December 2009 Summary and Plans for January 2010

The BookDepository

I read 14 books in December giving a total of 144 for the year. I’m quite impressed with that and hope I can read a similar number in 2010.

I was lucky to read two outstanding books in December – Flowers for Algernon and Generation A both managed to gain my highest rating and I hope that you decide to read them, as I’m sure you’ll love them!

Overall the quality of the books I read in December was very high. I’m wondering if I’m noticing a gradual improvement due to book blogger recommendations?


 

Generation A – Douglas Coupland  stars51

Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes  stars51

Fall on Your Knees – Ann-Marie MacDonald stars4h

Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) – George Orwell  stars41

The Mosquito Coast – Paul Theroux  stars41

Right to Die – Hazel McHaffie  stars41

Snow – Orhan Pamuk  stars41

Tender Morsels – Margo Lanagan  stars41

The Inner Circle – T.C. Boyle  stars41

A Redbird Christmas – Fannie Flagg  stars41

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Steig Larsson   stars3h

Something’s Wrong – Sam Smith  stars3h

Grotesque – Natsuo Kirino  stars3

An Equal Stillness – Francesca Kay stars2

Plans for January

It is Orange January!

I plan to read a few Orange books this month:

Small Island – Andrea Levy 

The Little Friend – Donna Tartt

Buddha Da – Anne Donovan

I’m also taking part in Woolf in Winter:  

 To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf (29th January)

I hope to read a few of these other books too:

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation: v. 1 – M.T. Anderson

Uglies – Scott Westerfield

The Harlot’s Progress: Pt. 1: Yorkshire Molly – Peter Mottley

The Boat to Redemption – Su Tong

Rupture – Simon Lelic

The Woman in the Dunes – Kobo Abe

The Elegance of the Hedgehog – Muriel Barbery

Have you read any of the books that I plan to read in January?

Which one do think I’ll enjoy the most?


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45 Comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    I hope you love The Elegance of the Hedgehog as much as I did! I will be anxious to see how you like The Little Friend. I loved A Secret History but heard this one isn’t as good so I haven’t picked it up at this point.

    1. Jackie says:

      Stephanie, I haven’t read any Donna Tartt. I own both – perhaps I should read Secret History first?

  2. Megan says:

    I really loved Small Island – hope you enjoy it, too! I read Uglies a couple of years back, and while I didn’t dislike it, I wasn’t as thrilled about it as many others were and haven’t raced out to lay my hands on the rest of the series. I’ll be especially interested to hear your thoughts on both books!

    1. Jackie says:

      Megan, I’m about 100 pages into Uglies and am enjoying it. I don’t think I’ll be raving about it like other people either, but from what I’ve read so far I think I’d read the rest of the series – we’ll have to see what I think of the middle and ending first!

  3. Lu says:

    I’ve only read Uglies on your list of books for January, but I loved it! Happy New Year, Jackie! Thanks for visiting my blog and being a part of my blogging world. I hope 2010 is awesome for ya! :D

    1. Jackie says:

      Lu, I enjoy reading your blog, so there is no need to thank me! Thank you for creating a great blog – I look forward to sharing book talk with you in 2010.

  4. Amy S. says:

    I have Generation A on my shelf to read but have to get to a few that are on deadline first. I really like Coupland so I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

    1. Jackie says:

      Amy, Generation A is fantastic, so I’m sure you’ll love it – Enjoy!

  5. diane says:

    Jackie, you had an amazing December and 2009. I hope to read Small Island and Mosquito Coast in 2010. As for Donna Tartt, I liked Secret History, quite a bit more than Little Friend. Enjoy your selections

    1. Jackie says:

      diane, As you’re the second to say that Secret History is better I think I’ll switch!

      I look forward to your thoughts on Mosquito Coast in 2010 especially!

  6. Louise says:

    I also read Uglies and I am excited to see how you like it when you get to it. And Fall on your Knees which you read in December is one of my all time faves. A great read! I see that you liked it too :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Louise, I loved Fall on Your Knees, but I’m not sure it will stay with me – it was too complex and there was too much going on, so it just missed out on 5 stars for that reason. I hope I enjoy Uglies too!

  7. She says:

    I hope you enjoy Small Island. It’s such a different WWII story that touched on things I was totally unaware of. It’s also angering but in a good way I think. I can’t wait to see what you think about it :)

    1. Jackie says:

      She, Sounds interesting! I can’t wait to find out what it is about.

  8. Dorte H says:

    I have read and enjoyed To the Lighthouse. I did not enjoy The Little Friend that much, but that is probably because I found it on a crime fiction shelf so I had the wrong kind of expectations to it.

    1. Jackie says:

      Dorte, I don’t think Little Friend is crime fiction, so hopefully that will help my impression of it. I’m pleased that you enjoyed Lighthouse – I had the impression that most people didn’t like it, so it is good to know that you did.

  9. Sandy says:

    You certainly did have a banner month! I don’t remember the last time you had so many 4 and 5 stars in a four weeks’ time. I’ve not read any of the books you are considering for January (big shocker!). I really want to get in on one or two of the Woolf reads with Frances, even though I’m a little bit intimidated.

    1. Jackie says:

      Sandy, I have the impression that Woolf will be really hard to read too. I’m going to give it a try though and hope that reading with other people will make things a bit easier.

