Books Read in 2010 Statistics In All Their Glory

Caveat! This is a longer post than usual - but it's all about books. Chime in with your own opinions - I'd love to hear what everyone else has been reading.

Here's the list of Books Read in 2010, and for reference, there's also the Books Read in 2009 list, the addendum to the 2009 list, the Books Read in 2008 list, and addendum A and addendum B to the 2008 list (I must have had more days off during the holidays that year, and kept reading).

Note - Thank You Contest still running! Only five new followers needed - to enter, please leave your comments on the original contest post.

Books read: 92, compared to 131 in 2009 and 101 in 2008. Though if you count three writers' houseparties over at the Compuserve Books and Writers Forum - the best writers' hangout on the web! - that ran to hundreds of thousands of words (each story read through twice), plus the beta reads, other forum writings, and so on, the number rises a little. I won't gripe, since I think the number of books is directly correlated to the fact that I wrote nearly 150,000 words in the last five months.

My average over 50 weeks has gone down from 2.5 books per week (or two books and two short stories) to perhaps two books.

Authors read: 63, plus a few compendiums; about average, compared to 57 in 2009 and 69 in 2008 (not counting anthologies), though I definitely read a lot more works by new, up-and-coming authors this year.

Most by one author: L. M. Montgomery, hands down, with a reread of the Anne of Green Gables series, as well as The Road To Yesterday (which features Anne and Gilbert behind the scenes). In 2009 it was Janet Evanovich, followed by rereads of J. K. Rowling, Diana Gabaldon and Agatha Christie; 2008 was Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider series, Emily Carr and Dorothy L. Sayers. And, hey look, I reread The Tales of Beedle the Bard this year too! As well as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; I'd normally reread the entire series before seeing the movie, but was too busy writing to make time for that this year.

Oldest book: All the poetry of the Earl of Rochester, and Perreault's fairy tales. Oldest published... hmm, I don't have the copies in front of me, so can't check, but it must be either Hours at the Glasgow Art Galleries by T. C. F. Brotchie, An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott or When the Going Was Good by Evelyn Waugh - second hand books rock! Though these aren't old at all compared to 2009, with Shakespeare and a handful of books from pre-1950, though they are comparable to 2008, where my oldest authors were Aesop and Pliny, but the oldest original book was by Dorothy L. Sayers, followed by John Fante and John Steinbeck.

Newest book: In 2008 I had only two books, by Joanna Bourne and Marilynne Robinson. Many more last year, including books by kc dyer, Hélène Boudreau, Linda Gerber and Diana Gabaldon - Forumites all!

This year, Forumites have done it again:
Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings by Hélène Boudreau
Trance by Linda Gerber
The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne
An Easter Walk by Zan Marie Steadham
A Christmas Walk by Zan Marie Steadham
Dear Canada: A Christmas To Remember (anthology, featuring a new short story by Marsha Skrypuch)
Closed Circuit by Marte Brengle
Facing Fire by kc dyer
The Exile by Diana Gabaldon
Songs of Love & Death (anthology, featuring a new short story by Diana Gabaldon)

Other new books:
Just Let Me Lie Down by Kristin van Ogtrop
Naked in Knightsbridge by Nicky Schmidt
Forsaken By Shadow by Kait Nolan
Hush Money by Susan Bischoff
The Hating Game by Talli Roland
Milo - Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg
Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks
Miracle Girls by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (Miracle Girls 2) by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
With A Little Help From My Friends (Miracle Girls 3) by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
Love Will Keep Us Together (Miracle Girls 4) by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt (love this series!)

Some were relatively new, including Break on Through by Jill Murray and the first book in the Joy of Spooking series by P. J. Bracegirdle, who was in The Gazette this morning! (My friend Miss Sugarpuss aka Holly Gauthier-Frankel, was also featured!)

Rereads: the Anne of Green Gables series, many of the Beatrix Potter tales, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (haven't seen the film yet, though), The Wind in the Willows, Charlotte's Web, Cue for Treason by Geoffrey Trease, The Lord God Made Them All by James Herriott, Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott, as well as J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, Agatha Christie's Poirot's Early Cases and Diana Gabaldon's Lord John and the Succubus.

My tastes don't seem to change. Last year I reread some comic books, some Babysitter's Club series books, C. S. Lewis, the Harry Potter series, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (my yearly reread), the last three books in the Outlander series, and all the Lord John series, as well as lots of Agatha Christies - as if I hadn't had enough in 2008, when I reread The Chronicles of Narnia, the first three books in the Outlander series, E. L. Konigsburg, Stephen King, Dickens, and The Return of the King (I reread the first two books of The Lord of the Rings in December 2007). Coming up with a post on why Tahereh should read The Lord of the Rings was quite fun!

