Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sunday Salon: drifting toward the end of my reading year

The Sunday Salon.comHappy Sunday (on Saturday!) It's been far too long since I've written a Salon post. Yesterday it was 65 degrees, which came after we had our first half-inch of snow on Monday. It's hard to believe it's mid-November, even though I put up two of our three Christmas trees weeks ago. To some, it's obscenely early, and part of me agrees, but it's also my favorite time of year, and I find I enjoy Thanksgiving so much more when it's part of one big holiday season rather than a beginning. I'm enjoying giving thanks and sharing holiday joy for all of November and December. Plus, it's our first holiday season in our new house, and it feels a little homier with my tree decorated with nostalgic ornaments.

This year has been a very strange reading (and blogging) year. To date, I've read only 75 books. While part of me knows 75 books is an accomplishment in some circles, I'm coming to realize I will most likely fall short of my goal of 100 books. Last year I read 118 books. After two years in a row reading more than 100 books a year, I hoped I'd turned a corner in reading. As I think about my reading life, I know I prefer quality over quantity, but I fear I'm falling behind in both categories. I'm not reading fewer books because I'm reading longer or more challenging books. The only solution, I know, is to spend more time reading and less time doing other things.

For the rest of 2013, I'm planning to alternate reading 2013 releases I can't believe I haven't read yet (that list is looooong) and reading 2014 releases (I've already read two!) There's never enough time to read all the new releases I'd like to, nor is there enough time to catch up on all the backlist titles I've been meaning to read for far too long. What I have been enjoying immensely lately, however, is cutting way back on accepting review copies for specific dates. I've always been a moody reader, but lately I find myself thoroughly enjoying indulging whatever strikes my fancy at the moment.

Now tell me: what's on your "must read before the end of the year list?" 

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9 comments:

  1. I'm over my goal for 2013, but still feel like I need to read several more 2013 releases by year-end. On my list are: Enon; Paul Harding - Survival Lessons; Alice Hoffman - Claire and the Sea Light; Edwidge Danticat, The Perservationist; Kramon - Sea Creatures; Daniel - Lowland; Lahiri and Valley of Light; Amy Tan

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  2. Good for you, Diane! Sea Creatures is one of my favorite reads of the year, so definitely make time for that. I hope to get to Lowland and Enon before the end of 2013 too.

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  3. My 2013 list keeps growing as people keep discovering great books I haven't tried yet! I'm not even going to think about 2014 until after Christmas, but until then I'm going to try to squeeze in The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert and The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. 75 books is a great number. Try to think of it as quality rather than quantity. Have a great Thanksgiving!

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    1. Thanks, Jackie! Both the Gilbert and the Wolitzer are high on my list to read. Happy reading!

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  4. I don't keep track of numbers and my TBR list is very freeform on LibraryThing, but there are so many books I wanted to read this year that I haven't gotten to! I thought this might be my year to read a Barbara Kingsolver, but I guess not. I still have NW by Zadie Smith that I was really looking forward to. Loved The Interestings (read that one right away) and just finished The Goldfinch, another long one, which I also loved.

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    1. Laurie, I can't believe I haven't made time for The Interestings yet. I adore Wolitzer. I'm glad to hear you loved Goldfinch. I've been waiting on reviews because it's so long. Kingsolver has been hit or miss for me, but I also keep meaning to read The Poisonwood Bible.

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  5. I just wrote a post on how people need to celebrate Thanksgiving first, but I have no problem with people putting their stuff up early, in order to enjoy the holiday longer. I just have a problem with the commercial aspect of it. The STORES putting their stuff up before October killed me.

    My reading has taken a backseat to everything. I think I have 45 books read right now. The lowest total EVER! I am not sweating it though. I promised myself last year I would read Pride and Prejudice before the year ends but so far, I am not reaching for it. I'd rather read Murakami.

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    1. Ti, I'm about to pop over and read your post:-) I find I'm actually more excited about Thanksgiving this year because I'm not only using it as my official start to Christmas. I stumbled onto something here. I haven't read Pride and Prejudice either. I think 2011 was supposed to be the year I promised I would. One day...

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  6. I'm usually anti Christmas decorating and music until after Thanksgiving but this year I gave in. Music playing and decorations going up little by little each day. No tree yet but Evan has a little tree he can decorate so that counts:-) I agree, it's much more fun to celebrate one big season of holiday. Love you!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. Happy reading!