67 hours

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Time for The Lesbrarian’s rundown of books read in 2006. I’m afraid this will be a post that I, and only I, will care about.

("Um, Jessica? We hate to tell you this, but all your other posts? Guess what?")

Oh shut up why don’t you.

I read 130 books, which averages out to one every 67 hours, or 2.8 days. Would have been more but I slowed down significantly in the latter fourth of the year. This is because I moved from Franklin to Wilhelmsplatz, where there are things to see and people to do.

When I say I read 130 books, I mean exactly that. I didn’t skim them, or partially read them, or start and then fail to finish.

Some interesting (to me, anyway) notes about the 130 books (numbers might not equal 130 because some titles fall in several categories):

Authors

  • 87 authors (89, if you consider that two titles had two authors), including one corporate author, CNN
  • Most-read author: Terry Pratchett, with 11 Discworld titles

Levels

  • 111 Adult level books
  • 2 Children’s books
  • 17 YA books

Forms

  • 12 Graphic Novels
  • 28 Nonfiction titles
  • 1 novella
  • 1 collection of novellas
  • 88 novels

Motivation

  • I read 83 titles exclusively for the sake of pleasure
  • I read 47 titles our of a sense of duty ("I should read more NF/Christian/Romance/etc. to be a better librarian" and/or "I should read these books for my NoveList articles")
  • 27 of those 47 dutiful titles turned out to be pleasurable

Nonfiction Genres

  • 1 Biography
  • 1 canonical (that’d be Kurt Vonnegut’s Man Without a Country)
  • 5 humor
  • 2 on comics (thanks, Scott McCloud!)
  • 2 crime
  • 1 criticism
  • 1 current events
  • 4 historical
  • 3 instructional
  • 8 memoir
  • 2 political
  • 5 generic popular
  • 4 social science
  • 1 travel

Fiction Genres

  • 1 alternate history (you suck, Eric Flint. I don’t care what anyone says.)
  • 4 canonical
  • 1 chick lit. Blegh.
  • 10 Christian
  • 17 humor
  • 1 crime
  • 4 erotica (Yeech Zane yeeeeech)
  • 1 fairy tale
  • 20 fantasy
  • 1 historical
  • 9 horror
  • 3 mystery
  • 22 generic mainstream and/or literary fiction, which is a gay term. I hesitate to use "gay" derogatively (I am half-gay, after all), but really. It’s gay.
  • 8 romance. They all sucked, except for Hannibal.
  • 5 science fiction
  • 1 superhero
  • 27 suspense and/or thriller
  • 2 Westerns

Miscellaneous

  • My annual Fat Russian Novel: Dr. Zhivago, by Boris Pasternak
  • 1 set in Africa; 1 in Britain; 1 in Japan; 1 in Portugal; 2 in Russia
  • 11 aimed at African-American audiences; 1 at Chicano audiences
  • 1 commedia dell’arte
  • 2 dystopias
  • 7 gay books
  • 2 on grammar
  • 7 featuring vampires

Best and Worst

  • Best NF: The Committment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family, by Dan Savage
  • Worst NF: Flag: An American Biography, by Marc Leepson (dull, dull, dull)
  • Best Adult Fiction: Portuguese Irregular Verbs, by Alexander McCall Smith
  • Worst Adult Fiction: Gettin’ Buck Wild, by Zane
  • Best YA: The Burn Journals, by Brent Runyon
  • Worst YA: Things Change, by Patrick Jones (I love Patrick Jones the man and the librarian, but I was underwhelmed by his novel. NB, however, that it was merely mediocre, and not actually all that bad.)
  • Best NF Graphic Novel (tie): Making Comics, by Scott McCloud — Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
  • Best Fiction Graphic Novel: V for Vendetta, by Alan Moore
  • Worst Graphic Novel: The Hedge Knight, by George R. R. Martin. It’s a prequel to his Fire and Ice series, and while it was okay, the novels proper are much better.
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11 responses »

  1. I am so far behind it is not funny. When I leave a JD Robb (Nora Roberts’s mystery/near future stories pseudonym), a Diana Galbadon (over a year for that one), a Laurell K. Hamilton AND a Janet Evonovitch in my "To Be Read" pile…Will be in Wilhemplatz for "MarsCon" which is a convention for fantasy/sci-fi writers next month. 🙂 Mostly I’ll be working on promoting ‘our’ convention, "RavenCon" which will be next April at the Richmond Airport Courtyard hotel. Last year we had Terry Brooks; we’re getting Robert Sawyer for the next one. Chessie >^..^<

    Reply
  2. The Queen of Claremont

    It was a good book year for me, too. I read some of the most incredible works! It’s sad to say that the only time I get to read as rapaciously as I like is when I am sick, and that has only twice – Catch 22. The trend that I have noticed is that most of my ‘favorite’ authors truly sucked this year. Their novels were forced and mundane.The one golden exception is Michael Connelly, who never disappoints. I prouldly admit to reading more NF, and actually reading them to the end. There are some great NF books that I had no idea existed (and I call myself a librarian!). Grammar Snobs was probably the best! I’m sorry – no, I’m not – but I refuse to read Nora or Zane or any of those romantic/erotica/fantasy pieces of crap. My time is too valuable, especially at my age, to clog my head with mundane garbage. I will also admit to reading a wider range of fiction. I’ve read mysteries almost exclusively for years, but have found that Jodi Picoult and Elizabeth Berg, despite some blatant sentimentality periodically, write novels with great insight. The most fun I’ve had has been finding books that others truly appreciate. I’ve found some great NFs that the King has excitedly enjoyed(although again, there’s a Catch-22 b/c he reads on the toilet, and since we only have one bathroom, often his reading habits impede my daily needs). I’ve also often been able to satisfy the literary hunger of our truly eccentric craftsman, a feat akin to winning the Nobel. It’s been fun to get otherwise conservative people excited about a new author, and to get a kid to read a book instead of playing on the computer! You’re right – if you have to work, being a librarian is just about the best, most self-fulfilling job in the world. In an age where the masses think books are on the demise, we constantly prove them wrong…it’s one of the last ways I still get to be a rebel and a hippie!

    Reply
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