First, my apologies for not posting here in so long. I’m going to try to post weekly in 2011, at the very least. We’ll see how that goes. It occurs to me only now just how horrible I’ve been. For instance, I never posted the pictures from my Europe trip that I promised. I got back on the last day of June. Yeah. I’m a horrible person.
But this post is not about apologies. It’s my 2010 year in review post, and it’s largely centered around the books I read. So sit back and enjoy, or skip. Because it’s going to be a long one.
First, the goals. For 2010 I set a goal of reading 52 books and 20,000 pages.
And now, the books (with a few life notes for reference).
My wonderful parents payed the change fee on my return ticket back to Washington and allowed me to stay in Michigan over the new year. Back in Washington it took a bit of getting used to to be in the apartment alone, but I settled in as well as can be expected. I worked on my thesis and on Willow Springs. I also finished two thesis books this month, since despite all my assertions to read like mad over the summer and through the fall, I was a bit behind.
Dragonspell, by Donita K. Paul
I picked this up before flying back to Michigan because I wanted something completely mindless. Plus, it had a cute picture on the cover. But silly me thinking that something shelved in the fantasy and science fiction section would be primarily fantasy. This author couldn’t have been more blatantly preachy if she’d chucked a Bible at me. I finished the book (obviously, or it wouldn’t be on my list) because there was this one tiny humming dragon that was super cute, but it was propaganda to the point where I was actually moved, for the second time in my life, to go online and post a book review on the seller’s website. Now, I can stomach religious mythology (I’ve read the Narnia books, for instance, and will probably read [most of] them again at some point) but this was overboard. And what’s the author’s response to reviews that politely pointed this out? Well, apparently I’m a God-hating cretin (not her words, but very much the sentiment).
Ava, by Carole Maso
This was a reread for me, for maybe the third time. And I loved this book. Was completely captivated by it. However, when I picked it up in January, it didn’t sparkle like it had before. It’s a lyric novel that asks for a lot from the reader (for instance, there are no chapters, no paragraphs, even, and much of it reads more like poetry; the narrative structure is unlike anything I’ve ever seen) and perhaps I just was at a point where I couldn’t give it, because when I reread this book again a few months later (it was a thesis book), it had that old loveliness back.
The Gathering Storm, by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
Also a reread (it was only published in late October of 2009, but as it was the 12th book in what is perhaps my favorite series of all time—and super long—it merited a quick reread). I tend to blaze through books the first time I read them, so it was nice to go back through this monster of a book at a slower pace. And it was just as good the second time. Sanderson, the author selected to finish Jordan’s masterpiece after he died, doesn’t quite have the hang of some characters in this book (and who can blame him—there are hundreds of characters!) but the world itself felt the same, and I was able to let go and let him take me along for what was an awesome ride.
Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson
Marilynne Robinson is one of those authors I kept meaning to get around to, and I was so glad I did. Glad enough that I added this book to my thesis list. Looking back, though, I can’t really say what drew me to her other than the fact she was one of those authors I was supposed to have read. Because if someone would have described her style to me, I think I might have run the other way. Long sweeping narrative (though that isn’t a great way to describe it either), lots of description—those are things I tend to avoid. In some ways, then, this book taught me to expand, that there are ways to make really anything work. That’s it’s not so much what you do, it’s how you do it. Continue reading “2010: A year in review in books (part I)” »