Breakdown of my 2010 reading

Well, 2010 had some tremendous books and not so tremendous. Here's the recap of some of my favorites and how the year broke down.
The best of the year was - Bury Your Dead .
Won't count the re-read of Harry Potter.
The worst of the year - My Name is Will as well as two abandoned books - Future Hope and The Inheritance.
Here's how my categories stood.
I. Cuddle up with a good cozy mystery
Best of the Category - Hail to the Chef
II. Civil War and its Leaders 10/10
Best of the Category - Team of Rivals
III. Love Is a Many Splendored Thing
Best of the Category - Mastered by Love
IV. Miss Austen and Her Relations (Pride & Prejudice lives on!)
Best of the Category - Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One
V. Surprise - Books I find and want to read /group reads
Best of the Category - The Brutal Telling
VI. Crafts, Cooking, and Hobbies
Best of the Category - Died in the Wool
Best of the Category - Death and Judgment
VIII. Who/What/When/Where/How/Why? - Bios/history
Best of the Category - The California Gold Rush and the Coming of the Civil War
IX. Books found on the Internet/thru LT/at the library/in a bookstore (repeat from 999) 10/10
Best of the Category - Lumby Lines
X. A Full Course Meal 10/10
Best of the Category - Bordeaux Betrayal
Xi. Niagara Falls - Overflow 16/20
Best of the Category - Bury Your Dead

Book Talley for 2010:
Books Acquired 110 (30 read ) - 29 ER/ARC /Blog giveaways, 43 Nook books (23 Free classic books, 38 purchases)
Books Read Owned 52 (Pages: 20,563 )
Books Read Borrowed 26 (Pages: 7,220 )
E-books - 3 (Pages - 1,464)
Audio Books heard 38 ( 450½ hours, equivalent 12,041 pages) 32 borrowed

Total Completed
119 books - 38 audio books, 3 Nook books, 27 Hardbacks, 51 Paperbacks - 41,288 pages
Genre Summary:
History: 25
General : 3
Novels: 9
General : 13
Thriller: 10
Young Adult : 12
Mystery: 20
Romance: 14
Historical Fiction: 10
Classics: 3

January: 0 pre-owned : 8 borrowed : 2 ARC - 10 books.
Best of the Month: The Lost Throne
February: 3 pre-owned: 6 borrowed: 1 new: 2 ARC - 12 books.
Best of the Month: The California Gold Rush and the coming of the Civil War
March: 1 pre-owned: 5 borrowed: 0 new: 2 ARC - 8 books.
Best of the Month: Empire of Ivory
April: 3 pre-owned: 6 borrowed: 1 new: 4 ARC - 14 books.
Best of the Month: Brutal Telling
May: 1 pre-owned: 6 borrowed: 0 new: 3 ARC - 10 books.
Best of the Month: Lumby Lines
June: 1 pre-owned: 3 borrowed: 3 new: 2 ARC - 9 books.
Best of the Month: Stealing Lumby
July: 5 pre-owned: 3 borrowed: 3 new: 0 ARC - 11 books.
Best of the Month: Lumby's Promise
August: 2 pre-owned: 4 borrowed: 2 new: 2 ARC - 10 books.
Best of the Month: Bury Your Dead but a close second was Team of Rivals.
September: 3 pre-owned: 7 borrowed: 0 new: 0 ARC - 10 books.
Best of the Month: Desperate Engagement
October 3 pre-owned: 4 borrowed: 0 new: 2 ARC - 9 books.
Best of the Month: Among the Mad
November: 2 pre-owned: 4 borrowed: 2 new: 0 ARC - 8 books.
Best of the Month: Over the Edge of the World
December 4 pre-owned: 2 borrowed: 2 new: 0 ARC - 8 books.
Best of the Month: Call of Duty: The Sterling Nobility of Robert E Lee

Top Ten Favorites of 2010:
Bury your Dead
Team of Rivals
Lumby Lines
The California Gold Rush and the coming of the Civil War
Desperate Engagement
Brutal telling
Call of Duty: The Sterling Nobility of Robert E. Lee
God of the Hive
Mastered by Love
A Spy in the House

Best Biography : Call of Duty: The Sterling Nobility of Robert E. Lee
Best Mystery: Bury Your Dead
Best Romance: Promise of Lumby
Best History: Team of Rivals
Best Historical Fiction: Killer Angels
Best Chick Lit: Mastered by Love
Best Fiction: Lumby Lines
Best Thriller: The Lost Throne
Best Classic Fiction: Pride & Prejudice
Best General Fiction: Ella Minnow pea
Best Re-read: Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows
Best Youth: A Spy in the House
Best Fantasy: Empire of Ivory

Wishing everyone
a happy and healthy
New Year in 2011!


