2011 in Review

I  love charts and graphs, and I’ve loved seeing the rest of yours, so here it’s time to review my reading history for 2011 and look at where Rebecca Reads has been. First, we’ll go graphs and charts! Click on an image to see it larger.

Compare these stats with 2008 (mostly favorite books read lists), 2009, and 2010.

Also, I sincerely apologize that I haven’t linked to my review posts for the favorites books mentioned below. I have not even updated the archives for months either! I’ll try to get caught up one of these days. If you want to know my thoughts about a book, do a search in the search bar on the right…

This chart includes fiction and nonfiction. Most nonfiction is from recent decades.
This shows only the fiction by century. It seems like a bit too much recent works! I must refocus on classics.
I had more female authors this year, possibly because I read quite a bit more modern literature. I still love those Victorians!
I didn't pay much attention to reading world classics like I'd intended to. Maybe in 2012 I can get more African, Harlem Renaissance, and Japanese classics mixed in my reading .
Again, lots of modern literature this year, and not nearly enough world literature!
I really lost on the audiobooks this year: I found that when Raisin wasn't talking, I treasured silence! Also, I was surprised by how quickly ebooks became a norm for me!
I lumped "public domain" books together with books I own, so of course those end up the majority! I still love my library. I was surprised by how quickly I adapted to reading ARCs and must make sure to limit that in the new year.

So, what these awesome graphs show me is that I read too many modern books, I’ve taken to reading ARCs a bit too easily, I haven’t read nearly enough “really old” classics, and I should work on diversifying my classics with non-Western classics, such as those from Africa and Japan (which I already have on my TBR shelf!).

More Stats

Note: These numbers don’t count short stories and individual poems. I’m not sure how to include individual story collections into the statistics. I track by book and page count.

Books read: 112.

Approximate number of pages: 30,750

Number of works read but not reviewed on Rebecca Reads: 6

Longest Work: War and Peace (1215 pages), followed by Gone with the Wind (1010 pages)

Shortest Works: Ghosts by Ibsen (60 pages), Harlem Shadows (poetry collection) by Claude McKay (60 pages), Poetics by Aristotle (60 pages)

Longest Title: Charles Dickens and the Street Children of London

Shortest Title: May B.

Favorite pre-1900 classic(s): Germinal (This was brutal to read but amazingly wonderful to read, both because it was wonderfully written and because it had a great story.) Anne Bradstreet’s poetry. The Mill on the Floss (This was a frustrating read but something to reread and treasure.) See below for favorite rereads.

Favorite 1900s fictional work(s): The Grapes of Wrath. For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Favorite read-aloud with Raisin: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He could not wait to find out what happened!

Favorite fiction published after 2000: After by Amy Efaw (a rare YA novel for me: I couldn’t put it down. I still think about the issues in it). Ragnorak by A.S. Byatt (wonderfully written modern-day mythology).

Best nonfiction read in 2011: Season to Taste and Nom de Plume. (Both ARCs I received at BEA!)

Favorite rereadsThe Scarlet Letter. The Woman in White. Their Eyes Were Watching God. The Glass Menagerie.

Least favorite read(s) of 2011: Walden. Red Badge of Courage. Gone with the Wind.

Reflections

In 2012, I want to keep reading classics and reread some of those favorites, since those are the ones I finish the year thinking “ah, that was great!” Also, I don’t want to read too many ARCs: I want to make sure my reading is still focused on reading from my shelves and reading the classics.

What were your favorite reads of the year? Any overlaps with mine?

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  1. Wait – Germinal, The Grapes of Wrath, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and After ALL in your favorites here??? I’m seriously LOVING your wrap-up!!! All four of those qualified for favorites in the years I read them.

    I’m starting to wonder, when I put together my classics versus contemp stats if I should separate out the nonfiction. As I start reading more and more nonfiction, that skews the stat towards contemp. Hmm…

    1. Amanda » It’s interesting to look back on the year of reading and notice which books stand out. I really do still think of After — considering I’m expecting and all and that had so many issues. And while I found GERMINAL quite painful to read, it definitely is a stand out book. I have a hard time saying “favorite” when I compare it to Jane Eyre or Pride and PRejudice, though. Those others are feel good favorites 🙂

      And yes on the nonfiction: it really skews things to look more contemporary then it is. But then, even factored out, I read a lot of more modern stuff this year.

  2. I do love a write-up! And I’m amused by how your first graph initially looks like you only read books from the last ten years – until I examined the values on the y axis!

  3. I love all these charts. I need to do something like this in the future. 🙂

    I love that you love the Victorians also. Definitely my favorite time period to read from-and I am glad there are still a lot of titles I haven’t gotten to yet from that era.

    1. Allie » I was realizing just how many more I have to enjoy! This year a read a few Victorians, but they were all HUGE so I didn’t get as many as in past years. It was still an enjoyable reading year for me, though, so it’s all good! Yeah for more books to read for ever!

  4. I love reading end-of-year stats posts. 🙂

    Also, I had to chuckle when I read your least favorite reads of 2011. I’ve never read The Red Badge of Courage, but the other two are in my top three books of all time! 😛

  5. I think many a blogger this year, including myself felt like they read too many recent books and too many ARCs and plan to rectify that in 2012. I will be curious at the end of the year to see how we all did!

    1. Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) » yes, Season to Taste was a nice blend of pop science and memoir. I’m not normally a memoir person, but this one worked very well for me!

  6. Your stats are so impressive. I love seeing them so thank you so much for sharing. I really do have to do up my own one of these days! I’m so behind. heh. I’m especially impressed by the years you covered in works read. Congrats!

  7. I envy your reading list. So many great reads. I like these stats, might have to start keeping track of mine. I wish you another good year of reading.

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