April 2 (B)…Books (and a Bookish Nerd)

If you know me personally, you had to know that today’s topic is a no-brainer. 

I love books.

I love reading, and try to do so every day.  I listen to audiobooks in my car constantly, and I set (often unattainable) reading goals each year, hoping not only to improve on my totals from the previous year, but to push myself to read things I would not ordinarily pick up.  And every year, I have had had great surprises, failures, disappointing revelations, but (nevertheless) satisfaction at having added to my reading history.

A few years ago, I was introduced to Goodreads, and I was instantly hooked.  I have always had a personal library, and Goodreads was the tool that allowed me to catalog my books, track my reading, get new book recommendation, publish book reviews, follow other readers’ reviews and comments, and interact with a group of people who love books as much as I do.

So I cataloged, organized, categorized, and made lists.

Most importantly, I started formally tracking my reading in 2007.  This has proved to be one of the most satisfying endeavors I have ever undertaken during my reading life.  I have learned a lot about my reading habits and my taste in books.  I discovered, for example, that pre-planning my annual reading is an absolute FAIL for me, as my mood is the dictator of what books wind up on my bedside table.  I also discovered that I am a relatively slow reader, in comparison to the many bookworms I encounter on Goodreads, in the blogosphere, or wherever we happen to connect.

Here are some stats:

2007:  40 books; favorites – Family Baggage and Alphabet Sisters by Monica McInerney
2008:  44 books; favorites – The Hindi-Bindi Club by Monica Pradhan, Becoming Finola by Suzanne Strempek Shea
2009:  84 books; favorites – My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir by Clarence Thomas, No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peal Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
2010:  49 books; favorites – Rain Gods by James Lee Burke, The Water is Wide and South of Broad by Pat Conroy, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
2011:  54 books; favorites – Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, My Reading Life by Pat Conroy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
2012:  12 books (to date); favorite (to date) –The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan

The best things about this project are that I am getting better at picking books I love, and I have at my fingertips book recommendations galore…to share with others, or to peruse when I’m in a slump.

I’d love you to connect with me bookishly.  Comments, complaints and snide remarks are welcome and encouraged.

Here’s where you can find me:
My personal book blog:  http://bookishnerd.com/
Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/346637

I also revew books on Amazon.com.

So, from one book lover to (hopefully) many…happy reading!


28 thoughts on “April 2 (B)…Books (and a Bookish Nerd)

  1. Have to admit, you have a very eclectic taste in books, and I am amazed by how many you are able to read.

    I have always loved Beethoven, felt he was one of the most amazing composers of all time. I feel that both Berry Manilow and Billy Joel are amazing pianists and have paid tribute to the masters in their own compositions. Glad you enjoyed my posting.

  2. Hi, thanks for visiting my blog and for this suggested list – I haven’t quite ventured into audio books yet (with exception to David Sedaris). Any recommendations?

    • Of the ones I listed as favorites, the following are audio:

      The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peal Pie Society
      Their Eyes Were Watching God
      The Water is Wide
      My Reading Life
      In Cold Blood
      The Kite Runner
      Rain Gods
      Water for Elephants
      The Help
      The Bonesetter’s Daughter

      All of them are excellent to listen to, but if you’ve never listened before I’d go with either The Help or Guernsey or The Bonesetter’s Daughter, because they have different narrators for each main character, and that adds a lot dramatically.

  3. I love love love to read as well. Sounds like an interesting idea – to organize and catalog the books you read. Of course my problem is that I start several books at the same time and often finish none of them.

    • Once I started listening to audiobooks, I found I could finish more books. It seemed to take some of the effort out of distinguishing between them mentally, and it fills some otherwise empty time for me.

  4. Do you physically buy your audiobooks or do you go through a download service like Audible? Either way, I just started on GoodReads as well. It really does appeal to my obsessive tendencies to catalog and archive everything, yay!

    • I have bought many, many audio books. The top rows of two bookshelves are filled with them. I also check them out of the library, especially because the library almost always has unabridged versions, and when I can’t find one for sale to the public, I can typically find it in the library. I DO NOT listen to abridgements. I do use audible.com as well, but I’ve found for my car, cd’s are better (I don’t have a direct input plug for my iPod, so it’s always static-y). I listen to my iPod in the gym, and that’s where Audible comes in very hand. I have to confess, I’m sort of addicted to audiobooks.

  5. So happy to have been stumbled across by you, I’m a bookworm too (as you’ll see later in today’s A-Z post!) I don’t count how many usually but I’m taking part in a reading hundred books a year challenge, (http://www.bookchickcity.com/2011/12/sign-up-100-books-in-year-reading.html) although I’ve just started and am behind schedule. I’ll be interested to follow what you’re reading ( I’m really enjoying “Special topics in Calamity Physics” at the mo).

    • I have had that one – in audio format – on my shelf for several years. I should really pull it out and listen. Glad to hear a positive reaction. 🙂

  6. A subject dear to my heart, whether reading or writing.
    Funny, whether by extrapolation from other titles or just synchronicity, I was sure I was going to come across Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel.
    I am sad to note, though, that no fantasy seems to figure!

    • I have read a fantasy here or there over the years, but it’s not usually my cup of tea. I’m not anti-fantasy by any means, but it’s typically only once in a while that I find one that really piques my interest. I’m always open to recommendations…

  7. Still not gone for the audio books, but I did discover Goodreads this year and, like you, love the way I can start to track my reading – especially since one of the things I always hated was forgetting about really amazing books I’d read. Lots on your list I agree with – The Help, Bonesetter’s Daughter, Kite Runner, and many more that are on my to-read list. Just couldn’t get into the Slap though – was really disappointed as I heard great things, but I didn’t even finish it, I found it really boring – maybe I should have stuck with it for longer?!

    • It’s a different book, and I think it may be one of those that will either appeal to you immediately, or just not be your cup of tea. I loved it. It was controversial and thought provoking, which are characteristics I love in books.

  8. Got to love books. I don’t understand (or trust <_< ) people who claim they don't like books or reading. I like 'goodreads' too (it helps me remember which books I'm reading when I have several on the go at once.)

  9. I love audioboks, and listen to them while driving at work. I have listened to so many books I probably would not of got around to reading ( including The Slap). Two of my favourites have been Grapes of Wrath, and The Sisters Brothers. 🙂

    • The Grapes of Wrath has been on my TBR list forever, and I do intend to listen to it. The Sisters Brothers…very intriguing title, and I’ll be checking it out. Thanks for the tip.

  10. You know, Ive heard so much about Good Reads, and Ive wanted to sign up for a while, it just a matter of having the time to actually use it. Im absolutely going to give it a try later today. I adore reading and I think it might help me find books I will enjoy.

    • It is one of several virtual library sites, and I like it because of the less “graphic-y” format (as opposed to Shelfari, for instance). It loads fairly quickly, and the info is organized in a way that works for me. I’d definitely recommend it!

  11. Pingback: Appreciating the Zealotry « Bookish Nerd

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