Call of Duty: The Sterling Nobility of Robert E. Lee by J Steven Wilkins

Read: December 27 - December 29
Format: Hardback 332 pages
Source: Barnes & Noble
Subject: Robert E. Lee
Category: Overflow
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, TIOLI, BOYS
Stars: 4½

"Any man honored by both his enemies and his compatriots is a man worthy of our closest attentions" and Robert E. Lee is definitely a man worthy of attention. Even to this day, Northerners and Southerners maintain that his character was above reproach.

Historians of his day as well as those of current day, respectfully and unequivocally state virtues that made him the man he was - spiritualism, devotion to family, courage, dedication to duty, self-control, self-denial - the list goes on and on.

Realizing that Lee embodied these incomparable traits, how was he drawn to become the focal point of the Confederacy's battle for independence? The inner core of Robert E. Lee was a Virginian. Throughout his early life, his dedication to duty - whether it be the care of his ailing mother, his own family, or military service (he never received a demerit while attending West Point) - Robert E. Lee always put duty above all else. So that when his native state seceded from the Union, Lee felt compelled to go with her. He wrote to his sister "With all my devotion to the Union and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home. I have therefore resigned my commission in the Army, and save in defense of my native state, with sincere hope that my poor services may never be needed, I hope I may never be called on to draw my sword."

Lee's military genius was recognized by both North and South. It is frequently commented that if Lee had been in command of the Northern forces (a position offered to him and which he declined), the Civil War would have ended in 6 months, possibly a year at most. He took command of the Virginia forces and immediately increased discipline, ended favoritism, instituted work details, improved supply service, and removed incompetent officers in such a way as not to disgrace them maintaining their support to duty.

As commander of the forces, when errors occurred in combat, he was the first to assume the responsibility rather than identifying others to blame. His men saw only the nobility of the man even in treatment to his enemies. It is unfortunate that such a great man will always be remembered as the general a losing cause rather than the man of principle and dignity that he truly was.

I thought that this was a tremendous book detailing the dignity and service of this great man. I would recommend it to anyone looking to see how a military man could also be a man of peace and gentility.


Mr. Darcy's Daughter by Rebecca Ann Collins

Read: December 19 - December 26
Format: Paperback 289 pages
Source: B&N
Subject: P&P Sequel
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, TIOLI , BOSC
Category: Miss Austen and Her Relations (P & P lives on!)
Genre: Romance
Stars: 3

The tales of the descendants of Jane and Elizabeth Bennet continue in this 5th installment by Rebecca Ann Collins. Here we follow the story of Cassandra Gardiner, Elizabeth's daughter. She has seen the devastative impact of the death of her sister-in-law on her younger brother, Julian, and assumes the responsibility of not only the rearing of his son but also aiding her father in the management of Pemberley. This book added a bit of a mystery which added one of Lydia's sons to the mix. The story is worthy of Austen's characters but still lacks Austen's style.

At Last Comes Love by Mary Balogh

Read: December 20 - December 26
Format: Overdrive Download Equivalent 533 pages
Source: Public Library
Subject: arranged marriages
Category: Overflow
Genre: Romance
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, Audio
Stars: 3½

The third installment of the Huxtable saga, this story is centered around the oldest Huxtable - Margaret/Meg who at the age of 30 realizes that marriage is not a guarantee for her. When her father passed away 15 years prior, Meg made a promise that she would take care of her younger siblings and therefore she bypassed her opportunity to marry her first love, Crispin Dew. When she hears that he is a widower, she tells him that she is betrothed thinking that she will finally accept a Marquis that has been asking her to marry him for several years. On the night that she makes this decision, the Marquis informs her that he is marrying someone else and so Meg is in a panic and attaches herself to Duncan Pennethorne - an earl, yes, but notorious for abandoning a woman on her wedding day to run off with her sister.

Duncan is in dire straits, his grandfather is about to cut off his income if he doesn't marry in the next few weeks and given his reputation finding an acceptable bride could be difficult. Meg and Duncan literally collide and their story has fascinating twists and turns until the final resolution.


Where I have been?

AS my followers probably noticed, I've been missing in action for a while.

