I’d planned to be much better about updating this last year, and of course, I failed miserably. No matter. I will update this more this year, especially as I’m going to be graduating from college in a little over a month. That will give me more time for reading, and will hopefully also give me more time for reviewing as well.

I don’t know if I mentioned this last year, but my greatest discovery of 2007 was this lovely little website called LibraryThing. And though it took me a few months, I became quite hooked around March or April, and I haven’t looked back. What could possibly be better than a site completely devoted to the cataloging of books and sharing recommendations? Nothing, that’s what. I’ve entered most of the books that I own (as well as a few that I don’t, but that’s our little secret), I’ve tagged them, and I’ve been able to find a few different communities that I’ve loved becoming involved in. I’ve used the site for work as well. On more than one occasion, someone has come into the library looking for a book that they only remember very vague details of: one was a cop in Wyoming, the other, a mystery-solving nun. In both cases, with a few key strokes into the search fields at LibraryThing, I was able to track down exactly which books and authors the patrons in question were looking for. It’s made them happy, it’s made me happy, and all has been right with the world.

I’ve also gotten a couple of completely free books as a result of their Early Reviewers program. Now, the first didn’t exactly change my world, and the second hasn’t come yet, but it’s given me a chance to gain exposure to authors I might not have ever found otherwise.

And I really have loved becoming part of the communities. One of the communities I belong to is the 888 Challenge community, which challenges readers to read 8 books in each of 8 different categories this year. The books and the categories are entirely up to the people choosing to participate. And I have chosen to participate. I am going to try to read 64 books this year under this challenge. My categories are as follows:

1. 1001 Books (These are all part of the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die)
2. Shakespeare
3. British Classics
4. Books Released in 2008
5. Books by Authors I’ve Never Read Before
6. Young Adult Novels
7. Historical Fiction
8. Non-Fiction

I’ve picked out some of the books in advance, but others will fall into place as the year goes on. The lists for each category are cut, for the sake of your friends’ pages and my sanity.

1001 Books
1. Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
2. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
3. The End of the Affair by Graham Greene
4. The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
5. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
6. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
7. Possession by A.S. Byatt
8. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

1. The Winter’s Tale
2. King Lear
3. Coriolanus
4. Much Ado About Nothing
5. The Taming of the Shrew
6. The Tempest
7. Othello
8. Cymbeline

British Classics
1. Middlemarch by George Eliot (I’m reading this one as part of a group read on LT)
2. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
3. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
4. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
5. Villette by Charlotte Bronte
6. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
7. Cecilia by Fanny Burney
8. Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier

Books Released in 2008
1. The Seduction of the Crimson Rose by Lauren Willig
2. Imagine Me and You by Billy Mernit (this is my second Early Reviewer’s Book)
3. Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
(this category will fill as the year goes on and more books are released)

Books by Authors I’ve Never Read Before
1. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
2. PS, I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
3. Looking for Alaska by John Green
4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
5. The Accidental Mother by Rowan Coleman
(the rest of the category TBD later)

Young Adult Novels
1. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
2. Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
3. Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian
4. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
5. Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
6. Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty
7. Lovesick by Jake Coburn
8. The Straight Road to Kylie by Nico Medina

Historical Fiction
1. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
2. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
3. Meridon by Philippa Gregory
4. Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
5. The Dark Queen by Susan Carroll
6. The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
7. Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon
8. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

1. The Hanged Man by Robert Bartlett
2. The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson
3. Strange Revelations by Lynn Mollenauer
4. Sex After Fascism by Dagmar Herzog
5. Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman
(the rest of the category TBD)

Of course, as the year goes on, I reserve the right to alter the list in any way, and I’ve also chosen (at this particular point) to leave a couple books I’ve already finished out of the 888 goal. I may change the Shakespeare category later this year to a miscellaneous category, if I find I’m reading other things. I really think it’s the Shakespeare category that’s going to engage me the least. I’ll start posting reviews later, but I wanted to get started on getting this blog active again and getting some of my information off LT and onto here (not that I don’t love LT, because I really, really do, but I wanted to have the list posted somewhere else in case of freak lost information).

Coming soon: reviews of Amsterdam, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, and some YA books.