It’s on the books

For 2011, I challenged myself to finish reading 60 books by the time 2012 showed up.

I finished 68. More than 23,000 pages.

Some were great, some weren’t.

The five best books I read this year (not that came out this year, just that I read this year) were (as of right this very second. Ask me in 20 minutes, they’ll have changed):

5) The Help by Kathryn Stockett

4) Drama: An actor’s education by John Lithgow

3) Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

2) 11/22/63 by Stephen King

1) A shadow of the wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Honorable mentions:

Bossypants by Tina Fey, Is everyone hanging out without me? (and other concerns) by Mindy Kaling, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman, A visit from the goon squad by Jennifer Egan, Skippy Dies by Paul Murray and The book thief by Markus Zusak.

Here’s a nice display of all the books I read this year, starting from the most recent and working back.

Writin’ like the wind

Well, I did it. I wrote 50,000 words this month and finished my second novel.

Pretty jazzed about it, actually.

It’s way different than my first one. It doesn’t have ANY musical references or precocious little girls or love interests that look like my honeybun JGL.

Instead, it has crime and guns and mostly male characters.

Weird but true.

Of course, there are some super cheesy romance storylines.

I wouldn’t want people thinking I didn’t really write it.

Also, I relearned a very important lesson.

Like last year, I did not do my suggested word count each day. Leaving me a huge amount of words to write the last week.

This is what it looks like when you procrastinate a bit:

Image

Where’s the action?

Ok, one more. I have been saving these up and just got around to typing them. So there.

This one is from Ape House by Sara Gruen.

This is about a man who is reading his wife’s novel for the first time. I got a very similar review about mine.

When she finally gave it to him, John flipped through the pages with a growing sense of unease. He hoped earnestly and with his soul that he was wrong — after all, his own guilty pleasures included Dan Brown and Michael Crighton — and yet he couldn’t shake the feeling that the novel was missing that crucial something. Her prose was beautiful and polished and swept him along, but by the time he reached the end she had not blown up a single thing. There was no car wreck, no murder, no secret brotherhood or international plague. It was psychological and literary and while John understood that there were people who enjoyed such books, he wasn’t one of them, which was exceedingly unfortunate given that his wife had just written one and wanted his opinion. When his silence finally grew conspicuous, he lied copiously and through his teeth.