Thursday, December 30, 2010

Challenges and year end wrap up

Well, this has been one heck of a year for sure.  Just when fall started, both The Big Guy and I were diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery. TBG got home from the hospital just last Tuesday and had a tough week from not just the surgery but the after affects of anesthesia and antibiotic.

 Needless to say, Christmas was a very subdued affair around here. The biggest, brightest spot was that by Saturday, TBG was just starting to feel like a human being again and one of our daughters and her two kids came to visit for dinner. They were just down here for a few days vacation. We were exhausted when they left but were so happy to see them.

One thing that has always been constant is my love of books and reading. As far as reading goes, I did manage to read 223 books totalling 75,205  pages this year.  Of course, there were a few duds in the list but also quite a few exciting and delightful books. Some of my favorites (in no particular order) included:
  1. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
  2. Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
  3. A Truth Worth Tellin by Toni Teepell
  4. The Russian Concubine by Kate Furnivall
  5. The Lace Makers of Glenmara by Heather Barbieri
  6. Cottage by the Sea by Ciji Ware
  7. The Beachcombers by Nancy Thayer
  8. The Hypnotist by M.J. Rose
  9. How to Be An American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway
  10. The Gendarme by Mark Mustian
The one book I just could not get into was Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde. It was not the writing; it was the alternate reality style that just didn't appeal to me.

Challenges were signed up for in a realistic manner this year and all completed:

The Chunkster Challenge hosted by Wendy at Caribousmom was met with 6 books read with the original committment of 6.
The Cozy Mystery Challenge, hosted by Kris from Not enough Books was met with 27 books read with a 6 book committment. What can I say? I just love cozies!
My favorite challenge and one I really needed was the Reading From My Shelves Project, hosted by Diane from Bibliophile by the Sea. I committed  to read 24 books but I ended up reading 69.

The Typically British Challenge, hosted by Book chick City was a 6 book commitment but I managed to read 8 books.

Next year, which I can't believe is only 2 days away, I only joined 2 challenges:

The Mystery and Suspense Challenge 2011  hosted by  Book Chick City
and Reading From My Shelves Project 2011, once again hosted by Diane from Bibliophile by the Sea.
As long as life doesn't throw us any more curve balls, they should be a snap to
 complete with much reading enjoyment along the way.

I'd also like to take this time to thank each and every person who stopped by for a visit here at Pudgy Penguin Perusals. Your thoughts and comments were much appreciated especially in October when everything healthwise started falling apart here. I was truly touched by your well-wishes, prayers and positive thoughts. It meant so much to me; probably more than you could ever know.

Thank you again for a wonderful year in the blogisphere. I've really enjoyed all of your recommendations that expanded my reading, thoughts, creativity and posts that let me get to know you better. Here's hoping for a fantastic year ahead with good books to read and share, good health and happiness to all of you and yours.  


  1. Bury Your Dead was one of my faves from this past year as well. Here's to a healthy and happy 2011!

  2. I LOVED the Lace Makers of Glenmara,,and Cottage by the Sea is on my reading list for 2011..hope you and your TBG heal quickly and may have a peacefull and blessed year..

  3. I could not get on with Jasper Fforde's alternative style either, which was a shame because I really wanted to.

    Do hope that 2011 is a better year for you both.



  4. Oh the lacemakers, do wanna read that one :)
    Fforde, I do like him, but man he is strange! So yes not for everyone

  5. Hi Kaye

    I just dearly love your Blog...I am going to be one of your followers on it.

    I too have a Blog and here is mine:

    I hope you two are feeling better and I am so sorry to hear that you both was diagnosed with Cancer.

    I love your pictures on there too...they are cute...especially the book covers ones.

    Take care & Happy Reading
    Hugs :) from Cold Northern Indiana
    Linda K, Railroad

  6. Wow, 222 books read?!! That's amazing :-)

    I've read so many good things about How To Be An American Housewife. Lace Makers was on my favorites list in 2009. Made me want to go back to Ireland. I'm on the list at my library for the audiobook of Major Pettigrew. Cottage by the Sea is on my tbr list.

    Here's hoping 2011 is a better year healthwise for you and TBG.

