Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Challenge: 2011 Reading Challenge from Goodreads

Challenges


2011 Reading Challenge



2011 Reading Challenge

Heidi has


completed her goal of reading 25 books in 2011!


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This was a good reading year!! I set the goal of 25 books back in January not knowing if I could make it, and I surprised myself with 30.

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Why is less than one book a week such a big deal? Because after grad school, I had a difficult time balancing reading and writing...and being overly critical. Every book I picked up would be like an assignment to me, rather than a pleasure. I used to go into critiquer and editor mode immediately upon starting a book, and quite honestly, it never allowed me to see the story for all of the criticisms I had.

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But this year was a break-through for me. I let head-hopping slide--for the most part. I skipped over grammatical errors and forgave copy editors. I smiled at what I considered silly language and kept my focus on the plot and characters. I reminded myself that, even if I would have chosen to have a plot point play out in a certain way, the author had his or her reasons for doing it this way. And, I was very patient.

Goodreads Collage 2011_4, Good reads Collage 2011_4

In the end, I was rewarded with some real gems and a renewed love of reading that I haven't felt since I was in my teens. Some of that has to do with the convenience of my Kindle. But, mostly, it's because I learned to relax and allow myself to be absorbed completely into new worlds and live vicariously through some awesome characters.

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My reading interests are diverse with a leaning toward speculative fiction--that's how it's always been for me, from the days of those G. I. Joe Choose Your Own Adventure books. (And, yes, I included my own book in this list because I read it no less than a dozen times during revisions. It counts!!)

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What have you read this year? Share it in comments!

10 comments:

  1. Bravo, Heidi.

    I know what you mean about it being difficult to read for pleasure after grad school. I went for years (literally) without finishing a book I was reading for pleasure after I was done with my MFA. I was hyper-uber critical. I still can't fully extract myself from editor-mode. I think that's why I read so much non-fiction now.

    I don't think I did as well as you this year. I know I started over 30 books, but I definitely didn't finish them all. Doh!

    I don't have a number goal this year. As always, my goal is just to find one more good book to curl up with.

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  2. Hi Cary!

    Thanks for stopping by.

    I seldom don't finish a book--call me a completist, or OCD. ;)

    My husband reads more non-fiction than I do any more, but he's trying to get back into fiction a bit more. He went through the same grad program I did, but a semester later, so maybe he's a few months behind my reading break-through. ;)

    I do plan to read many more SFR books in 2012. I believe I said I'd read 12 this year for the SFR Reading Challenge, but only managed 6 (including my own!) and am reading one now. But I have about 25 (including yours!) ready and waiting for me.

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  3. Among others...I finally got around to reading "The Help". I was encouraged by the number of rejections Kathryn Stockett endured before she found success! But my fav's were "State of Wonder" by Ann Patchett and "Blue Nights", Joan Didion's new memoir. The book I found most helpful was "Story Engineering" by Larry Brooks. Have a great New Year, Heidi!

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  4. Sooo? What's your favorite of the year? I've been doing a lot of jumping around with genres and sub-genres, but I have to say "The Night Circus" was definitely a favorite this year. I'll have a review soon in my own blog!

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  5. It's great that you made your goal. I also have had trouble with too critical reading and had completed lost my love of reading but did stumble across some good books this year that brought back the fun.

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  6. Hi Jan!

    I have not read THE HELP yet, but one of my friends recommended it. Maybe in 2012. ;)

    Nice to "see" you!

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  7. Hi SFFDiva!

    THE NIGHT CIRCUS needs to go on my 2012 TBR list--I've been hearing good things about it. I'll have to check out your review!

    As for which book was my favorite...that's a tough question. Discounting my own book and my husband's books :) I will go with Sara Creasy's SCARABAEUS duology. She writes SF the way I hope to, with a fully realized world and characters to fall in love with.

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  8. Hi Jennifer!

    Thanks for stopping by.

    It was a fun reading year for me, too. And, I've noticed that when I'm having fun reading, it inspires my writing, as well.

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  9. Fun reading is a 'must' for me too (to be inspired).

    I also have to be careful what I read while I'm writing; I tend to be easily influenced by what I'm currently reading.

    I had a good laugh while I was editing my book. I was reading a series of '50's pulp romance novels (and loving them), but all of a sudden, all my characters started calling each other 'Darling' and developing a taste for dry martinis.

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  10. Ha ha ha, Cary! "Darling!"

    I'm influenced by what I'm reading, too. So when I need to spice up the love scenes, I read accordingly--the same with battle and fight scenes.

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