Monday, January 03, 2011

50 Book 2011 Book Challenge

Though in lieu of New Year Resolutions I have my 101 things to do in 1001 days, there's one resolution I'm editing. So without further adieu my major 2011 resolution:

Read More.

2008 Book Tally: 52
2009 Book Tally: 100
2010 Book Tally: 19

Yes. Nineteen. As in I have more fingers and toes than 19. What happened?

1) The baby. Oh yeah blame it on the baby you might say, but its true. Instead of reading novels cover to cover I spent the first half of 2010 reading up on every scary possibility of pregnancy and the latter half of 2010 reading about every scary possibility of parenting. I read to address an issue never actually reading a book cover-to-cover so they didn't count in my book tallies.
2) Burned out. 100 books in 2009 is as difficult as it sounds. I love reading books. But imagine if you love ice cream and its your favoritest dessert ever- and someone gave you enough buckets of ice cream to fill two regular sized jet planes, well you'd start off giddy but by the end you just might convert into an Atkins adherent for life. This is sort of what happened to me, but with books. 100 novels is a lot of reading and during 2010 I just felt a bit burned out which is frankly sadder than coming off ice-cream for life. 
3) Writing. Despite having a baby I wrote or revised nearly every day of 2010. I strongly believe writers must study their craft through reading but it became a difficult balancing act to fit in both reading and writing on a daily consistent basis.
4) The internet. This gets a red mark because beyond writing, baby, and feeling burned out- it was the pesky portal to the universe that sucked my time above all else. Reading blogs, articles, link-jumping, instead of reading while I nursed baby, I surfed the net.

I have quite legitimate excuses but I know excuses are just that: excuses. As my father would remind me growing up that I can give my reasons and get the sympathy that comes with it but the end result is what it is. So I'm renewing my challenge to myself. 50 books in 2011- updated regularly on my book review site, and I will reach my goal!

I'm currently in the midst of Radical Homemakers recommended by Baraka, Fortune's Rocks lent a good long while ago by my friend Sonya [sorry Sonya!], and No God But God my friend Saadia recommended. The running theme here? I read books y'all recommend. You might be crossing your arms and raising an eyebrow right now to say um Aisha, last year you asked for book recs and you read 19 books! To which I respond, you're right. I'm sorry [and ow!] But I am going to be better this time! I promise! I can change, really! I ask you because I figure if you read this we have something in common and I might like what you like so with this in mind I ask: what are you reading and loving? What did you read and think others should read too? I read it all- nonfiction, fiction, fantasy, rom-com, multicultural, YA etc as long as the book is under 600 pages [preferably much less], the writing is good and has no vampires anywhere in around its vicinity. I hate Vampires more than I hate sticky goat feet stew [an actual desi meal I once unfortunately ate but would eat again, five servings worth, over another lovestruck sparkly Vampire!].

Looking forward to your thoughts! Here's to 2011 and the books to be read!

[oh and I've starting the 365 project as of 1/1/11! My dSLR is in the shop and I'm using my point-n-shoot. I plan to update my 'life in pictures' blog listed on the right a few times a week with the fruits of my picture-taking labor]

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Time Traveler's Wife is engrossing and well written and not to long!

katery said...

aisha, i used to be a huge reader and i'm lucky to get through nine or ten books a year anymore. my favorite authors are chuck palahniuk (very macabre, be forewarned) and david sedaris. a lot of times i get books from the library that amazon recommends for me based on other books that i have read (omg i don't have spell check on explorer, this comment is probably full of spelling errors).

Anonymous said...

Hope others have good ideas because I need some book suggestions too! -AK

Aisha said...

Anon- thanks for the tip- its on my bookshelf!
Kate, I have heard great stuff about sedaris- thanks for reminding me! Will DEF check him out. I've heard him compared to Hornby.
AK- hope we both find good ideas!

bongi said...

i'm going to reiterate "shantaram" by gregory david roberts!!
"shadow in the wind" by carlos ruiz zafon.
and i;m currently reading "Arthur and George" by Julian Barnes which i'm thoroughly enjoying (has law related stuff in it)

btw my due date is tomorrow, still sat here, eeek!

Aisha said...

Bongi, I checked that book out per your recommendation but that beast is a HUGE book!!!! lol will def try to check it out though! And- EEEK due date approaching!!!! SO excited for you! my duaas are with you hon! do update!

sprogblogger said...

I'll second the "time traveler's wife" recommendation - a great read and one that I go back to every few years. best love story ever.

My favorite book ever, though, is Bone People by Keri Hulme...

Jamila said...

A thousand splendid suns by Khaled Hosseini is amazing. The secret life of bees is also good, if you haven't read that.

Yea, I haven't read anything worthwhile since I was pregnant. Reading with a little one is hard!

Aisha said...

Susan- was hoping youd' share since you are a book aficiando I know! Will check this book out for sure!

Jamila- 1000 suns is good . Haven't tried Secret Life of Bees but have been meaning to- thanks for the suggestion!

Anonymous said...

I am reading Faiz's Nuskha Hai Wafa AGAIN!
Cant get enough of Faiz :)
A.

Aisha said...

Never heard of this- do you think it would be available at a library or is it a urdu book that I'd need to find a translation of?

Anonymous said...

You got to read Faiz. You just got too :P
It is an urdu book. I doubt that Faiz's complete works have been translated.
Try the following...
http://rickshawdiaries.blogspot.com/2007/01/poetry-monday-faiz-ahmed-faiz.html
The Rebel's Silhouette: Selected Poems
Translator: Agha Shahid Ali
Enjoy :)
Ayesha

kmina said...

This is precisely why I gave up nursing the babe in the living room, because I had the internet and tv at hand. Now I nurse exclusively in his or our bedroom, and when lying down, I read. Lovely! And the baby has less distractions from the matter at hand, sort of speak.

Now I am reading Danny Wallace, a great minor writer. He was branded 'the poster boy for positive thinking' and he very truly is. He wrote Join Me, Yes Man (first was the book, then the not so great Jim Carey movie) and Friends like These. He did go through all his books are about. It is very funny and the light reading I am in the mood for these days. Sometimes his boyish attitude gets to me, but I always come back to read on and I am not sorry. He is a corky, funny chap who's not exactly right in the head, but is always kind. Which, as I say over and over, is a feature I treasure most in a person.

bongi said...

3 days overdue now....no signs of the bubba!

Post a Comment

I love to hear from you!