Monday, December 6, 2010

My 100th Book For The Year--And a Giveaway to Celebrate!

Yeah!  I am completely gobsmacked that I read 100 books this year!  This is the first time EVER that I've attempted to keep track of what I've read, and thanks to this blog, I can look back over the year and see who and what I read.  If I was left with just my brain to remember, I'd be lost.  Going through my list is like visiting old friends again.  Sometimes when a person asks me "what have you read?"  my mind goes completely blank.  I think it's just overwhelmed with the stories floating around in there, and can't make heads or tails of them.

So my 100th book is The Bag Lady Papers by Alexandra Penney.  It's about a middle aged woman who finds that all of her carefully saved and invested money has been stolen by Bernie Madoff; aka "MF" in the book.  Yes, I think you can guess what MF stands for--and it's not 'my friend'.  Alexandra lives a comfortable life as a single woman in New York City who's stepped away from editing Shape Magazine to focus on her passion, art and photography.  She enjoys the finer things in life, but is by no means a snob.  She learned very early in life to appreciate quality over quantity, and had carefully saved since college for retirement.

This book follows the months after she receives the phone call that turns her world upside down.  What I found very interesting was her fear of turning into a bag lady.  This phenomenon apparently is fairly common in women of all ages and monetary levels.  It's a fear of losing everything and becoming homeless.  It did get me thinking that I have had those thoughts, too.  As a single woman, you realize that there is no one else there as a "net",  you are the net.  As Alexandra struggles through anxiety, sleeplessness, and stress, she looks back on how she managed to make money as a wife, mother, and then single woman in the 80's.  She's pretty darn smart, and very creative.  

Alexandra does not feel sorry for herself; she realizes so many other people have it worse than she does.  This keeps her story from becoming an annoying tale of a woman who lost it all and just whined about it.  Alexandra is surrounded by loving friends who help her in big and small ways to get through her experience.  I learned a lot from this book, and enjoyed it very much.  It have me the  inspiration to keep plugging away, and think out of the box when I don't know what to do in any situation.  

To celebrate my 100th book for 2010, I'm giving away a copy of The Bag Lady Papers.  All you need to do is post what your favorite book was this year, and what book is on your list for 2011.  Oh, and it would be great if those who don't follow already follow my blog now!

I'll pick a winner Wednesday, December 15th and notify you!  Good luck!


  1. hmmmmmmmm.... I think my fav book this year was Incontinent on the Continent by Jane Christmas. I laughed all the way thru as I kept seeing my mom lugging my grandmother around. I am a big reader I must admit, but I did kind of let it go this year with all the blogging instead. Right now I want to start and finish a book called Change your Brain, Change your Body, at least by the middle of January!

    Cheers darlin!

  2. Hello there..let me see...I think the favorite book I have read this year is THE BOOK THIEF...don't know if it was written in 2010 but I read it in 2010.

    On my list this year are many...but my next read will be BURRO GENIUS by the same author who wrote REIGN OF GOLD .. living in the Southwest book of the Mexican American culture do intrigue me.



  3. Congratulations! We should definitely start a 100 Book Club for next year -I'll start plotting my reading itinerary RIGHT NOW :-D

  4. My favorite book this year was One Day by David Nicholls. I just really related to it.

    I really don't know what is coming out next year but I have a good number of books on my "to read" list. Including Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, a second attempts at War and Peace, and Pride and Prejudice (because it's just shocking I haven't read it yet!).

    I love the idea of keeping a log of the books I've read and reviewing them next year. Maybe I can make it a New Year's Resolution! :-)

  5. I'm following this blog now as well.
    My favourite book from last year was Wally Lamb's The Hour I First Believed, and I hope to find the time to read in 2011, Mini-Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella...yeah, I know quite the literary jump from Wally Lamb to Sophie Kinsella, but give me a break, I've been reading textbooks for awhile, I can't take anything deep and insightful, my brain WILL explode!

  6. Wahoo. My favorite book this year was, "Mind Gym." I can't wait to read the third Hunger Games....yes, I am like a 15 year old ha!

    P.S. Your greek salad sounds amazing!

  7. Congratulations Sue. I thought I was doing good reading 50 books this year. Anyway, my favorite book this year has been The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom. As far as next year goes, I want to read some of the classics. I'm thinking about starting with Charles Dickens Great Expectations.