Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Salon: Reading Retrospective

I've really enjoyed reading the posts by 3M ( and Wendy (Musings of a Bookish Kitty) where they look back on what they were reading a few years earlier. (If you missed them, click on their names for a sample). So you can call me a shameless copycat, but hopefully no one minds that I've decided to start doing this monthly as well. My Books Read spreadsheet goes back to January 2002 so this seemed like a good time to start. I didn't start doing reviews of the books I read until 2006 when I started blogging but I do have brief notes on what I thought of the books. So here goes...

January 2002 was actually the ending of one chapter of my and my husband's life. After 4 years in Japan, which included meeting and marrying H, he got word that he was being transferred to the London branch of his company in February. The first part of January was work as usual, but then later in the month and until moving day in February, it was a time of sorting, packing and farewells as we planned our first international move together. I suppose it's not too surprising then that I only read 3 books that month.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith which I rated 6/10 (I was using a 10 point rating then, as opposed to the 5 point one I use now) and called it "a good coming-of-age story but not polished". Hmmm. I've since seen the movie, which I quite enjoyed, and I think I would rate this higher if I were to read it again now.

The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama, rated 8/10. "Great atmosphere. In-depth character. Would've been 9/10 if not for the mistakenly spelled word 'genken' throughout". LOL. I still remember being annoyed at that word. It was a minor error really, as it should've been 'genkan' but it kept knocking me out of the story every time I read it. I even asked my husband if it could be pronounced that way in a regional dialect but he had never heard it said that way. Anyway, call me picky but it's the little things sometimes. It was a lovely story though.

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, rated 8/10 and all I've noted down for this one is "FUN!!!!" I can't believe it's been 7 years and now there's even a movie coming out. I still haven't read any of the other books in the shopaholic series although I do think I have one or two of them around here somewhere.

So there you have it, what I was reading 7 years ago. Hopefully you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane. How about you? What were you reading 7 years ago?

Now back to 2009...this past week I finished reading Kissing Games of the World by Sandi Kahn Shelton. My review for it will be up next Tuesday, the 27th, as part of a Pump Up Your Book Promotion blog tour, but in the meantime I'll just say that it was a very enjoyable read. Next I was in the mood for something wintery so I'm now reading Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow (US title: Smilla's Sense of Snow). I read a little more this afternoon and it has me intrigued. There's a certain mood to it that I can't really describe, but I'm curious to read on.
BTW, I didn't buy or receive a single book last week so there will be no Mailbox Monday post tomorrow.

Week in Review:
Mailbox Monday: Bargain Books
It's Tuesday... (Where are You? and Teaser Tuesday)
Review: After Dark by Haruki Murakami
Friday Fill-ins (and blog awards)
Review: Written in Blood by Sheila Lowe

Have a good week, and happy reading!


  1. I kept a list of what I read in the back of a journal, and I have drawers full of journals. Someday, I will go through and find all these.

  2. I wish I could do that! I have lists of books read going back to 2002 too, but unfortunately I didn't write down my thoughts, not even a rating. It would be fun to look back on them, especially in the case of re-reads.

  3. Nat, I too started blogging around 2006, so I hardly wrote down any reviews before that. I never bothered to write notes (which I regret now), so I would have to wrack my brains if you ask me what I read 7 years ago..Well, a lot of this and that... LOL :)

  4. Oh this is fun. I do have a reading journal that goes back to 1998 I think so I'll have to dust that off and see what I was reading then.

    I finished The Samurai's Garden this week and really loved it. Hope you have a wonderful week!

  5. I am so glad you are doing this too, Nat. I enjoyed taking a walk down memory lane with you.

    I saw a preview for Confessions of a Shopaholic the other day. It will be fun to see what they movie makers have done with it. I thought the book was fun when I read it too, although that protagonist did get on my nerves occasionally.

    I look forward to your thoughts on Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow. I read that quite a while ago. It definitely does have a mood to it. :-)

    Have a great week, Nat!

  6. I wish I'd had the foresight to keep track of the books I read. I only started last May. I've seen 3M and Wendy do this as well and I thought the same then! Oh well. Maybe in a few years from now..

  7. debnance - Oh that would be fun to look back on those old journals and what you were reading at the time.

    Nymeth - I wish I'd started keeping track even earlier but what can you do. And even though you don't have ratings it would still be interesting to go back and remember what you were reading then. :)

    Happy Reader - LOL. OK then, what were you reading 3 years ago? :P

    Iliana - Oh you should, it would be fun to see what you were reading over 10 years ago! And I look forward to your review of The Samurai's Garden.

    Wendy - Well thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)
    Yes, the protagonist of Shopaholic was pretty annoying at times but so extreme she was amusing too.
    As for Miss Smilla, I'm not sure what I think of her yet but I'm quite enjoying it so far.

    Michelle - So we can expect a retrospective post in a couple of years then! :P


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