2009 was a great reading year. Although it was the first year I kept track of my reading completely, it was also a year that I found myself reading more than I ever have.
I should begin this post by saying that I read for enjoyment and learning. I don’t read for a certain number of books or pages or anything. But I certainly had fun capturing the statistics!
I am a visual learner, so I thought I’d show my year in graphs to begin with!
I’m pretty satisfied with this nearly 1:1 ratio for adult fiction:nonfiction. I thought I read much more fiction, though, so it surprised me! I’m glad there is plenty of children’s literature represented too! I definitely need to read more poetry and drama, though.
Reading by Month
This just surprised me to see such a strange wave of reading. I know February 2009 I moved to my new house, September was BBAW, and December was the holidays. Each of those slowed my reading. I can’t explain June’s dip though. How strange! I must get burned out or busy, slow down for a month, and then speed up again when I’ve got my wind back! If you are curious, here are my month in review posts:
2009 Months in Review: January in Review; February in Review; March in Review; April in Review; May in Review; June in Review; July in Review; August in Review; September in Review; October in Review; November in Review; December in Review
Format of Reading
Um, need I say I need to read more graphic novels? I do like the ones I’ve read!
Male/Female Author Ratio
I like classics, which are more often written by males, so I guess this ratio of my reading shouldn’t surprise me. I just have not often considered the gender of the author before I picked it up. Maybe I’ll make a point to pay more attention to the female classic authors in the future.
Fiction Favorites (and Not)
Favorite books of 2009: The classics! I’m addicted! Bring me more! I especially loved the Victorian Classics, especially The Woman in White, which was incredible! North and South should be mentioned as well, although I don’t think I loved that as much as Robinson Crusoe. The Good Earth is one I hope to revisit some day because it made me think a lot. In terms of modern fiction, the only one I really enjoyed enough to reread is Baking Cakes in Kigali.
Least favorite books of 2009: My least favorite were some of the modern fiction I read: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and The Alchemist if I have to name anything. I wish I’d read something else in that time, but they were both ok, not horrible. There were others that just didn’t do much for me, but they were better than these two!
Most memorable discussion on my review: Lord of the Flies. You’ve all convinced me to reread it again someday with a new perspective, despite the fact that I essentially hated the book.
Most disappointing read (because I’d been looking forward to it): The Hobbit. Since I enjoyed The Silmarillion, it was disappointing to read the children’s book immediately after it! I’m going to try LotR this year anyway!
Author new to me in 2009 that I now want to read the entire works of: Wilkie Collins
Worst audiobook (this via librivox.org): Dracula
I reread 23 books in 2009, and I’m hoping 2010 has a higher number! I really enjoyed the experience.
Most disappointing reread: Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Treasury (children’s fiction). While I enjoyed it as a child, I found it dated and inappropriate today.
In 2009, I tried to read something from every Dewey Decimal “Century.” If you are interested in seeing all nonfiction reviews on this site by the Dewey Decimal System, see my Nonfiction by Dewey Decimal Number page. (Yes, I am a total geek!!)
Most worthwhile read: The Discoverers
Most challenging read: The Discoverers
Absolute best nonfiction of the year: The Discoverers
(Notice a pattern?)
Best Resource for American Citizens and/or students of government: The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution
Best New Perspective of American Health Professionals for those of us who have to put up with them: Better
Best Coffee Table Book: Harlem STOMP!
Best critical analysis of a format (for everyone!): Understanding Comics
Best Biography or Memoir: The King of Inventors by Catherine Peters. I seriously am fascinated by Wilkie Collins now! Runner-up: Talmage’s Jesus the Christ. This had more flaws, but for me it met its purpose very well.
Nearly Edible Nonfiction
Most delicious memoir: A Homemade Life
Most inspiring memoir: My Life in France
Best cooking for kids: Pretend Soup
Best cookbooks for amateur cooks: Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom
Random Book Facts
Most recently published book: Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin (published in August 2009). It was a new thing for me, to have to wait for a hold to come in. Usually it’s just a matter of pulling it off the shelves!
Longest book title: Nineteenth-Century Mormon Architecture and City Planning by Mark Hamilton.
Second place longest book title: The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order.
Shortest book title: We
Longest book: 906 pages of The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy (actually three books combined, reviewed part 1 and part 2 and 3), or if you insist on knowing the longest single book the 750 pages of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. Longest single adult book, that would be the 735-page biography I read in December, Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage.
Shortest book: The 35-page Aucassin et Nicolete by an anonymous author, translated by Andrew Lang (a really old classic). I also read a number of short story collections, too.
Books from the library? 109. Three books were special ILL. Also, 8 were free via librivox.org or Project Gutenberg. 45 were ones I owned or borrowed. Two of those books (I think) were bought in 2009.
Non-English language books/in translation: 21
On to 2010 stats keeping!