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Ringo sunbathing (2009)

I know I already did a book-related 2010 wrap-up post, but on Bookie Mee I came across the 2010 wrap-up meme inspired by A Guy’s Moleskin Notebook and thought it fun to play along.

So here goes…

The first book you read in 2010: Trespass by Valerie Martin

The last book you finished in 2010: The Christmas Quilt by Thomas J. Davis

The first book you will finish (or did finish!) in 2011: Caos Calmo by Sandro Veronesi

Your favorite “classic” you read in 2010: The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima

The book series you read the most volumes of in 2010: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Les Aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec by Jacques Tardi (both graphic novels)

The genre you read the most in 2010: literary fiction (quite a lot of it being JLit)

The book that disappointed you: The Evenings (graphic novel) by Gerard Reve & Dick Matena

The book you liked better than you expected to: Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami

The hardest book you read in 2010 (topic or writing style): The Pillow Book by Sei Shōnagon (struggled with it for months and almost gave up!)

The funniest book you read in 2010: Mutts by Patrick McDonnell

The saddest book you read in 2010: this is a hard one.. probably The Wasted Vigil by Nadeem Aslam

The shortest book you read in 2010: A Steam Whistle in the Night by Haruki Murakami

The longest book you read in 2010: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

A book that you discovered in 2010 that you will definitely read again: I’m really not much of a re-reader but I know I’ll be picking up David Mitchell’s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet again: I just won a Dutch copy and because of the games Mitchell played with my language in the English version, I’m curious to know how it was translated. I’ve heard the author say he liked what the translators did, so… That’s why I worked so hard a winning a copy ;)

A book that you never want to read again: Thomas J. Davis’ The Christmas Quilt; not that it wasn’t a cosy read for the holidays, but once is enough

And finally, make a New Year’s Resolution: since 2010 was a slow reading year I plan to read more — in time as well as amount of books; at least 11 more to be precise (Books on the Nightstand +11 reading challenge) BUT I won’t give in on quality over quantity!

And what’s the relevance of cat pictures in this post?
Absolutely none. :)
They’re just my cuties that almost didn’t make it into the new year.
And I’m awfully grateful they did.

Juno sunbathing in a cardboard box (2009)

Yup, it’s that time of year again: here’s my 2010 books wrap-up!

I’ve read 29 books in total, which is six less than last year and approximately brings me back to the level of 2008.

I’ve made a photo of some (not all!), of the books I particularly liked!

Some of the books I loved reading in 2010

Two of the books read this year were comics, five graphic novels, meaning 22 were either novels, novella’s or collections of short stories.

2010 graph of book type

It took me a while to decide on my favourite read of the year. There were two candidates but I finally figured it out. So… let’s hear the drumroll!

Cover The Wasted Vigil (Nadeem Aslam)Best Book of 2010

The Very Best Book I read in 2010 is The Wasted Vigil, by Nadeem Aslam. It’s absolutely gorgeous and I hate myself for not picking it up earlier, since I’ve had in on the shelf from the moment it came out in 2008. I had equally loved Maps for Lost Lovers when I read it so Aslam now deserves to be listed among my (few) favourite authors! That’s a spot right along David Mitchell, Barbara Gowdy and Haruki Murakami: novelists of whom I’ve read, or will read, each and every book. So I’m waiting for Aslam’s 1993 début to arrive in my mailbox: Season of the Rainbirds. Don’t you just love that title? ;)

Cover The Thousand Autumns Of Jacob De Zoet (David Mitchell, 2010)Second Best Book of 2010

Close upon the heels of The wasted Vigil is (not surprisingly) The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, the latest novel by my all-time favourite David Mitchell. It was a real tiebreak but I figured I was probably a teeny weeny bit unfairly favoured to Mitchell just because I love his work so much and had been looking forward to his new book since Black Swan Green, in 2006. Then again, that might speak in favour of ‘Jacob de Zoet’ because novels eagerly anticipated often disappoint.

List of books I read in 2010

For those of you who are curious, or just plain addicted to lists (like me), here’s the complete pile of books I read in 2010. The ones that particularly stand out looking back on my reading adventures, I’ve given a bold title.

