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It's traditional and expected to look back on the year that has just passed and reflect over what has happened, what has changed and what one has accomplished. 2008 felt kind of like a placeholder year to me; a year where we kept the status quo: no real major event took place, a year that felt sort of business as usual, for better or for worse. It doesn't feel, upon reflection, that anything really really bad or really really good happened to me or to my family, which seems like an acceptable way to get through 365 days, actually.

In 2008, I read a record-smashing 139 books, an average of 11.5 books a month. This number is astounding to me, but I suspect February's indulgence of re-reading best beloveds is what probably tipped it over the edge. In the years since I started keeping track, I have increased my yearly total from 104 to 110 to 113 to 118 and now this. I suspect I've peaked, but we'll see.

Best books of 2008 (in no particular order and including no re-reads)
  • The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas
  • The Used World by Haven Kimmel
  • East by Edith Pattou
  • The House of Niccolo books by Dorothy Dunnett
  • The Temeraire books by Naomi Novak
  • Searoad by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
  • The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier
Once again, I won't bother listing the best films of 2008, because I saw so few. Highlights, however, included: Kung-fu Panda, Wall-E and Juno.

Family & personal highlights of 2008
  • Managing not to burn out completely during the Spring of Stress at work
  • Work trip to Boston in April that included time with Lizardmom, and a visit at Soliden with BP & Christina, plus getting to meet Chuck in person!
  • Hosting the AWC Independence Day BBQ in our backyard with 80 guests
  • Family reunion with Anders' cousins
  • Summer vacation to Paris and Germany, including EuroDisney and a visit with John & Simone, plus a day at Tropical Islands
  • Nice long visit from Lizardmom in September
Best musical discoveries of 2008
  • Corrinne May
  • Tara McLean
  • Bic Runga
  • Girlyman
  • Jonatha Brooke
  • Katie Herzig
  • The Weepies
  • Kings of Convenience
  • Eisley
  • The Shins
Some manageable goals for 2009
  • 30 minutes of walking a day
  • Get the family to the States
  • Renovate the kid's department
  • Try to work SAW into the business trip to Boston
mood: hopeful
music: Jonatha Brooke—Little Bird


Hopeful is a good mood definitely! Would love to see you in September in beautiful NH!


I sure hope it will happen!!

I was proud of my record of 44 books, but that's nothing compared to you... ;-)

You SHOULD be proud! 44 books is awesome! I'm a speed-reader, so I've got an advantage, plus it's my main pastime, when not working.

I sometimes spend too much time on the internet when I could be reading. ;-)

I definitely read more now that I work from home (last year I only read 27 books). I simply have more time: no more commuting and I don't have to stay at the office if I have finished a job early.

My book list is on aNobbi by the way.

You did well with the books. I never count mine and certainly dozens are missing from Virtual Bookshelf - all those books I read while on the boat. I just forgot to add them. But on average I read 2-3 books a week, depending on the length. Quite a few of the ones I've read this year have been up over 800 pages each. And the Swedish books slow me down a bit.

Good luck with the 2009 goals. They look very achievable.

It's fun to make lists and keep track, for some reason. I didn't start keeping track of the books I read until 2003, though I had thought about doing it for YEARS beforehand. I suppose if one really wanted to know how much one was reading, it would make more sense to count pages or words, but I can't be bothered. So, it's not really an accurate count of how much I'm reading, since, as you say, some of the books are much, much longer than others.

Kudos to you for reading in Swedish. I can't be bothered. :) It slows me down far too much.

And we'll see how manageable the goals actually are. I didn't manage any of the 3 I mentioned for last year. :/

I like your retrospective layout here. I've been wondering how to do such, and may just usurp your format.

Good manageable goals too. Good luck.

Of your musical discoveries, who would you recommend to me?

Dunno, since I don't know your taste in music, really. :)

If you like tight harmony and a sense of playfulness, you can't go wrong with Girlyman.


Thanks for showing yourself, but more than that, thanks for taking time to read my words. Somehow, this astounds me that someone would read me quietly.

And now's my time to hang my head ashamed. I' 2008 since my inception of blogging. Yikes. But I'm 2oo pages into my next one. The honeymoon phase is over.

Best in the New Year! I look forward to reading you, in moderation of course, in between all of those BOOK- I read.

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

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