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2009 Goals Review: Reading List (Wait…What?)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Well, I started 2009 with great intentions of making it the year I was going to start reading again. I didn’t realize how difficult this would be between the hours I spend on the freelance editing and the writing. But as I want to hold myself accountable to the goals I post publicly here, that means it’s time for a review.

Currently Reading (January 2009)
The Apothecary’s Daughter by Julie Klassen [Didn’t finish reading]
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë [Finished reading just before the premiere of the new film version during PBS’s Masterpiece Classics series]

Novels to Read while Writing Ransome’s Crossing:
Persuasion (Norton Critical Edition) by Jane Austen (re-read, including all of the critical texts) [Done]
By a Lady by Amanda Elyot [Never got around to it]
Lieutenant Hornblower by C.S. Forrester [Done]
Post Captain by Patrick O’Brian [Read bits and pieces applicable to what I was writing]
or The Far Side of the World by Patrick O’Brian [Read bits and pieces applicable to what I was writing]
Sword of Honour by Alexander Kent [Read bits and pieces applicable to what I was writing]
False Colours by Georgette Heyer [Never got around to it]

Classics I Will Finally Read in 2009:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee [Never got around to it]
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde [Started but not yet finished—will finish before the movie comes out]
Bleak House by Charles Dickens [Done]

Writing-Craft Books for 2009 WPWT Writing Series:
Because of deadlines, freelance volume, and traveling, I never got around to the writing series on plot, so I didn’t get to any of the following books:

Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card [Done—for the “Make POV Work for You” series]
The Power Of Point Of View: Make Your Story Come To Life by Alicia Rasley [Done—for the “Make POV Work for You” series]
Mastering Point of View by Sherri Szeman [Done—for the “Make POV Work for You” series]

Bullies, Bastards And Bitches: How To Write The Bad Guys of Fiction by Jessica Morrell [Done—for the “Bad Guys” series]
The Power of the Dark Side: Creating Great Villains, Dangerous Situations, & Dramatic Conflict by Pamela Jaye Smith [Done—for the “Bad Guys” series]

Research Books I’ll Need to Read/Re-Read in 2009:
Men-Of-War: Life in Nelson’s Navy by Patrick O’Brian [Done]
Patrick O’Brian’s Navy by Richard O’Neill [Done]
Harbors and High Seas: An Atlas and Geographical Guide to the Complete Aubrey-Maturin Novels of Patrick O’Brian by Dean King and John B. Hattendorf [Done]
Jane Austen and the Navy by Brian Southam [Done]
Life Before the Mast by Jon E. Lewis [Done]
Jane Austen: The World of Her Novels by Deirdre Le Faye [Done]
A Sea of Words by Dean King, John B. Hattendorf, and J. Worth Estes [As needed]
A History of Pirates by Nigel Cawthorne [Didn’t need for RC]
Men o’ War: The Illustrated Story of Life in Nelson’s Navy by Peter Goodwin [Done]

Novels Already on My Shelves to Be Read in 2009:
Fireworks by Elizabeth White [Never got around to]
Symphony of Secrets by Sharon Hinck [Never got around to]
Unbridled Dreams by Stephanie Grace Whitson [Never got around to]
A Lady of Secret Devotion by Tracie Peterson [Never got around to]

Novels I’ll Try to Get To in 2009:
A Claim of Her Own by Stephanie Grace Whitson [Never got around to]
Turning the Paige by Laura Jensen Walker [Never got around to]
The Red Siren by M. L. Tyndall [Done—and what a fantastic book]
Wind of the Spirit by J.M. Hochstetler [Never got around to]
Daniel’s Den by Brandt Dodson [Never got around to]
Before the Season Ends by Linore Burkard [Never got around to]
American Anthem by B.J. Hoff [Never got around to]
Rain Song by Alice J. Wisler [Never got around to]
From a Distance by Tamera Alexander [Never got around to]
A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman [Started but never finished]
Shade by John Olson [Never got around to]
The Senator’s Other Daughter (Belles of Lordsburg #1) by Stephen Bly [Never got around to]
Try Dying (Ty Buchanan Series, Book 1) by James Scott Bell [Never got around to]

ABA Novels of Interest I Might Get Around to in 2009
Primeval: The Lost Island by Paul Kearney [Never got around to]
Her Warrior King (Harlequin Historical Series) by Michelle Willingham [Never got around to]
The Legend by Kathleen Givens [Never got around to]
The Lost Duke of Wyndham (Two Dukes of Wyndham, Book 1) by Julia Quinn [Never got around to]
Mr. Cavendish, I Presume (Two Dukes of Wyndham, Book 2) by Julia Quinn [Never got around to]

Writing-Craft Books I Should Read in 2009:
The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman [Never got around to]
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell [Never got around to]
Improve Your Romance Writing Skills by Geneviève Montcombroux [Never got around to]

