 pages.

  2. Congratulations on finishing the challenges and meeting your goals! Good luck in 2014!

  3. Thanks, Cheryl. I bet you enjoyed your visit to Boston in relation to your Revolutionary War read along. Have you seen the movie made from Cloud Atlas? I haven't yet, and wonder if it would be better to read the book first.

  4. Hi, Bev--Thanks for the congratulations! I enjoyed the challenge as always and plan to join the 2014 Bingo challenge, too.

  5. Yay--it always feels good to know you accomplished one of your reading goals (more than one as the case is here!). I am looking forward to picking up a vintage mystery soon. Happy Holidays Kathy! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy reading from your library pile!!

  6. I haven't seen the movie yet - I always prefer to read the book first. My son said the movie was quite different.

  7. I usually prefer to read the book first, too, and then I get frustrated when the movie isn't like the book!

  8. Danielle--Hope you enjoyed your long break and got lots of reading done. I was quite impressed with how much you posted over your break.

    I've just started reading Georgette Heyer's A Blunt Instrument for this Vintage challenge. I do love her, and I don't think I've read this one before, so that's an extra treat.