Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010: The year that was

(This post will be long! Thanks for reading)

What's the No. 1 New Year's resolution out there? "I will lose weight!" Trouble is by Jan. 1 or 2 that vow goes out the window. My resolution for 2010 was to have a better life for myself, one where I can be fully independent. A life where I can live on my own. It seemed like a fairly simple goal, but as 2010 progressed I became a little despondent.

The economy and the limited number of job opportunities in my field made me believe it was time to start something new. Something to break out of my rut. Something that I would enjoy. Which brings me to my blog, As I Turn the Pages.

I've always loved to read. My love for reading began so long ago. I can remember reading aloud for NYC David Dinkins in elementary school. I don't remember much about that day, but I know I've always had a book handy since then.

The first month of blogging, I had some great highs. When I got my first follower, I was ready to do a back flip. But I changed my mind when I realized I might break the furniture in the process. Needless to say when I got my first book pitch, I was celebrating internally.

Before I started this blog, I was really slacking on my reading. I would read one book for six months or more. That's just wrong!

Since I've started blogging, I had the opportunity to take part in so many wonderful things. Before this year, I had never heard of BookExpo America. The experience was like being a kid in a candy store. I wish I could have been there both days the exhibit floor was open, but there is always 2011 (provided my wallet can take the hit). The Book Blogger Convention helped me to realize I have the power to say, "No." As much as I would like to, I can't say yes to everything. Blog tours have opened my eyes to books and genres (YA) I never would have considered on my own. I've read, started, almost finished 49 books. Some I started and had to give up on because I wasn't into them. I was hoping to finish 75 books, maybe I can hit that mark in 2011.

I began this blogging journey believing it could lead to a professional opportunity. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. More than anything I enjoy what I'm doing, and I think I need it for my own sanity. When you don't have too many outside social activities, you need something to hold onto.

I don't know what 2011 will bring, but I vow to let the year come to me naturally. Just go with the flow. Who knows maybe I'll even lose some weight in the process!! Happy New Year!

Room: A NovelBooks: I know that some of the most talked about books are on my list. I bought Room by Emma Donoghue before it even came out. A five-year-old boy and his mom make a life for themselves in a single room. I haven't read it yet, but I will soon.

I'm on the fence about Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. The book was canonized before it had come out. Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times gushed about Franzen, or at least I think she did. I usually need a dictionary handy whenever I read her articles. I think she's trying to cash in on as my 50 cent words as possible.

I know some people found it schmaltzy, but my favorite book of the year was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I hope the movie stays true to the book, I have hopes because Viola Davis is in it.

J.D. Salinger author of Catcher in the Rye passed away early in 2010. I had to read that book in junior high. I don't think I had an appreciation for it then as I do now.

Politics: Where did Christine O'Donnell come from? Nothing that came out of that mouth made any sense. Remember, she's not a witch!

Hopefully, I'm not ruffling any feathers with this next comment. But will Sarah Palin ever go away? I don't think this woman speaks English, I hardly understand what's she's saying. According to her (and I'm paraphrasing), we need to stick together with our North Korean allies and Michelle Obama's obesity campaign is unnecessary. She's partially to blame for O'Donnell being in the limelight. During the presidential election, Ms. Palin said she wouldn't do a reality show. So what's she doing on a reality show?

If not for Jimmy McMillan and the Rent is Too Damn High Party we wouldn't have this great clip from SNL

Entertainment: I don't know about the rest of you, but I've had enough of (in no particular order) Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, the entire Kardashian family, and the entire Jersey Shore cast. I felt robbed after watching the Project Runway finale, anyone else with me on that one? Mondo was robbed !!! Gretchen should not have won. As a whole, I love the show Lost but hated the finale. Liked the final season of 24, but after eight seasons what else could they possibly do in a movie? As far as movies go, I didn't see too many. I probably went to the movies four or five times the entire year, but the only one I can remember right now is Inception. I still don't know what happened at the end?

One of my favorite moments on TV:

I was watching as it happened, and said to myself, "Did that just happen?" I don't care for Mr. O'Reilly myself, so I could understand the frustration.

