Books of 2011

I tried, I really did, to keep track of everything I read this year and I think I did a fairly credible job, though I am also positive that something or other has slipped through the cracks. Now that I go back to look at the year I’m kind of depressed at how meager the list is. I think I completed 29 books and began a dozen or so more. While my sister encourages me by saying that’s a very credible number for a mom of four little ones, I’m pretty sure it is a personal lifetime low. I used to read at least twice that many in a year. Oh well, I had my fourth baby at the beginning of this year and he’s really kept me on my toes.

What really makes me feel depressed is actually not the number of books I finished but the number of books I began and didn’t finish. So many times I got distracted and put a book aside meaning to come back and I never did. I want to go apologize to all those unfinished books, let them know it wasn’t their fault but my own negligence. I’m sure they were all wonderful books; they just got stuck with me in a flaky year when my attention span was very short and things were very much hit or miss with me.

My resolution for 2012 is to read more books, to concentrate on finishing what I start and to go back to finish all the books I didn’t finish this year…. and to spend less time on Facebook. (I’ve already stopped using Twitter for the most part. I miss it terribly at times but I decided I only could handle one social media venue at a time and Facebook is where the majority of my friends and family are.)

In January I read four books and began six more. Of those six I finished three of them. The other three are still waiting to be finished. That seems especially pathetic. Maybe I need to put them on the top of my to do list for 2012

Finished in January:

1. Lay Siege to Heaven by Louis de Wohl

2. The glorious folly;: A novel of the time of St. Paul by Louis de Wohl

3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

4. Our Lady of the Lost and Found by Diane Schoemperlen

In February I finished three of the books I started in January and started three more, one of which I still haven’t finished.

Finished in February:

1. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick

2. The Winds of Marble Arch by Connie Willis

3. A Time to Dance, No Time to Weep by Rumer Godden

In March I read three books, began two more and kept plugging away at one of my in progress books.

Finished in March:

1. The Liars’ Club: A Memoir by Mary Karr

2. Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing Of The Dog…) by Jerome K. Jerome

3. Dreamers, Discoverers & Dynamos: How to Help the Child Who Is Bright, Bored and Having Problems in School (Formerly Titled ‘The Edison Trait’) by Lucy Jo Palladino PhD

In April I finished only one book but it was a whopper. I began one more. Not too shabby.

Finished in April:

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

In May I read six books (though three of them were YA and one was mostly pictures) and started two more that I never finished.

Finished in May:

1. Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C.S. Lewis

2. Your Baby Is Speaking to You by Dr Kevin Nugent with photographs by Abelardo Morell.

3. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book I: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood

4.  The Road from Roxbury by Melissa Wiley.

5. The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall

6. Imperial Renegade by Louis de Wohl

In June, July and August I didn’t do much reading at all, evidently. I finished three books and read good portions of four more.

Finished in the summer:

1. I neglected to include one in my summer roundup post Scattered:  How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates And What You Can Do About It by Gabor Mate M.D.

2. If Protestantism is True: The Reformation Meets Rome by Devin Rose

3.  The Spear by Louis de Wohl

In September I didn’t write a roundup post at all but I think I finished two books:

1. A Little Way of Homeschooling by Suzie Andres, begun in the summer; I don’t recall when I finished it but I know I did.

2. Still Alice

In October

Finished in October:

1. Lessons at Blackberry Inn: Adventures with the Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola

2. The Pope & The CEO: John Paul II’s Leadership Lessons to a Young Swiss Guard by Andreas Widmer

3. Wish You Were Here: Travels Through Loss and Hope by Amy Welborn

4. Trees of New England: A Natural History by Charles Fergus—not actually finished; but this is the kind of book you don’t really read from cover to cover so I don’t feel so guilty about it.

5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

In November I read Italian Shoes and Mortal Love and began reading Middlemarch.

In December I’ve been limping through Middlemarch, and dipping into Strange and Secret Peoples: Fairies and Victorian Consciousness by Carole Silver. I sort of began Rumer and Jon Godden’s Two Under the Indian Sun; but have only read a chapter or two.

I’m not going to try to pick a favorite book or rank these in any way. My book notes express what I felt right after I’d read them. I will note that Barbara Demick’s Nothing to Envy seems especially
current with the death of Kim Jung Il.

 

5 Responses to Books of 2011

  1. Katherine January 1, 2012 at 3:15 am #

    What a wonderful way to end the year! Looks like an awesome light display.

    Happy New Year!!!

  2. Brian Flaherty January 1, 2012 at 4:02 am #

    For a pre-shrine dinner, I suggest Bliss Brothers Dairy which is right next door.  Good food and great ice cream made on the premises.  It’s where we go before we head to see the lights.

  3. Melanie Bettinelli January 1, 2012 at 4:49 am #

    Thanks, Brian, I did notice them last night though they didn’t look open; but I’ll keep them in mind for future outings.

  4. Colleen January 2, 2012 at 4:53 am #

    This is the first year that I can remember that we didn’t make it to LaSalette because I kept thinking it would have been too cold for the baby.  But, that was before Christmas…these past few days have been unseasonably warm and I wish I would have thought of going after Christmas! 
    My brother proposed to his wife at the top of those stairs with the Crucifix after they had just walked up them on their knees. 
    Oh, and Bliss Dairy’s ice cream is pretty good but very expensive (and that’s coming from a girl who’s parents owned a homemade ice cream shop on the Cape for twenty years)…just a tip if you go next year!

  5. Melanie Bettinelli January 2, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    Colleen, We had to look it up to make sure they were still open. I wasn’t sure. But it turned out to be a good option. Especially with the weather.

    That’s an awesome place to receive a proposal!

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