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Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year from A Circle of Books

The year in review - 2009 - A Circle of Books

Hello everyone and Happy New Year! I wanted to start the year by doing something that I so love to read on other blogs. I love to read the recaps and the year in review. I have been hesitant to add mine as I fell short by about 20 books. And if you look at my piles you can easily bump that number to 40. I can honestly say that I spent most of my time reading blogs this year and less time reading my books. This book blogging in 2009 was a new time expenditure for me and it cut into my spare time considerably. While I enjoyed the blog reading tremendously, I note that this was not my desired outcome.

So I have a goal this year to get a balance on my blog reading time and my book reading time. And I don't plan on cutting back on my blog reading. Also I did read more books on the list. The list below only includes books reviewed and featured.

I also reviewed a movie or two and shared a poem or two. (click on review to get review, author info, and to see the cover)
  1. Eclipse, Stephenie Meyer (Review)
  2. The American Journey of Barak Obama (Review)
  3. Love and other Natural Disasters (Review)
  4. Sundays at Tiffany's (Review)
  5. Drood (Review)
  6. Who by Fire (Review)
  7. Knit Two (Review)
  8. Galway Bay (Review)
  9. Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand (Review)
  10. Mating Rituals of the North American Wasp (Review)
  11. The Host (Review)
  12. Stand the Storm (Review)
  13. The Castaways
  14. Star Gazing (Review)
  15. A Summer Affair (Review)
  16. Follow Me (Review)
  17. People of the Book (Review)
  18. How Not to Look Old (Read but not reviewed)
  19. Secrets to Happiness (Review)
  20. A Worthy Legacy (Review)
  21. Simon's Cat (Review)
  22. Ansel Adams in Color (Review)
  23. Rain (Review)
  24. Knit the Season (Review)
  25. Bear Portraits (Review)
  26. The Winter of Our Discontent (Review)
  27. Olive Kitteridge (Review)
  28. The Reader (Movie Review)
I have a few piles of books from publishers to read and review. I do plan read them all. I have started and put down more than a few. Which brings up another entire issue. If I have read part way or half way through a book and put it down and I loose interest, does anyone really want to hear my story about it? At this point, would the publisher be happy that I just move on? So I am working on how to handle books that I didn't finish, or couldn't get into. I might just make a monthly post, "Books I didn't finish or couldn't get into for various reasons." I say I want to write a scathing review some day, and yet do I really?

More thoughts on A Circle of Books in 2009 and 2010.

On Giveaways - I had giveaways every month. I hope to continue with the giveaways. I have had a few little episodes where a winner hasn't received a book and considering the amount of giveaways I held, it was not that bad at all. Just remember to read the details. Most of the giveaways are mailed from the publisher. Sometimes the books arrive in a week or two and other times it takes a while. For those that do enter the giveaways if you keep my original email, it is very helpful in assisting you when this happens. And when you email me to state that you haven't received your book, if you could just include your address again that helps tremendously.

On awards - Thank you for all that bestow those thoughtful and pretty awards. It is great fun. Since I am on a crunch for time sometimes I don't post it or pass along. It sure doesn't mean that I don't appreciate them. Sometimes I just loose track. I am working on finding the balance of being involved in the social aspect more. Don't give up on me. Maybe next year I can get more involved in some of the fun stuff...the meme's, the awards, the exchanges. I hope to do so.
On that note I want to add that I was blogging on a pretty slow and old PC, some of my favorite blogs took forever for me to load and reply. I have a new situation and it seems to have rectified my technology handicap.

On Blog Tours - When I first blogged, I did more blog tours. I have to say that I miss the blog tours. I thought that I wanted to branch out more on my own and read my own stuff and that is true, but I would like to go back to doing more blog tours. I love the buzz, the giveaways, the book thought and all that good stuff centered around the blog tours. I hope to do more of them this year.

On that note I think I am about 30% of the way to the goal and vision for this blog. I hope everyone will stay with me for the journey for I am sure it will be a great ride, however long it may take!

Happy New Year!

***edited to note ..I spend the day reading everyone's wrap ups and what not and once again, I spent hours reading and commenting on blogs instead of finishing my books...sigh.... I had such a crappy reading year in hindsight.....


Passages to the Past said...

Happy New Year to you too Toni!! It's been great getting to know you this past year and I look forward to more of it in 2010.

And you know I will be there with you during your journey!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year!! You accomplished soooo much in 2009.

Antonette said...

Happy New Year Toni! I'm glad to see that I read 5 of the books on your list as well. I have not read Galway Bay yet, however, I did get the chance to meet and assist Mary Pat Kelly at the bookstore where I work when she came to do a signing. A very personable woman.

bermudaonion said...

Happy New Year, Toni! I hope 2010 is a fantastic year for you.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I think you have a great list! And I have a pretty new computer but still, some blogs are really really slow, and I tend to stop going to them and it's a shame because I may really like them! But actually, we should tell each other! I think everyone would rather not have people leave because of that!

