A Change of Pace

Sasha: My Winter Adventurer

Monday, December 30, 2013

Final Thoughts and Best Books of 2013

Don't miss the last of the 12 Days of Christmas Links! I've always been sad that so few Americans celebrate the full twelve days of Christmas. Most don't even know what Epiphany, January 6, is all about, though Latinos do celebrate this wonderful holiday. I, for one, would never take down a Christmas tree before the 7th of January. After all, it takes so much work to put it up!

Tracy of Bitter Tea and Mystery has two substantial Christmas posts:
The first is about Christmas films.
The second is a Christmas mystery by Oscar Hijuelos.

I have just finished counting the books I've read during 2013: Forty-four in all, which makes it a very good year for me, considering that I read only 21 books in 2012. I'm sure I could have surpassed my 2011 record of 46 books if I had found a way to listen to audiobooks throughout my fall semester commute. My 2011 all-time record was achieved because of the beloved golden retriever who came to our home that June at nearly three years of age. Older dogs have a very hard time adjusting to new homes, and as a result, I discovered that her two hours of "wilderness hiking training" each day coupled with very long hours of sitting with her quietly, reading, made all the difference. All that reading helped her to relax and helped her to bond with me.

In 2014, I would like to surpass 44-46 books read, but I realize that my time will be so full despite the fact I won't be teaching during the spring semester. Too many projects!

My favorite books of 2013 are the following:
The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner
The Last First Day by Carrie Brown
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
Demian by Hermann Hesse


8 comments:

  1. I hope The Lie, Dunmore's new novel will be just as good. I hope you'll join the readalong next year.
    Happy New Year.

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    1. Caroline,
      I very much want to participate in the Readalong in 2014. Absolutely. And I'll have fewer restrictions on my reading time.
      Judith

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  2. Judith,
    I hope that 2014 will be a great year for you and Ken. I've been surprised that Christmas seems to be such a small holiday in the US compared with in the UK, although in Scotland we make even more of Hogmanay and New Year festivities. Lovely photo of Oven Mountain, but dearie me what a name, there's nae romance in the US it would seem!

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    1. Katrina,
      Hogmanay! When is that? I'd love to celebrate it. Next year, as long as I'm not teaching, I'd love to make more of a deal of the holidays.
      And, yes, Oven Mountain. How dull indeed. For our local unnamed hills, in your honor, I'd like to be extremely creative in giving them names.
      I hope the New Year will find you in a beautiful new home and community!!! Really and truly!
      Judith

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  3. Judith, I cannot tell you how happy I am to see Hermann Hesse on your list. I have just been writing a biographical essay about him and the events that led up to his writing Steppenwolf and he is very much in my mind and heart. He is a wonderful author in all sorts of ways. Demian is actually one of his novels I haven't read, and I must do something about that next year! In my family, we never took the tree down until 12th night, so you are not alone in wanting to adhere to that tradition! A very happy New Year to you.

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    1. Oh, you will love Demian, especially if you are partial to Steppenwolf. I must read Steppenwolf again--I loved it so much when I was 20. Do read it asap, and when you're able. It is magnificent. And I'm so glad you have followed the tradition of never taking the tree down before January 6. And a wonderful reading New Year to you!
      Judith

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  4. Judith, thanks again for linking to my posts. I haven't read any of your list of books, but I mostly stick to mysteries... although right now I am reading a science fiction novel. I love your story about the dog that you sat and read with in 2011. 44 or 46 books sounds fine to me. I like to aim at 1 a week but some years I have been a lot over that and some years a lot under. Depends on what is going on.

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    1. Tracy,
      I'm looking forward to reading about all the books you've got planned in 2014. I need to check back to your blog to remind myself of your challenges this year. I seem to recall seeing at least one!
      Judith

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