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2011 Year Of Reading Round-Up

This year I read 54 books, 6 less than last year. Of those I wrote 51 reviews, some yet to be posted. This year’s study meant that I didn’t have so much time to read so I was unable to fulfill my goal of reading more than in 2010. Of the 54 books that I read, 51 are included in this round-up, the remaining 3 excluded for reasons such as they were so short and so bad I didn’t really consider them to be proper books. Of the books I read, 6 were non-fiction.

Done in the style of last year’s round-up. It was particularly difficult choosing which books should be in my best of list this year, and in a way I feel I’ve cheated by putting in two similar books and two Austen novels, but I would be lying if I had chosen not to include them.

As always, books that have been reviewed have a line underneath them and the title links to the review.

The Best Of The Best

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  • Ally Condie: Matched – Cassia has never questioned her world, but a botch in the system that shows teenagers who they will marry introduces her to the idea that everything may not be a perfect as it seems. Brilliant.
  • Jane Austen: Emma – A woman who is a little obsessed with match-making causes a few problems before meeting her own match. Utterly fantastic.
  • Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey – Gothic-novel-obsessed Catherine finds her hero easily and although her friends may cause a few problems, things go rather swimmingly, just as Austen says they will. In my opinion the Austen to rival Pride And Prejudice.
  • Julia Strachey: Cheerful Weather For The Wedding – A short story about the goings on of a family on the day of the daughter’s wedding. Very funny with a poigniant ending.
  • Lauren Oliver: Delirium – Lena falls in love in a world where love is considered a disease. Oliver surpasses her previous brilliance.
The Rest Of The List

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This year for me and reading was to take it steady and not compromise on study. I certainly achieved that as my monthly round-ups showed. I also wanted to start on my journey to read more non-fiction and this I achieved also. I didn’t sign up for any challenges which was a good decision. I read North And South, one of the classics I was particular about reading in 2011, and I made a start on Harry Potter (reading Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone), Tales Of The Otori (Across The Nightingale Floor and Grass For His Pillow), and Elizabeth Chadwick’s work (Lords Of The White Castle, The Wild Hunt, and The Running Vixen). Unfortunately I didn’t read any holy books but everything considered, I’m happy with my work towards the goals I set.

But the biggest thing was romance, and in this I have come further than I thought. Not only did I make a start in breaking into the genre, in order to say I had truly expanded my horizons, but I also discovered some authors who I will carry on reading.

Quotation Report

In Lex Trent Fighting With Fire, something is obviously going on, but then something generally is. And in Cheerful Weather For The Wedding, Tom reminds us that emerald green socks are most certainly not appropriate attire for a marriage ceremony, while his aunt learns that if you assign the same bedroom to a number of people, somewhere down the vicar is going to see the school-teacher’s folded underwear.

In Deed So, Sarah Jane wants to read a bodice ripper, whatever that is, and in Lords Of The White Castle, Fulke feels his family is eccentric for his parents wanting privacy in the bedroom. Well, it is the late 1100s after all. Also in Lords Of The White Castle, Oonagh’s dog is used to its mistress’s meetings turning into sexual conquests. When one looms it leaves the room with a bored sigh. In Northanger Abbey, while Austen critises the critics, Isabella spends time saying she’s not interested in two men before practically running down the street on their trail. And as we all know, a person is going to be very happy on meeting someone they haven’t bothered to see for years than they possibly would be had they made a point of staying friends if you don’t believe it, ask Mrs Allen and Mrs Thorpe. Don’t expect a satisfactory answer though, these women’s conversations are never the result of two people talking on the same subject.

In Snowflake Obsidian, Willow makes the assumption that whoever said blondes had more fun was likely referring to Marilyn Monroe and a steam vent. And in Dead Until Dark Sookie has trouble telling whether a vampire is unconscious or dead – it’s difficult to tell the difference.

In Exclusively Yours, Keri muses over the idea that if her old cheerleading squad hadn’t used curling irons and aerosols, global warming might not have happened.

Margaret Hale, from North And South might advise you to be careful when talking about vulgarity because if there is any chance that the man whose proposal you recently turned down should walk in you may end up talking of knobsticks in order to quell the look on his face that suggests he thought you were meaning he himself is vulgar. And while Iman, from The Obscure Logic Of The Heart, may find parenting instinctive, evidence would suggest that her husband needs to watch nature programmes in order to gain an idea of how to do things.

In Emma, Mr Knightley amply addresses the fact that one can be no less than extremely positive of another’s dancing while that person is in the room. And while anyone else might take a few moments to agree to dancing down the passage between rooms when a building has little space, when Mr Woodhouse is around it will take a while as he will go on about draughts that no one else can sense.

In the next few days I’ll be writing a general look-back at 2011 and will also be posting the rest of my film watchings.

What was your favourite/were your favourite books you read in 2011?



January 1, 2012, 2:56 pm

I think you’ve done well to read 54 books as well as studying! Emma is not one of my favourite Austen novels but I’m planning to re-read it this year to see if my feelings about it have changed. I love Northanger Abbey, though! And I’m hoping to read more of Elizabeth Chadwick’s books this year too.

Charlie: Austen’s work is interesting in that fan’s responses can be so different! I can’t see why people like Persuasion, though I can see why you say Emma isn’t your favourite, and I know I’d have liked it even more if there had been more match-making. Awesome to know someone else is planning to read what I am this year!

Jackie (Farm Lane Books)

January 4, 2012, 4:35 pm

I’m so pleased to see that Beside the Sea came near the top of your list. It is such a powerful book and I wish more people read it. I hope you have a wonderful 2012!

Charlie: It was a major contender for my best-of list, so difficult to choose only five. You too, happy new year!



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