I hope you realize your goals in 2010 and I wish you and Dexter all the very best for the new year!!!

Toni said...

Thank you Amy. Right back at you.

J.Kaye.. nice to see you thank you!

Antonette..what a nice honor to meet Mary Pat Kelly. Thank you.

Kathy - Thank you for the comment as always. Can't wait to see what blogging holds this year for all.

Rhapsody - Dexter thanks you and says it's time to do a dog day on the blog... And I think you are right a few of my favorite blogs are almost impossible to read and comment on because where I am at the time...(ahem the place that shall not be named....) the computer is older. But I am happy to say that everything loads better from my laptop and I can zip through and comment like the wind.. Happy New Year.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Hey, Toni, Happy New Year! Great list, I read a few of them. I also read a couple of the ones you plan to read in 2010 - I really liked Everyone is Beautiful.
I spent a lot of time today reading blogs. I read a chapter in my current book. But I have a bad cold and so my attention span was only good for blog reading today. I hope the coming year brings you some great reading as well as good health to you and yours.

Serena said...

Happy New Year! I hope that you can find a balance in the new year.

Alyce said...

It is really hard to find a balance, but I have been trying harder this year too. I have spent less time in the past four months reading blogs, and although I do miss getting to visit everyone's blogs, I have found that I have a better balance in my personal life and for reading.

I hope that you are able to find a balance that works for you so that you don't end up discouraged with your reading.

As for the unfinished books thing, I think your idea of a joint post stating why you didn't finish and your thoughts about the books is a good idea.

Gwendolyn B. said...

Toni: Happy New Year! Hope 2010 is wonderful for you and your family.
I agree with you that blog reading and commenting can really cut into your book reading time. I wish I was independently wealthy so I wouldn't have to "waste" so much time at my job! I've found it particularly difficult to keep up over the last couple of months. Guess I'll have to come up with some kind of alternating routine, because I don't want to cut back on blog reading either! Looking forward to lots of book talks with you this year!

Anna said...

Wishing you all the best in 2010. I hope you achieve all your goals.

I hear you about the review copies. I've cut down the number I accept in recent months, and I will continue to be really picky in the future. One of my goals for the new year is to clear out the review copies that are already on my shelves.

Diary of an Eccentric

Literary Feline said...

Happy New Year to you too! I really enjoy reading the recaps this time of year too. I think my time on the computer impacted my reading numbers too this year, at least in part. Must fix that this next year. Not today though. LOL

To answer your question about unfinished books, I do like hearing about your progress, or lack there of. I think most publishers are happy if you just mention the book on your blog, but not being one of them, I can't say for sure.

I wish you the best in the New Year, Toni. I look forward to getting to know you better and sharing our love for books.

Ladytink_534 said...

2009 was my worst reading year in at least half a decade so here's hoping that 2010 holds all kinds of wonderful reads for both of us!

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

Toni I struggle with balancing the blog reading, commenting, posting and reading books also. I love to read other blogs but I can lose track of time while I am reading them. Here is to hoping we can find a balance in 2010!

Bonnie said...

Happy New Year Toni! I think that it is a challenge to find balance with book blogging, reading and connecting with other bloggers. You've done a great job and should be proud of your efforts. I'm working on finding balance as well and focusing on books that I want to read this year and less review books.

Margot said...

Don't feel bad about your list. It's quality, not quantity that counts. You read some amazing books. I'm feeling the same way about the balance in my life now that blogging has entered it. 2010's goal is more reading and knitting and less chatting on line. Hope we both are able to achieve the balance we want. Happy New Year.

Dixie Phillips said...

Sending New Year's blessings your way. Thanks for your great blog.

Jenny Girl said...

Happy New Year Toni!
I didn't do a wrap up because I can barely get my regular posts out. I was good for a while, and now I'm all backed up.

I know what you mean about trying to get your blog where you wnated and your posting habits too. It's hard to balamce but as long as we do the best we can, then I think we're good.

I don't finish books I don't like regardless of source. If it's from a publisher, I will skim to at least be able to write a review, but I state that right up front. It's up to you, and how you feel about it. I also include 5 other reviews of the book too, good or bad.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

Happy New Year, Toni! I didn't write a 'year in review' post ... you're a step ahead of me :)

I do write short posts about why I was unable to finish a book. Sometimes I include why I thought I would like it (the reason I picked it up), why I didn't connect with it, and who might like it. I also find and include links to other reviews.

Keep it fun for yourself ... enjoy your reading (don't let it become a task)!

All the best in 2010.

Rebecca Reid said...

I haven't yet written a year in review post but I agree, so fun to read them! Sounds like a good year -- and don't feel bad if you read and/or blog less than others. It's about quality and enjoyment, not quantity!