Books I also read in 2009:
The Blue Enchantress by M.L. Tyndall (great series)
Love Is a Battlefield by Annalisa Daughety (fantastic new author)
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman (the movie is MUCH better)
The Rock That Is Higher: Story as Truth by Madeleine L’Engle
Crazy for God by Frank Schaeffer
Montana Rose by Mary Connealy (content edit)
Luther’s Catechism by Martin Luther (full edit)
I Know I’m Not Alone, Lord: Rediscovering Joy and Contentment after Divorce by Janice Hanna and Kathleen Y’Barbo (full edit)
Top 100 Women of the Christian Faith by Jewell Johnson (full edit)
Magna by Nicole O’Dell (full edit)
Making Waves by Nicole O’Dell (full edit)
Found in the Translation By Roger and Kristi Bruner (full edit)
The Best Medicine (Stories from Hope Haven #1) by Anne Marie Rodgers (full edit)
Chasing the Wind (Stories from Hope Haven #2) by Patricia Rushford (full edit)
Angels Undercover by Diane Noble (proofread)
At Home in the Garden, Melinda Rathjen Rumbaugh, ed. (proofread)
365 Daily Whispers of Wisdom for Stepmoms by Multiple Authors (full edit)
Fat Chance by Julie Hadden (proofread)
Easter Ideals, Melinda Rathjen Rumbaugh, ed. (copy edit)

I have to say, out of all the books I read/edited this year, it would be hard for me to pick only one favorite, so I’m going to have to call it a tie and say that M.L. Tyndall’s The Red Siren and Annalisa Daughety’s Love Is a Battlefield are my two favorite books I read this year.

What were your reading goals for 2009? What was your favorite book you read?

  1. The Damsels permalink
    Tuesday, December 29, 2009 12:48 pm

    Normally I always have a few real favorites, but this year I honestly was totally uninspired by almost everything I read. I read a few enjoyable books, but nothing I felt was worth buying and adding to my bookshelf. Strange year for me, I hope next year is better.



    • Tuesday, December 29, 2009 11:23 pm

      I hope mine were worth adding to your bookshelf. 😉


  2. Tuesday, December 29, 2009 1:08 pm

    I just finished Love is a Battlefield last week and I really loved it so I have to agree with you there! MaryLu’s books are always terrific so she goes on my fave authors list all of the time! Good luck with next years reading! 😉

    XOXO~ Renee


    • Tuesday, December 29, 2009 11:25 pm

      I think for 2010, I’m just going to keep track of what (if anything) I read that isn’t for editing and tally those at the end of the year instead of setting goals I’m pretty sure when I’m setting them I’ll never attain.


  3. Tuesday, December 29, 2009 1:18 pm

    I have yet to read MaryLu’s books, but I keep hearing how good they are. I really enjoyed Julie Lessman’s series. I love a great romance and her books are full, full, full of it. 🙂

    I would think it’d be hard to choose a book that you edited as one of your favorites. It would be hard to loose myself in the story if I was focused on finding problems. Do you find that to be true?


    • Tuesday, December 29, 2009 11:26 pm

      I don’t think I’d be able to choose one I edit as a favorite. There’s too much stress that goes into the technicalities of the way I have to read it to truly enjoy the story. Content editing is different, because it’s more like a critique, and I did do that with one of this year’s favorites, Annalisa Daughety’s book Love Is a Battlefield—which I also judged in the Genesis contest in 2008!


  4. Amee permalink
    Tuesday, December 29, 2009 2:24 pm

    I didn’t really have any goals this year, but I did keep track of how many books I read and I got to 64! So I think I did pretty good. This was the year of discovering new authors for me (including you!). I think my favorite was Julie Lessman’s novels. Their length seemed a bit daunting at first, but once you get started it goes so fast and they’re great books too. 🙂


    • Tuesday, December 29, 2009 11:28 pm

      Wow, you di do VERY well. I miss the days of just being able to sit down and enjoy reading a book without my brain trying to analyze or edit it—that’s why I’ve become much more addicted to TV/movies in the past few years: because reading just isn’t fun for me anymore. 😦


  5. Tuesday, December 29, 2009 3:35 pm

    I also read Love is a Battlefield and was pleasantly surprised. Because I thought it started out a bit slow, I mentally threw it into the fast-food fiction category, but I was wrong. The story grew in depth and the characters became more complex. It’s a keeper.


    • Tuesday, December 29, 2009 11:28 pm

      I can’t wait to read Love is Monumental the next book in Annalisa’s series.


  6. Tuesday, December 29, 2009 5:50 pm

    I didn’t have any reading goals, per se, with the exception of reading books for review. I did enjoy my reading this year of about 30 novels. Your’s was right up there in my top 5 favorites. My very favorite was debut author Laura Frantz’s The Frontiersman’s Daughter. I read several new authors this year and look forward to reading more of their work. For 2010 I’ll just read what I can, but hopefully my writing will be biting into my reading time.


