Friday, 31 December 2010

Writer Revealed Book Awards 2010

This is a completely biased list, based on the books I read in 2010, and based on only my opinion. And I am lumping various sub-genres together under their main category (i.e. all kinds of Fantasy go under Fantasy)

Best Classic
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Best Crime
Execution Dock - Anne Perry

Best Fantasy
Anansi Boys - Neil Gaiman

Best Mainstream
Love Story - Erich Segal

Best Memoir
The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank

Best Science/Psychology
Proust was a Neuroscientist - Jonah Lehrer

Best Science Fiction - It's a TIE
Journey Into Space - Toby Litt
Fountains of Paradise - Arthur C. Clarke

Book Abandoned
I don't make a habit of abandoning half-read books, and I don't list them on my book list, because if it is not finished, it doesn't count as read. But I wanted to keep track of the ones I abandoned, and why.

Next - Michael Crichton (at about page 150).
This had a good premise. I really would have liked to read this story, and if it was a movie, I would have enjoyed it. But the writing was just a torture. I get it that we need more than usual amount of exposition for science-heavy subjects, but this goes beyond torture, and a lot of it quite frankly was unnecessary. A thriller is supposed to be...well...thrilling. You shouldn't be able to put it down. It should be fast paced read, not something that makes you feel like you are sitting in a science class with a droning teacher. So I finally gave up.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

2010 Reading Challenge - How did you do?

I invited all of you to join me in 2010 Reading Challenge, and I know many of you did. So now that the year is nearly finished, how did it go for you? Did you meet your goal?

I am happy to say, I reached my goal of 75 books much earlier than anticipated. Currently, I have finished 98 books this year, and still hoping to finish two more by end of tomorrow to reach a neat 100, but even if I don't, I am happy with 98.

And I hope you will join me for 2011 Reading Challenge too. 

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my wonderful blog friends. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, and even if you haven't made your presence known, I appreciate you being here. 

I wish all of you a wonderful Christmas. 


Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Thoughts at the End of NaNoWriMo 2010

Another NaNo finished. This was my second NaNo, slightly less successful than the first one, but more productive.

Now to explain that contradictory statement - doing my first NaNo in 2009, I was super-excited, and determined to finish an entire first draft. I obsessed over it entire month. I took my netbook with me to work, so I could write in the mornings and evenings during bus journeys. I made NaNo the prime focus of my life. So I did finish the whole first draft - around 87K, I believe - on 28th of November.

This year, I did not succeed in that goal - to finish the entire draft. I have gotten to about 81500, or somewhere there abouts, and there are still several scenes to go, so looking at probably another 10K. Yet, this year's NaNo was more productive, because this month, it wasn't possible for me to obsess only over NaNo. I wrote almost every day - though granted, large chunk of this word count is due to complete obsession in the first week when I wrote a lot - but I didn't write during the bus rides, and didn't spend entire evenings writing either. Since I am going abroad next week, I had far too many things to do for that, and for Christmas, so basically, I did NaNo while continuing with other priorities in my life. I think that's more productive, because it is also more realistic look at writer's life.

If I am fortunate enough to be a full-time writer one day, I won't be able to simply chuck away all other responsibilities to just write obsessively - or if I do, then I will be spending next couple of months, not writing, and catching up on everything I didn't do. I think it's far more useful to be able to write, while living your life, to make writing a part of regular life rather than temporary obsession.

I still love NaNo, and I would still participate, because November certainly gets me going, and I do like to win the official NaNo - which I will admit, I have no problems with, that's why I set myself higher goal to finish the whole draft. But it does make me write, and it does make me focus, and it does make me want to push myself more to see what I can do better while I knock out a lot of words.

So YAY NaNoWriMo!! And now - I have decided very unrealistically to keep working on my draft while I am on my hoilday in Tenerife (and if you know me at all, you may know that my vacations are never about sitting by the pool and relaxing - so when actually I will accomplish that, I have no idea). I am sure you will hear all about the progress or lack-of-it of this new scheme upon my return. ;)

How was your NaNoWriMo? And if you didn't do NaNo, how was your November? Did you accomplish what you set out to accomplish?