Tuesday, January 02, 2007

2006 Reading Year in Review

Number of books read - 128
Total pages read - 36,270
Average book length - 283 pages

Longest Book Read In 2006
No Angel by Penny Vincenzi - 836 pages

Shortest Book Read In 2006
Something Upstairs by Avi - 116 pages

Fiction Reads - 98
Favorite Fiction: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Nonfiction Reads - 30
Favorite Non-fiction: The Essential Lewis & Clark, Ed. by Landon Y. Jones

Number of authors new to me - 101

Biggest smile-inducers:
Idyll Banter by Chris Bohjalian (NF)
The Essential Lewis and Clark (NF)
Flying by the Seat of My Pants - Marsha Marks (NF)
Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje (NF)
The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie
Your Planet or Mine? by Susan Grant (I don't know how I overlooked this one when I first wrote up this post!)

The end-notes for Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Eating Heaven by Jennie Shortridge

Nightmare-inducing (literally):
The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatly Snyder
Alaska Bear Tales by Larry Kaniut

Most awesome writing:
The Book Thief, of course
The Epicure's Lament by Kate Christensen
Details of a Sunset and Other Stories by Vladimir Nabokov
Brief Encounters with Che Guevera by Ben Fountain
Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland

Most surprising book:
Dispatches From the Edge by Anderson Cooper (whom I have never seen on TV because I don't have cable or satellite, just some bunny ears and an antenna on the roof)

Biggest wastes of time:
Our Lives are the Rivers by Jaime Manrique
Brave Dames & Wimpettes by Susan Isaacs
Queen of the Bigtime by Adriana Trigiani
Lost Lake by Phillip Margolin
What to Do if a Bird Flies in the House by Nix and Hurchalla
The Sunday Tertulia by Lori Marie Carlson

Best edge-of-seat thriller:
Vanishing Act by Thomas Perry

Authors I read more than once:
Victoria Laurie (2)
P.G. Wodehouse (1 novel; one anthology)
Richard Matheson (2 novels, one with short stories added)
C.E.Murphy/Cate Dermody (2 novels under different names)
Debbie Macomber (3 novels; 2 were combined under one cover)
Stevi Mittman (1 novel, 1 novella)
Kate Austin (1 novel, 1 novella)

Authors I wish would hurry up and write more:
Hugh Laurie (yes, that Hugh Laurie)
Diane Smith (Letters from Yellowstone)

Books read which were written by authors I know personally:
Rainbow's End by John M. Floyd (short stories)
Unexpected Daughter by Suzanne Cox

You should definitely read my friends' books. Just thought I'd throw that in.

Authors I wish I knew (or could at least spend a dinner or two interrogating):
Markus Zusak
Chris Bohjalian
Corrie ten Boom (deceased)
P.G. Wodehouse (also deceased, darn it)
Nick Hornby (but he'd have to ditch the cigarettes around me)
Hugh Laurie (duh)
Ben Fountain
Kate Christensen (although she's probably way too smart for me)
Anderson Cooper

Coming up: A review of Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair

Total coolness of the day: A hawk that took flight just in front of our car (about 7-10' ahead of the bumper) and glided up into a tree. Hubby and I both said, "Whoa!!! Now, there's a hawk!" in unison. I think the fact we said the exact same words was just as surprising as seeing a hawk take flight so close. It was just beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful.

Funniest thing I read, today: Some little factoids in a map/brochure entitled "Mississippi: Coastal Birding Trail":

"Snakes are seldom encountered, but alligators are seen fairly often. Remember that these are wild animals and can be dangerous to you and your pets. Give them a wide berth."

No kidding? Of course, having recently read one of the "Darwin Awards" books, I should know people are just dumb enough to tease an alligator or pretend a rattlesnake is a lovely boa to hang around one's neck.

Addendum to News Flash: I'm not wrong! Stevi Mittman kindly replied to my query about the order of her books and they are as follows, with short stories included:

1. Who Makes Up These Rules, Anyway?
2. "When Do the Fireworks Start, Anyway?" free online read at eharlequin
3. What Goes With Blood Red, Anyway?
4. "Knock, Knock. Who's Dead, Anyway?" Free online read at stevimittman.com
5. "Who Needs June in December, Anyway?" in Holiday Wishes
6. Why is Murder on the Menu, Anyway? (January 07)
7. "Who's That in the Itsy Bitsy, Anyway?" in Summer Dreams (June 07)
8. Whose Number is Up Next, Anyway? (September? 07)
9. Who Creamed Peaches, Anyway? (still later!)

Favorite stupid comment eldest son has made, lately: "I didn't go in there; [kid brother] led me in." We are still searching for the leash.

Isn't life fun?


  1. "The Gun Seller" is on my TBR list, I'm gonna have to crack that sucker soon. I don't watch "House", but I loved Hugh Laurie's introduction to "The Haunted Major" (better than the actual book), so I know he's a good writer. Thanks for reminding me.

  2. Kookiejar,

    I've never heard of The Haunted Major. Uh-oh, another one to look up. :) I obviously loved The Gun Seller. I thought it was an awfully fun book. Hope you love it. Hugh is a man of many talents.

  3. I'll look up some of your favorites one of these days (after I finish off my list of challenge reads).

  4. I haven't thought of The Egypt Game in years. Read it for a YA fiction class way back when. Excellent. Also in the category YA -The Westing Game is a fun little mystery.

  5. Not sure if Stevi Mittman is my kind of author, but I really like the book titles (and short stories).

  6. Impressive stats! Looks like I'm going to have to read a lot of those this year. I love end of the year lists because it shows me what I missed.