Stories/Authors I didn't like: two, Libba Bray and Thomas Cobb (the film version of Crazy Heart was much much better). One author last year (Ilyas Halil) and three authors (Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ian McEwan and Ian Rankin) and one story ("Hairball" by Margaret Atwood) in 2008.

I was overly impressed by many of the books I read this year and, besides rediscovering Romance and feeding off the energy from houseparties, I wonder, did reading all that brilliant writing and powerful storytelling also help fuel my new enthusiasm?

Youngest books: Rainy Days With Bear by Maureen Hull - a reread, but it's just too sweet! - and the Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter (about the same as 2009 and 2008 in terms of kids' books). Lots and lots of Middle Grade books as well.

Fluff but Fun books: Andy Capp, Calvin and Hobbes, 50 Uses For Your Cat and... does Dave Barry count as fluff? He's quite funny.

Books/Authors I'd recommend: All the Forumites listed above! Plus the other new authors, and of course my old favourites, if you haven't read them yet - Tolkien, Lewis, Sayers, Christie, etc. - and all the authors I reread. Shucks, I may as well say the same as last year - I'd recommend the whole list!

Shortest book: besides the youngest books, Andy Capp, Calvin and Hobbes, and 50 Uses For Your Cat, I suppose the shortest would be The Tales of Beedle the Bard, same as in 2008.

Longest book: Not counting anthologies, or research books, I suppose the longest books are The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien and the five by Dorothy L. Sayers: Clouds of Witness; Gaudy Night; The Documents in the Case; The Nine Tailors; and Whose Body?. Our last two houseparty stories certainly came close, however. In 2009 and 2008 it was Tolkien and Gabaldon, of course!

Research books:
Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks (I wasn't expecting it, but I won a copy of this book and it was quite helpful as I neared the conclusion of my latest draft)

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis (I reread this in order to be ready for the movie, but all the details about life on board ship were invaluable)
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (I reread this specifically for the boating references; who doesn't love messing about with boats?)

Constantinople, City of the World's Desire by Philip Mansel
A Social History of Ottoman Istanbul by Boyar and Fleet
Istanbul: The Imperial City by J. Freely (I only read up to my time period)
Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire by Jason Goodwin (I skimmed the last few chapters as they're outside my time period and I don't want to get confused)

Poems of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester
Lord Rochester's Monkey by Graham Greene (Okay, he's not directly related to the novel per se, but Rochester's affair with Rosa during houseparties does help me learn more about her, and his poetry would be worth reading even if I didn't have that excuse)

Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally (I didn't start out reading this for research, but there were certain aspects that were very illuminating)

Colours by J. Finlay (Skimmed this one for historical aspects of colours and painting)
Perrault's Fairy Tales (Started out by trying to see if any of the tales were old enough for Rosa to know; they're not, but I had fun reading them all the same)
Cue for Treason by Geoffrey Trease (I reread this one since I knew they did a lot of cross-country travelling in the story. I really ought to read more of his books, I hadn't realised he'd written over a hundred!)

Books from the 19th Century: An Old-Fashioned Girl and Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott (read one of her short stories last year), and many of the stories in Crime Stories from The Strand, as well as the poem 'The Diplomatic Platypus' by Patrick Barrington.

That's not many at all compared to last year (which included Andrew Lang and Lewis Carroll), but especially to 2008 (most of the stories in the Tales Before Tolkien anthology, F. M. Crawford, Richard Jeffries, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hughes, Jane Austen, Anna Sewell, Robert Louis Stevenson, and The Temple of Diana at Ephesus by Falkener).

Books from 1900-1960: 27, about 1/3 of the list. There were 17 such books in 2009, and in 2008 this time period made up 1/4 of my list! This year, the number is nicely balanced by the 20 or so new books/authors I read.

Books I won't finish before midnight tonight:
Legacy by Kate Kaynak
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Journey to the Alhambra by Washington Irving
The Book of Good Love by Juan Ruiz

Books I'm reading at intervals:
An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon (first reread)
A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway (reread)
Warriors (anthology, featuring a new short story by Diana Gabaldon)
An Acceptable Time by Madeleine l'Engle
All My Life Before Me the diary of C. S. Lewis
"Parma Eldalamberon" 14 and 18: Tengwesta Qenderinwa and Pre-Fëanorian Alphabets by J. R. R. Tolkien
Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

And there you have it. Happy New Year and Hogmanay to one and all!


I love that you have a "Books I Won't Finish Before Midnight" category. Yeah, I've got that pile too.

I also read The Hating Game and reread the Harry Potter series. What did you think of the Tales of Beadle the Bard? I have it, but haven't read it yet.

Have a happy new year! Keep an eye out for my top 10 books of 2010 post tomorrow.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks Theresa!
I enjoyed The Tales of Beedle the Bard quite a bit - I'm a sucker for fairy tales.

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