Sunday, December 26, 2010

another year of blogging successfully, though slightly less so

Has it really been two years? Really?

I suppose so. This year has been marked, or perhaps I should say marred, by a significant drop in reading volume. From often two books a week or more, I am sometimes struggling to get even one book a week read. I'm just not reading as much, and I'm not exactly sure why. I did notice a slight increase in book reading when my online reading decreased, so that's an encouraging sign. I don't think my lack of book reading is permanent. I think it's just a slump, of the sort that everyone goes through every once in a while, and I think I'll pull out of it eventually with careful handling and management. And probably with some Discworld, which seems to be a magic cure for me!

On the bright side, a new experience that I had was listening to -- and enjoying -- audiobooks. Always kind of iffy in the past, I seem to have really taken to them this time around, and I'm starting to get a list of things I want to listen to as much as read. So that's very cool.

As with last year, I'm curious about my numbers, so here we go:
Books read in the past year: 77
Fiction read: 66
Nonfiction read: 11
Adult books read: 38
Young adult books read: 29
Children's books read: 10
Canadian books read: 11
Graphic novels read: 24

And some new categories:
Audiobooks listened to: 4
Series started: 18
Series completed: 2

Hm. The series thing is not really looking sustainable. Though I did count series that I don't intend to finish, having read the first book. Let's just say that the number of those is pretty small, compared to the overall number of series I started this year.

Next year I plan to keep track of the nationality of all the authors I read, not just the Canadian ones, though that probably won't show up on the blog as a tag. It's more out of curiosity.

Also, you'll notice that I haven't mentioned the challenge I started. That is because, in a fit of self-defeating defeatism, I didn't even read one poetry book. Sigh. I did read some poetry, just not an entire volume. Lesson learned? We shall see.

A quick round up of some favourites, in no particular order:

  • Cardcaptor Sakura Omnibus Volume 1 by CLAMP - I loved this read. The entire experience of it, thinking about it, sharing my love of it on the blog. This is a wonderful, wonderful book and I'm really looking forward to the next three volumes.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: Orientation by Tom Siddell - Have not been so wrapped up in a story since Harry Potter, and never in a graphic novel. Enough said.
  • Pyramids by Terry Pratchett - The Discworld books I've read this year generally stand out as being some of my favourite reads, so I thought I'd pick just one. Pyramids, for some reason, keeps cropping up in my head every once in a while when I'm thinking of something completely unrelated. Possibly one of the best books I have ever read, certainly one of the best fantasies.
  • Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah - So, since I wrote that post, it has consistently been the most popular post on my site. I am thinking a number of kids in the States have this as required reading, judging from the search strings. Thought-provoking, and generally enjoyable humourous read, that may in fact have helped change my worldview a bit.
  • Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer - The only book I have read through completely twice this year, and has become one of my comfort read staples. Epistolary Jane-Austen-like romance + magic = happy me.
  • The Secret Ministry of Frost by Nick Lake - Except for the ending, which still doesn't sit quite well with me, this is a biting, exhilarating, scary, moving read set in a locale that doesn't get nearly enough fiction. Main character may actually be my favourite of the year.

And a look at what is coming up on my to read list. Oh, that's another thing I did this year: I digitized my TBR, rather than keeping it in the back of multiple notebooks. I currently have well over 900 books on that list. It is not getting any smaller. I'll put the number that the book is on my list beside it just for kicks. You will notice that there are some (er, most) that aren't on the list yet.

Waiting for me to read at this moment:

  • The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (368)
  • The Magician's Guild by Trudi Canavan (6)
  • The Thief by Megan Whelan Turner (437)
  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (118)
  • The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer (not on list)
  • Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson (not on list)
  • Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen (not on list)
  • The Education of Hailey Kendrick by Eileen Cook (not on list)
  • The Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters (871)

Small wonder my TBR list is so long -- I never seem to get to things that are on it!

A heartfelt thanks to my faithful readers, who have put up with my general slack-assery for the past six months, and still read what I have to say. The blog started out as something I write for me, and it still is -- but it's a lot more fun with you around. I hope you are all having a wonderful, well-fed, joyful holiday season!


christina said...

What's been your favorite series so far?

In the past I've always stayed away from series, primarily because I can never remember the details of the books prior. I've found that I best enjoy series when all the books are published and I can just dive in. LOL. This doesn't happen quite as often as I'd like though.

Nan said...

I like the idea of paying attention to series. It has seemed to me that I've been doing a lot of series reading this year. And gosh, you don't think 77 is lotsa books!!! I do know what you mean about computer/blog reading. My big scheme in the new year is to limit my online time in favor of more reading books.

Unknown said...

christina - So true! Harry Potter nearly killed me, waiting for the last three books.

So far, my favourite series -- that's a really hard question. I really enjoyed the Temeraire book, and I really enjoyed Amelia Peabody; but I think that Patricia Wrede's Regency Magic series (Sorcery and Cecelia) probably wins for me. That series (trilogy, really) I'm portioning out so that I don't read them all at once!

Nan - Okay, 77 is pretty good! But that includes picture books and graphic novels and kids' books, which don't always take as long as a full-length adult novel. Still, I'll admit it's pretty okay ;)

I'm not sure whether the series thing is going to be helpful or dangerous. It might start to look like an insurmountable mountain of books in series I'm enjoying, if I'm not careful.