Jan 8, 2010

End of 2009

I saw this meme at The Book Zombie, and have been thinking about doing end-of-the-year stats instead of looking at the numbers on my blog's birthday (middle of August). So even though I kind of did this just four months ago, I'm looking at a year's worth of reading again. The questions are a bit different, and it sounds better to say "I read so many books in 2009" than it does "I read so many books in the last year since my blog began" ha ha. (So this is probably going to be tradition here from now on, with some other kind of hoopla going on here on my blogiversary).

The actual questions here are borrowed from Savidge Reads.

How many books read in 2009?
94. Not the most I've ever done in a year, but pretty good when you consider I'm raising a toddler, tending to the demands of two cats, and trying to get back into drawing and painting again.

How many fiction and non fiction?
31 fiction and 63 non-. Wow. I was surprised by that. I knew I was reading more non-fiction lately, but not that it was twice as much as fiction. I used to read so much more fantasy, too.

Books about animals?
(I added this question, because I read so many of them!) Fiction and non-fiction featuring animals: 51. Everything else: 43.

Male/Female author ratio?
40 women authors and 52 men. And two written by a man/woman team, which I assume were spouses. Pretty even. I never even thought about this before; I don't pay much attention to whether the authors I read are male or female. I don't really have a preference, either.

Favourite book read?
It's so hard to choose, but I think I would have to say Kon-Tiki. It was just so thrilling to read, and I remember at the end feeling charged with excitement and wonder, and blabbing on and on about it to my husband. I hadn't felt that worked up about a book in a long time.

Least favourite?
Emma. Sorry to say. There were a lot of other books that disappointed me, or got dull and I had to force myself to finish. But they were all within my normal reading interests, whereas Emma was not only a very dull book, but one of a genre I don't usually read, so it was more difficult to make myself read the whole thing.

Any that you simply couldn’t finish and why?
16. Once or twice a month I usually encounter a book I just can't get through. Usually just because they're boring me- or I'm much more interested in another topic at the time. For more details, you can always read the posts about each abandoned book.

Oldest book read?
No question that it's Emma. First pubished in 1816. Next-oldest was The Egg and I, published in 1945.

I read nine books published in 2008. (Only half of those were sent to me by the publisher). Had to look at the actual month they were printed in to find the very newest, and I think that would be Chalice, which came out in November.

Longest and shortest book titles?
Assuming I can include the subtitle (some of those get really long!) the longest would be Compost This Book! The Art of Composting for your Yard, your Community, and the Planet. Three tied for short ones: Sand, Frogs, and Fluke.

Longest and shortest books?
The whopping door-stopper was Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, at 782 pages. The next contender was Daughters of the Sunstone, 697 pages. And Wolf Totem, 527 pages. Then a few four-hundred pagers, the rest in the normal range (two or three hundred pages). Shortest book was Poop, 61 pages.

How many books from the library?
3. Very, very few. I know I've been trying to plow through all the piles and piles of books that make their way into my house, but I really do want to support my local library more. I'm working on that this year.

Any translated books?
4. They were Wolf Totem, My Beaver Colony, The Little Prince and Kon-Tiki. The one that definitely felt the most foreign was Wolf Totem. (By which I mean that the sentence structure and use of foreign words made me feel like I was reading a work written in another language. Sometimes I like that).

Most read author of the year, and how many books by that author?
I think it was Clare Bell. I read 3 of her books.

Which countries did you go to through the page in your year of reading?
Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Mongolia, Sweden, England, Scotland, Argentina, Ecuador, Israel, Egypt, Chile, Kenya and several other countries in Africa. If I could count the imaginary places from fantasy and sci-fi novels, this list would be longer!

Which book wouldn’t you have read without someone’s specific recommendation?
I don't know if this really counts as a recommendation, as I can't recall her actually telling me I should read it, but I know I picked up Their Eyes Were Watching God because I've always seen it on my sister's shelf, and I think it's one of her favorites.

Which author was new to you in 2009 that you now want to read the entire works of?
A few. Betty Macdonald, Edward Abbey, Susanna Clarke, Thor Heyerdahl, Thalassa Cruso.

Any re-reads?
5. They were Red Fox, The Cats of Lamu, Daughters of the Sunstone, The Little Prince and Ratha and Thistle-Chaser. All but one are books I read as a child and loved (but didn't necessarily love the second time around) and they were fun to re-visit. The Cats of Lamu I had read once back in college when I found it in the library; read it again after finally acquiring my own copy.

Did you read any books you have always been meaning to read?

Yes. I'd had The Other End of the Leash on my TBR for ages, and when I finally read it I could see why it was always hard to find at the library! A very good book.


Sandy Nawrot said...

I saw these questions on Simon's blog...I like them! Gives us a very personal overview of your year. Haha! I don't think I saw your review of "Poop"! You have covered it all!

Anonymous said...

I like this way of reviewing your year.

farmlanebooks said...

I'm impressed by the number of non-fiction books you've read. I don't read that many and always feel I should read more. I'll have to keep an eye on your blog for recommendations.

bermudaonion said...

Great meme! I knew you read lots of animal books, but never knew it was that many!

Bybee said...

I like this meme...think I'll use its format next year.

Kon-Tiki...I bought it because of your recommendation and its languishing on my TBR. I'll move it to the top of the pile. Thanks for the reminder.

Jenny said...

Looks like you had a great reading year! I'm really enjoying seeing this meme make the rounds - people read such different things.

Janet said...

I like these questions! I might do this meme too.

Enjoyed reading your answers.

Joanne ♦ The Book Zombie said...

Way to go! Your reading has been terrific, I'm really envious of how many non-fiction titles you read - I really need to explore more non-fiction.

I loved these questions when I saw them - for 2009 I couldn't answer the countries one, but I plan to keep track this year. It's such a fascinating statistic.