Fiona in January

Fiona in January

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

As much fun as ranting is...

...I'm back to my "normal" self, now that we got the software we needed from Dell and the computer is fixed - hooray!

So one of the challenges I took on in 2010 is to keep track of what I read and hit that 100 book mark...which I did - so excited! I even beat my husband in the number of books we read, which makes me very very happy. Yes, I'm competitive...but mostly in stupid things like this and not in actual real-life situations.

Now that it is 2011 I'm faced with the question of what to do about that huge list of books I read (113 total from 1/1/2010 - 12/31/2010). There were some real gems I read this year, but its very hard for me to isolate specific books when I read entire series written by the same author, so here are my top 5 authors I had never read until 2010:

1. Jim Butcher - this man is a genius. And I don't just say that because he is writing in the exact genre I love, but because he has mastered the balance of fantasy storytelling with real world grittiness. I read his entire series (all that have been published so far) of the Harry Dresden novels and became completely hooked. I can't wait to read his newest one, due to be out in March.

2. Gail Carriger - this author took me by surprise. The series of books she has written, "The Parasol Protectorate" is the first I've read that dances the line into steampunk-style literature. What really sets Carriger apart as an author is her use of language. This is one smart lady and she isn't afraid to pump up her character's vocabulary. I honestly think her writing style is one of the most effective I've seen in the fiction/fantasy genre.

3. Rob Thurman - is a woman, who knew? Honestly, any modern fiction work that includes new twists on ancent mythologies has me hooked. I read both of her "Trickster" novels this year and am really interested in seeing where she takes the series. I would slightly compare her work to Rachel Caine's Weather Warden series...mostly because if you like her style, you'll love Thurman's as well.

4. Elizabeth Gilbert - I know what you all are saying: "Eat, Pray, Love was so over-hyped" and "I'm so sick of hearing about how great Gilbert is", but seriously shhhhhhhhhhhhh. Forget all the stupid over-hyped articles you've read, definitely forget about the movie (it was fun, but not really a great representation of the book) and acknowlege the book for what it was: a real woman's painful and very truthful journey after fighting through a bitter divorce. This book popped up in my life at exactly the right time, I had recently moved back to the East coast and was struggling with my relationship with God and in what direction I really wanted to go with my life, my career and my other relationships. I cried and laughed reading this book (seriously!) and love it for exactly what it is and how it spoke to me.

5. Michael Scott - No, not the guy from The Office. This one writes fabulous young adult fiction/fantasy novels that tie in so many culture's gods and mythology it will make your head spin! I blew through the books in his series and couldn't pick a favorite if I tried.

So what's the goal for 2011? Well I know I can read 100+ books in a year (and beat my husband!), so why try to go for sheer numbers again? I think what I'd really like to see reflected on my booklist at the end of 2011 is more branch out into more different genres and see what I can find.

Here's to more reading in 2011!

Oh and just because she's adorable...check out this picture of my new niece, Lillyana Tess Vining. She was just born Dec. 22 and we met her this past weekend.

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