I had to have some surgery and thinking that during recovery I would being reading up a storm I didn't worry about not having anything to post.

Recovery is not what I expected. I'm doing fine, but I just can't seem to keep my eyes open for long periods of time, so my reading is being affected. But don't worry, I'll be back on the reading track soon.

In the meantime, I've been making lists of books to read and where to find them - library, Nook, my own shelves. So don't be surprised when you see posts for Nabbing Nook books or Library Loot (I just wish the library delivered!)


Mailbox Monday

I have been severely remiss in keeping up with all the great books that have been coming into my mailbox for the last 2 months so I want to catch up with all the great finds.
Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. This is a feature where we all share with each other the exciting books that showed up at our doors this week. WARNING: Mailbox Mondays can lead to extreme envy and ever-growing wishlists!!

The Things they Carried
They thought for Themselves
I don't know who sent me these two books but when I sit down to read them, I know they will be a stretch for me because they are not my typical type of book, but I'm willing to give them a try.

Naked Heat - Castle TV series #2
I'm doing a group read in spring of 2011 and had a chance to pick this one up through an online bookclub. I need to read the first book before then.
Altar of Bones
Simon & Schuster on ther website offers books for review. I saw this one a few months ago but was surprised when it came in the mail. I didn't think I was getting it. It will be one of the first books I read in 2011. Freebie - all for a review!
Bedeviled Eggs
I love Laura Childs cozy mystery series and for a while now, she has been sending me the newest books for review as they are released. I am very fortunate to be in her favor.

Gingerbread Cookie Murder
I won this book on Librarything's ER program. Read and review and you get to keep the book. I may try to squeeze this one in during Christmas week.

My Reading List
My sister Tina has a great blog (Tutu's Two Cents) of all the wonderful books she reads. She reads much more than I do but it's great to get her recommendations. Every once in while she has a giveaway and I was lucky enough to win this one in one of her contests. Otherwise, I would have had to sneak into her library and possibly steal it. I have my own copy now, yeah!


Netherfield Park Revisited by Rebecca Ann Collins

Read: November 30 - December 8
Format: Paperback 290 pages
Source: Barnes & Noble
Subject: Pride & Prejudice character expansion
Category: Miss Austen and Her Relations (P & P lives on!)
Genre: Fiction
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, TIOLI
Stars: 3

This book is third in the series of the Pemberley Chronicles and details the life Jonathan Bingley, the oldest son of Jane Bennet and Charles Bingley from Pride and Prejudice. At this point in the saga of the Bennet sisters, both Jane and Lizzie, are grandparents and are confronted with various tragedies and joys. They still have to deal with Lydia's inappropriate behaviour as well as problems of the day.

Of the three books so far, this is the best IMO because it is not as disjointed as the previous books. The Pemberley Chronicles and Women of Pemberley were so busy introducing the next generation that the character development was lacking but since this book concentrated on Jonathan Bingley, it read much better - smoothly integrating the other characters from the previous books.


Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Read: November 28 - December 6
Format: Overdrive Audio equivalent 631 pages
Source: Public Library
Subject: Vampires, Young Love
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, TIOLI , AUDIO, SYLL
Category: Love is a Many Splendored Thing
Genre: Romance, Paranormal
Stars: 3

TIOLI Challenge - I can't believe you haven't read that yet! (10,000+ copies on LT but new to you)
This book has been at the forefront for several years and yet I resisted reading it until now. I have to say that what I expected is not what I got. I had been told by reviews and other readers how great this book and series were but I was disappointed. In fact, I was tempted several times to abandon the book, but continued to the end. I can understand why the younger generation (teenagers - 20's) are fascinated by the story of Edward and Bella but for me, it just didn't click. I doubt that I will read the next one anytime soon.


Women of Pemberley by Rebecca Ann Collins

Read: November 18 - November 29
Format: Paperback 272 pages
Source:Barnes & Noble
Subject: Pride & Prejudice character expansion
Category: Miss Austen and Her Relations (P & P lives on!)
Genre: Fiction
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, TIOLI
Stars: 3

This book was really a series of short stories starring the next generation of Pride & Prejudice characters - Elizabeth's daughter Cassandra, Jane Bingley's daughter Emma, Aunt Gardiner's daughter Emily, Col. Fitzwilliam's daughter Isabella, and Elizabeth's daughter-in-law Josie. It was amazing how their different stories still managed to blend together and advance the original characters from young lovers to grandparents.