Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reflecting Back and Looking Forward

Oh, the last day of 2008. It's been a heck of a year, hasn't it? Everyone says we are going to have to weather more economic hardship in 2009; I'm trying not to focus on that too much. What I am focusing on is my strategy for next year! ;)

In 2008 I set a goal for myself to read at least one book I had purchased BEFORE 2008 each month. I didn't make it. I only managed to read 8 - not bad, but still didn't reach the goal. That is exactly how the books pile up faster than I get them read. I know I've had many trips to the bookstore where a single trip brought home more than 8 books! Well, I'm going to try that goal again.

Of the 78 authors I read this year, a staggering 61 were new to me. I don't know if I'll have such a great number next year as a decent percentage of those authors will be on my radar for 2009. Some new (to me) authors that I already know I'm going to attempt to read include:

  • Jeff Cohen
  • J.A. Konrath
  • Ken Isaacson
  • Chester Campbell
  • L.J. Sellers
  • Les Roberts
  • C.J. Box
  • Jennifer Lee Carrell
  • Tom Schreck
  • Jim Stovall
  • Don Winslow
  • Harry Hunsicker
  • Elizabeth Becka
(I have books by almost all of these people already so they can work toward my book a month bought before '09.) And that's just a start. I know I'll receive many great recommendations that I'll have to follow up on as well.

I set a goal for the number of books I wanted to read in 2008; I didn't reach that goal, but what I discovered was that it didn't matter all that much to me. I had such a wonderful time reading what I did - that was what truly mattered. So, no number goals for 2009 - just continue to read and love doing it!

Corey challenged me to 25 author interviews and I'm using that as my goal for interviews. As of right this minute, I still have every intention of attending the L.A. Times Book Festival in April. And if everything goes as planned, I'm hoping to be in Indy for Bouchercon in October. I'm also keeping my eyes peeled for some author appearances within driving distance from me for 2009.

My biggest goal, though, is going to be to increase my readership here. Sharing books with all of you is what brings me the greatest joy. So, I say, the more the merrier!

Special thanks go out this year to folks who have been such dedicated readers: Naomi, Corey, Michael, Joy, Serena, Lesa, Debbie, Trish...your comments brighten my day! You've helped make this year extra special for me. And you've taught me so much. Keep those comments coming. I only want this blog to get better and better!

So, I'm excited for 2009. I hope you all are, too. I'll leave you on this New Year's Eve with a link over to The Drowning Machine. Corey has two great posts up - and I'm not saying that just because he mentions me in one! ;) This post is Corey's own first annual awards post. I have to say that I was especially fond of the "Not Worth a Tinker's Dam Award". I didn't read that book, but I know for sure to stay away from it now! And this post is Corey's reading resolutions for 2009. I think they're very good resolutions! I'm also envious that Corey used transmogrify in a post! I'm waiting on a book from the library called 100 Words to Make You Sound Great. I bet transmogrify is in that book! ;)

Happy New Year Everyone!


Patti O December 31, 2008 at 7:07 PM  

Ooo, you'll be so close to Tucson if you make it to the LA Time Book Festival!!! I went so far as to check Amtrak (10 hours from Tucson to LA) and Yahoo maps (drive time 7hours), but I'm just not sure. I have a program with the library just before that, and my parents are due in AZ sometime in April. Let me know if you want to include Tucson as part of your trip! I don't think I'll make it to Indy--one of my goals this year is to create a wonderful home with Ken--but I'm planning on Left Coast Crime in LA in 2010. Don't you just love making plans? Happy New Year!!!

beauvallet December 31, 2008 at 8:37 PM  

I'm so jealous of you going to the LA Times Book Festival, especially as Bouchercon '09 is looking very iffy for me. Did you know Robert Crais is slated to be the guest of honor at the 2011 Bouchercon in St Louis? I don't know how I'll do it, what sacrifices will have to be made, but somehow THAT Bouchercon is one I must attend!

Jen December 31, 2008 at 8:39 PM  

Naomi, yes I did see that about RC. Let's make plans to go together to that one. 2010 is out since it's in San Francisco, but I do want to try to do 2011!

I'll take lots of pictures in LA. I'm also hoping to meet up with Michael and his family while I'm there!

George L. December 31, 2008 at 8:51 PM  


I can't believe you were bold enough to try so many new authors! While I don't read nearly as many books, probably only a third are new authors. Many times I want more of a sure thing. Also, if you are going to read Don Winslow, don't start with Dawn Patrol or The Winter of Frankie Machine. They were my least favorite of his five most recent books. In my opinion, his masterpiece is The Power of the Dog. It is intense. California Fire & Life and THe Death and Life of Bobby Z are also excellent.

Happy Reading!

George L. December 31, 2008 at 8:54 PM  

I forgot to mention I have copies of all of Les Robert's Milan Jacovich series, except for the most recent one. I have read two of them so far and have enjoyed them. I will lend you my copies of you're interested.

Jen December 31, 2008 at 8:57 PM  

Thanks George! Is Power of the Dog a standalone? I'll look that one up for Winslow. I have Pepper Pike, but I'll probably take you up on your loan offer for Roberts after that one.

Happy New Year!!

Corey Wilde December 31, 2008 at 10:37 PM  

I really enjoyed Winslow's 'Dawn Patrol,' and that's the only one of his I've read. At first I thought it was going to be all fluff but when the man got serious, he got seriously serious. Very poignant. I have 'California Fire and Life' in the TBR stack.

Thanks for the shout out for my Lowhead Dam Awards. I had more fun writing that post than any other. No wonder people write these year-end best-of lists!

Transmogrify ... I stole that word from Calvin & Hobbes who stole it from the dictionary. I can't wait until you start using the '100 Words.' I'll be scrambling for the online dictionaries!

Happy New Year!

Jen January 1, 2009 at 8:25 AM  

Corey, didn't they use transmogrify when they were in the time machine box? I love Calvin and Hobbes. My favorites were always the snowman ones. That Calvin was one sick puppy sometimes! LOL

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