"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 Year in Review

It is time for a My Head is Full of Books year-end review.  How did I do on all my reading challenges in 2011?

  • 2011 ALA Award Winners Challenge: There are nine American Library Association YA book awards given each year.  I completed this challenge with the reading of Five Flavors of Dumb by Anthony John this month. This is the challenge that I started last year and as far as I know no one joined me.  I want to put out this challenge again in 2012, however, because I think it is really important to be familiar with award books.
  • Chris Crutcher Challenge: An open-ended challenge that I started to read all of Chris Crutcher's books. So far I have read six of his books, two of them in 2011. Please join me in this challenge.
  • Michael J. Printz Award and Honor Books Challenge: Another on-going challenge, this one to read all the Printz Award and Honor books ever selected. I read all the 2011 books in this category plus an additional two books from previous years. I want to stay current in this challenge but found myself reluctant to go back and read past winners. To date I have read 41 of 58 books in this category.
  • Audiobook Challenge: I went for the Obsessed Level of this challenge.  I stopped recording my progress on this challenge in October when I hit 35 audiobooks.  This challenge is practically a give-me as I listen to audiobooks all the time. Nonetheless, I did enjoy this challenge because it caused me to focus a bit more attention on the readers of these books not just the authors.  Favorites of this category this year were: The Hitchhikers Gide to the Galaxy by Douglass Adams, read by Stephen Fry; A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett, read by Stephen Briggs; The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, read by David Hyde Pierce.
  • The Books I should have Read in School...but Didn't Challenge. I went for the Graduate Level on this challenge, which was six books and I just made it. This may have been my favorite challenge this year as it forced me to read books I've always wanted to read, or books I have thought I "should" read. Now I had a good excuse to do so. I enjoyed all six of the books I chose: Beloved (Morrison); The Bell Jar (Plath); Phantom Tollbooth (Juster); Hitchhiker's Guide (Adams); Lord of the Flies (Golding); and A Brave New World (Huxley.) Notice I did double-dip several times with the audiobook challenge.
  • Books from My Own Shelf Challenge: I read thirteen books for this challenge.  A minimum of twelve was the goal, so I just made it. I purchase very few books, so most of the books that I have around the house are books I was given as gifts. This was very challenging because I often find myself overlooking books I own in favor of books from the library.
  • A Personal Challenge: I tried to finish ten books started but not completed in 2010. I only finished five of them.  Apparently I didn't really want to read them in the first place. There is no shame in that but I will be more cautious in the future to give myself a challenge that I really don't want to do.
  • Read 101 books in the year: Done!  In fact, I read a personal record of 124 books in 2011 and I still have a week of reading left.  I'm sure I will reach over 125, my new goal for book volume after I achieved the 101 mark.
See my Challenge page for specific titles here. So far I haven't signed up for any 2012 reading challenges yet, but I'm sure I will.  Challenges help me to read a variety of books and put some structure into my reading.


  1. Great job on the challenges! I did well on mine as well. I like doing challenges as it gives me some direction in my reading. For 2012 it feels like I have geography-related challenges

  2. Wow, wow, wow!! 124 books in one year, plus all of those challenges! I'm impressed, Anne - you are on inspiration. Now the Books on My Shelf challenge is one I could definitely do - my TBR shelves never seem to get any smaller.

    I will have to go check out your challenge page.


  3. What a great year of reading you had! I especially like your choices for the challenge with books you wish you'd read in school. As much as I read good books in school, there are so many I missed, too! Happy New Year :)


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