Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 In Summary and 2012 Blogging Resolutions

Happy New Year! I hope that everyone's 2012 is off to a safe and happy start. I never really wrote a post summarizing 2011, so before I talk about my goals for the future.

I started off 2011 with a goal of reading 75 books and a hope that mid-way through the year, I'd be starting a graduate program to earn my master's of library and information science. I also said that I wanted to post more regularly and get lots of posts scheduled ahead of time. Well, I started graduate school in August and I'll be done in August of 2012. I work 20 hours a week and am really happy with how I did this semester. One major plus of graduate school was finding a children's literature book club which meets monthly. Of course, what you guys care about is the blogging--how many books did I read and did I achieve my goals?

91 books and yes, that includes books I read for school. Guys, I am really happy with this total. Even though there were still a lot of books I wanted to read in 2011 that I did not get to it, I'm pretty happy with that figure.

I didn't really post more or schedule posts in advance as much as I'd like. I was really good about it for a little while in the spring, but once school started in August, I fell behind. I kind of figured that would happen, but I wish I'd gotten even more scheduled before starting school. However, I did get to meet some really awesome authors in 2011, like Meg Cabot, Maggie Stiefvater, and Gayle Forman, all of whom were incredibly kind and wonderful in person, and get to know some really awesome bloggers like Amber, Mariya, Brittany, Sarah, and the lovely ladies over at Fictitious Delicious.

You'd think that my biggest goal of 2012 would be to post more frequently but in reality, that's not the case. Instead, I want to focus on quality. Even if I only put up 3 or 4 reviews and an IMM in one month, I want them to be good reviews that accurately express my opinions of the books I read. I've been using Christmas break to catch up on my reviewing, and my goal is to be 100% caught up a week from tomorrow. Plus, I have a couple of other posts that are working their way up my blogging to-do list.

I'll be making a few small changes to the blog in 2012. You'll notice that I have not mentioned any of the challenges I signed up for at the beginning of 2011, and that's because a while ago, I decided that for the time being, I'm not going to participate in challenges. Yes, I love the idea behind challenges. However, I often forget when to link things up, or where, and I'm not a big fan of writing posts about the progress I'm making on said challenges, because I don't think they make particularly entertaining posts for you guys.

I'm also going to start writing mini-reviews. This fall, I decided not to review the books I read for class. Part of my reasoning here was that if I did, I'd never be able to keep up with reviews. Another part of me figured that you guys probably don't want to read reviews of that many adult non-fiction books. However, I have read some books that I figure you guys might like to hear my thoughts on, such as The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick and When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. Plus, next semester I am taking a class on young adult literature were we are going to read over 50(!) books, and I'd like to keep you guys updated on my thoughts on those books. Lastly, I think mini-reviews will be a great fit for this blog because I'm trying to listen to more audiobooks. However, I only listen to audiobooks of things I've already read, as my attention wanders. That said, mini-reviews would better fit how much I have to say about most audiobooks.

Of course, let's not forget my reading goals. In 2012, my goal is to read 100 books. I have zero doubt in my ability to do so. It's happening.

In terms of my personal life, I'm not making a ton of resolutions. Graduate school has dramatically increased my screen time, and reminded me that it really is time that I start eating healthier and exercising more. I've also been working a little bit on a novel, and I haven't really touched it much in graduate school because of all the paper writing. So instead of forcing myself to touch this WIP while I'm exhausted, I'm going to try and finish it by the end of 2013. Maybe that will change, but it feels like a reasonable goal right now. I'm also making some deliberately silly resolutions, because one has to have some fun in life. Example? Decrease my animosity towards squirrels in 2012. I won't even try to explain that one.

2011 has been a great year, and I think that 2012 is going to be even better. To end this post, I present you with the complete list of books I've read in 2011 (titles which are italicized were not reviewed in 2011). I hope you all have a safe and Happy New Year, and I would love to hear what you have planned for 2012.

1.) These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf
2.) Entangled by Cat Clarke
3.) The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
4.) The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins
5.) Ten Little Zombies: A Love Story by Andy Rash
6.) The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald
7.) Vixen by Jillian Larkin
8.) The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski
9.) Falling In Love With English Boys by Melissa Jensen
10.) Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney
11.) Sequins, Secrets, and Silver Linings by Sophia Bennett
12.) Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
13.) The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha
14.) Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
15.) The Romeo and Juliet Code by Phoebe Stone
16.) The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
17.) Angelfire by Courntey Allison Moulton
18.) Possession by A.S. Byatt
19.) If I Stay by Gayle Forman
20.) Heist Society by Ally Carter
21.) Wither by Lauren DeStefano
22.) Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz
23.) Zan-Gah by Allan Richard Shickman
24.) 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
25.) Hex by Ramona Wray
26.) Emma by Jane Austen
27.) Delirium by Lauren Oliver
28.) Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
29.) Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
30.) But I Love Him by Amanda Grace
31.) Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman
32.) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
33.) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen
34.) What Comes After by Steve Watkins
35.) The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
36.) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
37.) Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
38.) The Summer I Learned to Fly by Dana Reinhardt
39.) Back When you Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith
40.) The Vampyre and Other Tales of the Macabre by John William Polidori
41.) Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez
42.) The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
43.) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
44.) Insatiable by Meg Cabot
45.) The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
46.) Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey
47.) Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
48.) The Girl Who Was On Fire edited by Leah Wilson
49.) Cut by Patricia McCormick
50.) Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
51.) Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
52.) The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball by Risa Green
53.) Looking for Alaska by John Green
54.) The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
55.) Alone Together by Sherry Turkle
56.) Contagion by Joanne Dahme
57.) The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
58.) The Information by James Gleick
59.) Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol
60.) Scholarship in the Digital Age by Christine Borgman
61.) Song of the Nile by Stephanie Dray
62.) The Giver by Lois Lowry
63.) Everything Is Miscellaneous by David Weinberger
64.) The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
65.) The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron
66.) Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos
67.) Saving June by Hannah Harrington
68.) The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
69.) A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
70.) Skim by Mariko Tamaki
71.) Double Fold by Nicholson Baker
72.) Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
73.) Remix by Lawrence Lessig
74.) The Access Principle by John Willinsky
75.) Digital Copyright by Jessica Litman
76.) The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
77.) Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
78.) Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
79.) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
80.) Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
81.) When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
82.) Where She Went by Gayle Forman
83.) Chime by Franny Billingsley
84.) Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly
85.) Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block
86.) The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
87.) Forever by Judy Blume
88.) Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
89.) The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
90.) The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
91.) Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden

4 comments:

  1. A YA Literature class - that sounds so brilliant :) I need to set a writing goal too - I have 2 ideas I've been toying with and writing, but I'm very OCD and I just edit over and over so it takes me forever to get far. 2012 is going to be a fabulous year I think :)

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  2. You have much to celebrate, my friend!

    And I totally agree - quality > quantity. I can't wait to read your reviews AND your mini-reviews! :)

    Happy New Year!

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  3. Great job this year Liz, I am impressed with all that you have accomplished with blogging and school. You are awesome.

    I love the idea of mini reviews.

    Happy New Year Liz!

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  4. That YA lit class sounds awesome! I have a heavy reading semester coming up as well. Happy 2012! :)

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