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The Read More Books Project Finale

December 31st, 2011 (06:41 pm)
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current location: United States, Washington, Seattle
current mood: accomplished

Time to post the summary of the one "goal" I set for myself over the last 12 months! In both 2009 and 2010 I managed to read 24 books. The goal of the Read More Books Project was to double that number. I met my goal in August, thanks in part to Chris being in Austin that whole time and largely giving up on TV watching in favor of evenings spent reading. Even after Pramas's triumphant return I managed to keep up on the reading program, though things slowed down as I hit the busy season of post-convention work, Green Ronin Summit, a couple of rounds of out of town guests, an unexpected surplus of bunnies, hosting Thanksgiving, Kate's surprise Sweet 16 party, and Christmas... did I mention I'm tired? Still, I was getting a little reading done, even if it was just audiobooking while driving back and forth to Kate's school. The Read More Books Project took an arrow to the knee when Skyrim entered the house, though, and over Christmas break the only book I've touched was one of the books I got for Christmas (Molly Stevens' All About Braising, which I'm planning to cook from for the next Cookbook Club meet-up in January). Even So, regular reading is something that I'm pleased to have added back into my routine and I'm going to pick it up again with enthusiasm in 2012. I have HUNDREDS of books I still want to read and more are coming out all the time.

So, on to the stats.

I read 75 books in 2011. The longest of these was Tigana, by Guy Gavriel Kay (which weighs in at 678 pages). I rated my books on Goodreads, which uses a 1-5 star rating. In some cases I would have given books a half-star if possible but in general rounded up if the book was better than the lower full star rating. Using that formula, I rated seventeen books at five stars, forty-six books at four stars, eleven books at three stars and one book at two stars (Greywalker by Kat Richardson, largely because Jim Butcher has spoiled me for other paranormal fantasy). Nine of those books were non-fiction (five of those were cookbooks or food-related), twenty-four were audiobooks, and I've read five books on the Kindle app on the iPad since August. I expect I will read more ebooks in 2012, especially since I can check out ebooks from the Seattle library and have them delivered instantly when they're available. Love that!

I went on a tear reading multiple books by the same author several times this year. I read nine books from Robert Parker's Spenser series, eight books from Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series, all four books in the Chet and Bernie mystery series from Spencer Quinn (author Peter Abrahams' nom de plume for his more light-hearted mystery series), four books from Dashiel Hammet, a trilogy from YA author Scott Westerfeld, and several other clusters of two or three books from a variety of modern writers. I find that I really enjoy this kind of binge reading, getting to know an author's voice and style and following developing characters through a series. Will undoubtedly be doing more of that next year as well.

Finally, my "top-ten" list of best books that I read this year (note: this top ten list goes to eleven). In no particular order:

  • Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
  • Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
  • Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
  • Tokyo Vice by Jake Edelstein
  • Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
  • The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
  • Griftopia by Matt Taibbi
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Habibi by Craig Thompson