Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Recap

This was a very good year, reading-wise. I read 55 books in 2012, and I finished out 2013 with 72. I haven't written reviews for the last four books I finished in 2013. I'll try to post those as soon as possible. Right now I'm enjoying a delicious two-week vacation. Thus the mug of homemade hot cocoa. If it was sitting atop of big pile of books, that would pretty much be my week in a nutshell.

I want to thank you all for reading along with me. It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed something as much as I enjoy blogging, and knowing I’m not alone is a big part of that.

So, without further ado, the recap:

Books read: 72
   Memoirs: 45
   Biographies: 9
   Nonfiction: 64
   Fiction: 4
   Poetry: 4
   Decorating: 1
   Photography/Art: 3
   Cookbooks: 3
   Children’s: 50 (but not all are reviewed here)
Five Star Books: 6
Rereads: 0
New-to-me authors: 60
Return authors: 9
Didn’t finish: 3
Over 400 pages: 10
Released in 2013: 22

Subjects I’m Burned Out On
Afghanistan, France, Iran, Julia Child

Would I alter any book ratings?
Dearie probably deserves a higher rating. That’s been bothering me for months.

Blue Nights should have had a 2-star rating.

My Berlin Kitchen probably should have had a 4-star rating.

A lot of the 3½-star books should probably be 2-star or 3-star (e.g. The Key is Love, Beyond the Sling, Plain Secrets, etc.).

A lot of the 4½-star books should probably be 5-star (e.g. The Honest Toddler, The World’s Strongest Librarian, Elizabeth the Queen, The Hungry Ear, Dog Songs, etc.)

What I learned this reading year
1. I actually like biographies.
2. I love history.
3. Bestsellers become bestsellers for a reason.
4. I can enjoy a thick book.
5. Children’s picture books bring me more joy than I remembered.
6. I’ve missed poetry.
7. I want my reading to challenge me.
8. I enjoy writing book reviews.
9. Writing a book review for a book I love is very difficult.
10. Note taking is part of the joy of reading.
11. Being well-read/widely-read is a boon to small-talk conversations.
12. Books are very poorly edited these days.

Amount spent on books
$1,284.96 spent on Amazon, perhaps another $200.00 spent in Half Price Bookstores. So, a good estimate would be around $1,500.00. My goodness. Hope my husband doesn’t read this!

2013 Book events

I became an advance reviewer for Shauna Niequist’s Bread & Wine. Though I was disappointed that it wasn’t as good as her two previous books, I enjoyed being a part of the “advance team.”

In April, my husband and I travelled to hear Glennon Melton speak at a church in Plymouth, Minnesota. We both had a spectacular time. My husband, who’s not much of a reader or going to readings kind of guy, was as rapt as I was. And we cried at especially poignant parts. And then we laughed until we cried. Her speech was very similar to her Ted talk, but with a bigger faith angle and more humor. Afterwards, she stuck around to sign autographs, and instead of folks queuing up, she just went out into the eager crowd, hugged someone, and chatted while she signed their copy of Carry On, Warrior and posed for photos. She signed my book, and my husband told her the story of how we met so she might remember us like we’d always remember that night. Oddly, I could feel myself falling a little bit more in love with my husband that night. If you have a chance to hear her speak, do it! You will not be disappointed.

Stay tuned for a load of other end-of-year posts, including my Top Ten of 2013, my book awards, and my 2014 TBR list.

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