Thursday, April 29, 2010

50 Books in 2010

I wrote in my last post about needing to read more this year. Well, in true Monef fashion, I felt the best way to achieve this was to turn it into a project. I really hate it when I don't achieve my goals, so I figured this would serve as a massive motivating factor. Colour me surprised, I have been able to set a goal and follow through.

Thanks to the wonderful folks at, I elected to take on a challenge to read 50 the end of the year. Last year I read 7, this year I would like to read 50. Seems ridiculous right? I have a full time job that requires copious amounts of travel as well as all the mania that comes with living in the city. However, I have been amazed at what a difference a concious decision like that can make. So far I have read 22 books this year. I seem to still just about be on track to achieve my goals, but I will seriously have to up the ante when I take some holiday time in the summer.

So far I have read a good mix of stuff, some fluff, some serious, some just plain old fantastic literary fiction. I have also managed to fit in one classic so far which makes me pretty happy. I would love to post book reviews as I proceed, but you know how I can be with the blogging these days...erratic to say the least. That said, I will keep you posted on my exploits. I may very well go back and review all I have read so far, who knows? This is the list as it stands for your enjoyment!

1. The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson & the Olympians#4)- Rick Riordan
2. The Girl Who Played With Fire (Millenium #2) - Stieg Larsson
3. The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson & the Olypians #5) - Rick Riordan
4. The Girl who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (Millenium #3) - Stieg Larsson
5. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
6. Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
7. The White Tiger - Aravind Adiga
8. The Help - Kathryn Stockett
9. Naked - David Sedaris
10. Twilight - Stephanie Meyer
11. The House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros
12. New Moon - Stephenie Meyer
13. Eclipse - Stephenie Meyer
14. Breaking Dawn - Stephenie Meyer
15. The Thing Around Your Neck - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
16. The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde
17. Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
18. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society - Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows
19. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
20. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - Lisa See
21. The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffennegger
22. I am the Messenger - Markus Zusak


Navigating my Today...Finding my Tomorrow

Yes, yes, I know; I don't blog anymore and it is a terrible thing.

I have no idea when the words dried up or why I stopped writing. The muse went away. Funny enough, I never missed it until it simply wasn't there. My dearly departed compulsion to constantly scribble was something I always took for granted. I thought it was as much a part of me as the birthmark on my left hand. That mark has been there for as long as I can remember, and it was how I learned to differentiate between left and right.

Even today, as a grown woman of 30, I look to my birthmark when faced with the question, "left or right?". It serves as my compass, Old Faithful I like to say. So also have literary pursuits been my guiding light. Throughout the cacophony of being a middle child in a family of three, the pandemonium of being 'different' in an adolescence of sheep desperately trying to be as alike as possible, and the mildly controlled panic that marked my journey of making my way through adulthood two cultures removed from my home base, the books and the pen have been my solace.

But something all that managed to change. Somehow I allowed life to get in the way. It started with the writing and then permeated the reading, until slowly but surely, my life was entirely devoid of literary pursuits. At the beginning of 2009, I declared that it would be my anuus mirabilis, and indeed it was. My beautiful nephew was born, I turned a big corner in my career and I fell utterly and irrevocably in love. Because 2009 felt so right, so perfect, it wasn't until the round up in December that I realised that I had only read 7 books the entire year. Seven. And I had written nothing. This from the person who used to pass entire weekends alternating between the library and Barnes & Noble.

I felt bereft, like my identity had sneakily left me when I wasn't paying attention and I immediately decided that 2010 would be different. I made a pact to read more. I figure there is no point in worrying about the writing at the moment when I don't even read enough. If I get back to devouring books, the writing will come naturally like it used to. The reading is my today...the writing is my tomorrow, wish me luck finding my compass.

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