Saturday, October 29, 2011

My 50 Book Pledge is done

Last night, I finished my 50th book this year.  That means I'm done the 50 Book Pledge challenge that Savvy Reader put forth at the beginning of the year.  50 books in a year is just over 4 books a month.  50 books in 10 months is about 5 books a month, which is about average for me.  The 50 books I read works out to 14,570 pages, or just over 48 pages a day.  So what were some of the highlights of what I read this year?

On the serious fiction front, I read Chris Cleeve's Little Bee, which was excellent.  I also really enjoyed Secret Daughter by Shilpi Gowda, though my book club & I agreed that there were some parts were really implausible.  Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay was also excellent, though dealt with a really challenging subject.  I also read and adored The Help by Kathryn Stockett and so far, it's my best read this year.  I also read Terry Fallis' The Best Laid Plans and The High Road, which convinced me that not all CanLit is boring and that politics can make for an interesting fiction book.

On the non-fiction front, I found Ivory Tower Blues by James Cote & Anton Allahar to be absolutely fascinating.  It looked at the decline of student engagement and the grade compression in the Canadian university system.  Absolutely fantastic book.  Jane Austen & the Fiction of Culture by Richard Handler & Daniel Segal was also great for any Jane Austen fan.  And I knew going in that I'd enjoy What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell - he has such a unique perspective and writes about the most fascinating things!

On the fluffy front...  Well, pretty much everything in this category would make it onto my highlights list. That would include Christopher Moore's Bite Me, Sophie Kinsella's Twenties Girl, Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster (which is technically non-fiction but it's pretty fluffy), Janet Evanovich's Smokin' Seventeen, Tina Fey's Bossypants (also fluffy non-fiction), Betty White's If You Ask Me (ditto), Ellen DeGeneres' Seriously...  I'm Kidding (ditto again), Jen Lancaster's If You Were Here (her first foray into fiction), and Karyn Bosnak's What's Your Number?  All great books and I'd recommend them all.  But by far, the best fluff I read this year was Lindsey Kelk's The Single Girl's To-Do List.  This is now in my top 5 chick lit books of all time - right up there with Bridget Jones's Diary and Can You Keep a Secret?  If you like chick lit, add it to your list.

Anyway.  Point is, my 50 Book Pledge is done, with two months to spare.

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