And once again we come to that time of year when bloggers pass around year-end memes, talk about resolutions, and in general add to the flood of reminders that yes, another arbitrary mark on the calendar has passed us by! Honestly, I love it, and so does the traditional news media, because the content just writes itself. Case in point — my lovely friend Linda of Each Little World passed me a year-end book recap that she borrowed from Stuck in a Book. She didn’t mention if it was from this year’s or a previous one, but I liked it too much not to share it. And since I know a good chunk of my readers have blogs of their own to fill…steal away merrily! It’s an entertaining little exercise in memory, at least for people who don’t just list everything on Goodreads. My own Goodreads only start around June of this year, and were sporadic for a while after that, so it’s taken some digging to get these (admittedly shaky) conclusions for you all…
Books of 2010 – Geoffrey Cubbage
How Many Books Read in 2010: Somewhere in the 30-35 neighborhood. A fraction of what it ought to be, partly because of a serious periodicals habit — this was my first year with Wall Street Journal and New Yorker subscriptions, and they’ve put a bigger dent in the book time than I’d expected.
Fiction/Non-Fiction Ratio: Only one non-fiction book, which I had to return to the library before I was done. But there’s all those periodicals in there, although the op-ed page of the WSJ probably counts as fiction.
Male/Female Authors: Almost a perfect split. Fifteen of each that I can pinpoint for sure, with maybe a few extra males floating around. Call it 4:3 at the outside.
Favorite Book Read: Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle by Vladimir Nabokov. And my reading list includes plenty of pulp fantasy and sci-fi that I loved dearly, so please don’t think I’m being an elitist prick by choosing the Nabokov — I just really, really, really love that book. Wolf Hall was the close second, and on some days would probably be the first pick.
Least Favorite: The Women by T. C. Boyle. There, see? I hated a “literary” work, too.
Oldest Book Read: Peter and Wendy by J. M. Barrie (1911). An interesting contrast to last year, which was heavy on eighteenth and nineteenth century women.
Newest Book Read: CryoBurn by Lois McMaster Bujold (October 2010). Other new releases included Innocent by Scott Turow, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, and Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years by Diarmaid MacCulloch.
Longest Book Title: I had to count character by character, but Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years narrowly beats out Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle. If we disallow colons, I believe The Elegance of the Hedgehog takes the win over The Master and Margarita.
Shortest Book Title: Three-way tie between The Truth by Terry Pratchett, Innocent by Scott Turow, and Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantell.
How Many Re-Reads: Seven. Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede and its various sequels remain mandatory reading anytime I’m bedridden, and there were a few other old favorites in there as well.
Most Books by One Author This Year: On that subject, four by Patricia C. Wrede, two of which were new.
Books in Translation: The Elegance of the Hedgehog (trans. Alison Anderson) and The Master and Margarita (trans. Diana Burgin and Katherine Tiernan O’Connor).
And How Many Books Were From the Library: Nearly all of them. I’d say 20-25 of the 30ish this year came from Wisconsin’s South Central Library System, which drops books off three blocks from my door on about two days’ notice. Couldn’t live without ’em!
So there you have it. For more details you can always find me on Goodreads. Got favorites from this year you want to share here? Let me know in the comments — or tell me to come check out the year-end book wrap-up on your own blog!