96 thoughts on “Wrapping up 2010

  1. You saw how many of my favourites of the year were recommendations of yours, so we’re even 😛 Happy New Year, Jenny! I hope 2011 brings you much awesomeness.

    • I didn’t want to be vain and be like, Pshyeah, I told you to read a bunch of those, but yeah, I did notice. :p Happy New Year! You know I think you are fantastic.

  2. I’ve been away from your blog for far too long, Jenny! It’s good to be back and reading in the new year. I, too, am embracing dresses. I started later than you, but I bought my first pencil skirt last week (weird legs be damned!) and I can’t wait for official work to start back January 6th so I can wear and it (hopefully) feel really cute in it. Huzzah!

    Happy New Year! May 2011 bring tons o’good stuff.

    • A pencil skirt, way to go! Pencil skirts are great! I have a really cute little pencil skirt that, actually, I haven’t warn that much yet this year. Mm, good reminder.

      Happy New Year to you also!

    • We’ll see how it goes when summer arrives. I have a bunch of skirts that I feel totally fine in when I’m wearing tights and knee boots, but I haven’t tried them out with little flats and no stockings. :p

  3. Ooh, ooh, ooh! The next Ibis Trilogy book is coming out this year! I was afraid Ghosh was going to be all slow about it, writing several other books in between, but apparently not. Yay!

  4. You’re kinder than I. I love Neil Gaiman’s blog and he has written several of my favorite books, but I am not sure I will ever forgive him for “The Problem of Susan.”

    Congrats on the new career and have a Happy New Year!

    • Well, I know that he comes from a place of loving CS Lewis, so that is also a contributing factor. If I knew Gaiman didn’t like CS Lewis, I’d feel differently.

      Thank you, and Happy New Year to you too!

  5. It has been great fun reading your posts, Jenny. Hurray for spinach, knees, Sandman and Niel Gaiman( I just love that lamp-post). Now I know I have to read The Secret History and I Kill Giants!

    • Thanks, Gavin! I know you need to read The Secret History, and probably I Kill Giants. I will give you a more definitive opinion when I have read it. 🙂

  6. Great year! I adore Neil Gaiman, too. Loved his lamppost.

    Your comment about your knees reminded me so much of myself. I was thin as a young adult, but growing up too skinny gave me a complex, and kids were mean about it. As I result, I never wore some of the cute things I could have worn when I was thin, including bathing suits. Now my butt is threatening to get its own zip code, and I really can’t wear those things. Such is life, eh?

    Congrats on the cool new job. I am turning 40 this year, and I decided it’s time to get serious about making some of my professional dreams come true.

    • He got a lamppost. I wish I had a lamppost.

      Thanks for the good wishes, and very very good luck to you in the new year. I know this is an obvious thing to say, but persistence is really truly the name of the game.

  7. It’s nearly 2am and I am still up, due to this post: I had to investigate Monsters of Men after reading it, and so then I had to download the sample of The Knife of Never Letting Go and then I had to buy the whole book (only £1 on Kindle right now! – and you can read it on your computer if you don’t have an actual Kindle). And then I had to read it, and I have just finished.

    Luckily the library has them and I’ve put them on reserve, so I am not forced to buy all three. Reading this blog can be expensive. 😉

    P.S. Happy New Year

    P.P.S. Have you read Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins? It sounds amazing and I am agonising over whether I can justify buying it yet (the answer, sadly, is no) – it’s only just been published and the paperback isn’t out till August.

    • Well, I’d apologize for keeping you up if not for the fact that the Chaos Walking series is dramatically better than sleep. In fact I might stay up until 2 AM reading it right now. (Kidding. Watching the Craigslist Killer movie.)

      P.S. Happy New Year to you also.
      P.P.S. I’ve never even heard of it. Will check it out at my own library. 🙂

  8. I just read Fragile Things and consequently The Problem of Susan, so I was super excited for a quick second that I remembered the story you were referencing. I was also very excited to see that Mr. Gaiman installed a lamp post in his yard. He rulez.

    Anywho, I am glad your goals for this past year were well met! Happy 2011!

    • Oh, yes, I forgot it’s in Fragile Things. I tend to prefer Fragile Things to Smoke and Mirrors, so in my mind all the stories I dislike live in Smoke and Mirrors.

      Happy 2011 to you too!

