Last year, I decided to take LibraryThing's challenge of reading 50 books. I got pretty close, but didn't quite make it all the way. I think I was mostly on track until about the last three months of the year when I started getting a lot of consulting work. Still, I did read 43 books, which I think was a lot more than I had read in previous years. That in itself makes this exercise a win for me. I think I settled into a nice rhythm, and started to recognize that when my reading slowed it wasn't always because I was busy doing other things. Sometimes the book just wasn't that good, and reading it was bringing me down rather than exciting me. Those times I stopped reading and moved on to the next book.
Looking at the complete list of books I read in 2010, all but one were fantasy. The loner in the group was Marley & Me by John Grogan, which I highly recommend, especially if you're a dog lover like I am. This was actually the first book I ever bought after having seen the movie of the same name starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson. The movie was surprisingly good, and the book was even better. We have two dogs, one which is beginning to get up there in years; watching the movie and reading the book gave me a sneak preview of sorts concerning what to expect once 'my girl' finally does go to doggie heaven.
Other notable books included novels in the Overworld series by Jack Vance, The Gunslinger by Stephen King (which I thought was good but gave up on the series after reading the second book), a lot of the Tor.com free eBooks (which were mostly forgettable), as well as a number of books by Dave Duncan, all of which were excellent.
So, what's next?
First off, I'm dropping LibraryThing. I was trying to maintain accounts with both LibraryThing and GoodReads, but since the latter is by far the better site and I'm starting to build a book list as well reading relationships there, I'm 100% GoodReads now. Stop by and add me as contact if you want.
As for reading, I'm again going to engage in a reading challenge for 2011, but with a more modest goal of 35 books. I'll track this through GoodReads on my 2011 Reading Challenge page. I've got 3 books down already, with more to follow.
Last, I'm going to scale my book reviews down a bit for this year. I wrote a lot of reviews last year, so many that they were becoming a major consumer of my time. So, this year expect a lot less reviews. I'd entertained thoughts of starting my own f/sf review web site, but it's hard to add anything else to my workload right now.
This segues into where that time is going to get reallocated, and that is towards the sale and marketing of my two novels as well as what is looking more and more like a sequel to The Five Elements. More on that in another post.
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As I've been spelling out at the top of each of my recent book reviews, I'm taking LibraryThing's 50 Book Challenge for 2010. The reason LibraryThing is doing this is to, of course, promote reading. I don't know that I necessarily need the extra incentive, but I also can't deny that the challenge coupled with my Kindle, given to me as Christmas present by my wife, has dramatically increased my reading.
So, how am I doing so far?
The goal is 50 books read. I'm currently at 17. Fifty books is about one per week. So, given that for the year thus far we've seen 19 weeks (I'm starting from Sunday, January 3rd), I should have read 19 books by now. Looks like I'm currently two short. But that's not a big deal. Given that I'll be taking some time off work and will have some holidays here and there, I should be able to make up a small deficit like that.
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