Friday, January 08, 2010

2009 Reading Year in Review

*In case I make mistakes or leave things out, updates will be in red. Also, I have no idea where I got that image ----> so if you created it and it's important to you to be acknowledged, just let me know.*

2009 Reading Year in Review

Number of books read: 202

Total pages read: 49,794

Average book length: 247 pages

Longest book read in 2009: Holly's Inbox - by Holly Denham - 665 pages, followed closely by To Serve Them All My Days by R.F. Delderfield at 598 pages

Shortest book read in 2009 (not including children's books): Sometimes My Heart Pushes My Ribs by Ellen Kennedy - 64 pages

Fiction reads: 135

Non-fiction reads: 67 - In spite of the fact that I tried to go easy on the non-fic

Usually, I write new-vs.-previously-read authors, at this point. It looks like an exhausting job. I'm skipping it.

Favorite fiction (Adult):

Love Begins in Winter - Simon Van Booy
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day - Winifred Watson
Agent to the Stars - John Scalzi
The Lone Ranger & Tonto Fistfight in Heaven - Sherman Alexie
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane - Katherine Howe
Sweetwater Run - Jan Watson
June Bug - Chris Fabry
To Serve Them All My Days - R. F. Delderfield
The Foundling - Georgette Heyer
A Circle of Souls - Preetham Grandhi
The Girl She Used to Be - David Cristofano

Favorite Fiction (Children's and Young Adult):

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy - Ally Carter
Daylight Runner - Oisín McGann
SLOB - Ellen Potter
So Not Happening - Jenny B. Jones
Otto Grows Down - Michael Sussman
Chicken Dance - Tammi Sauer
The Maze Runner - James Dashner
Uglies - Scott Westerfeld
Christian the Lion - Bourke & Rendall
Found - Margaret Peterson Haddix
Schooled - Gordon Korman
Into the Wild - Sarah Beth Durst

Favorite Non-Fiction:

84 Charing Cross Road - Helene Hanff
A Lovely Little War - Angus Lorenzen
No Touch Monkey - Ayun Halliday
The Non-Runners' Marathon Guide for Women - Dawn Dais
In the Sanctuary of Outcasts - Neil White
Ex Libris - Anne Fadiman
Don't Shoot! We're Republicans! - Jack Owens
The Unlikely Disciple - Kevin Roose
Crossing Myself - Greg Garrett
A Climate for Change - Hayhoe & Farley
How to Lower your Cholesterol with French Gourmet Cooking - Chef Alain Braux
The Blood of Lambs - Kamal Saleem
The Church of Facebook - Jesse Rice

Commonality in a lot of my favorites: I seemed to favor books that made me smile, taught me something new or took me on an exciting adventure. Fantastic writing was a bit rare, this year.

Best (and longest) title: During My Nervous Breakdown I Want to Have a Biographer Present by Brandon S. Gorrell

Most Awesome Writing:

Love Begins in Winter by Simon Van Booy - After I loudly gushed about this book, some smartypants committee gave him an award for the book (the Franklin O'Conner Short Story Award), which just goes to show that you should listen to Bookfool when she says someone's writing is all kinds of awesome.
The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano - This one may surprise some people, but I thought the story was absolutely pitch-perfect.
The Foundling by Georgette Heyer - Awesome writing, adventurous plot, excellent characters, lots of laughs and some white-knuckle excitement. I think Heyer was amazing, but this is the most entertaining of her books that I've read, so far.
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie - His writing simply blows me away.
Also, kudos to Ruth Reichl. While I didn't care for Not Becoming My Mother, her writing is so breathtaking that I rushed off to add a bunch of her other books to my wish list.
Anne Fadiman's writing is awesome, too, even though she makes me feel like chopped-liver-for-brains. I'm saving Ex Libris to use as a study in vocabulary, someday.

Best edge-of-seat thriller: A Circle of Souls by Preetham Grandhi (Hope to post a review of this one, soon).

Authors I read more than once:

Simon Van Booy (2) - I read Love Begins in Winter twice and bought 3 copies. Who hasn't read it, yet? We need to talk.
Gene Luen Yang (2)
Shaunti Feldhahn (2)
Colleen Gleason (2) - The second book was written under a pseudonym (Joss Ware).
Ellen Potter (2)
Dr. Carl Verner (2)
Paul McCusker (3)
Greg Garrett (2)
Georgette Heyer (4)
Scott Westerfeld (3 - Uglies, Pretties, Specials)
Jeff Smith (5 - all from the Bone graphic novel series)
Margaret Peterson Haddix (3 from 2 diff. series)
Debbie Macomber (2)

Authors I wish would hurry up and write more:

Patricia Wood - I hear she has turned in her next book -- Wahoo!!!! Now, get back to work, Pat. Kidding, kidding.
Simon Van Booy - Always waiting for more. Always, always. And, that's in spite of the fact that he's Hot Stuff so there's plenty coming. Thank you, Harper Perennial, for signing Simon.
Hugh Laurie - Still waiting, Hugh - come on, hurry up. That House, M.D. gig is no excuse.
John Green - I didn't like Paper Towns as much as his first two, but we're talking itsy bitsy degrees. I love John Green's writing, his attitude, his respect for teens, his nerdiness . . . and his hair.

So far in 2010: I've read a whopping three books. This is partly because I'm reading 2 chunksters at once and partly because it's a hell of a job keeping up with a blind cat who wants to sleep in the room with the new carpet and can't find her way to the food bowls or litterbox from there.

Favorite moment in the past week: When we heard the rain. No ice storm!! Squeee! We are all happy to have dodged that bullet.

