Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 in Books- Just the Facts, or, The Annual Reading Meme

The statistics are valid as of December 26.

How many books read in 2011?
108! 108 books is a record for me! 

How many fiction and non fiction?
93 fiction versus 15 nonfiction. I read more nonfiction this year than in past years, mostly due to the number of audiobooks I read, all of which were nonfiction.

Male/Female author ratio? 
41 female authors to 63 male authors. The numbers don't quite add up; I had two books by two different authors plus a pseudonymous author whose gender I don't know (Tim Davys). And I don't want to spend all day going over it with a fine-tooth comb honestly!

Favorite book of 2011?
My favorite 2011 release was The Year We Left Home by Jean Thompson.

Least favorite?
Season of Water and Ice. Boring. You know, just because it's from a small press doesn't mean it's awesome.


Any that you simply couldn’t finish and why?
Ugh, In A Free State by V.S. Naipaul because it was just God-awful and boring. I didn't finish Stacy Schiff's Cleopatra because I found the audiobook narration dull. I plan to finish with the print version.

Oldest book read?
Heinrich von Kleist's The Duel, originally published in 1810.

Newest?
The Age of Miracles, by Karen Thompson Walker, out in June 2012

Longest and shortest book titles? 
Longest: A Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio, by Amara Lakhous 
Shortest: Lucy, by Jamaica Kincaid


Longest and shortest books?
The longest book was probably Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown. The shortest, probably The Duel, by Heinrich von Kleist.

How many books from the library?
Six, mostly audiobooks: Bossypants, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, I Was Told There Would Be Cake, My Fair Lazy, Minotaur and In Cold Blood.

Any translated books?
I read books translated from the following languages: French, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Norwegian, German, Hebrew, Yiddish and Dari.

Most read author of the year, and how many books by that author?
I read two books by the unbelievably awesome Christopher Priest, The Prestige and Inverted World, and two by the great Amélie Nothomb, Hygiene and the Assassin and Tokyo Fiancée.

Any re-reads?
Jane Eyre
, by Charlotte Bronte, and The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy, and In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote, all favorites.

I'd really like to re-read The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood in 2012. Anyone up for a readalong?


Favorite character of the year?
Probably Abir Ganguly from My Friend Sancho. Loved that book and Abir is its heart and soul.

Which countries did you go to through the page in your year of reading?
Through books, I traveled to France, Austria, Japan, Tibet, Afghanistan, Argentina, Cuba, Ukraine, Scotland, Iceland, Colombia, India, Norway, China, Kenya, South Africa, El Salvador, Germany, Russia, Israel, Jordan, Ireland, Palestine, Poland, England, New Zealand, Brazil, Bolivia, Pakistan, Mauritius and Egypt.

Which book wouldn’t you have read without someone’s specific recommendation?
Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, recommended by Phil of Read Irresponsibly. And am I ever glad I did. What a fantastic story collection. I would not have read Inverted World without my husband Jeff's recommendation, another great choice!

Which author was new to you in 2011 that you now want to read the entire works of?

Daphne du Maurier. I was just blown away by Rebecca. And Christopher Priest. I'm such a Priest fan now that I'll read any book he even blurbs, never mind writes.

Which books are you annoyed you didn’t read?
I still haven't gotten to The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox, or Catherine the Great by Robert Massie.

Did you read any books you have always been meaning to read?
We Have Always Lived in the Castle, by Shirley Jackson, The Giant's House by Elizabeth McCracken,  and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown.


2011 TOP TEN Book Events in Marie's Book Life - in no particular order:
Author Roland Merullo at Porter Square Books
10. Finally getting to work at a bookstore. Let's try that again in 2012, please!

9. Getting blurbed in the paperback of The City and The City and hearing China Miéville say he remembered meeting me two years ago! And the Miéville elf.

8. ReaderCon. Love ReaderCon.

7. Visiting the office of Europa Editions in New York City and starting the Europa Challenge. Along the same lines, meeting the publishers and publicists of Melville House Books.

6. Any time I've gotten to meet up with blogging pals, like when Sandy Smith Nawrot of You've Gotta Read This! came up and hung out with Dawn of She is Too Fond of Books and me.

5. Having the honor of doing a bookstore event with the wonderful Carmela Ciuraru at one of my favorite indies, Porter Square Books, for her awesome book Nom de Plume.

4. Meeting lots of authors at readings and events, particularly longtime literary icon Roland Merullo.

3. Appearing on blogger panels at two literary festivals, Newburyport and Salem, and meeting news reporter and award-winning mystery writer Hank Phillippi Ryan at the Salem festival. Getting to know Jen Entwhistle and Sarah Ditkoff, the organizers of the Newburyport and Salem festivals, respectively.

2. Interviewing Salman Rushdie, even if it was via email.

1. Reading all of your blogs and comments!

12 comments:

Biblibio said...

"You know, just because it's from a small press doesn't mean it's awesome." - I learned this year that just because something is supposed to be "good" and "quality" doesn't necessarily make it so.

You have seem to have nice diversity in terms of your books read in all fields: origin, genre, authorship, and even style... I'm trying to shift my reading in a direction like yours, with exposure to good international literature. It's not easy, but your blog always helps me find something new and unexpected.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Great meme info! I remember the China Mieville incidents - very thrilling! :--)

Alexia561 said...

Excellent wrap-up! Congrats on finishing 108 books this year - that's awesome! Hope 2012 is just as incredible for you!

Marce said...

Happy Holidays Marie.

I want to read The Year we Left.

Great events for you.

bermudaonion said...

Great recap! I need to start thinking about my favorites of the year.

EnriqueFreeque said...

What a great reading year (great year period) you've had!

Zibilee said...

This is a great list, and a lot of the ones you liked the best have made it to the top of my list for purchase very soon. I really want to get started with The Prestige very soon, as I remember your awe for that book was just so contagious! Great list today, Marie. I am just sitting here wondering if I am going to put one together this year, or skip it.

Vasilly said...

What a fantastic year! I hope 2012 goes just as well.

contemplatrix said...

2011 sounded like a fantastic year. I hope 2012 will be just as marvelous for you!

and to ditto Biblibio, "your blog always helps me find something new and unexpected." so best wishes on the reading and author/publisher events this coming year--you know, for all our sakes!

~L

Rachel said...

I want to read more Daphne du Maurier too. I read My Cousin Rachel a long time ago because my mom said she named me after the character in that book. (not exactly complementary, you'll see when you read it) It was really good though and I've meant to read more of her books.

unfinishedperson.com said...

I picked up Rebecca from our library booksale (meaning I didn't buy it since I have access to the books before they get sold -- yep, I'm special :) ) and plan on reading it in the new year.

wordsandpeace.com said...

Congrats on your record. I also reached a record, though 99 only. here is my recap with similar categories: http://wordsandpeace.com/2011/12/30/year-of-reading-2011/