Thursday, March 10, 2011

2010 Reading Year in Review

A wee bit late, yes . . .

Number of Books Read - 159
Total Pages Read - 39,795
Average Book Length - 250 pages

Longest Book Read in 2010 - The Passage by Justin Cronin - 766 pages

Shortest Book Read in 2010 - Little Critter's Where is My Frog? by Mercer Mayer (lift-the-flaps) OR Merry Sparkling Christmas by Spurr & Madden (board book) -- both too short to bother counting pages

Fiction Reads - 121

Favorite Fiction -
The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien
The Winter Sea - Susanna Kearsley
The Ship of Brides - Jojo Moyes
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower - C. S. Forester
Bellwether - Connie Willis
Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver
The Passage - Justin Cronin
Postcards from a Dead Girl - Kirk Farber
The Founding - Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
Veracity - Laura Bynum
The Doomsday Book - Connie Willis

Nonfiction Reads - 38

Favorite Nonfiction -
First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria by Eve Brown-Waite
Flyaway - Suzie Gilbert
A Hundred Feet Over Hell - Jim Hooper
Field Notes from a Catastrophe - Elizabeth Kolbert
Why Our Decisions Don't Matter - ed. by Simon Van Booy
Under the Overpass - Mike Yankoski
Shakespeare Wrote for Money - Nick Hornby
They Were Just People - Tammeus and Cukierkorn
London's Strangest Tales - Tom Quinn
The Secret Holocaust Diaries - Nonna Bannister

Number of authors new to me - It would be easier counting the number of authors *not* new to me. Most were new. A few exceptions: C. S. Forester, Simon Van Booy, Michael Palmer, Marsha Altman, Jill Mansell, Jojo Moyes, Annemarie Selinko

Biggest smile-inducers:
Flyaway - Suzie Gilbert
That Cat Can't Stay - Krasnesky & Parkins
I'll Mature When I'm Dead - Dave Barry
Bellwether - Connie Willis
Moose Droppings & Other Crimes Against Nature - Tom Brennan
Ten on the Sled - Norman & Woodruff
London's Strangest Tales - Tom Quinn
Ship of Brides - Jojo Moyes
Let it Snow - Green, Johnson & Myracle

They Were Just People - Tammeus & Cukierkorn
The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien
Making Rounds with Oscar - David Dosa, M.D.
A Dog's Purpose - Bruce Cameron
Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs - Heather Lende

Nightmare-inducing (literally):
The Passage by Justin Cronin was the only book that gave me nightmares in 2010 and they were doozies -- all-night, frequent-waking, they're going to eat me nightmares.

Most awesome writing:
The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien
The Reapers are The Angels - Alden Bell
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower - C. S. Forester
Anything by Connie Willis or Simon Van Booy is awesome, period.

Most surprising books:
Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver (much better writing and more depth than anticipated)
The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien (did not expect to be so thoroughly blown away)
A Dog's Purpose (surprisingly touching and meaningful)
The Reapers Are the Angels - Alden Bell (Zombies written in a literary manner? Shocker!)
Bellwether - Connie Willis (Funny, sharp, thought-provoking, astute writing)

Biggest wastes of time and/or books that totally pissed me off in some way (remember, these are only my personal opinion!!!!!):
F My Life - Valette, Pasaglia & Guedj
The Swan Thieves - Elizabeth Kostova
Stealing Heaven - Elizabeth Scott
The Last Surgeon - Michael Palmer (an author I usually like)
Winging It - Jenny Gardiner
The Amazing Book of Useless Info - Noel Botham
Rhymes with Witches - Lauren Myracle
Fireworks Over Toccoa - Jeffrey Stepakoff
Bird Girl and the Man Who Followed the Sun - Velma Wallis (another author I usually like)

Page-turning, gripping, can't-put-down books:
The Clouds Roll Away - Sibella Giorello
The Passage - Justin Cronin
A Hundred Feet Over Hell - Jim Hooper

Authors I read more than once:
Simon Van Booy (4)
Jill Mansell (2)
Ciji Ware (2)
Connie Willis (2)
Kelley Armstrong (3)
Lisa McMann (2)
Shana Galen (2)

Authors I wish would hurry up and write more:
Simon Van Booy - always, always
Patricia Wood - ditto
Alden Bell

Books read which were by authors I know personally:
All four books by Simon Van Booy, the only author from my 2010 reads that I have met in person.

Authors I wish I knew (or at least could spent a dinner or two interrogating):
Sibella Giorello
Alden Bell
John Green
Patricia Wood (someday we'll meet and talk over drinks with little umbrellas)
and I've been longing to hang out with Simon Van Booy a bit longer for years.

A few new categories for 2010 -

Favorite Children's Books:
That Cat Can't Stay - Krasnesky and Parkins
Little Chimp's Big Day - Schroeder and McCue
Ten Big Toes and a Prince's Nose - Gow and Costanza
Ten on the Sled - Norman and Woodruff
Calvin Can't Fly - Berne and Bendis

Favorite YA series:
The Summoning/The Awakening/The Reckoning - Kelley Armstrong

Favorite YA stand-alone titles:
A Mango-Shaped Space - Wendy Mass
Eyes Like Stars - Lisa Mantchev
Twenty Boy Summer - Sarah Ockler
Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. It looks like you had a wonderful year in reading :)

    And I see you're reading Cutting for Stone at the moment? That was one of my favourite reads from last year.

  2. Irisonbooks,

    I thank I had a pretty good reading year in 2010, thanks.

    Yes, I'm reading Cutting for Stone for my book group. I need to pick up the pace. Our meeting is next Wednesday and, oh, she is a chunkster. I'm only 20% of the way through, according to my iPad, Petunia. I'm really enjoying it.

  3. Cindy I12:13 PM

    Amazon keeps recommending Cutting for Stone to me and it's piqued my curiosity. Let us know how it is! Great list too!

  4. Cindy,

    I'll review Cutting for Stone as soon as I finish (hopefully by Wednesday of next week!), but so far it's truly stellar. I'm enjoying it immensely.


  5. Hurray for Connie Willis! I'm so thrilled about Doomsday and Bellwether, that you loved them both so much. They are in my permanent collection of favourites, books I read ever few years.

    I hope The Passage comes out in softcover soon!

    Lovely post about the year that was in reading, I really enjoyed your categories too. Books that were a waste of time is hilarious!

  6. Susan,

    I kept my copies of Bellwether and The Doomsday Book, too. I loved both, but Bellwether was so delightful that I can visualize myself rereading it regularly.

    The Passage is loads of scary fun. It has its slow moments but it was . . . I was just going to say it's a chunkster you can sink your teeth into and that made me laugh inside (because of the vampire-like creatures). Well, it is, though. :) I was very fortunate to get to read it as an ARC. It's so huge, I would have waited for the paperback, if I hadn't gotten a copy, but the ARC was paperback so it wasn't uncomfortable to hold, like some fat books. I really dislike hardcover books.

    Thanks! I'm glad you liked the post! I always mention books I wish I'd skipped. Hopefully, at the end of this year there won't be quite so many book regrets as I had in 2010!

  7. I always like posts like this; I find them interesting. I completely forgot to make one of my own for the past year. Oh well.

  8. Colin,

    It took me an awful long time to get around to writing mine, obviously. I get a kick out of lists like this, too. It's fun to see what other folks enjoyed, hated, etc., isn't it?


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