This is the last post of 2012 on My Lady Bibliophile. My sadness for the end of one lovely year is mixed with excitement about looking forward to another. With a graduation, finishing a huge writing project, getting my driver's license, and starting this blog, I think 2012 will always stand out as an epoch in my life.
Today, I thought it would be fun to look back and remember. And then to look forward and dream a little. :) You see, a lot has happened since I took up the mantle of Lady Bibliophile, both in my own life and in the literary world. Before I pushed that alluring "Publish" button almost one year ago, I didn't do much online. Writing emails and designing birthday cards was about as involved as I got. Not because I was a bookworm who preferred the Dark Ages: I simply didn't care as much about the Internet.
And then I pushed that "Publish" button.
More of that nostalgia on Tuesday. Today I want to showcase my favorite posts from the year in several different categories. And then we'll look forward to 2013. It's been a lovely year for bibliophiles, folks. Amidst all our chocolate-covered-anything-edibles, let's take a short time to share what's happened in our reading lives.
First of all, I met Tolkien. What an inexpressible joy to team up with Frodo and Sam and Aragorn and Legolas to try and destroy the Ring. But that's not all. I also got to review a book that went on to become a New York Times bestseller, celebrate Dickens' bicentennial, and formulate articles on romance, magic, and language.
The year was not without it's dark spots. I had to lay down two books that I really wanted to finish. One I was 900 pages into, which is a lot of investment, and couldn't justify any more. The other was the first in a series, and I shall never know the end. Some articles I formulated when I was still reeling from shocks I had received. Writing can be a kind of therapy, I suppose, though I was more trying to capture a passion on paper that had so affected me.
But the glories far surpassed the struggles.
So here you have a little taste of the year at My Lady Bibliophile, and my number one picks from 106 posts about all things literary.
Top Five Favorite Articles:
1. Tall Tales: Is Love a Fancy or a Feeling (Part One, Part Two, Part Three)
2. Why We Love Stories
3. The Battle Won
4. Magic, Fantasy and Allegory (Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five)
5. How To Deal With Dirty Words (Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four)
Article of Merit: Beau Ideal
Top Ten Favorite Book Reviews:
1. The Way We Live Now, by Anthony Trollope
2. Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
3. Quiet, by Susan Cain
4. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
5. The Cost of Discipleship, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
6. The Chosen, by Chaim Potok
7. Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson
8. The Betrayal, by Douglas Bond
9. Amazing Grace, by Eric Metaxas
10. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien (Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four)
Nonfiction of the Year:
The Cost of Discipleship, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Gripping theology that affected my graduation speech, my understand of God's grace, and pretty much my entire view of Christianity ever since I read it.
Fiction of the Year:
Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
Number One Book of the Year
The Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Because it's not every author who can keep me on the edge of my seat for two books in a row, leave me an emotional wreck from the height of his conclusion, and bring me back to his story multiple times. Also, Tolkien wins hands-down for the most I've ever paid for a set of books. And he has to be pretty good to do that. More about this in a week or two.
Number One Author of the Year:
I know it was my first year meeting Tolkien. And he's really amazing. But I'm still going to give it to Charles Dickens. It's only once in a lifetime that I'll be able to celebrate his bicentennial, and he has the best characterization I've ever met. Check out my reviews of Little Dorrit, Bleak House, Great Expectations, and Martin Chuzzlewit.
Looking Forward to 2013
I'm already planning out my book list for the coming year, with titles such as The Silmarillion, Ben-Hur, and Middlemarch making an appearance on it. 2013 is the bicentennial of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, so we'll be taking a look at her works and world. I have Our Mutual Friend on my list as well, and Sherlock Holmes, which I haven't read since I was 14. Way too long. And I might just get around to Pilgrim's Progress.
Thanks to you all, my friends, I added 20 books and authors to my huge list. That's right. 20. My thanks is ecstatic, if a bit breathless, because my other off-line and off-blog acquaintances added 22 more. That's a grand total of 42 new books and authors to explore. And, alas, I can only read so many at a time.
My Lady Bibliophile will be seeing a re-design and expansion in the coming weeks: after all, a new year deserves a new look. But since I'm still formulating the elements, I cannot say for sure when that will happen. Rest assured, title and web address will still remain the same.
Reviews galore. Articles aplenty. There are a lot of issues still to discuss, including Roman Catholicism in books, a series on Situational Ethics, and a few Tall Tales along the way. I'd also like (though when this shall be, I do not know) to do a series on authors' worldviews.
Lord willing, there will be many more posts to come.
And be sure to come back on Tuesday, when I release my 2012 reading list and My Lady Bibliophile celebrates its first birthday.
I would love to hear from you--what were your favorite articles and book reviews? What points taught you the most, or did you have the most fun with? Were there any books you had never heard of, and looked up because of seeing them here? Such feedback not only encourages me, but helps me to keep the good things coming. :)