Monday, December 24, 2012

2012 52 Books in 52 Weeks Reading Challenge Wrap-Up


1) How many books did you read this year? 61 so far, but I'm not done yet. I have a couple more to get done before Dec.31 so check back. I'll have any updates highlighted.

2) Did you meet or beat your own personal goal? Yes. I'll feel really great if I can just finish two unnamed books that I have been putting off due to style....I'll let ya know in a week if I rose to the task.

3) Favorite book of 2012?

The 9 Tailors and Guady Night- both by Dorothy Sayers- The world of Lord Peter Wimsey is delightful, thought provoking and loverly. Lord and Lady Peter Wimsey are the epitome of a time gone by. Sayers captures it beautifully, addressing the human condition and social issues as she goes.
The Green Mile by King- wow. Tragic, mystical and bizarrely beautiful.
Fieldwork by Berlinski- an intriguing mystery about religion, faith and relationships.
Davita's Harp by Potok- I love Potok and this is one of his best. Faith, politics and how one moment in time can change the rest of your life.

Non Fiction
Where Has Oprah Taken Us- a great apologetics analysis of the faith and religion of Oprah. A must read for Christians serious about the faith.
Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer's Life by Smith. I've been hearing lots of Laura (as in she's not the author of the Little House series) Pa and Almanzo bashing in the world of kid lit in the past couple of years. It disturbs me because it is often based on judging the past with today's values. Not very sportsmanlike (or academically honest) imho. Smith addresses some of the controversy and looks at the complex relationship between Rose and Laura. I thought it would be a dry read, but nothing of the sort.

The Art of Non-Conformity by Guillabeau- an off the beaten path, intentional living book by a travel hacking entrepreneur. Good stuff.

4) Least favorite book of 2012 and why?
The Upper Zoo, which I wanted to like because Dr.Dh knows the author but it was just sad and pitiful, and honestly, a unsatisfying ending.
Robocopolypse,   a get under your skin creepy cyborgish apocalyptic thang that Spielberg bought the movie rights to before it was even published.

5) One book you thought you'd never read and was pleasantly surprised you like it?
Field Work - loved this book. I talked Dr.Dh's ear off for 2 days because of this book -religion, academia, cross cultural issues, ultimately, what are you going to dedicated your life to: academia, discovery, an ideal or Truth?

6) One book you thought you'd love but didn't? Sins of the Fathers by Howatch- Reading this I felt so bogged down in the bizarre personality disorders of the filthy rich and degenerate. I really liked The Rich are Different, but I'm totally familiar with Caesar (a re-telling in TRAD). The Plantagenet Kings (a re-telling in SOTF) aren't really my thang. But I was too stubborn to quit and I wanted what I'd already read to count for my list. Shallow, but there it is. Howevah, Dawn and Jane are still on my list of BEST on-line reading buddies. THANK-YOU both for feeding my addiction (both with the books and with the weekly banter!)

7) One book that touched you - made you laugh, cry, sing or dance. The Nine Tailors. When Will died I put down the book and bawled. Also, Gaudy Night. When Harriet answers Peter, it is perfect; not antagonistic, submissive or dismissive.


8) Any new to you authors discovered and you can't wait to read more of their stories? I know this will shock you but

9) Name the longest book you read? Shortest? Howatch 672 pages. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever 40 pages.

10) Name the most unputdownable book you read? Field Work; a compelling read, it reminds me a lot of Dekker's early work. The kids and I are currently reading Mara, Daughter of the Nile and I am finding myself asking them when they want to read another chapter! And Nine Tailors- a denser read.

11) Book that had the greatest impact on you this year? The Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries by Sayers. Like Potok, Sayers sings of an educational system and a life of learning whose siren song compels me. Both of them are master craftsman and compelling people in their own right.

12) What book would you recommend everybody read? For anyone who is raising, teaching, has contact with an Austic person: House Rules by Piccolt.

Bird by Bird by Lamott is great for anyone who wants to write. Lamott's admonition to expect a carpy first draft was incredibly freeing.

13) Share your most favorite cover(s) Addison Allen does the BEST covers- my new fav author from last year still holds......

The Girl Who Chased the Moon (Sarah Addison Allen) Garden Spells (Sarah Addison Allen)

14) Do you have a character you fell in love with? I know this will be a shocker but Lord Peter Wimsey, and yes, Harriet Vane. But really, Dorothy Sayers. Of course, I had to read up on the creator of the world of Lord Peter
(the Centenary Collection) She was a member of the Inklings (friends of
Lewis and Tolkien) a formidable intellect in her own right (her father began teaching her Latin at age 5) and a non-traditional woman on many levels. Her personal story has some tragic elements, making get that much more compelling.
15) What was your most favorite part of the challenge? Talking books with other lit nerds; finding new titles, genres, authors I would have never considered; and always, being intentional enough about reading to get it done.
Did you do any of the mini challenges? None stated, but, as always, I read by author: Sayers, Howatch, Piccolt, with more L'Engle, Lewis, Potok, Lamott and King thrown in. And I always try to hit something in the following genre: intentional living, theology, biography.

16) What are your goals for the new year? To read more non fiction? To dip your toes into a mystery or a urban fantasy or horror or romance? What book are you most looking forward to reading in 2013?

I have long and growing list already going. On a shallow level, I'm looking forward to reading anything in a decent font size.

And one of my fav quotes from the year: (Lord Peter to Hilary, on writing and life): "Because you have the creative imagination, which works outwards, till finally you will be able to stand outside your own experience and see it as something you have made, existing independently of yourself. You're lucky."
"Do you really thing so?" Hillary looked excited.
"Yes-but your luck will come more at the end of life than at the beginning, because the other sort of people won't understand the way your mind works. They will start by thinking you dreamy and romantic, and they they'll b e surprised to discover that you are really hard and heartless. They'll be quite wrong both times- but they won't ever know it and you won't know it at first, and it'll worry you."

For more great wrap-ups head on over to Robin's 52 Books in 52 Weeks blog.



Robin McCormack said...

Great wrap up. Field Work looks particularly interesting. Don't know how I missed you talking about that one. Probably because we were distracted by Lord Wimsey. LOL! Glad you enjoyed your reading and discovered some interesting books.

Karyn Tripp said...

Great post!! I met me goal of 60 books this year. I will have o look into some of your favorites.