89 Books

I did a wrap-up post with some of my favorite reads from 2010 a week or so ago, but I never posted my 2010 tally.

According to my reading log, between paper, kindle and various other electronics, I managed to read 89 books in 2010, which isn’t horrible, but I was shooting for 100.

Of course, I didn’t read much in February, August or December.

I read 85 books in 2009, or at least, I logged 85 reads, so at least there was some improvement, although my 2009 reading was better balanced, with most months having at least six titles.

I don’t make resolutions; I don’t believe in them, but I do believe in goals. So my goal for 2011 is to read 100 books.

So far, I’ve already read seven, six of which are on my new list, which isn’t a bad beginning, since we’re only nine days into the month AND I’ve been sick.

Year in Review?

If I didn’t blog about the books I read, I’d forget half of them – not the books, just when I’d read them. My brain, apparently is less efficient at retaining this information than a sieve is at holding water.

The question from Booking Through Thursday, yesterday, was about favorites over the year. Least favorites, all of that. I’m not in the mood to do anything formal, but here are a few highlights.

Favorite Comfort Reading:
Anything by Cleo Coyle, under any of her pen names. The Haunted Bookstore cannot have a new volume soon enough, and her Coffee Mysteries are just my cup of…espresso con panna.

Favorite Mystery:
The latest from Sara Paretsky, Body Work and Richard Doestch’s The 13th Hour.

Favorite General Fiction:
I’m not sure. Jennifer Wiener’s latest disappointed me a bit, and most of what I read has been genre. I enjoyed my summer of Nantucket Novels, but I wouldn’t call them my favorites, really.

Favorite Women’s Fiction:
Without a doubt, The Naked Gardener, and not just because it’s the debut novel from someone I know through blogging.

Favorite Non-fiction:
Susan Casey’s The Wave, because it had water, myth, science, and adventure all in one book.

And just so you know, I’m currently still reading:
Slip Knot, by Linda Greenlaw
A Pointed Death, by Kath Russell
and a few more I won’t bother to list.

Happy New Year, everyone.

Not in a Reading Mood

All of you who know me will be shocked, but I’ve had almost no time to read this month, and I find that I’m not in a reading mood, anyway.

It’s not that I lack for material. I’m still reading Slipknot in eBook format (which, thankfully, works not just on my Kindle, but also on my iPhone and on laptop computers), and in paperback I’m enjoying a mystery called A Pointed Death, and not just because the main character has a shorthaired pointer.

Usually, I read in the tub, but while I’ve spent some lovely time soaking in bubble bath, I’ve been listening to the radio, and not reading.

And I’ve found myself watching far too many cheesy Christmas movies on Lifetime.

I am, however, writing a lot, both offline and in my main blog MissMeliss: Escribition.

I’m not worried, though; I know my reading mood will come back eventually.

And sometimes it’s nice to live OUTSIDE of books for a bit.

200 Bloggers, 200 Books

On Nov 10, at 1 p.m., 200 bloggers will simultaneously publish reviews of 200 books printed on eco-friendly paper to raise consumer awareness about considering the environment when making book purchases. Participation this year has doubled from 2009.


Green Books Campaign

PRLog (Press Release) – Nov 03, 2010 – On Wed., Nov. 10, at 1 p.m., 200 bloggers will simultaneously publish reviews of 200 books printed on environmentally-friendly paper. By turning a spotlight on books printed using greener methods, Eco-Libris aims to raise consumer awareness about considering the environment when making book purchases. This year’s participation of both bloggers and books has doubled from the event’s inception last year.

The 200 books to be reviewed are in a variety of subjects including cooking, poetry, travel, green living, and history, and come from 56 publishers from the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the U.K. that are participating in the Green Books Campaign. This diversified group of publishers includes both small and large presses who all print books on recycled and/or FSC-certified paper.

Participating publishers include among others Penguin Group, Scholastic, Barefoot Books, McClelland & Stewart, Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, Sterling Publishing, DK Publishing, Harvard Business Press, Island Press, North Atlantic Books, McGraw-Hill, ABRAMS and Picador.

“Although there’s so much hype around e-books, books printed on paper still dominate the book market, and we want them to be as environmentally sound as possible,” explains Raz Godelnik, co-founder and CEO of Eco-Libris. “Their share is still relatively small, but you can find a growing number of books printed responsibly and we hope this initiative will bring more exposure to such books. Through this campaign we want to encourage publishers to increase their green printing options and readers to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books.”

Doug Pepper, president and publisher of 100-year-old publishing house
McClelland & Stewart, says he is delighted to participate in a program that ties in with the company’s mission. “The Eco-Libris Green Books Campaign’s positive “take action” message perfectly reflects our consistent use of recycled papers and our commitment to sustainable publishing as a whole,” Pepper says.

Among the bloggers who will review the books there are many who participate in the campaign for the second time. One of them is Kim Allen-Niesen of the blog ‘Bookstore People‘. “Participating in the Green Books Campaign was such an education in green reading. I didn’t have any idea how many publishers and writers are committed to creating books with as small an impact on the environment as possible. I discovered unique books because they were printed on recycled paper and I learned that books I’ve read for years are printed in a low impact manner. I’m looking forward to more surprises during this year’s campaign, “Allen-Niesen says.

This year’s campaign is supported by Indigo Books & Music, the largest book retailer in Canada, as part of its efforts to draw attention to the need for more environmental paper in book publishing. This is a core goal of Indigo’s environmental program, reinforced by Indigo’s industry leading environmental paper policy.