  9. I’m weird about my knees too, so I also didn’t wear skirts for years and years and years and years and years. I’ve sort of started, now, but I still don’t wear shorts. Shorts kind of weird me out, for some reason (which is not my knees).

    I love how you broke all your favourites down. Everyone has been so creative with their Best Of lists that I feel like I should get a do-over so I can come up with something better than just, “Hey, people, here are some books I loved, in the order I read them!”

    Also, thank you for loving Kage Baker’s books and putting me on to them. I had a blast with her in 2010.

    • Shorts still make me feel a bit weird. I have to really make an effort with shorts. Only I’m from Louisiana and you really suffer if you don’t wear shorts in Louisiana mid-summer.

      Thank you for loving Kage Baker too, dude, because reading books is double more fun when they are shared.

  10. I too am grateful to Ana for the Patrick Ness series. I read it twice also!

    Re knees, OMG, you must move to Tucson! Tucson is full of retirees, who are quite, shall we say, wrinkly (and full of other people, not to mention names like mine who also have wrinkly knees on account of never having done any exercise ever and now gravity is having its revenge making said unnamed person look like a shar-pei in the knees), but anyway (still on the longest sentence ever) since it is usually so hot in Tucson, all these bad-kneed-people have no choice but to wear shorts. In short (so to speak), Tucson is FULL of people with knees that passed beyond weird years and years ago, and you would be like Miss America here. So next time you are feeling knee weirdness, keep in mind that you are undoubtedly The Girl With The Most Beautiful Knees in the Southwest! So shout it loud and proud and show those knees! :–)

  11. Welcome back to Blog-world (though I am so sad you have left the Mumsy-verse.) 😦 Thanks for putting me onto The Unlikely Disciple, Megan Whalen Turner, Patrick Ness and Kage Baker this year…I feel more than repaid for all the reading aloud I did twenty years ago!

    Can’t wait to see what books 2011 will bring…

    • Oh, Mumsy, I’d never have a book blog if you hadn’t read to me all over the place for so many years. You are the best Mumsy in all the land. <3<3<3

  12. So, I need to get on Tartt’s The Secret History this year, as I own it, and thus have little excuse for further delay.

    I noted down many of these books on my to-read list when you reviewed them the first go-around, so as I read through this blog post, I was nodding my head, like yup, gotta read that, yup that one too. Agh, too many cool-sounding books to read! As always!

  13. I enjoyed reading about your accomplishments and best reads of the year! I’ve always been weird about wearing my hair in a ponytail and still need to get over that. I’m sure that’s got to be part of the reason I wear my hair in shorter styles too.

    • You don’t like your hair in a ponytail, or you do? I would not be able to handle my life if I couldn’t put my hair in ponytails of various kinds. I have a lot of hair. :p

  14. Can I just say that I adore you? even though I don’t seem to read many of the books you do but I am trying. i would adopt you if I wasn’t afraid of Mumsy cutting me with sharp words as only a virtual mommaBear could protect a cub…
    LOVE this post, happy new year!
    I can’t decide if the Ness books should be on my shortlist or TheSecretHistory or all.

    • You’re so sweet! I think you are fantastic also! Mumsy would not cut you with sharp words, she is very nice. 🙂

      ALL should be on your list. ALL. But if I had to choose one of them, it would be the Ness books.

      Happy New Year, Care!

  15. I also loved this post and think that you had such a good year, not only in reading, but in the career department and in the embracing of your knees as well. I wanted to wish you a very Happy New Year and to tell you I am really excited about reading more of your super hilarious thoughts on books. You are a lot of fun, so keep it coming!

  16. As someone who also made a Major Career Move this year, I would just like to say HURRAH TO US! (Hurrah, not hurray, because it sounds so much more high-class, doesn’t it?) And yay for dresses and not-odd knees, too! And for fabulous books and book blogosphere. Aww, now I’m getting all mushy-gushy, so I shall stop here, but here’s to a 2011 that beats a fabulous 2010 🙂

  17. I feel the same way about my legs but that’s only because I have a tattoo that I no longer want! 😉 I do plan on showing my legs off this summer after tat removal. I can’t wait to read your thoughts once you get your hands on I Kill Giants. Happy New Year!

    • I cannot wait to have thoughts about I Kill Giants. :p Also, don’t wait, show off your legs now. Do it for a little while and you’ll forget you ever minded. (I say from my extensive only-me experience.)

  18. I LOVED I KILL GIANTS! I hope you do get your hands on a copy. Such a good book. Although I don’t even read many Graphic novels.