  • Trespass, Valerie Martin (2007)
  • The Best of Mutts, Patrick McDonnell (2004)
  • The Housekeeper and the Professor (Hakase no aishi ta sūshiki 博士の愛した数式, translated by Stephen Snyder), Yoko Ogawa (2003/2008)
  • De avonden (1) (The Evenings), Gerard Reve; Dick Matena (1947/2004)
  • The Rapture, Liz Jensen (2009)
  • In the Shadow of No Towers, Art Spiegelman (2004)
  • Careless in Red, Elizabeth George (2008)
  • I Am a Cat III (Wagahai wa neko de aru 吾輩は猫である, translated by Aiko Ito; Graeme Wilson), Natsume Sōseki (1907)
  • Een stoomfluit midden in de nacht (Yonaka no kiteki ni tsuite / ‘A Steam Whistle in the Night, translated by Jaques van Westerhoven), Haruki Murakami (2003 (2006))
  • Het Hoofdkussenboek van Sei Shōnagon (Makura no Sōshi 枕草子 / The Pillow Book, translated by Paul Heijman), Sei Shōnagon (1002/1986)
  • Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (Mekurayanagi to, nemuru onna, translated by Philip Gabriel; Jay Rubin), Haruki Murakami (2005)
  • Her Fearful Symmetry, Audrey Niffenegger (2009)
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, David Mitchell (2010)
  • Silence (Chinmoku 沈黙 , translated by William Johnston (?)), Shusaku Endo (1966)
  • The Sea, The Sea, Iris Murdoch (1978)
  • Affinity, Sarah Waters (1999)
  • The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998)
  • The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger (1951)
  • Persepolis (translated byMattias Ripa), Marjane Satrapi (2003)
  • Persepolis 2 (translated by Blake Ferris), Marjane Satrapi (2004)
  • Remainder, Tom McCarthy (2007)
  • Mutts: Dog-eared, Patrick McDonnell (2004)
  • Het volgende verhaal (The Following Story), Cees Nooteboom (1991)
  • Isabelle Avondrood: Isabelle en het beest (Adèle et le bête, translated by René van de Weijer (?)), Jacques Tardi (1976)
  • Isabelle Avondrood: Allemaal monsters! (Tous des monstres, translated by René van de Weijer), Jacques Tardi (1994)
  • Soulless, Gail Carriger (2009)
  • Het Gouden Paviljoen (Kinkakuji, translated by C. Ouwehand), Yukio Mishima (1966)
  • The Wasted Vigil, Nadeem Aslam (2008)
  • The Christmas Quilt, Thomas J. Davis (2000)

Which of these books have you read? Did you like them?

There are several classics in the list, including Japanese. Graphic novels and comics were a new adventure in 2010; although I tried my first during the October 2009 read-a-thon, I read many more this year — upgrading my level from Beginner to Intermediate in the Graphic Novel Challenge.

Other genres outside my usual reading nook: Apocalyptic (The Rapture), GLBT (Affinity), paranormal romance (urban fantasy) / ghost stories (Soulless, Her Fearful Symmetry).
All of these I particularly enjoyed!

More statistics

Original language
2010 graph of Original language

Read in translation or the original language?
2010 graph of Translation

Gender author
2010 graph of Gender of author

Century of publication
2010 graph of Publicaton year (century)

Except for a challenge wrap-up post, that’s about it for 2010. Book-wise I mean: I’ll need to work on my list of movies next! How are you doing evaluating last year?

The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

Due to personal stuff (which I’m not going to bore you with) I didn’t read, blog or bento as much in 2010 as I would have liked to. Still, I’m happy with the things I did do! And hey, that just leaves room for improvement in 2011, right? ;)

I’m working on several blogposts about the books I read last year, movies I’ve seen, challenges I participated in and things planned for 2011. Thank God for Bloggiesta, a 3 day blog fixing event that’ll be held from January 21st – 23rd! :)

In anticipation of my challenge wrap-up post I can reveal that I did pretty good book-wise. I managed to read all the books I wanted to — and more. The reviewing part didn’t go as well though. :( I hope to make up for that in the next couple of months but I remember having said that last year, so don’t hold your breath… I do take requests by the way. ;)

Out with a bang<br /> readathon logoI was meant to go out with a BANG! readathonning the last few days, but I couldn’t fit it in my already busy schedule. So it was more of a deflating balloon LOL. BUT. I did read during the final hour of 2010 and that felt great! Might do it again this year. ;)

I ended up reading a meagre 52 pages (2 hours) in Caos calmo for my 3 day readathon.

Gnoe grazing in cyberspace

In 2010 I could be found on several other places in the bloggosphere.