  7. Happy New Year! Great wrap-up. I'm in awe of you reading 128 books! I can only dream, slow-poke reader that I am. I'm really going to have to get the Hugh Laurie book sometime especially since I already finished both dvds of House and am waiting impatiently for the Season 3 DVD.
    Hope this is another great reading year for you!

  8. Great & impressive list!
    And very cool that you read so many new authors this year!

  9. Great list! Oh, and by the way, if Hugh comes to dinner, you better plan on inviting me! I'll even bring the wine and appetizers. ;)

  10. Sarala,

    I looked up a couple of the books you took to . . . was it Washington? Anyway, I put them on my wish list but I'm at the same place you are. Gotta read those challenge books and then I can think about other titles. :) I changed your link on the challenge list and it worked for me, if you want to check it out, btw. Doubling up on replies, here, because I couldn't even get to my own comment page, this morning!!!


    I haven't read The Westing Game, but I know I have a copy because my youngest read it a couple of years ago. I'll have to look for that one; he really enjoyed it. The Egypt Game didn't thrill me like most Newbery books, but it was unique and I liked the creativity of those characters. It just spooked me a bit. :)


    I don't know if Stevi Mittman is up your alley. I think you might be more interested in Linnea Sinclair's books. Hopefully, I'll get that review posted, tonight. Praying the Blogger Beasties don't stop me. LOL


    Me, too! I've enjoyed reading other summary lists (mostly through my listservs, since I can't get to many blogs). And, thank you. I think I had a pretty terrific reading year. :)

    Hi Nat!

    Happy New Year and welcome back! I tried to comment on the lovely flowers at your blog. I gave my MIL one of those little . . . is it ichiban??? flower arrangement things, one year, and I don't think she's used it. I'd love to learn how to do that. What a wonderful way to celebrate - with beautiful flowers!

    I'm really a pokey reader, too, but I've been staying up too late. My reading times are kid pick-ups and bedtime, right now. I really like to savor words, so I'll never be a speed-reader. I think slow reading can be a good thing. :)


    Thanks! I deliberately tried to avoid series books, this year, because I noticed that I get irritated reading about the same characters repeatedly, these days. So, I was shooting for variety. I think I'm much happier reading that way. Although, I have to say I know I'll be reading more by Linnea Sinclair. Loved that book, thanks so much for sending it!!!

  11. Les,

    If Hugh came to dinner I would definitely invite you, even though my house isn't suitable for entertaining. Come to think of it, maybe we just need to meet him at a restaurant, somewhere. London sounds good.

  12. What a great list! Thank you for sharing. I am going to have to check out some of those non-fiction reads. That's one of my goals - more nonfiction! :) Happy New year!

  13. Bookgirl,

    Thanks. :) I got on kind of a non-fiction kick for a time, last year. Can you tell? LOL Happy New Year to you, also!

  14. Thanks! Do you mean ikebana?
    And you are not a pokey reader, with 128! ;) I only managed 52!! I mainly just read at night though so I know that's part of it.

  15. Ikebana sounds right. Ichiban is the name of a restaurant in Jackson and I thought it sounded close. LOL

    I am a slow reader; I've just been a goofball. Come to think of it, I'd better get to work. There's much to be done still, but the house is improving after a couple weeks of working together on cleaning it and getting ready to paint the hallway. :)

  16. I'm committed to reading "Dispatches from the Edge" sometime this year. I hear great things about it. I liked the sounds of many of the books you listed.

  17. Framed,

    I was really impressed with Dispatches From the Edge. I'm not quite sure what I expected, having never seen Anderson Cooper on TV but he sounds like a fascinating man with a huge heart. I was particularly impressed with what he had to say about Hurricane Katrina, having lived through the aftermath. I definitely recommend it!

  18. I saw that you had Chris Bohjalian on your list of authors you would like to have dinner with. Oprah Winfrey flew my wife to Vermont to participate in the Book Club discussion of Bohjalian's book Midwives. Bohjalian was there for the discussion and my wife spoke very highly of him, as well as the book.

  19. Kevin,

    Wow, cool! What a lucky wife you have! I've only read Bohjalian's collection of non-fiction (off the top of my head, I'm going blank on the title - it's an anthology of his columns) and he just seemed tremendously down-to-earth. It's always nice to know an author you admire really is a nice person. Thanks for letting me know!!! Naturally, I have Midwives sitting right here beside me - probably won't get to it for a while, though.

  20. HAPPY NEW YEAR, Bookfool, albeit late! I'm so sorry but I'm so behind with my blog visits - it will get better as soon as the kids go back to school!

    Loved your categories, they are so creative - especially the "Biggest Smile Inducers". I put "Running in the Family" on my list when I read about it in one of your previous posts and now I will have to add "Idyll Banter" to my list as well ( I love Chris Bohjalian!)

    And how can I ignore the "Most Awesome Writing" category? "Book Thief" is a definite read for me and now you're tempting me with "Girlfriend in A Coma".

    Really enjoyed this post, thanks so much bookfool!

  21. Hi Lotus!

    It's great to see you, again!! I've had the same trouble over the holidays - busy with family around.

    Thanks, I'm glad you liked my categories. There were some other annual book-year-in-review posts I noticed people were passing around, but they didn't really fit my needs. It was pretty fun making up my own.

    I have a feeling you'll love Running in the Family - hope so. I've got to squeeze in more Bohjalian. I think he just had a new book released recently. What titles have you read?

    Am I getting you in all sorts of trouble with my lists? :)


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