Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: The Year in Reading

Yesterday I posted a list (see sidebar) of all the books I read in 2009. And here's the breakdown, because surprisingly for a book person, I also like numbers (in small doses.)

Statistics
53 new reads
21 fiction/32 nonfiction
28 male authors/25 female authors
Oldest book: Exodus, 1958 (runner-up: Levels of the Game, 1970)
Books with more than 500 pages: 7 (longest: The Way The Crow Flies, 848)
Books with original pub date in 2009: 17

29 rereads (not included in above statistics: 29 fiction, 5 male authors/24 female)

About three years ago, my boss accused me of only reading nonfiction, and when I went to Goodreads to refute his assumption, I found he was kind of right as I had read 1/3 fiction to 2/3 fiction that year. Last year I did better, but this year was about the same as last year, even with making an effort. I just really like nonfiction. Now if I added my reread children’s books in, they would tip my stats the other way but that isn’t really fair. If I wasn’t in a book club, my list would be even more skewed towards NF! I do find it interesting though that my ratio of male to female authors is almost even, and I made absolutely no effort on that at all. Every year I try to read a “classic”, which is in quotations because I will put books in that category that were published at least up until 1974 (one year I counted All The President’s Men), not just old dead white men from The Canon.

5-star reviews: 6
4-star reviews: 32
3-star reviews: 12
2-star reviews: 3
Sadly 2 of the 2-stars were back-to-back, so they were basically the only books I read for a month. A bad book will really slow me down. Two of them were for my book club so I didn’t feel like I could quit. The other I kept hoping would improve but never did.
No 1-star reviews! Always a good year. And any year when the 5-stars outnumber the 2-stars is good. In fact, you can add in another 23 5-stars in the rereads, but as those were preselected, that’s not really fair (although makes for an excellent reading year!)

Goals for 2010:
Read more books than last year (54! Rereading doesn’t count.)
Read a Dickens.
Track down books 4-9 of The Forsyte Saga (OP in the US.)
And I have a list of Reading Challenges that I will post tomorrow.

Top of the Want to Read list:
The Help by Kathryn Stockett (book club book so this will definitely read)
Street Gang by Michael Davis
A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein
The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
Anonyponymous: The Forgotten People Behind Everyday Words by John Marciano
Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood
See you next year!

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