    I too enjoy Spinach, but I find it best with dressing on it. I don’t think I could eat it plain. I get bored of it rather quickly.

    Another great way to eat it: cook it in cream. OOOOOhhhhh. But not really good for the diet…so it kind of takes away the point of eating spinach to begin with. Drat.

    • Thanks! I definitely don’t know that I’ve ever actually done it before — or if I have, I haven’t noticed. I noticed in October or November that I had done it, and I couldn’t wait for the end of the year so I could brag about it. :p

  19. Congrats especially on the vedge and the knees! I hate my knobbley knees too, but more so I hate my legs as I hate shaving them. Hair grows like grass on me… sorry TMI! Late 2010 though I felt brave enough to try on leggings/tights. I know that sounds mad but I’ve literally always been in jeans or some sort of trouser. So opaque tights and leggings are a major branch out for me as I’ve always disliked the shape of my legs as well. So I’m in more skirts and dresses lately. Woo!

    I think this year overall healthier diet is necessary. I’m a partial-vegetarian-pesectarian-weakness for bacon so for the last few years have been eating more vedge but I’ve also lost about a stone in weight and haven’t been able to put it back on. So I’m going to aim for a healthier diet making a compromise between eating more meat but perhaps only on certain days… and remembering to eat breakfast, lunch AND dinner rather then missing out on one or two meals and then living off biscuits…

    Good to see you listed Sea of Poppies as a surprising discovery. Love Amitav Ghosh and that is my favourite one of his.

    Glad you had such a great 2010 and may 2011 be even better!

    • This is so dumb, but it took me forever to work out that it was easier to shave my legs a little bit every time I take a shower, than to do it thoroughly much less often. Well done you for branching out into leggings though!

      Yeah, that three meals a day thing is a good guideline. :p

      What’s a good Amitav Ghosh book to read next? I’m interested but I don’t know where to go.

      Happy New Year!

  20. I like your pretty header.

    And, if you need a graphic novel recommendation, my new favorites are Rutu Modan’s Exit Wounds and Jamilti, David Beauchamp’s Epileptic, but, oh, you know what I think you’d love? Charles Burns’ El Borbah. It’s about a Mexican wrestler turned private eye.

  21. I’m so happy for the return of your positive body image! Seriously, that’s such a great goal to have accomplished. I didn’t have a great year for comics either, but I hope to remedy that by reading one a week. Which sounds daunting, but they’re usually such quick reads it will be possible!

  22. I love all your posts, bookish and non-bookish alike. And you are the second person to recommend Patrick Ness so warmly. Also, I hear you on Megan Whalen Turner. Consider them duly added to the tbr… And a very very happy 2011 to you!

    • Thanks, Litlove. I hope you can read Patrick Ness, at least, and Megan Whalen Turner if possible also in the new year. They are exciting!

      Happy New Year!

  23. I’ve seen this meme on quite a few book blogs, and am tempted to take it up. Problem is I really didn’t get the time to do so much reading this year. Started off with a bang, and then everything just dwindled 😦

    Will give it a shot nevertheless.

    I love your choices. I haven’t read most of these books, so they make an interesting list of recommendations for me to try out 🙂

    • I feel like 2011 is going to be a dwindley year. I have this really long commute, which is mostly walking rather than subway, and it cuts a whole chunk of reading time out of my day. :/

  24. Congratulations of achieving all those real life resolutions (I can’t pick between which one sounds harder or more wonderful to achieve so I will just say WELL DONE, you are very accomplished).

    I’m so excited to read in the comments that the second Ibis book will be out in 2011. I thought it might be a His Dark Materials situation all over agin.

    • Hahahaha, I think the job thing was hardest to achieve. Spinach was pretty easy, and knees were shockingly easy, but I was having the dispiriting experience of applying for two or three jobs every day for months without any call-backs at all before I finally got the job I got.

      The Ibis book! I know! I can’t wait!

    • Yeah, I have sensibly not made any 2011 resolutions. I’m not going to let 2011 be a letdown for me because I insisted on being a New Year’s Resolution World Champion two years in a row. I am not greedy! :p

  25. OK, I’m totally going to move The Knife of Never Letting Go up in the TBR stack I have at my desk and make it one of those books I read this month.

    And hurray for you for accepting your knees!