Reading goals for 2010 - not using the word "resolutions", this year:
1. Read from my shelves.
2. Purchase no more than 1 book per month (so far, so good)
3. Read what I love; love what I read. Stop reading if a book doesn't grab me. Seriously! I mean it!!!
4. Quit worrying about the fact that I'm just about the only blogger on the planet who doesn't participate in challenges and that I can never, ever keep up with that damned Google Reader.
5. Read at least 144 books.
6. Read no more than 1 or 2 advanced readers per month. It'll be really fun to see how this one works out. I've got a couple of seriously tempting offers in my in-box.
7. Seek out and read more classics, better writing, and a broader variety of international writers.
8. Get all caught up on the pile of ARCs I didn't get to in 2009.
I think this post is more than long enough. I shall cease and desist, now. Happy weekend to everyone!


  1. I love your fourth goal and wish you luck in accomplishing it. We're women and worrying is what we do, unfortunately.

  2. Fantastic post. Where do I begin? ;)

    You had a great year with regards to quantity AND quality. My numbers are pretty low, but that's ok. I'm working on balance for the new year/decade.

    Yep, Holly's Inbox was amazingly long, wasn't it?! I. Will. Buy. It. Today. (Love Begins in Winter). I promise. :) I really want to read June Bug, too. And, yes, 84 Charing Cross Road is lovely. One of my favorite books ever. Watch the movie, if you haven't already. Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft are marvelous. I'm right there with you about Pat's next book. Can not wait!!

    My goals are very similar to yours. More from my shelves. Limit the purchases. I don't use Google Reader. I think it'd cause a nervous breakdown. I simply visit all my favorite blogs (using Firefox bookmarks) and comment as I can.

    Happy Reading!

  3. Congrats on a great reading year!

  4. Anonymous3:16 PM

    "That damned Google Reader" is an excellent name for it.

  5. Kathy,

    I know! It's troublesome being a woman. Every year I tell myself I'm going to work on not fretting about this or that. It's kind of insane.


    I did read some terrific books. I thought there were relatively few in which the writing really knocked my socks off, though, so I'm going to seek out quality, as much as possible this year. I'm trying to work on balance, too. Last year was a dismal balance failure.

    I have a copy of the movie, but I haven't watched it, yet! I bought it right after I read 84 Charing Cross Road and then . . . well, I just wasn't watching movies, since we had no den. Now, I've got a den with a TV and I can watch TV while walking on the treadmill, so I need to dig it out.

    Oh, good. I am dying for you to read some Simon. :)

    I've thought about just redoing my blog roll to avoid Google Reader, but that would make my link list huge and probably wouldn't solve the problem (also, I don't necessarily want to put things like Mogg Blog and Fail Blog in my sidebar), so I'm just going to do my best to not let numbers bother me. Wish me luck on that. :)

    Thanks. Happy reading to you, too!


    Thank you!

  6. I love the image of all of those books. Very creative.

  7. Softdrink,

    I know. It's a pain in the butt, for sure.


    Isn't that cool? I had the image stored in my files. I was looking for something else, but I couldn't find it so I just grabbed something that had the word "books" in it and was pleased with the outcome.

  8. I really liked 84 Charing Cross Rd too. I have not done a goals post yet. I am a procrastinator. :)

  9. Brittanie,

    84 Charing Cross Rd. is a lovely story made better by the fact that it's real, isn't it? I'm a procrastinator, too. The only reason I went ahead and wrote my goals is that I reused my 2007 "Reads in Review" format (with a few changes) and I'd written my 2008 goals within that particular post. So, I figured, what the heck. :)

  10. you did awesome! Great job! I did have a couple DNF's this year. Never had that before.

  11. Great reading year in 2009, and good luck with your goals for this year, especially not worrying about the fact that you can't keep up with damn Google Reader. I can't either!

  12. Wow, you had a terrific reading year! 202...Nancy, I am dazzled.

    I've still got my eye on "To Serve Them All My Days"...can't believe I let a used copy slip through my fingers.

    Hooray for your photos and your blogging and for just being you! Happy New Year...I'm not late, I'm early for Asian New Year!!! lol

  13. I don't usually do challenges either. I am planning to sign up for one this year, but only because it meshes with a goal I already had.

  14. How could I have forgotten about Simon!?! What a horrible oversight. I tooootally have to read Love Begins in Winter. Just went spelunking for the e-book actually. Woohoo!

  15. Krista,

    I always have DNFs, but that's just because I'm fickle. I start things and, if they don't grab me, set them aside for a second try. Any book that doesn't grab me by the third attempt goes out the door.


    Thank you! Google Reader is evil. But, if I put everyone I love in my sidebar it would be a mile long, so . . .


    Thank you! Dazzled, eh? Gosh. LOL

    To Serve Them All My Days is a great saga. Somewhere, I have some more Delderfields buried, but I think I'm going to have to do some major shifting to get to them. I bury books.

    Aw, thanks, Bybee. You're so sweet. Happy Early Asian New Year to you, too! Thanks for all the love. Right back at ya!


    That's what I did last year -- I just signed up for challenges that meshed with my personal goals. I was reading lots of dystopian YA anyway, for example, so it worked out great to challenge myself to finish up a few that I'd bought but not gotten around to reading. But, I'll never be challenge-crazed. I want my books to call to me. I don't like feeling like my reading is scheduled.


    Yeah! How could you? LOL Okay, if you can Kindle Simon, I suppose the earth's orbit won't get all wobbly for a while. At least we know you already love and appreciate Simon's writing.

  16. Not my image but I do have a greeting card with that image. Isn't it great?

    Anyway, you had a great reading year. Wasn't Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day fabulous? I don't re-read books but that's one I wouldn't mind reading again one day.

  17. Iliana,

    Isn't it wonderful? How cool that you have a card with that image.

    Yes, I adored Miss Pettigrew. I do occasionally reread, so I've hung onto my copy. It's definitely one I hope to read again, someday.


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