Sports: Tiger Woods fell from the No. 1 spot. The Lakers won another title, boo!! The Saints won the Super Bowl, that's good I guess. I root for the Jets, but I'm not as in to the NFL as I am baseball. My poor Mets didn't get any better. I don't have much hope for them in 2011 other than a really nice draft pick. But I was totally into the 2010 postseason, mostly because the Phillies and the Yankees lost. Thank you to the Rangers for knocking out the Yankees, and thank you to the Giants for knocking out the Phillies. To a Mets fan, that's Christmas in October. I was totally into the World Series, congrats to the Giants.

Gone but not forgotten: And on a serious note, let's not forget those who were lost. There were so many, but here are the ones I remember: J.D. Salinger, Teena Marie, Blake Edwards, Lena Horne, Leslie Nielsen (our beloved Frank Drebin is gone), 11-year-old Shannon Tavarez (Broadway performer), Tony Curtis (I always loved him in Some Like it Hot), Tom Bosley, Peter Graves, Barbara Billingsley, who will always be remembered for this:

... Eddie Fisher, Gary Coleman, Dennis Hopper, Lynn Redgrave, Dixie Carter, Teddy Pendergrass, George Steinbrenner, Jill Clayburgh, and Rue McClanahan.

There's only one Golden Girl left. First Estelle Getty in 2008, Bea Arthur in 2009, and now Rue McClanahan in 2010. I hope the trend is over in 2011, we need Betty White around for a long time. Here's the best of Blanche Devereaux:

If you made it this far in my post, I applaud you! Wherever you are as the clock strikes midnight, I hope you remember to preserve what you have. There is always someone who has it worse. Have a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

What was on the cover?

Under the Mercy Trees: A NovelThe RemainsBy Fire, By WaterGar Fish & Long Gravy: Memoirs of Southern SensibilityEverything I Never Wanted to Be: a memoir of alcoholism and addiction, faith and family, hope and humorYou Already Know How to Be Great: A Simple Way to Remove Interference and Unlock Your Greatest PotentialBuffalo Unbound: A CelebrationSugar TowerA Friend of the FamilyTestarossaBlood LilyCity of Tranquil Light: A NovelHeavenly (Volume 1)Up from the Blue: A NovelHushThe Twin's DaughterLow Red MoonExleyGoing Away ShoesEverything Is Going to Be Great: An Underfunded and Overexposed European Grand TourThe InsiderThe Panic Zone (Jack Gannon)The Life You've Imagined: A NovelDefending the Enemy: Justice for the WWII Japanese War CriminalsThe Tourist TrailBlindsidedBased upon Availability: A NovelThe Recipe Club: A Novel About Food and FriendshipTodos SantosAsleepLife After Yes: A NovelVexationHeart of Lies: A NovelSweet Dates in Basra: A NovelWe Need to Talk About Kevin: A Novel (P.S.)The Girl Who Fell from the SkyRolling With The PunchesThe Haunting of Andrew SharpaiThe Sound of a Wild Snail EatingEscape The HezbollahThe Case of the Great Granny: Bradley Daggers InvestagatesQuicksandPromise Not to Tell: A NovelThe Darkest Child: A NovelTrue ColorsThe Girl She Used to BeBetween, GeorgiaGods in AlabamaThe Glass Castle: A Memoir The Help

Like the montage? Blogger didn't want to cooperate the whole time. I tried to use smaller images, but it just would not come out right. It took some time to find all of these covers, WHEW!! I went back through my archives to highlight the covers of books I read and/or gave up on. Which one was your favorite? Personally, the covers of A Friend of the Family, The Twin's Daughter, and The Darkest Child were my favorite. Normally on Monday I take a look at the covers of the books I'm reading or going to be reading. That is on hiatus until next week. We will return with a discussion of the cover and giveaway of Delirious by Daniel Palmer. Please come back on Thursday for my end of the year post. I will be taking a look back at why I started this blog, sports and pop culture in 2010.