  7. Kaye...I'm so glad you're both on the mend. Your great wrap-up post is nudging me to get mine done here soon. I loved your list. Several were on my favorite list, but you also gave me abot 4 more to put on next year's TBR list. I'll never do them all, and I'm NOT doing any challenges next year...just letting the books hop off the shelves as they wish.

    Enjoy your relax time, take it easy, and stay well. Look forward to next year's posts.

  8. That's a lot of reading :O

    hope TBG is feeling better soon. My best to both of you.

  9. Wow, and I thought I was doing good at 104 -- you obviously rock! Here's wishing you and TBG good health and a happy new year!

  10. Kaye, I just wanted to wish you and your Big Guy a very Happy New Year! 2010 has been a challenging year for many of us and I know that we're all hoping that 2011 will be a little more easy in that regard. :-)

    Hugs to you and I look forward to talking books with you for a long time to come.

  11. yes, let me second...or wishes and good health for you and TBG in the coming year.

    that number of books read is about two..or three times...what I read in 2010.

  12. Kaye,
    Your list of favorite reads is great and one that I will be referencing for 2011. You read a ton of books!! I'm so glad that your daughter made it down there and even though you were exhausted just having family around makes you feel better! I hope TBG is rebounding from the antibiotics/anesthesia..that's tough for sure. Here's to 2011 being a year that is healthy, happy, and filled with joy for both you and TBG!!
    Love ya!

  13. I just wanted to stop by and wish you a very Happy New Year - one that is filled with lots of health and prosperity for both you and TBG!

  14. Major Pettigrew will be my first book of 2011 - can't wait to get started. Glad to hear TBG is on the mend - wishing you both a happier and healthier 2011!

  15. Kaye - To you and TBG - a very Happy New Year and I hope you are both on the road to recovery.

    You did really well with your reading! Good for you!


  16. Hi Kaye! I am so glad you and your hubby are feeling better! I admire your perseverance. With all that you've just been through you are still blogging! And what a great wrap-up post for the year! I am amazed at all that you've read!

    I'm chosing Major Pettigrew's Last Stand for my reading group selection come February. I've had my copy since BEA and haven't had time to read it! :-)

    Have a wonderful New Year Kaye!

  17. What a great list; I loved Bury Your Dead. Several others are on my TBR list as well.

    Happy new Year to you good health and happiness are wished for you.

  18. Congrats on completing all your challenges! Interesting - I had the same experience with Lost in a Good Book. Which surprised me because it sounds like something I'd love.

    "Good books to read and share, good health and happiness" - here's wishing you all that same wonderful stuff!

  19. What a year you've had all around. So kind of you to stop by Fresh Ink Books and say hello with everything you have on your mind. Here's hoping the new year is a better one for you and hubby healthwise. Take care.

  20. I'm very sorry to hear about the health issues for the both of you. I know how scary these things can be. Books can be good escapsim in those trying times.
    Here's to a happy and healthy 2011 to you and your hubby :)

  21. What a year!! So glad you're both on the mend and wishes and prayers that cancer is behind you both. A quiet new year may be just what the doctor ordered. :)

    You were amazing with the challenges!! You've inspired me. Maybe this will be the year I attempt one or two. Maybe. I haven't read all of the books on your list of favorites but I'll be looking for them now. Congrats and good luck with the new challenges!

    (Your blog looks terrific! Good job figuring out the 3 column stuff. You are so tech savvy!!)

  22. Kaye - I wish you health and happiness for you and yours for 2011!!

    ( and Bury Your Dead was one of my faves too!)

  23. I'm so sorry to hear about you and your hubby being diagnosed with cancer; it has taken me all year to recover from my run in with C LOL

    I hope 2011 brings you good health, happiness and special memories and of course lots and lots of good reads.

    Major Pettigrew's Last Stand is on my ipod, hope to get to it soon!

  24. I'm going to have to add a few books to my wishlist now. Hope you have a great year this year.

  25. 222 books ... impressive. I'm excited to try Jasper Fforde ... I wonder if I'll like him?

    And it was a stressful year for you .... here's hoping 2011 is much easier and less stressful.


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