Sunday Salon: What I’m reading now, and what I’ll be reading soon

The Sunday 
Salon.com

Current and upcoming reading:
The Lotus Eaters: A Novel by Tatjana Soli (TLC Book Tour, January 2011)
Indie Lit Awards Long List, Non-Fiction:
  • At Home by Bill Bryson
  • Let’s Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell
  •  Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
I’m planning to post my year-end reading roundup for next week’s Salon, but I’ve started compiling my stats and deciding on my Books of the Year. The numbers don’t look bad, although I didn’t read as much non-fiction this year as I’ve been used to; however, I have to admit that made choosing my favorites of the year for that category a little easier. On the other hand, I read enough young-adult fiction in 2010 to have favorites in that category for the first time, and two books really stood out from the rest there. It’s been toughest to arrive at my adult-fiction choices, but I’m not all that unhappy about that; to me, it means that I read a lot of particularly good adult fiction this year. Overall, except for the fall-off in nonfiction, 2010 was a good reading year in terms of both quality and quantity.
I’ll be making up for that nonfiction lack during the first weeks of 2011. As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m on the panel evaluating Non-Fiction for the 2010 Indie Lit Awards. Nominations closed last week and the long-list has now been determined; the winner is scheduled to be be announced in February. I’ve obtained all the long-list titles in e-book format and will soon be plowing my way through them, so look for at least five nonfiction reviews here between now and then! And although I still find double-booking problematic, I’ll probably be doing it during January, as I have a blog tour date commitment early in the month and the first book discussion for the 2011 Faith and Fiction Roundtable coming up after that. Fortunately for me, that’s on a book I’ve read before, Madeleine L’Engle’s adult novel Certain Women. Also fortunately for me, the sort of double-booking in question – one fiction book and one nonfiction one, one paper book and one e-book – is the combination I find most manageable.
All of these reading commitments, in addition to a personal one, prompted me to update my book-review policy last week – I’ve declared a general ban on accepting review books for the first six months of 2010 (specific exceptions may be made on individual consideration). While the personal commitment – shoulder surgery next month – may actually provide me with more reading time during the recovery period, I’d prefer not to have it concentrated on obligatory reading.
I’ve got just three more reviews scheduled to post in 2010. I’ll still be reading during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, but I don’t know if I’ll finish anything quickly enough to review it before January 1 – I’d like to, though. One of the upcoming reviews is a re-read, one is for an online book-club discussion, and one is for what may have been my most disappointing read of the year, which is a sad way to wrap things up.
But the year is ending on a winning note in one way: I won two books last week! Leah at Amused by Books sent me her once-read ARC of the memoir Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship by Cathie Beck, and I won debut author (and granddaughter of Madeleine L’Engle) Lena Roy‘s YA novel Edges in a giveaway hosted at The Debutante Ball. I also won a $200 Amazon gift card in an incentive drawing related to Kim Tracy Prince‘s diaper-drive fundraiser for the “Every Little Bottom” campaign (a worthwhile cause you may be able to support in your local area), and I suspect I’ll find some bookish uses for that too.
What plans do you have for winding up your year in reading?

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