Thursday, February 4, 2010

What Next?

My To Be Read Pile mocks me.

So What Next?

I read some some exceptional books last year, and I see my trend is toward less books, not more, which is not likely to improve in the near future. Choosing the right book is essential, as I doubt I'll ever finish this pile, at least at the pace I keep adding to it.

I'm happy to report that of the 42 books I read in 2009, there were only 3 stinkers in the bunch. You know who you are.... And at least 20 I rated 4 or more stars who stole a little piece of my heart or fed my soul or fascinated me...There were a few monsters, huge, 700, 900 pages, labors of love or story lust. So I shouldn't be disappointed in myself for failing to hit the 50 mark. It's just a number, and I could read manja or kids books and get there easy. I don't do anything the easy way, do I?

I can't pick a favorite, and can only comment on some of the authors who touched me:

Haven Kimmel, I wish we were kids together, your memoirs made my year. A Girl Named Zippy, She Got Up Off the Couch - I laughed and cried and remembered so much I had forgotten about the magical fun of kidhood in an interesting family.

Jeffrey Lent, Lost Nation and In the Fall will linger in my memory for decades. You are another lifetime favorite author.

Olive Kitteridge and Abide with Me were revelations. I love the way Elizabeth Strout writes, and I will remember her characters for a very long time.

And for Charlaine Harris, a special shout out for the excellent diversion the Sookie Stackhouse books were over a wintry Christmas Break. I read until my eyeballs ached, each book just calling to me from the new shiny seductive kindle... 8 box set, sure! I lost myself in each book, guilty that I liked your sassy fashion forward chic lit so much. Well, I wish I'd stopped at the box set. Your last book was bleak, dark, painful, cruel and a bit sicker that the others, and you let me down, left me hanging on the hope that book 10 will redeem you, and salvage my chances at happy escape with Sookie once more.

So, 2010, we're off to a great start, with 2 by Amy Bloom under the belt, East of Eden queued up on top of the next pile, though Haven is winking at me from underneath are the three Ellen Gilchrists I bought after I read A Dangerous Age. I love her writing very much, and these stories interweave with each other, so I can revisit the characters I loved in the first book. Hopefully before I forget who is who.

Maybe I should focus on deleting books from the tbr pile. Surely there are a few clunkers in there I should just set free in the world. So, feel free to nose through my library, tell me who I must read and who I should toss.

And hope you all have something good waiting to be read in your world. It's the best use of winter I can imagine.


  1. Whenever I read Ellen Gilchrist I always start to write exactly like she does. She has, may we say, a STRONG voice.

  2. a girl named zippy is a fave of mine. i may have to re-read that one at some point. the other by the same auther, I have not read - its going on the list!

    i am going to be posting more regularly on my blog, and one of the things on the list is to cover the books i have read, and do a little review of all the ones of 2010 i read. i am going for 52. 1 a week. i think i can do! Im on track so far, so thats about 6 days of reviews to fill in the slots on my blog! yay!

    i will take some time to poke around your books list too!