It's a new year and I'm still in the midst of Dennis Lehane's The Given Day, the book I took with me to read on the plane to and from Australia (my wife and I took a trip there over the Christmas holidays, to visit my sister in Melbourne). I didn't do quite as much reading as I thought I might--too many other activities, including trips to Phillip Island, the Great Ocean Road and the Twelve Apostles, and several trips into downtown Melbourne on the train. I also got in a couple of very nice days of bicycling, exploring the trails from Glen Waverley into downtown, and the beachfront paths along Port Phillip Bay.

All in all, I only read 49 books last year, down considerably from previous years where I was in the 70s and even 80s for numbers of books read. I've always tried to shoot for at least 52, or a book a week, but that pace may be beyond me. We'll see as 2009 wears on.

I brought back a number of Australian books, by authors such as Jarad Henry, Gabrielle Lord, Garry Disher, and Peter Temple, as well as 3 books by New Zealand author Paul Cleave. Looking forward to reading them all!

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