Just to show you I haven’t been doing nothing ;)

I just came by the best idea of how to end 2010 so far: curled up with a book! The ‘Out With A Bang’ read-a-thon is hosted by The Bookish Type & Book-Savvy and takes place from today till the 31st. I won’t be able to commit fully (there’s other stuff to do too, like going to the vet’s -again-, order oliebollen, work on my blog etc.) but it might just be the thing to get ahead in my online book group’s December chunker: Caos Calmo (Kalme chaos) by Sandro Veronesi.

Cover Kalme Chaos, Sandro Veronesi

Our third season of CSA has come to a closing. Now we’ll need to decide on which veggies to buy all by ourselves again… Not an easy task! #lazybums

Last organic CSA veggies of the year (week 51, 2010)

  • purslane
  • leek
  • thyme
  • red cabbage
  • choggia beets
  • apples
  • variety of onions: shallot, red and white

When I got beets last time I made Nigel Slater’s Beetroot Seeds Cake and it was goooood!

Nigel Slater's Beetroot seeds cake

Clicking on the picture will bring you to Flickr, where I’ve put up the link to the on-line recipe and some adaptations I made.

Yesterday was another Meatless Monday (Plantaardig Maandag) and supposed to be December’s #twitterfoodparty about squash, so I made a vegan Indian curry with basmati rice and (prefab) mango chutney with last week’s hokkaido pumpkin. The picture didn’t turn out too great but it tasted better than it looks. ;) Anyway, the food party got postponed due to too many ‘twabsentees‘…! If you want to join in, just make something with squash on January 10th, use the hashtag and tweet a picture!

Vegan pumpkin curry with basmati rice and mango chutney

So, no more CSA (b)log posts until the first week of May 2011. Some of you might think that a good thing… But hopefully not all???

We’re halfway December and the end of our CSA season is nearing. Next week’s bag will be The Last!

But you haven’t even had a chance to enjoy any of this month’s organic vegetables… So, here are my veggies of weeks 48, 49 and (freshly picked up today) 50.

Amelishof organic vegetables week 48, 2010

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 48, 2010

  • leek
  • kale
  • capsicum
  • corn salad
  • red beet (waiting for me to make Nigel Slater’s red beet cake…)
  • pumpkin

Amelishof organic vegetables week 49, 2010

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 49, 2010

  • brussels sprouts (on the stalk, just for fun!)
  • parsnip
  • corn lettuce
  • kohlrabi
  • onions (red & white)
  • Elstar apples

Amelishof organic vegetables week 50, 2010

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 50, 2010

WOW, what a mega bag of vegetables we got today! Remember the Invasion of the Broad-Leaved Endive Heads? This time there were even more! It makes a nice green background for the rest of the veggies ;) And Ringo totally went for it… Crazy cat :)

  • kale
  • endive
  • carrots (not washed, so they’ll keep longer)
  • root parsley (on the left of my pile of carrots, hiding behind the…)
  • kabocha pumpkin!
  • celeriac
  • cooking pears
  • Jerusalem artichoke

I’m not planning our menus and we’ve been eating out, visiting relatives et cetera so next to this HUGE new batch we still have some veggies of the previous weeks to use up: beetroot — but like I said; I’ve got great plans for that ;) — parsnip, kohlrabi, leek and 1 small pie pumpkin. Maybe I would be wise start planning again ;)

Say, Elsje: if you see anything you’d like to use for our 24 mini-marathon dinner next Friday, just give a shout!

You've got mail: Book Blogger Holiday Swap 2010

The Day After I received my Canadian loot in the Great Grocery Bag Exchange, again a mysterious package fell into my mailbox. Hooray, a present from my Secret Santa! Of course I knew Santa lives somewhere in the Nordic hemisphere, but I never would have guessed (s)he actually lives in Sweden..! I should have know that when I visited the country in 2002! Eh, not that I have any plans about what to do with that knowledge ;)

Anyway, my present is wrapped in some cool helper-trolls paper. And I’m keeping it that way for a short while longer! Our rental Christmas tree won’t arrive until December 18th and I want it to lie under the tree like a proper x-mas gift. Even if it’s just for one day LOL! So you’ll have to be patient too. Nothing you can do about it! :)

Book Blogger Holiday Swap present 2010 (wrapped)

Thanks to helper-troll my Secret Santa ‘Zee’ from  ..?

Other bookish news

I’ve finished reading The (Temple of the) Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima and am about to start in Nadeem Aslam’s The Wasted Vigil. Just like I promised last week ;)

Foodie's Reading Challenge 2011 buttonI’ve also been a baaaad grrl — again – and joined yet another challenge :\

But.. it-was-made-for-me! It’s the Foodie’s Reading Challenge, hosted by Margot of Joyfully Retired. If you’ve participated in Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking meme you’re bound to have met her! She challenges us to explore the world of good food writing; taking the form of cookbooks, biographies or even novels centered around food.

