Finally I managed to finish my review of 2009. Silly me and my numbers. That just took forever!
My Favorite Books in 2009
One novel, one graphic novel, and one nonfiction. Perfect :).
Now on to the stats! I borrowed some ideas from Bellezza.
How many books read in 2009?
I read 57 books and 10 short stories in 2009 (I just started to keep track of short stories a couple of months ago). A great accomplishment for me, as I read 39 books in 2008 and 20 books in 2007. I’m not sure if there would be a significant increase next year, because this feels to be my limit. I have spent most of my spare time reading and blogging. Anyway, quality over quantity I say!
How many fiction and nonfiction?
51 fiction (89%) and 6 nonfiction (11%). Uum.. I remember that I used to read more nonfiction..
I had a hard time coming up with this chart! I wasn’t sure what I was going to group the books as. I was trying novel, graphic novels, short stories, illustrated, nonfiction, but then I had graphic memoir/biography and illustrated nonfiction, and they kept overlapping each other. OMG! At the end I’ve decided to go by the format. I separated comics and illustrated books, because I think they are different. The term graphic novels is rather confusing. Would you consider illustrated book a graphic novel? Some illustrated book has more text than graphic, sometimes the other way around. Anyway, for sanity purposes, let’s just call comic as it is, okay? It doesn’t make me more literary by calling comic graphic novel.
I read 30 all-text books, 19 comics, 6 illustrated books (including nonfiction and short stories), and 2 audiobooks.
I’m so new at audiobooks so I’m expecting to see more of them this year!
How many female and male authors?
43 male authors (75%), 14 female authors (25%)
Why is that? Am I drawn to male authors more than female? This is rather surprising number for me. I’m guessing since most graphic novels are written by male, that skewed my numbers a bit.
How many new authors?
39 new authors. Again, an improvement from last year, which was 27.
Favorite new authors?
Jeffrey Eugenides, Shaun Tan, Truman Capote, Wilkie Collins, Malcolm Gladwell, Neil Gaiman, Bill Willingham, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Lisa See, Douglas Adams, Gregory Maguire. Mmm.. a definite bigger number of male than female..
Most read author of the year?
Jeff Smith (Bone series): 5 books
Biggest disappointment of the year?
Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie, which was rather painful to read. It’s not bad compared to last year. I had more disappointments last year. Oh another big one was Kafka on the Shore, which I didn’t quite like, even though I have loved all the other Murakami’s I read. My rating wasn’t so bad, but I just had so high expectation of that book, and it didn’t go as well as I wanted.
Breakdown of Publication Years?
32 books from 2000s
22 books from 1900s
3 books from 1800s
Oldest book read?
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1843)
Longest and shortest book titles?
Longest: a tie between The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Bone Vol 5: Rock Jaw Master of the Eastern Border.
Shortest: Silk by Alessandro Baricco (I have a lot of one word title books, but this is the one with the least number of characters)
Shortest and longest books?
Longest: The Woman in White (609 pp) — very close tie with the last two volumes of Harry Potter (at 607 pp each)
Shortest: Silk again, at 91 pp
Breakdown of Ratings?
Most books I read got 4 stars rating, which means “enjoyable”. I’m happy that the graph is slightly better than 2008.
How many challenges completed?
14! A record for me! (The earliest at the bottom)
- Orbis Terrarum Challenge 2009
- The Spice of Life Challenge
- Herding Cats II: Attack of the Hairball
- Lost in Translation Challenge
- (Another) 1% Well-Read Challenge
- Graphic Novels Challenge 2009
- The Dream King Challenge
- Dewey’s Books Reading Challenge
- Book Awards Challenge III
- R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril IV
- Banned Book Challenge 2009
- Once Upon a Time III
- Book Awards Challenge II
- Japanese Literature Challenge 2
Did not complete?
None! I can’t be more proud of myself :D. I seemed to be able to focus this year. I failed some challenges last year that I promised myself not to join any more challenges, and I did anyway. But it ended up well!
Perpetual Challenges Progress
1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die
I read 12 books from the list this year, increasing my percentage from 1.19% to 2.79% (28 books out of 1001).
- Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
- Intimacy by Hanif Kureishi
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
- Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
- Silk by Alessandro Baricco
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino
- The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
My absolute favorite is Middlesex, which became one of my top books of all time. I can’t be any happier with this progress, as my percentage used to be rather pathetic. My goal is to read at least 5% from the list, so with this rate I can probably achieve that in 3 years time.
- Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (Winner 2003)
- The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman (Winner 1992 Special Awards and Citations – Letters)
- Cathedral by Raymond Carver (Finalist 1984) — just part of it as it’s a short stories collection
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker (Winner 1983)
I’ve decided to read more Pulitzer in 2010 as I was so impressed with the winners I read.
Uum.. a bit embarassing, but I’m trying! Loved both books.
- Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie (Shortlist 2009)
- Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Shortlist 2004)
Didn’t like Burnt Shadows, but loved Purple Hibiscus. I’m still unsure if Orange Prize works well for me.
Reading the World
New countries added this year: Pakistan, Nigeria, South Africa, Australia (yea!), Italy, Poland. 6 countries! Not bad. Full list here. I hope to add at least 5 new countries each year.
Disney Literature Challenge
Just one: Disney vs. Dickens on A Christmas Carol
But I plan to tackle Alice and Pooh this year. Cross fingers it goes well!
What did you learn about yourself, reading, and blogging this year?
I learned that
- I can complete challenges if I don’t make a predefined list at the beginning.
- I’m not ready to accept books for review, because the obligatory reading ruined it for me.
- It’s not possible to make money from affiliate links.
- I have to keep reminding myself that I read and blog for me, that it’s my outlet of creativity and learning, and nothing else should matter that much.
- The best thing about book blogging is making friends with fellow book readers :)
Unrelated Sudden Melancholy Reminiscence
My first post on this blog was on the 20th of October 2007. It’s kinda buried because I have migrated old reviews with backdated posts here. But that should be my official first post here. I was hanging out a lot at bookcrossing site before I found book bloggers, but then I sort of outgrew that and needed more space and control for my writing. I made some friends at bookcrossing, but they faded away since I stopped hanging out there. I’m now making friends in book blogging community. I wonder sometimes if you would fade away too once I stop blogging. Then it’d be like we never knew each other, even if we happen to cross path in real life (though that should be very unlikely to happen). That’s the thing about virtual friends. Internet is the only thing that connects you with. Once you stop “logging in”, it’d be like you never existed.
Have you ever wondered when you will stop blogging?