What to say about 2011? There are two 2011’s really, neatly divided by a Sunday in late June. Prior to that my year was filled with reading and writing poetry, birding, blogging, the occasional video. The other 2011 was the beginning of parenthood.
It’s hard to imagine any of my previous 41 years have been as life-altering as 2011. Becoming a parent for the first time in June changed every routine in my life. For the better, always for the better, though now that we’re 6 months in we’re finally starting to get some sleep and even a few moments here and there to do things for ourselves. For me, that’s blogging, writing and reading.
Anyway, as usual, here’s my end-of-year reading list. Many of these were chapbooks and most of my reading was done prior to June; in fact, all but the last four were read before June, and I’m not quite through with the last one. Still, here ’tis:
- Everything’s Eventual – Stephen King
- American Primitive – Mary Oliver
- The Planets – Dava Sobel
- The Gunslinger – Stephen King (reread)
- American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century, Volume 1 – John Hollander, ed.
- Blameless Mouth – Jessica Fox-Wilson
- I Am Legend – Richard Matheson
- Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell (reread)
- Scene of the Accident – Howie Good
- Disaster Mode – Howie Good
- Pay Attention: A River of Stones Anthology – Fiona Robyn & Kaspalita, eds.
- Speaker for the Dead – Orson Scott Card
- Xenocide – Orson Scott Card
- Shannon – Campbell McGrath
- Woods, Shore, Desert – Thomas Merton
- Love is a UFO – Howie Good
- The Happiest Baby on the Block – Harvey Karp, MD
- The Baby Owner’s Manual – Louis Borgenicht, MD & Joe Borgenicht
- Your Baby’s First Year – The American Academy of Pediatrics
- What to Expect the First Year – Murkoff, Mazel, Eisenberg & Hathaway
- Watermark – Clayton T. Michaels (reread)
- The Book of Ystwyth: Six Poets on the Art of Clive Hicks-Jenkins – Bonta, James, Selch, Urquhart, Davies & Youmans
- Tender Mercies – mark Stratton
- Dark & Like a Web: Brief Notes On and To the Divine – Nic Sebastian
- Children of the Mind – Orson Scott Card
- Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer – Robert Swartwood, ed.
- Greeks Bearing Gifts – Joseph Harker
- Postmarks – mark Stratton
- The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien (reread)
…and a bunch of kids books…
There were no great obsessions this year like last year’s Dark Tower series, though I did go back and reread The Gunslinger. Speaking of rereading, the best book on the list was a reread: Cloud Atlas. Regarding new books, my favorites were probably The Book of Ystwyth, a book so beautiful, I didn’t want to stop looking at it much less reading it. Other favorites were Shannon, Dark and Like a Web and Speaker for the Dead. Of course the run of baby care books were probably the most important and certainly the most useful ones. At 6 months in, though, I find we’re referring to them less and trusting ourselves more.
And though I haven’t been blogging or writing much lately, I have been preparing a short poetry collection. Birds Nobody Loves will be available sometime in mid-January. I’ll post more about it in the coming weeks. Perhaps after I finish that, I’ll start blogging more.
Finally, to those of you who come round here, read and leave comments, thank you. And have a happy 2012.