My Books. My Life.

"Let us read and let us dance – two amusements that will never do any harm to the world." ~Voltaire~

The Sunday Salon: My 2010 Goals January 3, 2010

Filed under: Currently Reading,Reading Goals,Sunday Salon — Michelle @ 10:07 am
Tags: ,

The Sunday

It’s a new year and I’m using this turn-a-new-leaf time to write my first post for The Sunday Salon.  These are some of my favorite posts from other bloggers and I want to join in the fun.  The description of the Sunday Salon is one of a mini-readathon, but I’ve noticed that most use it as a sort of weekly recap or a place to discuss a particular idea.  So if I’m doing it wrong, let me know, but I’m taking my cue from loads of other book bloggrers.

This week has been a bad one for reading and a good one for blogging so I guess overall it’s been an average week.


Despite the limited time spent at work, I still didn’t manage to finish a book (a feat I last accomplished on December 5 – how sad).  I am currently reading:

It is my goal of the day to get to page 600 in The Sweet Far Thing.  That’s about 125 pages and will bring me 200 pages from the end and is certainly possible if I can just sit down and do it.  I must say I’m not enjoying this book very much and only want to finish it because it’s the  last in a trilogy.


This could very possibly be the most I’ve written in one week.  This week I told you about my Christmas goodies both in book form and reading related.  I shared my favorite books of 2009 and my reading stats for the year.  My favorite post (and most visited by you) is my husband’s guest post sharing his favorite books of 2009.  I’m glad you all enjoyed hearing from him and left encouraging comments.

I loved reading everyone’s end of the year recaps.  This might be my favorite time of the year to open my google reader.


Everyone is talking about their reading goals for the new year.  I don’t want to set myself any numeric goals because I’ve learned that I can’t predict how much time I’ll have to read.  Instead, I want to set a few guidelines that can apply no matter how much I read and list a few books/authors that I hope to get to in 2010.

  • I want to read more adult literature than young adult/middle grade.  While I love YA/MG books, I felt like I got a little distracted from other books in 2009.  So it doesn’t matter if it’s one book more or 30 books more, I just want to read more adult literature than not.
  • I’m aiming for 20% of my books to be classics.  That’s a little better than I did in 2009.
  • And I’m aiming for 15% of my books to me nonfiction/memoir v. fiction.  I’m trying to broaden my reading horizon.
  • Specific authors:
    • Margaret Atwood (never read)
    • Isabelle Allende (never read)
    • Kurt Vonnegut (haven’t read in awhile)
  • Specific books:

While I didn’t meet all of last year’s goals, I did like having them as a guide, so that’s all this is: a guideline. If I don’t meet it, no worries.  I’ve also joined a few challenges so with these guidelines and the challenge requirements, I think my year is on the right track.  If only I could finish The Sweet Far Thing.


My Year of Reading (in Numbers) January 1, 2010

Filed under: Chatter,Reading Goals,Year End Review — Michelle @ 1:25 pm

Some Numbers:

  • Books Read: 42 (1 audio)
  • Pages Read: 13,807 + 13.1 hrs audio
  • Average Pages per Book: 337
  • Books Acquired: 156
  • Fiction: 38
  • Nonfiction: 4
  • Female Authors: 26
  • Male Authors: 16
  • New (to me) Authors: 24
  • Most Read Author: Maud Hart Lovelace (5)
  • Kid’s Lit: 13
  • Contemporary Fiction: 11
  • Classics: 6
  • Young Adult: 5
  • Memoirs: 3
  • Plays: 2
  • Essays: 1
  • Short Story Collection: 1
  • Rereads: 3
  • Series Started: 4
  • Longest Book: War and Peace (1,386 pages)
  • Shortest Book: The Tales of Beedle the Bard (107 pages)
  • Library books: 10
  • Books from my collection: 32
  • Challenges finished: 1 (Maud Hart Lovelace)
  • Challenges failed: 1 (Everything Austen – will finish this year)
  • Challenges continuing: 1 (Shelf Discovery)

2009 Goals

  • Read 48 Books (4/month) – Failed
  • Read Northanger Abbey and re-read Pride and Prejudice
  • 12 Classics (1/month) – Failed (I read 6 and was much better earlier in the year)
  • Specific Books
    • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
    • Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
    • Peony in Love by Lisa See
    • The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
    • Something Rotten and First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde
    • The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray (I’m halfway through)
    • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

To sum up: I thought I would read more this year since it’s the first full year that I haven’t been in school, but regular old work life turned out to be more time-consuming than expected. I also didn’t mean to read so much kid’s lit but between Betsy-Tacy, Harry Potter re-reads, and The Mysterious Benedict Society that somehow became my biggest genre. I think it was a successful year even if it wasn’t my best according to numbers.  I discovered the greater book-blogging community, reading challenges, and I participated in my first read-a-thon.  And I enjoyed almost everything that I read which has to be the most important measuring stick.

