This year I didn’t match the 130 books of 2006 nor the 141 books of 2007 but at least I bested the 83 books of 2008. I wish I’d read more than 101 books in 2009, but do bear in mind that I wrote one (1) book, which ate into my reading time. Also it ate into my sleeping time, eating time, relaxing time, and sanity. Can’t say I recommend writing a book, though I do recommend buying one, specifically, the one I wrote.
Without further ado, I present the excruciatingly detailed discussion of the my year in reading, 2009:
Total books read, cover-to-cover: 101
Total books written, cover-to-cover, including two indexes and an appendix: 1
- Adult: 75
- YA: 12
- Children’s: 14
Books read that were published in 2009:
- 33 or thereabouts. I don’t keep record of when the book was published, but that’s about right.
Genres: (as some books have more than one genre, total exceeds 101)
- Animal books : 2
- Biography: 2
- Grammar/Language: 1
- History: 2
- Memoir: 2
- Political Science: 2
- Readers’ Advisory: 1
- Travel: 1
- True Crime: 2
- Biblical: 1: The Book of Genesis, illustrated by R. Crumb
- Classical/canonical literature: 1: Henry V (or 2, if you include Zamyatin’s We)
- Fantasy: 40
- Historical fiction: 9
- Horror: 7
- Humor: 12
- Literary fiction: 9
- Mainstream/popular fiction: 5
- Mysteries: 10
- Science Fiction: 13
- Superhero: 3
- Suspense/Thriller: 6
- Graphic novels: 39, of which 3 were nonfiction
- Cartoon collections: 1: The Perry Bible Fellowship Almanack, a bizarre and funny book
- Essay collections: 1: State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America
- Photo collections: 1: Creature, by Andrew Zuckmen
- Plays: 1: Shakespeare’s Henry V, interpreted in graphic novel format but with the original, unabridged text, and no footnotes, which was really quite difficult to read, pictures notwithstanding
- Annotated bibliographies: 1: Women’s Nonfiction: A Guide to Reading Interests
- Annual fat Russian novel: Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, probably the least-Russian Russian novel I’ve ever read. I didn’t like it, per se, but I appreciated it for its influence on Orwell’s 1984
- Re-reads: 5
- 58 total
Favorite new (to me) authors:
- K.J. Parker and Kate Atkinson. Also Jessica Zellers.
- Most read author: K.J. Parker. As soon as I discovered her, or perhaps him, I devoured all 11 books that he, or maybe she, has published.
Best: Hell, by Robert Olen Butler. Also Women’s Nonfiction: A Guide to Reading Interests.
- Creature, by Andrew Zuckerman
- Unseen Academicals, by Terry Pratchett
- Purple and Black, by K. J. Parker
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, by Jeff Kinney
- The Book of Genesis, illustrated by R. Crumb
- Beat the Reaper, by Joshua Bazell
- When Will There Be Good News?, by Kate Atkinson
Worst: I’m getting better about not reading books I don’t like, so I’m pleased to announce that I didn’t read anything horrible. However:
- Sven the Returned, a graphic novel by Brian Wood, was confusing to me; I couldn’t keep the characters straight
- Kevin Smith did a smashing job interpreting the Green Arrow, but his book Batman: Cacophony just didn’t work for me, maybe because Batman isn’t the right character for the snarky dialogue that Smith excels at.
- Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters, a young adult novel by Gail Giles, disappointed me because it turns out the narrator was unreliable and she was basically fabricating the whole story the entire time. I hate tricks like that.
One last thing:
Women’s Nonfiction: A Guide to Reading Interests, by Jessica Zellers, really is worth the price of purchase. I recommend acquiring a copy for home and for work, and naturally you’ll want to advise your local public and academic libraries to acquire copies.