Michelle White, Director, Sustainability at Indigo Books & Music said, “Indigo has a strong forest conservation mandate and we believe that physical books printed on environmental paper are a sustainable choice. We commend Eco- Libris for reinforcing this message and engaging and motivating readers to take this issue into consideration when purchasing books. In fact, Indigo provides information online and through in-store kiosk that allows consumers to make informed decisions about where the paper content of their book comes from”. Learn more at http://www.chapters.indigo.ca.

Learn more about the Green Books Campaign and find a list of all participants at http://www.ecolibris.net/greenbookscampaign2010.asp

# # #

Founded in 2007, Eco-Libris (http://www.ecolibris.net) is a green company working to green up the book industry by promoting the adoption of green practices in the industry, balancing out books by planting trees, and supporting green books. To achieve these goals Eco-Libris is working with book readers, publishers, authors, bookstores, and others in the book industry worldwide. So far Eco-Libris has balanced out more than 150,000 books, resulting in more than 165,000 new trees planted with its planting partners in developing countries. To learn more visit http://www.ecolibris.net

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Buzz: Author Interview with M.J. Rose

Author M. J. Rose

M.J. Rose | Click to embiggen

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my review of M. J. Rose’s latest novel, The Hypnotist. I was also privileged enough to do an emailed interview with her, which was posted over at All Things Girl. It’s posted in the blog, as part of our ongoing Author Insight series. We mainly do women authors, but we also have a Men on Monday series, which includes male authors.

If I’ve reviewed your work, and you’d like to be part of our interview series over at ATG, please let me know. (Actually, let me know, even if I haven’t reviewed your work. If interviews aren’t your thing, we also welcome guest posts.

Also? Go read The Hypnotist if you haven’t already, because it’s really good.

The Ever-Expanding To-Be-Read Stack

Every real book addict has a TBR stack – the pile of books that are yet to be read, but that seems to grow bigger daily, even when you read nonstop. Mine is so bloated at the moment, that I’m considering slipping weight loss supplement reviews inside the covers of some of the thicker tomes as a sort of subtle hint…but only considering it. Knowing me, I’d find them later, and just assume it was more to read.

From time to time, I post the titles that are waiting to be read. Here are the next few books I’ll be reading.

  • The Wedding Gift, by Kathleen McKenna
  • Once Wicked, Always Dead, by T. Marie Benchley
  • Key Lime Pie, by Josi S. Kilpatrick
  • Apathy for the Devil: a 70s memoir, by Nick Kent
  • Becoming Jimi Hendrix: the Untold Story of a Musical Genius, by Steven Roby and Brad Schreiber
  • Kiss My Tiara: How to Rule the World as a Smartmouth Goddess, by Susan Jane Gilbert

There are actually other books on the TBR stack, but these are all the books I’ve agreed to review, so are moved to the top of the list by default. Well, the last one isn’t a review book – it’s actually a birthday gift, but I want to get to it sooner rather than later.

It’s a good thing I work from home, and have the ability to take a book to every room.

Holding Pattern

I’ve finished a few books that I haven’t reviewed yet, but rather like water from a Hansgrohe faucet, the ideas on how to phrase what I want to say can be turned on or off, and right now I’m stuck at “off.”

I’m in the middle of several books as well. Mainly I’m still working through The Hypnotist by M.J. Rose. I’m enjoying it, but for some reason it’s a slow read for me, almost as if it’s hypnotizing me into sleep. Still it’s a book I have a deadline for, so I’ll finish it in the next day or so.

In addition to that book, however, I’ve been downloading lots of free Kindle-friendly books, and have been reading one of them on my iPhone. My aunt ordered the new Kindle for me for my birthday and it should be here sometime between Tuesday and Thursday. I’m very excited, as a goal I had last year was to re-read all of Jane Austen’s novels, but I got sidetracked, and never did. Today, I downloaded the free Kindle editions of all of them, and I’m excited about working through them.

Otherwise, I’m having a quiet weekend, which is nice, actually.

Coming Soon

Sometimes I feel like I’m more likely to buy gold coins from a famous pirate than to ever catch up on book reviews.

Upcoming reviews you should look for:

  • The House on Oyster Creek, by Heidi Jon Schmidt
  • The Way I See It, by Melissa Anderson
  • Passage From England, by Frank Zajaczkowski
  • The Blue Bistro, by Elin Hilderbrand
  • Hope in a Jar, by Elizabeth M. Harbison
  • Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

And that doesn’t include the two books I’m reading now – a Laurie R. King one-off, and Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard.

The former isn’t gripping me the way King’s writing usually is, but that doesn’t really surprise me because I think I’m in a memoir mood right now.

In any case, I’m reading, and will be reviewing, so keep checking back.

I have never worn gogo boots

I’m reading this book called What to Wear for the Rest of Your Life. It’s thick and yellow, and the pages are heavy, and I feel like it should be printed on glossy magazine paper, but It is not.

There are some lovely sketches in it, and cool fashion trivia. I saw a sketch of go-go boots and a note explaining that they came in as a response to the miniskirt.

I have never worn go-go boots, but suddenly I want a pair. I have pair of lovely cowboy boots with orange stitching and faux ostrich skin, and I love them, but they’re not the same. They’re not shiny plastic (vinyl) or anything like that.

Don’t you just love the power of words? I love that even a non-fiction style-guide can take me into a world where I have the perfect closet. I made mental checklists of my own wardrobe, and identified deficiencies as well as areas where I have too many items. I am not a fashionista – I work from home, and tend to chose comfortable black clothing most of the time (In my defense, I really DO need seventeen black t-shirts. I also need a new bathing suit, to take with me to Mexico, where I will read in the sun and splash in the sea for ten days.) but I love reading about fashion, and experiencing it vicariously through characters in novels.

And come home infused with new stories.

And perhaps, even, a new book.

Or two.