Tuesday, January 08, 2008

2007 Stats

I just did my favorite six reads of the second half of 2007, and earlier this year, I did my favorites of the first half, but I’ve included some favorites for specific categories here.

Total number of titles read: 62
Total number aborted after reading at least 30 pages: 4 (I loved Ghost Story when I started it, but happened to misplace it for too long a period of time just to pick it up and read it again without starting over – it’s possible to do that with some books, but not with this one with all its many different characters and stories to keep track of -- so I will read it all the way through one day, perhaps next Halloween season. That is, if I don’t misplace it again. Maybe I didn’t really misplace it. Maybe some ghost wanted a little reading of his or her own. 326 pages of Jane Fonda’s My Life So Far, which I read for a book discussion book, was enough to get the picture, so I didn’t think it was necessary to read the other 200+ pages. I was fascinated at first, but it began to get old when it was too much about her movies and not enough about the personal stuff that really intrigued me. I didn’t manage to finish Theodore Dreiser’s Hoosier Holiday before it was due back at the library, but I will buy it and finish it one day, too. It’s something to be read slowly and savored. Karen Armstrong’s A History of God had too many sweeping generalizations and inaccuracies picked up on by someone who recently attended seminary vicariously through her husband, and it’s the one book I didn’t finish that I really just didn’t want to read at all after 34 pages. It’s a shame, because I was mesmerized by her The Spiral Staircase.)
Total number of pages read: 23,706 (Yes, I’m actually anal enough to keep track of page numbers and to look up page counts of recorded books to include them as well. I'm well ahead of last year's 17K or so -- too lazy to go look up the exact number right now -- in this category.)
Number of books written by women: 24 (Overall favorite was Gone with the Wind.)
Number of books written by men: 37 (Overall favorite was Old School. I thought I was going to be pretty even between men and women, but obviously not. I'm going to blame it on all those of you who've been posting about books written by male authors that end up on my TBR list, because, of course, it can't possibly be my fault.)
Number of books written by multiple authors: 1 (It happens to have been written by a man and a woman. This was a Christmas read called God Rest Ye Grumpy Scroogey Men, which was cute, but I was a little distracted by trying to figure out exactly what sorts of “Christians” the authors were, a problem I seem to have whenever I read something with a Christian slant.)
Number of books written pre-16th century: 5
Number of books written in the 16th and 17th centuries: 0
Number of books written in the 18th century: 0
Number of books written in the 19th century: 7 (Favorite was The Lady of the Lake.)
Number of books that were written in the first half of the 20th century: 9 (Favorite was Gone with the Wind.)
Number of books that were written in the second half of the 20th century: 22 (Favorite was Lolita.)
Number of books that were written in the 21st century: 19 (Favorite was The Time Traveler’s Wife.)
Number of books of poetry: 1 (Lady of the Lake was the only one. I must remedy that in 2008. Recommendations gladly accepted.)
Number of drama: 4 (Favorite was Prometheus Bound.)
Number of children’s books: 15 (Favorite was The Wizard of Oz.)
Number of books written by American authors: 41
Number of books written by non-American authors: 21 (Favorite was Things Fall Apart.)
Number of collected works that included both male and female authors, as well as works from various centuries: 0 (This is obviously a category left over from last year. I think I’d like, in 2008, to remedy my lack of books read in this category as well. Again, recommendations gladly accepted.)
Number that were listened to as opposed to being read: 10 (One of which was finished by reading it. Favorite was Dracula. If you haven’t listened to The Recorded Books version of this, do. It’s brilliantly done. For terrific effect, I highly recommend listening to it while running through the woods, heart rate accelerated, when it’s just a little too close to dusk for comfort. A close second was Lolita.)
Number of re-reads: 8 (Five of these were actually first-time-listens of re-reads, which I’ve actually discovered is a great way to re-read a book: Lolita, Dracula, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Lords of Discipline, and The Turn of the Screw.)

Some sort of goals for 2008, besides the ones already mentioned:
Read some contemporary drama
Read more 16th-17th-and 18th-century works


Stefanie said...

Is that Ghost Story the one by Peter Straub? Too bad you didn't like it. It seems to be a book people love or hate and there is nothing in between. I loved it. My mom hated it. My husband loved it.

IM said...

I wonder if my reading list will bulk up this year now that I'm out of school. I only read about thirty last year, but some of them made my favorites list, "Down and out in Paris and London" and "Zorba the Greek among them." Oh yea, and of course "Old School."

Emily Barton said...

Stef, I actually did love Ghost Story. I just happened to lose it while I was in the middle of reading it, and by the time I found it again, I didn't want to put in the effort of reading those first 160 pages all over. I'm sure I'll read the whole thing through one of these days.

Ian, I'm sure your list WILL bulk up. I'm amazed you managed to read all you had for school, work, AND read 30 books that weren't exactly The Cat in the Hat.

Rebecca H. said...

I look forward to seeing what you'll pick from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Also I like your number of re-reads -- I hardly had any last year and would like to have more.

mandarine said...

How you guys can keep tack of everything you read like this is beyond my understanding. Do you have a little notebook? Do you have shelves for 'books read'? Do you have an elephantine memory?

I borrow the books I read and then I return them, or I read them as e-books and then I delete them, or I listen to them as audio-books and idem. I have no material trace of what I read; only a vague impression, like a place I've been to without my camera.

Emily Barton said...

Dorr, I expect you can give me all kinds of good titles for the 18th century.

Mandarine, I happen to keep a written journal with reflections on all I read. Believe me, without that, this would be an impossibility.