Old Year Books

December 27, 2017 @ 4:43 pm | Filed under:

Year after year, this may be my favorite week for blogging. “Old Year Week,” as Mole calls it. I love tidying things up and making a fresh start. It’s a time, too, for reflection: what worked this year; what didn’t. I wasn’t able to be as consistent with daily posting as I’d hoped at the start of the year, but who could have predicted what this year would hold for me, for all of us. Methinks I can cut myself a little bit of slack. 😉

I worked on my sidebar booklog for a while yesterday—it was woefully behind—and discovered to my horror that I had written “Douglas Adams” as the author of Watership Down, which would have been a verrrry different kind of book. I’m going to hope it’s a case of nobody noticing, rather than that you were all too polite to point it out. 😉

Most years, this is the week that my fall Cybils reading frenzy is suddenly, breathlessly, over—finalists selected, blurbs written, book towers carted off to other parts of the house. That’s the case today for my Round 1 panelists, but this year I’m YA category chair only, not one of the YA readers. (I’m a Round 2 judge in Early Readers and Chapter Books, but that work doesn’t start until the New Year, and instead of reading 70-some YA novels in two months as in years past, I’ll only be reading the short lists of finalists. Big difference.)

Anyway, most years right around this date, I find myself suddenly at liberty to read (gasp) anything I want. It’s a tremendous feeling. This year I have a list of books begun earlier in the year, which I’d like to finish up but probably won’t. 2017 was for me a year of leaning on old friends—Hanff, Nesbit, Byatt, Montgomery, Tey, and (ahem) RICHARD Adams—and cozy mysteries during and after the months of my cancer treatment. And a steady course of Moomintrolls in our readaloud life. 🙂 No regrets whatsoever. But I do feel like stretching a bit and picking up something challenging or long-awaited. I also have a few last Arrow books to finish up: a delicious sort of work, that.

I’m not making new reading goals yet. I did make a little shelf for myself, in much the same way that I like to assemble enticing collections of readalouds and read-alones for my kids. It’s partly a real shelf (I’ve been in a hard-copy mood more and more often, lately) and partly virtual—a pile of tomes I’ve been carting around on my Kindle for ages.

A different stack entirely: old favorites I pulled out one day to discuss on a video for my Patreon, but never did. Hmm…now I want to reread The Firelings. And The Sherwood Ring. And The Gammage Cup, which isn’t even in the pile. Oh dear, is there no end to my book gluttony?

This post ran off in a different direction than I intended when I began. I’ll save the other train of thought for later. Until then, I hope Old Year Week brings you some peaceful down time in which to indulge your own bookish whims.

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7 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Penelope says:

    Blessed Christmastide reading to you my dear! I pray 2018 delivers better health, loving family, dear friends, and excellent books all dosed out in good measures … xoxo

  2. Penny says:

    *That* is a great stack of books. Start at the top and read ’em all!!

    Happy New Year, and I mean that in every possible way!. 🙂 GOODBYE 2017, and good riddance!


    PS: I’m going to start my year off with The Hobbit. Can you believe I’ve never read it? I read Tolkien’s Father Christmas letters this year and thought – why not?

    xo again, to one and all!

  3. Susanne Barrett says:

    I’ve managed to more than complete my Goodreads reading goal and will be posting my 2017 booklist on my blog December 31. I’ve still been diving deeply into Austenesque books in preparation for writing my own; I’ve started a couple of stories but haven’t had the time to fully pursue them.

    And yes, cozy mysteries have also been a mainstay; I’m also wanting to go back and re-read all of the Lord Peter books; Sayers is always a comfort. It’s been an extremely difficult year, perhaps the most difficult in my life (with the exception of the two years I spent bedridden with pain before we found a way to marginalize it).

    I pray that 2018 will bring much joy, brightness, and healing to us all!!

    Susanne 🙂