Hello Saloners! It’s another hot summer Sunday, and a long holiday weekend in the US. Independence Day is not a big holiday for me, for a variety of reasons political and cultural, but I do like having a 3-day weekend. And I’m actually taking all of next week off from work, so I’m feeling nice and relaxed now. I can’t believe we’ve reached the halfway point of 2010, but that’s gives me an excuse to look back on the year so far.
To begin with, this is my 27th Sunday Salon this year. Yes, I’ve managed to post every single week! That surprised me; I’ve never managed such consistency before. And consistency is a theme in my reading as well. Every year, I aim to read about 75 books and have clocked in around 80 the past two years. I read 38 books from January through June, which means I’m easily on track to reach 75. In the second quarter, I read 19 books (5700 pages) — pretty much the same pace as the first quarter. And I’m happy with the progress towards my 2010 reading goals:
- 2 for the Women Unbound Challenge. I’ve now completed this challenge (5 books read this year; 8 total)
- 4 Booker Prize winners (total 6 vs. a goal of 10)
- 3 for the Book Awards IV challenge (total 5 vs. a goal of 10)
- 3 Virago Modern Classics (total 6 vs. a goal of 12)
- 4 from the 1001 Books you Must Read Before you Die list (total 6 vs. a goal of 10)
- 2 from Belletrista (vs. a goal of 6)
I also read 3 books from my stacks, and it’s been really satisfying to discover books that have been gathering dust. I also read 2 for The Classics Circuit, which continues to be a great way to discover new-to-me authors.
So all in all, it was a pretty good quarter. Normally I like to list my top 5 books; however, this quarter there was a clear break between my 4.5- and 4-star reads, leaving only a “Top 4.” I rated these 4.5 stars, except for Gilead, which was an amazing 5-star read for me and just as good as Home, which I rated 5 stars last year. So here’s my Top 4, in the order I read them. Click on the title to read my review:
- Without my Cloak, by Kate O’Brien
- Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson
- Lady Audley’s Secret, by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
- Beside the Sea, by Veronique Olmi
I hope you’re enjoying your Sunday, and your 2010 reading.
What were your top reads in the second quarter?
Read more from The Sunday Salon here.