Saturday, April 2, 2011

2011 Reading So Far

Sadly, not my bookshelf. (Flickr/Ben Oh)

I read a lot. I'm lucky I have enough free time to read so much, but I have to say, my recent addition to the library's inter-loan system has motivated me to finish books more quickly than when I purchased them. What can I say? I'm deadline-oriented. Keep in mind the post ahead is going to be a fully indulgent bunch of stats about me and my reading habits. If that's not your style, it's probably best to move on.

The end of March means I'm about a fourth of the way through the year, and I've read 22 books so far this year (You can look at my full selection of books for the year so far here). Last year I read 62 books, so if I keep up this pace, I'm on track to top the number of books I read last year. Granted, some of these "books" include comic books. Take that as you will. Of the 23 books I've read so far, 13 of them are by women. I've read 14 novels, 6 non-fiction books, and 3 comic books.

Best novel I've read so far this year: This was a tough call since I've ready so many great ones, but I think my favorite one so far was Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann. It's a beautifully written book.

Best non-fiction book I've read so far this year: This seems a bit unfair since I've read so little non-fiction, but I think my favorite thus far was the slim work A Strange Stirring by Stephanie Coontz. This is, in part, because I really enjoy reading about feminism; others who are less steeped in it might enjoy Michael Lewis' The Big Short more.

Best comic book/graphic novel: Again, a bit unfair since I've fallen down on my comics reading so far this year, but I'm going to go with Moving Pictures by Kathryn Immonen. It's a beautiful and haunting story about two people in the middle of World War II.

Worst book I read this year: Sadly I think Franklin & Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage was the most disappointing book I read this year. It's hard to tell the story of the marriage without also relating much of the history of FDR's presidency, and Rowley had to breathlessly rush thorough much of it to keep her book a manageable length. In the end, I think I'd rather have read a substantial FDR biography.

Books published in 2011 that I read in 2011: Just two, A Strange Stirring and T.C. Boyle's When the Killing's Done.

The oldest book I read this year: Easy. Jane Eyre.

The longest book I've read this year: Justice Brennan: Liberal Champion.

Shortest book I read this year: The Walking Dead, vol. 13 wins. Ironically the tome of the first 10 volumes was the longest book I read last year.

Reading goals for the rest of the year: Read more non-fiction; I'm especially into historical biographies. Any recommendations?

1 comment:

Kerry Scott said...

Not nonfiction and not overtly feminist, but I just finished "The Lacuna" by Barbara Kingsolver and loved it. The female characters are especially fascinating.

"Letters of a Woman Homesteader" by Elinore Pruitt Stewart is nonfiction and excellent. So is "Pioneer Women: Voices from the Kansas Frontier" by Joanna Stratton.

"Giants in the Earth" by Ole Rolvaag is my all-time favorite book (but it's about Norwegian immigrants to the upper Midwest, and being a descendant of Norwegian immigrants to the upper Midwest, I'm sort of biased).

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