To state the blatantly obvious: December has been a slow month at BookSexy Review. I’m not a huge fan of end of year lists, so have been embracing the downtime to recharge and re-examine. 2012 was the best of times and the worst of times… at least in my reading/blogging life. Here are some of the highs and the lows:
The BEST – The 2012 Goodreads Reading Challenge. The Challenge is reminiscent of the Summer Reading Contests at the public library when I was a kid. I don’t know if they still have them, but every summer you’d sign up and the librarian would track your reading for three months. At the end your name would be entered into a drawing for a prize – I remember one year it was a plush raven. Even without the possibility of winning a stuffed animal, there’s something eminently satisfying about marking a book “finished” and watching the bar increase as you draw closer to your goal. Or measuring your progress against your friends. Or just comparing your list of read books to the previous years. Biblio-geekiness combined with competition… I’ve already entered my goal for 2013.
The WORST – Epic failure to reach my goal for the 2012 Goodreads Reading Challenge. I read more books than last year, but still failed to reach my (unknowingly) over-ambitious quota. Even more tragic was losing a side bet with Lori at TNBBC’s Blog. She buried me and later this month I expect to face the consequences… Brace yourselves, readers, because it won’t be pretty.
The BEST – Book Bloggers. 2012 was a stellar year when it came to connecting with other book bloggers. Between Book Expo and the bookish community I’ve met through Twitter – there are some talented bloggers out there doing incredible work for the love of reading. This is by no means a complete list, but TNBBC, PickyGirl, Kimbofo/Reading Matters, Levi Asher, Gav & Simon from The Readers, MookseandtheGripes, Stu/Winstonsdad, RobAroundBooks, AmyReads, the InsatiableBooksluts, Alix, Biblibio, Lisa/ANZLitLover – you all made my year richer and I can’t wait to see what everyone will be up to in 2013.
The BEST – Small Presses, Those Bloggers Again & Translations. The majority of the books I read this year – at least 90% – have been either translations or International authors. Despite the infamous 3% Problem, I had a suprisingly easy time of it. The credit goes to many of the bloggers listed above (particularly to the bloggers in Australia, Scotland & England who tipped me off to books that were still finding their way into America) and to small & university presses willing to take a chance on authors who don’t write in English.
The WORST – Actually, I’ve got nothing. Thankfully, there’s been more BEST than WORST to remember. Well, maybe that Philippe Claudel book. The more I think about it the more it irks me. Walter Moers’ had a great quote about Waiting for Godot (disguised as an Ugglian play in The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books) which could just as easily be applied to The Investigation: “The theme of the play may be despair at the futility of existence, but wouldn’t it be possible to handle the subject in a somewhat more entertaining and less redundant way? And, to be honest, hasn’t this outlook on the world become a bit long in tooth these days – if a world outlook can be said to have teeth?… It’s possible that at the time of its premier…the play possessed a certain philosophical potency, but isn’t it also possible that this has dissipated over the years?…”
The BEST – I was all over the internet this year! Well, all over my small, modest, bookish niche of the internet. I contributed my first review to the legendary blog LitKicks, took part in an episode The Readers Summer Book Club (my first podcast!), hosted a Walter Moers Blog Tour, was mentioned on Harriet: the Poetry Foundation’s blog and was invited to take part in Triple Choice Tuesday at Reading Matters. It was fun escaping from my little blog fiefdom and I’m looking forward to doing more of it in 2013.
The BEST – BookSexy Review readers. Thank you for all your comments and support in 2012. I was able to read and review so many incredible books this year (and some not so incredible, let’s be honest). Hopefully I did them all justice and you found something here to add to your own bookshelves. Happy New Year, everyone! May your 2013 be filled with peace, happiness and lots of reading!