Friday, January 08, 2010

What I Done Read in 2009

I'm back. Happy New Year, everyone! As promised, my next few posts will be about reliving 2009 through books. But first, I have to let those of you who expressed an interest in being my pen pal know that I will be putting your names in a hat this weekend and drawing two. I really do wish I could just write to all of you, but one thing 2010 is going to be all about for me is realizing my limits (and as my current pen pals who sometimes have to wait ages and ages to get a letter from me can tell you, my limits are not very long and wide). So, two it will be.

And now, on to my 2009 reading stats. Continuing the tradition I began last year at someone's request, I am including my favorite for each category. I'm sorry, but I can't remember who requested that I do that, but you should stand up and take a bow, because it is about the only time you will ever see me daring to call something a "favorite." I explained last year why that is so hard for me to do.

And without further ado...

Total number of books read: 78 (That number is creeping up every year. I used to say I read a book a week. That was before book blogs came into my life.)
Favorite: The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

Total number of pages read: 16,548 (Yes, the numbers geek in me keeps track of that. But no favorites in this category. Even I am not that obsessive-compulsive! Nevertheless, I would hazard a guess that the favorite page would be found somewhere in Hope Mirrlees.)

Female authors: 34 (Gasp! That number went down from last year.)
Favorite: Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees

Male authors: 43 (Oh well, I blame it on the mystery book discussion group, because we seem to have a male-to-female ratio of something like 5:1.)
Favorite: The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

American Authors: 41
Favorite: Firmin by Sam Savage (The little reading rat who stole my heart.)

NonAmerican Authors: 36 (Don't get excited that I am becoming more international. They are still almost all British.)
Favorite: The Black Spider by Jeremias Gotthelf (However, this one wasn't British.)

Fiction: 52
Favorite: In the Woods by Tana French (If you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for?)

Nonfiction: 16 (Quite obviously, I still gravitate more towards fiction than not.)
Favorite: The Morville Hours by Katherine Swift

Both fiction and nonfiction: 1
Favorite: The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker (Well, that's a "favorite" you can trust, isn't it? But, I'm pretty sure it would have been even if I'd read others.)

Collection of International Male and Female Authors: 1
Favorite: The Poet's Corner edited by John Lithgow (Another one you can trust.)

Poetry collections: 4 (I do wish that number were a little higher. Perhaps in 2010. We'll see...)
Favorite: Americana by John Updike

Short story collections: 3 (And despite saying I'm trying to read more short story collections, I actually went down from last year. Sigh!)
Favorite: Collected Short Stories of Richard Yates by Richard Yates

Drama: 2 (Did I not say I was going to read more drama in 2010? Liar. But, I suppose since I read none last year, I really did read more.)
Favorite: Lysistrata by Aristophanes (This will show up in another category, because I so don't like King Lear that there is no way I can even pretend it was a favorite just to keep from having overlap in some categories.)

Y.A./Children's: 6 (Quite a lot for someone who doesn't have children, but fewer than I thought.)
Favorite: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Audio: 2 (These have dropped off dramatically since I no longer need to drive much.)
Favorite: Uglies by Scott Westerfield (But I cheated. I was too eager to finish it, and the audio version was too slow, so I got the print version to hurry to the end.)

Graphic: 5 (Well, that number went up, despite the fact I'm still not sure what I think of the genre.)
Favorite: Violent Cases by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean (What an imagination Neil Gaiman has!)

21st century: 35 (I blame this high number on the nonfiction, since I don't tend to read much nonfiction written in earlier centuries. Maybe I should.)
Favorite: In the Fall by Jeffrey Lent (I say that, but then I go and pick a fiction title as a favorite.)

1950 - 1999: 22
Favorite: Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

1900 - 1949: 9
Favorite: The Twilight of the Gods by Richard Garnett

19th century: 9
Favorite: Tales of Bielkin by Alexander Pushkin

18th century: 0 (Can you believe it? Neither can I. Especially since I had planned at least to re-read Gulliver's Travels this year, if nothing else.)

16th and 17th centuries: 2
Favorite: The First Book of The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser

Pre-16th century: 1
Favorite: Lysistrata by Aristophanes


Heather said...

Welcome back and Happy New Year!

Courtney said...

this list is intense! But I agree, In The Woods was absolutely freaking fantastic. I've been saving French's next novel but am sure I will read it this month...

christina said...

I just picked up a copy of the Portable Dorothy Parker and can't wait to dive into it this year! :)

raych said...

*pssst* I think you meant Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. I edit because I care. Also, I just read this and it sort of gave me a 'mid-life' (Please God don't let my late 20s be the middle of my life) crisis...but kind of in a good way?

Susan said...

Lovely, just lovely, Emily!!! I laughed at how you squeezed in all your favourites you had mentioned over the year, by creatively using different categories!!! Very interesting that In The Woods was your favourite fiction book of the year. I enjoyed it also, very much, it really is lingering with me, and I'm looking forward to the kind-of-but-not-a-sequel to it. Which poetry colletions did you read? You're the only other one so far who made a category for it - I read New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver Vol 2 and was swept away completely by it. Working on vol 1 now.

We read the same number of books this year!!!! Mine was up too. SO let's up it goes up more next year, that's my goal too!

Dorothy W. said...

I'm so glad The Moonstone was your favorite of the year! I can be proud that I had a little something to do with that :) It made my best-of list as well.

Emily Barton said...

Heather, thanks and Happy New Year to you, too!

Court, I have the other one, too, and plan to read it this year. I just have to make sure I map out a couple of days on my calendar in which I have NOTHING else to do :-)!

Christina, oh, lucky you to have it to experience for the first time! My favorites were the reviews, but I loved all of it.

Raych, thanks for editing. I have no idea how I made that mistake (since Richard Yates was my grand discovery of 2009), but a friend of mine pointed it out to me via an email message before I saw your comment, and I immediately corrected it.

Susan, the name of the game is getting around the whole "favorite" issue by having lots of categories and trying to avoid overlap. And definitely, I am on the bandwagon to up the number this year!

Dorr, yes, you have much to be proud of, especially since half of my least favorites this year were other choices for the mystery book club (including one of my own).

litlove said...

Happy New Year to you, Emily! Gost - lots of books here I haven't read. Marvellous! Everyone's 2009 lists go a long way towards the creation of my early 2010 lists! :-)

Stefanie said...

Welcome back, happy New Year, loved your list! You read quite a lot of books. The rate you're going you'll be up to 100 in afew years :)

Emily Barton said...

Litlove, yes, everyone's lists goes a long way for me, too (making my whole TBR challenge somewhat pointless. Oh well...).

Stef, don't forget, though, I was laid off for half the year. Maybe in my retirement, I'll manage to get up to 100 (I have that to look forward to).