Now look at Graasland and tell me honestly: could I really have resisted this challenge??? :)

The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

24 Hour Read-a-thonFifteen minutes is not enough to start a new book in the 24 hour Readathon. So I’m taking a sneak preview on the End of the Event Meme questions by copying those of last April! The weather is unusually great here so as soon as the readathon finishes at 1400 hrs, I want to go outside and enjoy it! Exercise!

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
    Hour 15 (5am in the morning here). I threw in the towel and went to sleep for a few hours. I could have read on but decided not to make myself go grumpy ;)
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
    Haven’t read it this readathon, but I’d like to recommend Trespass by Valerie Martin.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
    Nope.
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
    Everything went particularly well, didn’t it? For me, I’m glad I made it easy for myself this time by picking books in my native language.
  5. How many books did you read?
    Four. Or actually 3 and my complete backlog of entries in the Pillow Book read-along.
  6. What were the names of the books you read?
    The Following Story by Cees Nooteboom (buddy-read), The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon, Adèle and the Beast & Monsters All! from the series Les Avontures Extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec by Tardi.
  7. Which book did you enjoy most?
    The Following Story by Cees Nooteboom. I hadn’t expected to like this much! And I feel really accomplished by having caught up in the Pillow Book, since we’re only a few weeks from the end of the read-along. But most of all, I’m *so* happy that the readathon helped me out of my reading slump of the last weeks! Yay!
  8. Which did you enjoy least?
    Nothing really; I really enjoyed everything I’ve read!
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
    I wasn’t a cheerleader but I’m very grateful to those who were! Kudos to all, not just the cheerleaders but everyone behind the scenes!
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
    This was my 3rd 24 hour read-a-thon, can’t you tell I’m addicted? ;) So yes, I would like to participate again in April, although I’ve noticed the spring RaT is harder than the one in fall! Even though the days are longer then…

I’ve spent 8 hours and 40 minutes actually reading (counting really strictly). Double that for the time I could be found in the bloggosphere and on twitter — all readathon related!

So, have you all enjoyed it as much as I did? What did you like best?

Have a nice Sunday!

Read from Readathon Stack Fall 2010

The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

Jardin des Plantes (Tardi)

We’re in the last hour of the readathon (already? ;) and I’ve finished 2 graphic novels since my hour 20 status update: Adèle and the Beast (Isabelle en het beest) & Monsters All! (Allemaal monsters!) from the series Les Avontures Extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec (De avonturen van Isabelle Avondrood) by Jacques Tardi. They were re-reads but it was at least 20 years ago that I first had my eyes on them, so I had mostly forgotten what the stories were about. In this post you’ll find a preview of the drawings and our IRL (in real life) reproductions.

Jardin des Plantes (photo)

The Museum of Natural History plays an important role in the first volume I mentioned, Adèle and the Beast, and I’ve been wanting to visit the museum ever since I was studying Museology (almost 20 years ago). The weird thing is: every time I’m in Paris something prevents me from going there! Last month it was closed on the day we had picked (bad planning, I know) and postponing it to another day didn’t fit with our schedule. Sigh.

Jardin des Plamtes (Tardi)Jardin des Plantes (photo)

Status report

24 Hour Read-a-thonTime period: 10.00 – 13.15

Currently reading: time to choose the last book of my readathon stack!

Total of time read: 8 hrs 40 mins
Total amount of pages read: 250 pages (nice round figure!)

Books finished: 4 books (The Following Story by Cees Nooteboom, caught up with Sei Shonagon’s The Pillow Book read-along, Adèle and the Beast (Adèle et le bête) & Monsters All! (Tous des monstres!) from the series Les Avontures Extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec by Tardi)
Mini-challenges participated in: 11 (Since last update: mini-challenge about character pictures)

Oops, forgot to take a picture of my French breakfast: café au lait and butter croissants with strawberry jam and Brie made of goat’s cheese. Never mind, there’s one (unbaked) croissant left, so I’ll use that for At Home With Books’ mini-challenge about character pictures! I told you, I am (or should be) reading the Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec in Paris, France.

Croissant (unbaked)

 

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  • @Eeyorenyk Thanks for the cheering! And I've written about you in my end post - made me realize something about the readathon... @readathon 3 days ago

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