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December 31, 2011 / Leslie

Farewell 2011

Another year has come to a close. That went by fast!

I read 68 books this year exceeding my personal goal of 50. Twenty-five of my books were audiobooks. I participated in five reading challenges and completed four of them. I wrote 236 posts, an average of 4½ per week. I also shared a lot of my photography, one or two posts a week, and over half of them were birds.

Favorite books

Below are my top 10 books for 2011 listed in alphabetical order. I could not choose an order, I enjoyed all of them.

11/23/66 by Stephen King
The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rasmussen
Doc: A Novel by Mary Doria Russell
Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Seeing Trees by Nancy Ross Hugo, Robert Llewellyn
The Upright Piano Player by David Abbott
You Know When The Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon

The Bird Sisters

Upright Piano PlayerYou Know When The Men Are Gone



I participated in five challenges and completed four of them. I came up one book short in the What’s in a Name Challenge, a book with a size in the title. I found a book on my shelf with a size in the title and will be reading it to complete the challenge. I don’t like to lose, even if it’s only to myself.

What’s in a Name 4
Time Travel Challenge
Audiobook Challenge
Amy Einhorn Perpetual Challenge
Reagan Arthur Books Perpetual Challenge

What's In A Name

Amy Einhorn ChallengeReagan Arthur Books Challenge



One of my hobbies is photography and it often spills over onto the blog. This year I posted one or two photos a week. My most viewed post of 2011 was Mr. Cardinal. He had 1,768 views and I am very proud of him. My Weekend Birding feature has been successful and I plan to continue it in 2012.


Happy New Year

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to read and comment. I appreciate every one of you. I wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year. See you in 2012.


Leave a Comment
  1. rebeccarasmussen / Dec 31 2011 6:46 pm

    Happy New Year, Leslie. Thank you so much for everything! Love and Birds, Rebecca


  2. Suko / Dec 31 2011 7:05 pm

    Happy New Year, Leslie! I love your photography and look forward to seeing more of your wonderful photos in 2012!


  3. WordsAndPeace / Dec 31 2011 8:44 pm

    i also enjoyed a lot Doc and The Language of Flowers, but they did not make it in my top of the year, though I chose Victoria as my favorite character of the year. see my recap:


  4. BermudaOnion / Dec 31 2011 9:38 pm

    I had two of the same books on my best of list and two others made my long list. Happy New Year!


  5. Diane@BibliophileBytheSea / Dec 31 2011 11:08 pm

    Excellent choices Leslie. I loved 11/22/63, and there are several others on your tops list I want to read.

    Wishing you and everyone close to you, good health and happiness in the New Year. I am so happy i discovered your blog when I did. I so enjoy your nature photography and insight about books.


  6. samstillreading / Jan 1 2012 2:52 am

    I love your bird pictures, glad everyone else does too. Henrietta Lacks was a fantastic book – I really enjoyed it.


  7. carol / Jan 1 2012 2:43 pm

    Happy New Year!

    I haven’t read any on your favorites list, but I’ve heard good tings about several of them

    I’m glad you’re going to continue your weekend birding posts. I always enjoy them.


  8. Leeswammes / Jan 2 2012 11:49 am

    You did really well in the challenges! I hope I can follow your example this year. I haven’t read all of your favorite books but I think it makes a nice list (of books that I would like to read).


  9. Anna (Diary of an Eccentric) / Jan 3 2012 10:38 am

    Looks like you had a great year! Congrats on your challenge accomplishments. Now I know I have to read You Know When the Men Are Gone and The Bird Sisters. Happy new year!


  10. Alex / Jan 3 2012 11:48 am

    The Immortal Life was my favorite non-fiction of 2010. Did you listen to it in audiobook? I thought it worked really well in that format, but apparently there were pictures in the book, that I’ve missed (although Google Images helped).


    • Leslie / Jan 3 2012 11:57 am

      Yes, I listened to the audiobook. The narration was fantastic. As for not seeing the pictures, I have grumbled about this every time I listen to non-fiction. Thankfully some of the publishers are listening. When I received a downloadable copy of Regis Philbin’s new memoir it contained a pdf file of the photos from the book. Awesome addition and really enhanced the audio experience.


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