While I’m not always sure how interesting year in review posts are, I think it’s a good thing to go back over and year and see where you’ve been. It helps give a direction for where you decide you’re going. So here’s a look back at 2010 at Sophisticated Dorkiness, including my favorite books of the year each month.
- I had a big plan to read 3000 pages in the 30 days of my Christmas break (which actually started back in December). In the end, I only managed 2308 pages, but it was a fun challenge nonetheless.
Favorite Book: The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood because of the way it got me excited about reading to start the year. I flew through this book and did not want it to end.
- I got to introduce all of you to my darling kitten, Hannah, who is still a constant source of amusement (and a bit of annoyance – little cats get into everything!).
- Care (Care’s Online Book Club) and I decided to read Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail by Hunter S. Thompson, which we finished but never really reviewed. That’s ok, I didn’t have a lot to say because the book is crazy! C’est la vie.
- I finally started my Narrative Nonfiction 5 feature, starting out with a list of books on “current” events.
Favorite Book: The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum, but it’s hard for me to be objective about the book. I think Deb, a former professor, is great, and I loved hearing about the writing process of this book during classes with her.
- I was a guest on “That’s How I Blog!” — a podcast hosted by Nicole of Linus’s Blanket, where we got to chat about Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman.
- And then school proceeded to kick my butt for the next two months.
Favorite Book: Making Toast by Roger Rosenblatt because it hit just the right note when I wanted to read it. It’s a beautiful little memoir.
- I ranted about Nicholas Sparks, which was a fun chance of pace from the less ranty things I like to think I tend to write.
- Once I saw the end of school looming, I gave some advice about how to be a book blogger and a fabulous grad student. In hindsight, most of the advice is just about how to balance blogging and life.
Favorite Book: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath because it was one of those classics that felt completely relevant to me when I read it.
- I celebrated my two-year blogiversary, good times!
- I finally finished my Master’s degree in journalism!
- And then I got a real job!
- And then I got to go to Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention! I stayed with Shelia (Book Journey), Esme (Chocolate & Croissants), and Care (Care’s Online Book Club), which was amazing.
- I also got to be on a panel about writing and building content with some other amazing bloggers. So much fun.
- I also started a reading project to read all of Tim O’Brien’s books (more on that later).
- In conclusion, May was a crazy-awesome month.
Favorite Book: This Day in the Life by Joni B. Cole, Rebecca Joffrey, and B.K. Rakhra because I’ve loved every single one of these collections.
- I asked for help picking out an e-reader, and then I actually bought a nook
- I brought back a weekly link round up feature, Monday Tally.
- I guest-posted over at The 3R’s Blog about fact in fiction.
- Andi of Estella’s Revenge and I co-founded BookClubSandwich: An Online Book Club for Foodies and Wannabes.
Favorite Book: The Lunatic Express by Carl Hoffman because it was an informative and entertaining piece of travel narrative nonfiction that just worked for me at the time.
- I celebrated my 24th birthday!
- I ranted a little bit about Bill Bryson and travelogues.
- I hosted a book chat about Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried.
Favorite Book: Finny by Justin Kramon, which was another unexpectedly charming and lovely book that hit the spot for me over my 4th of July vacation.
- I moved in August, so the month was pretty quiet at the blog. I can’t find any posts that I really loved, so we’ll just chalk the month up to being mellow.
Favorite Book: The Tricking of Freya and The Angel of Grozny — I couldn’t pick just one of these since they were both so good, but for very different reasons.
- I read the entire Hunger Games trilogy right in a row, which was pretty fun and also exhausting.
- I wrote a Narrative Nonfiction 5 list to celebrate the start of football season.
- And I was voted best Nonfiction Book Blog for the 2010 Book Blogger Appreciation Week. That was amazing. Thank you so much.
Favorite Book: Candy Freak by Steve Almond because it was the perfect type of nonfiction — entertaining, fun, and informative.
- I finally got to participate in the Read-a-Thon, with my sister down in Iowa!
- I went to some of the Wisconsin Book Festival and heard some fun readings. I
- I went to the Twin Cities Book Festival and met up with some Midwest bloggers – so much fun!
Favorite Book: Hamlet’s Blackberry by Howard Richler, which I haven’t reviewed yet but loved a lot because of the way it made me feel more calm about technology.
- At the beginning of the month, I decided I was going to read whatever I wanted for the rest of the year — that ended up being books borrowed from friends and the library.
- I shared 15 “novelists” that have changed my life.
- I hosted a literature themed wine tasting that was a big success.
- I finished The Odyssey!
Favorite Book: The Odyssey by Homer because it surprised me. I thought it was going to be tense and hard to read, but it was a really fun book for me to read.
- I guest posted about my favorite Christmas cookies in the whole world.
- I wrote a gift guide for well-read engineers.
So that was 2010 in review. I think it’s interesting how many of my favorite books from the year were books I accepted for reviews — 5 of 12. I have to say, I didn’t read a lot of mind-blowing books this year, but I did read a lot of very, very good ones. Overall, a pretty sweet year in my life and my blogging life. Let’s hope 2011 is just as great!