    Spinach was one of my discoveries in 2010 as well. One of my favorite lunches is baby spinach tossed with raspberry vinegar, gorgonzola cheese, crushed walnuts, chickpeas, dried cranberries, red onion and mandarin oranges. So good!

    • You have to move it up on your list, to, like, tomorrow. It’s so amazing, and the sequels just get better and better.

      Your lunch is so much more advanced and awesome than my spinach lunch. I just have spinach and pecans, and if I’m feeling super duper energetic I cut up an apple into it as well. All those ingredients would use up my whole food budget. :p

  26. That’s so cool you kept so many of your resolutions! Congrats!

    Chaos Walking and Sea of Poppies are both on my TBR list. In fact, they are both on my shelf, patiently waiting for me to get to them!

    • They are well worth getting to. Sea of Poppies can be a bit difficult, the way the languages are, but Chaos Walking will go by in a flash — you’ll open it and it’ll feel like two seconds later, you’ll be done. It’s genius.

  27. What a fun year, and good job on all your resolutions! I tried to start eating salads, but I find them really boring… I’m just not eating the right kinds of salads, I think.

    I also never used to wear skirts or dresses, but then started to more the last couple of years — mostly after I lost weight and stopped thinking I looked terrible all the time. Anyway, I’m glad you can do that now too since they are a lot of fun!

    • Well, I don’t eat salad dressing, because I had this professor one time who said that if you put salad dressing on your salad it cancels out all the vitamins in the salad and you might as well be eating cookies. I am pretty sure that’s untrue, but it put me off regular salad. Spinach salads are full of nutrition.

      Dresses, in particular, are really fun. When you wear a dress to work, you only have to coordinate two items instead of three. I feel like twice as cute with half the effort. I just need to figure out some winter dresses. It’s all sundresses at the moment.

  28. “Sometimes I eat spinach as a snack, straight out of the bag. This is not disgusting. It’s healthy.”

    Oh Jenny, you are such an amazing person!

    (I am the girl that starts to smile and jump around whenever a dinner/eating-out/lunch/breakfast features lots of vegetables and fruits. People make fun of me because of it. But I can’t help it.

    It sounds like overall you had a good 2010 and you accomplished a lot of goals. I hope 2011 will be even better!

    • Hahhahahaha, you’re adorable. I am the girl that smiles and jumps around whenever a dinner features applewood-smoked bacon wrapped around pan-fried chicken. Spinach is my lunch because I think lunch is boring and cannot be redeemed. :p

      I hope your 2011 is awesome too!

  29. I am SO JEALOUS of Gaiman’s lamp post. And snow. My niece cried this year because it didn’t snow on Christmas…she’s used to Colorado Decembers. Poor girl!

    Also, I’m glad you’re over your ridiculous knee thing. :p I don’t think knees are the most attractive part of the human body, but they’re attached to legs, which are hot! I couldn’t live without my skirts and dresses: welcome to the club.

    I heart spinach.

    And to actually talk about books for a moment, woohoo for another Oyeyemi fan!!! I haven’t read any of your fave nonfiction, so guess what’s going on my TBR list? 😉

    And I must thank you deeply for getting me to read DWJ. Lurve her!

    • I am unimpressed by snow so far. I don’t have any mittens so I can’t play in it. It can be pretty for a little while, but overall I think it’s more trouble than it’s worth (she said in curmudgeonly fashion).

      YOU ARE SO WELCOME for DWJ. I loved it when you were live-tweeting your reading Fire and Hemlock. 😀 I knew you would love it! Everyone loves it! Best book ever!

  30. How wonderful that you achieved the goals you set out to in 2010 in your personal life! Isn’t that so fulfilling! I hope 2011 is just as amazing for you! I must check out some of those books on your top recommendations list now…

  31. Pingback: Fire and Ice » A Life In Books

  32. You’re welcome! And I think I must have you to thank for Veronica Mars. I couldn’t remember where I heard about it, but it has sustained Der Mann and me through a exceptionally dreary December/January. I was like, “Here. We can watch this. It’s is supposed to be good.” And he was all doubtful because of the cover graphic, like, “And why is that?” And I was like, “Somebody on the internet. I don’t know who. It’s good like Buffy.”

    • I did shriek a lot about Veronica Mars for the past few months, so I may well have mentioned it shriekily to you. I’m glad you enjoyed it! I love that show for having a young female protagonist who’s cynical and tough and clever and initiative-y. Hearts.

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