Looking Back at Christmas Reading, Looking Ahead to 2011

In case you missed it, I posted my ‘best of’ list last week, all the books I gushed about in 2010.

Hello, friends! I feel like I haven’t been around for a long, long time. Really, it has only been a week and 1/2 since I was blogging regularly, but since I’m used to blogging pretty much every day, it was very strange for me. It was also very nice, though. Since I was not trying to maintain content here, I had a little more freedom to read what I wanted, including reading books that are a few weeks out. The fact that I wasn’t writing also helped me get a lot of reading done. From the Christmas reading list I posted before the holidays, I finished 8 of the 24 books:

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Schaffer
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfeld
You Know When the Men are Gone by Siobhan Fallon
The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy
A Thousand Rooms of Dreams and Fear by Atiq Rahimi

I am also halfway through Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon, which is sort of like reading a whole additional book.

I probably could have finished another 2 books if it weren’t for Jane Eyre, which really dragged for me.


I am not going to talk about resolutions, per se, but there are a couple of things I want to start out the year doing, to see how they work, and at least one of them affects you, dear readers.

Other than during theme weeks (no more than one per month) and for Saturday Story Spotlight, I will not be reviewing more than three books sent to me for review per week. I’m doing this for a few reason. For one thing, it will help me read farther ahead, so there are not times I’m staying up late to finish a book that I want to review the next morning. In addition to just being less stressful, reading farther ahead will also give me more flexibility to pick up a book the second it comes into the house if I want to, even if it isn’t being released for months. Plus, if I am already scheduled three weeks ahead, that will make it easier for me to pick up a book from my TBR pile or that I have out from the library.

Now, you may see content like D.E.A.R., giveaways, guest posts, or discussion posts on the two days a week I am not reviewing books sent to me for review, or you may even see reviews of audio, TBR, or library books, or even old review copies I never got to but still really want to read. However, I have also given myself permission to only post those three days during any given week, so you may not be seeing new content here daily, at least for the next few months.

One thing I really hope to do this year, especially since I’ll be reading ahead, is to keep up on getting reviews written and scheduled. I’m going to try to make Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings my writing time. I’m hoping having scheduled times will help keep me from being lured away from my writing by my books, although of course I can write any time the muse hits.

What kind of blogging resolutions are you trying out this year? Blogging more regularly? Less often? Reading more? Less? Commenting? Social media? I want to know!

16 comments to Looking Back at Christmas Reading, Looking Ahead to 2011

  • Sounds like a good plan. I am trying to read ahead more too. I should look and see what I have going on for February. I haven’t really made many reading plans this year, but I do want to feel more ree in my reading. No matter what I do, that seems more easily said than done, so we will see.

  • You got so much more reading done than I did! I only read MAJOR PETTIGREW’S LAST STAND (loved it!) over the holidays and am a mere 14% (ebook) through ANNA KARENINA. I’ve never actually finished Jane Eyre – I can’t wait to hear what you thought of it, and WEIRD SISTERS and YOU KNOW WHEN THE MEN ARE GONE! Those are the three I’m familiar with from your list… but if you loved any of the others I’ll add them to my TBR as well. Hope you had a fabulous, wonderful holiday season!

    • Did not love Jane Eyre, but adored the other two, already scheduled my gushing review of You Know When the Men Are Gone, and I hope to get my The Weird Sisters review written today.

  • I can’t handle the day-to-day thing myself. I have to be at least two weeks out, preferably more, so I can have the flexibility to not write reviews for a few days. I also totally understand the limitation of review copies. They have the potential to take over your life, and not allow you to read spontaneously.

  • Good idea!! I’m always trying to find ways to schedule ahead, especially when I have a book that seems to be taking me forever to read!

  • I try to stay ahead, but it can be hard to do – good luck!

  • I can’t wait to hear what you thought of The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown (which I want to read) and The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfeld (which I’ve read twice and loved)! I’m impressed with how quickly you are reading Gabaldon’s books! I’m up to The Fiery Cross, so you are probably going to pass me.

    And I think your goals for 2011 sound very sensible. Good luck and happy new year!

  • I’m ahead on reviews right now, but I may follow your lead and limit myself to three a week, spreading them out. Then I’d have more space for fun posts and could still move more reviews in on the other days, if I was reading enough. I read just enough for five reviews a week right now, but I think I’d be okay with reading a bit less if I didn’t feel obligated to put content on the blog. I don’t read as many review copies as you, so instead I’d get a chance to indulge in longer books. :)

    I’m sorry you didn’t love Jane Eyre; I’m loving it all over again on my reread, so I’ll be interested to see what you thought. I think I can see how it might not work for someone else, but it still does everything right for me.

  • So sorry to hear that you didn’t love Jane. :(

    As far as your changes — you should of course blog the way it feels right to you. You got a ton of reading done over vacation! Good for you!

    • It remains to be seen whether or not I can actually adjust to not posting every day (it was HARD not posting over the last couple weeks!), but if it can last long enough to at least let me get ahead that would be fabulous.

  • 8 out of 24 is great! Good luck with your new goals. :)

  • I love seeing your goals… and always, I look forward to your posts whether or not they are every day or a few times a week! :)

  • I will be posting my reading/blogging goals in a day or so. I think your plan sounds great, 3 times a week is plenty.
    Looks like you got a LOT of reading done.

  • Gah! You must read REVOLUTION immediately! I was really hoping you would get to it over your Christmas break so we could discuss it.

    Good luck with your new goals! I understand completely what you are trying to do. Like you, I am trying to write ahead as much as possible. It makes blogging and writing so much more fun and easier when there is room for flexibility.

  • Enjoy yourself! As I transition from two part-time jobs and graduate school to full-time and consistent regular hours, I’m planning to devote Saturday mornings to review writing and posting for the week. I’m hoping it will help me spend my nights reading instead of getting sucked into the computer. Happy reading in 2011!

  • […] I read last week was either a TBR book or from the library, it was quite lovely. I think my decision not to review more than 3 books per week which were sent to me for the purpose of review is a good […]