Thank you all for listening to my ramblings this year and leaving wonderful comments for me.  I’m looking forward to seeing what 2010 brings.


Weekend Reading Goal June 12, 2009

Filed under: Reading Goals — Michelle @ 12:30 pm

200 pages in War and Peace.

I don’t have much else going on this weekend.  Think I can do it?

[Originally posted at  For the original post and comments, click here].


Re-focused Reading Plan: War and Peace June 8, 2009

Filed under: Reading Goals — Michelle @ 8:50 am

I haven’t had much time to read lately and it was only a two week library loan, so I’m going to have to temporarily give up on T.S. Spivet.  I only read the first chapter, so it’s not a huge loss right now.  I would like to get back to it someday though.

Before picking up another book, I think I’m going to focus on War and Peace.  I thought I could read some of it each week and continue to read other books, but it turns out I can’t.  I end up only reading the other books.  And since Jennifer finished it, I feel inspired to do so as well.

I am, however, reserving the right to read something else if I’m still reading it when I go on vacation in a few weeks.  Because vacation reading should not be War and Peace.  And it is a long car ride to Michigan.

[Originally posted at  For the original post and comments, click here].


Clearing the Nightstand April 27, 2009

Filed under: Chatter,Reading Goals — Michelle @ 5:14 pm

(This post was originally entitled “Clearing the Bedside Table but Ben makes fun of me when I use that word.  Or bureau instead of dresser.  Or carriage instead of shopping cart.  The list goes on.  I blame the confusion on growing up in Michigan while living with parents who speak with heavy Boston accents and seem to invent their own words).

I finished Kavalier and Clay.  I wasn’t entirely sure that the day would ever come.  As you can see from my previous post, I was determined to do this by May 1.  Well, I woke up yesterday morning and decided to do it that day.  I calculated that I basically had to read 20 pages an hour for 12 hours to finish.  So all I did yesterday was read.  Some of it was by the pool and I did manage to do some laundry, too.  But basically I read.  And it wasn’t hard.  I was so into the book that I wanted to keep reading.  It really is a fantastic book and you all should read it if you haven’t done so.  Just make sure that you are ready for it when you do.

Now that I feel the weight of Kavalier and Clay off my shoulders, I think it’s time to clear off the rest of the nightstand (or bedside table).  Here’s what it looks like right now:

My plan:

  • Finish Buffy Season 8 (Part 1).  This is first on the list because it’s due back to the library soon.
  • Finish A Spot of Bother (partly because doing so will force Ben to finally read Little Women pursuant to a deal we made)
  • Finish MacBeth (Ben is teaching it right now and I figured I’d read along this time.  We read it out loud and it’s kind of fun).
  • Finish Northanger Abbey (my last Austen).
  • Continue reading An Intellectual Devotional – I kind of forgot about it for a few months.
  • And I will likely do nothing with the Hemingway short stories except occcasionally read one.  It’s sort of a permanent part of my nightstand now.  It’s been sitting on it since the spring of 2004.  That means it has followed me on multiple moves and survived mass cleanings.  It’s been there longer than Ben.  I was in college when it first sat upon that spot.  It feels a shame to move it now.  Occasionally it sits in the drawer but that’s the farthest it ever roams.

[Originally posted at  For the original post and comments, click here.]


Bound and Determined April 18, 2009

Filed under: Reading Goals — Michelle @ 8:35 am

I am going to finish this book this month.  I’m about halfway and while that half has taken me 3 months, I will read the second half by April 30.  Otherwise, I will have no books read in April as this is the only book I’m letting myself read until I’m done.  And that would be sad.

It is very good and I like it.  It’s just giving me the hardest time for some reason.

[Originally posted at  For the original post and comments, click here.]