Yearly Reading Recap
Yes, it’s time for another of these — I do one every year, and so should you! Feel free to share this one and pass it on to others, use it for your own blog, or ignore it entirely as your whim suits.
How Many Books Read in 2011: 27 that I remembered to put up on Goodreads, which means probably somewhere in the 30s. I was much better about putting everything I read on Goodreads in the earlier part of the year. Also stacks and stacks of periodicals, primarily The Wall Street Journal (six days a week), The New Yorker (weekly), The Isthmus (weekly), and The Progressive (monthly).
Fiction/Non-Fiction Ratio: Only three non-fiction, plus of course the periodicals. I made a joke last year about the Wall Street Journal editorials counting as fiction, so we’ll just skip it and move on this year, hm?
Male/Female Authors Ratio: 16:11 favoring men over women, at least for the ones I tracked on Goodreads. The old favorites I didn’t bother with were almost certainly all Patricia C. Wrede or Louis McMaster Bujold (my go-to comfort books during bedridden illness), so I’ll go ahead and say it was probably about even.
Favorite Book Read: Oh dear. A very tough one. I’m not sure I could choose between Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit and Larry McMurty’s Lonesome Dove, two very different books that I like for very different reasons. In the right mood I might even go with David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. A good year for reading!
Least Favorite: Also a tough one. I read some stinkers. I want to go with Nicholson Baker’s House of Holes, but that may just be because it’s a recent read and the distaste is fresh in my mind. No, okay, it really was a bad book. We’ll go with that one.
Oldest Book Read: I suppose the collection of Francis James Child’s English and Scottish Popular Ballads I read has to get that award, although the particular edition was only from 1970 or so.
Newest Book Read: Making Waves by the freshly-debuted Tawna Fenske, of course!
Longest Book Title: I never know whether to allow secondary titles following colons or not. The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit probably wins either way, though, actually. Also one of the few non-fiction works; also one of the close contenders for the “least favorite” award. Dreadful book.
Shortest Book Title: Thud! by Terry Pratchett. Don’t judge me.
How Many Re-Reads: Three. Probably a few more counting the ones that didn’t make it onto Goodreads, which would all have been re-reads, so call it six or seven.
Most Books by One Author This Year: Just two by Terry Pratchett, actually, or possibly three or four by Pat Wrede if I did my usual tear through the Enchanted Forest Chronicles last fever.
Books in Translation: Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder (trans. Paulette Moller) and St. Jerome by Regine and Madeleine Pernoud (trans. Rosemary Sheed).
And How Many Books Were From the Library: Virtually all of them. Madison (and all of south-central Wisconsin) continues to have an amazing library system and I continue to make good use of it. Apart from a few loaners from friends and the ones I already owned, these all came from the library. (No, wait — I bought a copy of Making Waves. That might be the only book I bought all year, in fact.)
Hopefully the editorial subtext here is clear: love your local library. Use it often, be nice to your librarians, and show up at the dreary little local government meetings when they propose cutting the funding. Free books forever is worth a night drinking bad coffee in a folding chair.
Over to you now — if you wind up using this or posting a similar list on your own website, let me know in the comments so other readers can come find you! And as always, detailed reviews of everything I read this year can be found on my Goodreads account. Sort for the one-star reviews first if you want to start with the really fun ones…