    • Tuesday, December 29, 2009 11:31 pm

      With three books due this year (the current one on February 1—yikes!), and with a “part-time” editing job (one novel per month guaranteed) plus whatever else any of the houses choose to send my way, I really don’t see that I’ll be doing a whole lot of reading in the next twelve months—for pleasure, anyway. I may have to start reading a lot more nonfiction and a lot more fiction outside my genre/outside the CBA. For some reason, it’s easier to turn off the internal editor/critiquer if it’s a different kind of book than what I typically write/edit.


  7. Tuesday, December 29, 2009 6:33 pm

    How on earth did you edit something by Martin Luther? I cracked up when I read that, so I’m truly curious.

    I imagine it would be hard, as someone who does freelance editing, to turn off the editor and truly enjoy a book. It may be easier this year because you have more of an idea of what your schedule will be like (having done the work for a year).


    • Tuesday, December 29, 2009 11:32 pm

      It’s for an “abridged classics” series Barbour is kicking off next year. It was interesting reading but I was sooooooooo glad to be finished with it! I had to do that while trying to finish Ransome’s Crossing that last week of November!


  8. Tuesday, December 29, 2009 10:09 pm

    Wow…you read a lot. 🙂

    The best book for 2009 for me was Andy Stanley’s “The Principle of the Path.” Well worth the time to read.


    • Tuesday, December 29, 2009 11:34 pm

      I read a lot . . . but not necessarily by choice. Looking at the list of what I read for pleasure versus what I was paid to read (and critique/edit), I’d love to get to a place in which my writing is bringing in enough income that I don’t have to do quick such a heavy load of editing as what I currently do. But as long as the work is coming, I’ll take it. With a student loan the size of a small mortgage, the sooner I can get that paid down, the better!


  9. Tuesday, December 29, 2009 10:11 pm

    Hmm, right off the top of my head my favorite read this year is going to be the Deanna Raybourn books…in the middle of the 3rd Julia Grey novel now. But I need to go back and refresh my memory off the official reviews I wrote this year. 🙂


    • Tuesday, December 29, 2009 11:35 pm

      I started listening to the first book in that series at Thanksgiving last year, but I don’t think audiobook was the best format for that book (for me, anyway). It was one in which I wished I could just skim ahead, if I recall, because I felt like it moved pretty slowly in the beginning. I may have to look into those again.


  10. Tuesday, December 29, 2009 11:11 pm

    I couldn’t begin to pick my favorite book from the many good ones I read. The two you mentioned are on my TBR list. I actually have a copy of The Red Siren so I might get to that one early next year. I loved the two books of yours I read, The Stand-In Groom and Menu for Romance. Julie Lessman’s A Passion Denied. Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant’s What Doesn’t Kill You. Booker Mattison’s Unsigned Hype. Matthew Aaron Goodman’s Hold Love Strong. Angela Benson’s Sins of the Father. And I just finished Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck’s The Sweet By and By. All good books.


    • Tuesday, December 29, 2009 11:37 pm

      I saw the lists you posted on your blog. Most of those books looked like some I would be interested in—I actually wrote down the names of a few on a sticky and put it up beside the computer.


  11. Tuesday, December 29, 2009 11:41 pm

    Totally forgot to mention that even though I didn’t read Georgette Heyer’s False Colours, I did read her book The Convenient Marriage, which was cute. I also read a bit of Charles Dickens’s Little Dorrit and a little bit of A Tale of Two Cities. Maybe 2010 will be the year of Dickens for me in which I’ll finally get around to reading all those classic books he wrote which I’ve never read.


  12. Wednesday, December 30, 2009 10:25 am

    Honestly, I think I was encouraged as much by your “didn’t get around to” list as anything. I’m a librarian. I buy the books for my library. I see all these books that I think look like they would be GREAT reads, and then when it comes time to pick something out to read for PLEASURE, I’m at a loss! I did find a new author that I’m enjoying, though, and so far, I’ve read EVERY ONE OF HER BOOKS! 😉

    Another true confession . . . since I’ve started writing, I’m finding it very difficult to read for pleasure. I find myself in “edit” mode more often than “lose yourself in a novel” mode. The last few books I’ve read, I’ve literally MADE myself focus on the enjoyment part of the activity!

    Now, off to read TODAY’S blog post . . . maybe it will give me a few ideas . . .


  13. Sunday, January 3, 2010 4:15 pm

    How did you like the Characters and Viewpoint book by Orson Scott Card? I loved his “How to Write SciFi and Fantasy,” and I felt it was very helpful for writers even outside those genres. It helped me a lot as an editor this year.

    Favorite books I read this year:
    Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (third Twilight book) – mostly because it gave me words for emotions I’ve grappled with for years but never could articulate.
    A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller – how to edit your life into a more meaningful story. I think you would enjoy this a lot. It’s part inspirational and part memoir. I love Miller’s vulnerability in this book.
    Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl – best food book I’ve ever read. Drooled all through it.


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