  10. Beth F says:

    You had a great December and a great year. And January’s list of books is awesome too. Happy, happy new year to you, Jackie!

    1. Jackie says:

      Thanks Beth, I hope you have a fantastic year too!

  11. JoAnn says:

    Book blogger recommendations have made a HUGE difference in the quality and enjoyment of my reading, and I’m guessing it might have influenced yours too! Flowers for Algernon was assigned reading when I was in high school, but I really don’t remember a thing about it. Judging from all the positive reviews lately, it sounds like its time to reread.

    1. Jackie says:

      JoANn, Yes – I think you’d love Flowers for Algernon. I hope you find time to reread it soon.

  12. Aarti says:

    I have The Harlot’s Progress on my shelf, so I’m excited to see what you think of it! Sigh. I adore Georgian England.

    1. Jackie says:

      Aarti, Harlot’s Progress does sound like a great story – I love books with twists and turns, so am hoping it will be as good as it sounds.

  13. I’ve only read two books in your list above (the Larsson and 1984). I’ll be joining in the Woolf read-along as well, but, my book of choice is Mrs. Dalloway.

    Hope your January reading experience matches December. 144 for the year is pretty impressive! I only managed 87. :(

    1. Jackie says:

      anothercookiecrumbles, 87 is a great number too! I only read 80 in 2008, so it is a big increase for me and I put it all down to blogging. It will be interesting to see how long I can sustain it for.

  14. Simon S says:

    I look forward to your thoughts on Small Island, easily one of the best books I have read in ages. Queenie and Hortense will be delightful company… well I hope they will. I don’t as yet know of anyone who hasnt found them so.

    1. Jackie says:

      Simon, Let’s hope I’m not the first one not to like them! It does sound like a fantastic book. I hope it lives up to expectations now.

  15. Karen says:

    Small Island is a fantastic book – hope you enjoy it. The Little Friend is a book I have been meaning to re-read for a while now – I am one of the few people who actually enjoyed it more than Tartt’s first book. I have been trying to decide whether or not to read Hedgehog for ages now so I will be looking forward to hearing what you think of it Jackie.

    1. Jackie says:

      Karen, It is interesting to hear that you enjoyed it more. Now I can’t decide which to read! I hope you have a great new year!

  16. Tricia says:

    You had a great reading month in December and it looks like January will be great too! I haven’t read any of the books you are planning to read in January – I really enjoy your blog and I’m looking forward to reading your reviews throughout 2010!

    1. Jackie says:

      Thanks Tricia! I hope that January is as good as December. Good luck with the Russian classics!

  17. Steph says:

    Haven’t read any of the books on your Jan roster BUT I have only been hearing good things about Donna Tartt (though generally most people seem to like The Secret History a tad more than The Little Friend); I own both of her novels and so I’ll hopefully read at least one of them this year… not sure of my own plans for January. I’ll just see where my whims take me!

    1. Jackie says:

      Steph, Don’t worry – I still have space to read books on a whim and don’t feel the list is set in stone – I can change it whenever I like. I hope you have a great January and find some fantastic books to read.

  18. Jenners says:

    Impressive number of books read!!
    And I read “The Little Friend” years ago and remember liking it.

    1. Jackie says:

      Thanks Jenners! It is good to know that you enjoyed The Little Friend.

  19. Great year/month/plans! I wasn’t far off 144 books and that’s mainly because I hit a reading and blogging wall in December; I’m hoping a fresh start and great books on the horizon will help.

    I’m really looking forward to reading Flowers for Algernon.

    I have read The Elegance of the Hedgehog, The Little Friend and Buddha Da and interested what you will think of them; I suspect that you will find Elegance too gentle and philosophical for your tastes but we’ll see.

    Small Island is a book I have been meaning to read for a few years (probably since it was shortlisted for the Orange) and hope to read it this year; I also have To the Lighthouse on my immediate TBR for Woolf in Winter.

    1. Jackie says:

      Claire, I hope you get over your blogging/reading wall soon. I think Flowers for Algernon might fix it for you!

      I’m sad to hear that Hedgehog might be too gentle for me – I have heard nothing but praise for it. It will be interesting to see what I think of it now.

  20. Jeanne says:

    I’ve read a number of the books you’re planning to read. To the Lighthouse is, of course, the most intellectually nutritious. I also enjoyed The Hedgehog one.

    1. Jackie says:

      Jeanne, I love the sound of something ‘intellectually nutritious’!

  21. Dan Holloway says:

    Tha Donna Tart and Virginia Woolf are the two on that list that would really whet my appetite. Very much looking forward to following you through the whole of 2010 having found you rather late in 2009 :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Dan, Thanks Dan! I hope I’ll be able to entertain you for a whole year!

  22. Melody says:

    You had an amazing reading year, Jackie!
    Happy reading and let’s hope 2010 will be even better for all of us!

    1. Jackie says:

      Thanks Melody, I hope that 2010 is an even better year for us all.

  23. Michelle says:

    What a great reading month and it sounds like January is off to a good start! I’ve read Small Island last year and loved it. I read The Little Friend pre-blogging and can’t remember much of it. Didn’t leave a lasting impression. Uglies was pretty good. I really liked the series as a whole.

    The Elegance of the Hedgehog and Boat to Redemption are on my wishlists.

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