In addition to finding my way through the blogosphere, taking photos in the real world and watching lots of movies, TV and Red Sox games, I managed to find enough time to read 30 books this year. That is more than the 27 that I completed last year when I first started keeping track. And next year my goal is to finish 31 or more. Here's a look back at my year of reading.
I read 22 works of fiction and 8 non-fiction. This surprised me. I thought I read more non-fiction than that since I really enjoy memoirs. Of those 8, I would only categorize 1 as memoir. I must have OD'd on memoirs in 2008 which is why I subconsciously gave myself a break from them.
On Goodreads' rating scale of 1 to 5 stars, I gave 4 books the highest rate of 5 and none received the lowly 1. Most fell into the 4 star range. This surprises me too since I am fairly stingy with my stars. In order to get a 5 out of me I have to love you as much as I do To Kill A Mockingbird or The Sound & The Fury - those are my 5 star barometer. So it looks like a had a run of good finds this year. Interestingly none of the non-fiction selections received a 4 or a 5.
I read a total of 10,692 pages, turning the average length of my reads into 356 pages. On average I was able to read 30 pages a day - most of which was accomplished at the gym during the week. Very little was done at nights, on weekends or vacations. Generally I was able to complete a book in about 2 weeks.
I read 8 books specifically for group discussions on Goodreads. Some of them were books I had suggested from my own list and others were new suggestions to me. I read 2 other books while having less structured read-alongs among online friends. 4 books were re-reads - 2 of them for group reads - 2 just to revisit from a different life perspective.
I managed to read 6 classics, but the overwhelming majority of the rest were written in the last decade. Collectively they covered the world from the 1600's to today, and beyond.
I gave audio books a try and found they have a place but are not my preference. I also learned that when I was reading one of those 2 star books, it slowed my pace down and my least productive reading months were tied directly to the clunkers, not the chunksters.
2 were books that I won on blogs. 14 were from the library. 6 were loans from family. 1 was a gift. 2 were from my personal library. 4 I bought at library sales. And 1 I bought for someone else and decided to read it first (shhh - don't tell)! Here they all are - can you match the descriptions to the titles?
1. A cat's uplifting spirit (DEWEY - Penny)
2. WW2 German occupation of France (SUITE FRANCAISE - ds)
3. An evil man with a dangerous nose (PERFUME - Janet)
4. Blunt tales about little people, among others
5. Russian society struggles (ANNA KARENINA - Penny)
6. Gothic mind games (REBECCA - Susan)
7. Love transcends dimensions (TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE - Penny)
8. All you need to know about the Puritans (THE WORDY SHIPMATES - ds)
9. Escaping problems in fairy tales
10. Surviving depression (THE BELL JAR - Penny)
11. A serial killer feeding off of Chicago (DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY - Kathleen)
12. Dogs (EDGAR SAWTELLE - Janet)
13. UK travels from an American point of view (NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND - Janet)
14. WW1 in the trenches with Cree Canadians
15. Abuse, escape & adaptation
16. Girls make good in Civil War times (LITTLE WOMEN - Catherine)
17. Dystopian horror of the control of women (THE HANDMAID'S TALE - Richard)
18. Murphy's Law and a dead body
19. Everyone's worst nightmare
20. An unsolved murder complicates life (IN THE WOODS - Penny)
21. Darwinism with a sense of humor
22. Who knew the Thames could be so funny?
23. Depression era childhood (A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN - Susan)
24. Washed up athlete returns home (BLEACHERS - Stacy)
25. A roller coaster franchise
26. It Takes A (spooky) Village (THE GRAVEYARD BOOK - Janet)
27. Civil rights played out in the home
28. Dumbing down of literature
29. Art forgery for Nazis
30. Murphy's Law and a dead body - revisited
B. "The Book of Lost Things" - J. Connolly (5*'s)
C. "Galapagos" - K. Vonnegut (5*'s)
D. "The Help" - K. Stockett (5*'s)
I. "Three Day Road" - J. Boyden (4*'s)
M. "Three Men In A Boat, To Say Nothing of the Dog" - J. Jerome (4*'s)
Q. "As I Lay Dying" - W. Faulkner (3*'s)
S. "Shelf Monkey" - C. Redekop (3*'s)
U. "The Innocent Man - Murder & Injustice in a Small Town" - J. Grisham (3*'s)
V. "Getting Mother's Body" - S. Parks (3*'s)
W. "The Man Who Made Vermeers - Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Han van Meegeren" - J. Lopez (3*'s)
Y. "Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea" - C. Handler (3*'s)
Z. "The Gravedigger's Daughter" - J. Oates (3*'s)
Aa. "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly New England Patriots - Heart-Pounding, Jaw Dropping & Gut-Wrenching Moments From New England Patriots History" - S. Glennon (2*'s)