Books Read in 2011 – Statistics – The Fourth Year

Bear with me! A longer post, as I go through statistics of books read in the past year...

The full list of books is in the post below this.

Here's the list of Books Read in 2010, Books Read in 2009, the addendum to the 2009 list, Books Read in 2008, and addendum A and addendum B to the 2008 list (the statistics posts come after those posts).

Books read: 101, plus 6 that I skimmed, 16 short stories, and 1 PhD thesis, as well as 24 poems and all the poems on this list, for a total of 124 plus the poetry.

This is compared to 92 in 2010, 131 in 2009 and 101 in 2008. As usual, there was another batch of 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, plus other forum writings and magazines and so on.

My average over 50 weeks, not counting the poems, is about the same as the year before last, 2.5 books per week (or two books and two short stories).

Authors read: 89, plus a few compendiums and all the short story authors; much more varied, compared to 63 in 2010, 57 in 2009 and 69 in 2008 (not counting anthologies). I read fewer series this year, but the higher number might also have something to do with the fact that I was reviewing books for the One Hundred Romances blog.

Most by one author: Lilian Jackson Braun, with 5 Cat Who... books. There are over 30 books in this series, and I've still only read half of them!

Last year I reread L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series, including The Road To Yesterday. 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.

As usual I reread Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Tales of Beedle the Bard before seeing the last movie; I was too busy again this year to reread the entire series.

Oldest book: Easily the 14th Century Book of Good Love by Archpriest Juan Ruiz, though the translation is only a hundred years old.

After that, it's the chapter on the Earl of Rochester from Samuel Johnson's Lives of the Poets, and Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers, as well as P. G. Wodehouse. Last year it was the Earl of Rochester as well (and Perreault's fairy tales).

Oldest published is the Turkish novella Tireli Hafsa Hatun: Yildirim Han Zevcesi by Mahmut Ozay and the swashbuckling romance Lord Johnnie by Leslie T. White, but neither are even close to 100 years old.

In 2010 it was Hours at the Glasgow Art Galleries by T. C. F. Brotchie, An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott and When the Going Was Good by Evelyn Waugh; in 2009, there was Shakespeare and a handful of books from pre-1950; in 2008, the oldest authors were Aesop and Pliny, but the oldest original book was by Dorothy L. Sayers, followed by John Fante and John Steinbeck.

Thanks to Google Books and Gutenberg and reprints, I just don't have very many original copies of books published from before 1850. Unfortunately.

Newest book: In 2010 I had 13, plus 10 new books by Forumites. In 2008 I had only two books, by Joanna Bourne and Marilynne Robinson. Many more in 2009, including books by kc dyer, Hélène Boudreau, Linda Gerber and Diana Gabaldon - Forumites all!

This year, Forumites have done it once again:
The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon
Outlander (20th Anniversary edition) (reread)
Down These Strange Streets (anthology) edited by George R. R. Martin and G. Dozois (featuring a new Lord John story by Diana Gabaldon)

3 other forumites' books that I read this year:
Pirate's Price by Darlene Marshall
The Scent of Shadows by Vicki Pettersson (skimmed)
Rowing in Eden by Barbara Rogan

New books by blogging buddies (links are to reviews):
Blindsight by Kait Nolan
Devil's Eye by Kait Nolan (novella)
Red by Kait Nolan
Build A Man by Talli Roland
Watching Willow Watts by Talli Roland
Dogsled Dreams by Terry Lynn Johnson
Byzantine Provocateur by Melissa Bradley
Legacy by Kate Kaynak
Life, Liberty and Pursuit by Susan Kaye Quinn
String Bridge by Jessica Bell
Heroes 'Til Curfew by Susan Bischoff
The Toilet Business by Stacey Wallace Benefiel
Immortal Champion by Lisa Hendrix
Craving Perfect by Liz Fichera
Maddie's Marine by Lynne Raye Harris

New books reviewed on the One Hundred Romances blog:
When Harriet Came Home by Coleen Kwan
The Girl Most Likely by Jana Richards
Flawless by Jana Richards
Maybe This Time by Jannine Gallant
Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye
Don't Quote Me by Charlie Kramer
The Kraken's Mirror by Maureen O. Betita
Double Take by Kerri Nelson
The Wrong Target by Sherry Gloag
Fairies Forever by Ellen Margret

A Wing and A Prayer by Ginger Simpson (short story)
Pilgrim For Love by Anna Austen Leigh

Other new books:
The Darling Strumpet: A Novel of Nell Gwynn, Who Captured the Heart of England and King Charles II by Gillian Bagwell
The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson
The Inheritance by Simon Tolkien
Nicholas St North and the Battle of the Nightmare King by William Joyce and Laura Geringer
Unearthly Asylum by PJ Bracegirdle
Pandaemonium by Christopher Brookmyre
The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin

Rereads: Diana Gabaldon's Outlander, Zan Marie Steadham's An Easter Walk and A Christmas Walk, J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Kait Nolan's Blindsight, J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (yearly reread) and The Silmarillion, and Mad's Maddest Artist Don Martin Bounces Back.

My tastes definitely don't change much. Lots of YA, Tolkien, Gabaldon, Christie... Fewer rereads this year, though.

Stories/Authors I didn't like: The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (too much tell and no sympathetic characters), The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory (a strange jumpy writing style), and The Darling Strumpet: A Novel of Nell Gwynn, Who Captured the Heart of England and King Charles II by Gillian Bagwell (too many vignettes and not enough real story).

Last year there were two authors, Libba Bray and Thomas Cobb (the film version of Crazy Heart was much better). One author in 2009 (Ilyas Halil) and three authors (Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ian McEwan and Ian Rankin) and one story ("Hairball" by Margaret Atwood) in 2008.

Otherwise, I was very moved by many of the books I read this year (including The Restoration by Rose Tremain, The Finnish Line by Linda Gerber, The Book of Tomorrow by Cecilia Ahern, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson, and Lure by Deborah Kerbel), so much so that I've added a new category:

Books that made me cry:
The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon
Outlander (20th Anniversary edition) by Diana Gabaldon (reread, except for the new bits)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling (reread)
The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (yearly reread)
Rowing in Eden by Barbara Rogan
The Only Alien on the Planet by Kristen Randle
This and That by Emily Carr
The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells
Dancing Through the Snow by Jean Little
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson
Fifteen by Beverly Cleary

Youngest books: The Frog Wedding by Maggy L., Les Oiseaux by Germano Zullo and Albertine, and The Little Golden Book About Cats. As usual I got at least one toddler book in there. And there were quite a few Middle Grade books, just as in the last three years.

Fluff but Fun books: Andy Capp, MAD, and an Archie. Seems to be fewer than the past three years.

Books/Authors I'd recommend: All the Forumites listed above! And, of course, my old favourites, if you haven't read them yet - Tolkien, Lewis, Sayers, etc. - and all the authors I reread, as well as all the Middle Grade and Young Adult books. The last two years I said I'd recommend the entire list, but this year... not so much.

Shortest book: Besides the short stories, the youngest books, Andy Capp, Archie, and MAD, I suppose the shortest would be The Tales of Beedle the Bard, same as in 2008 and 2010, and The Object Lesson by Edward Gorey.

Longest book: Not counting anthologies, or research books (loved Graves' The Long Weekend), the longest are the same as last year, Tolkien and Sayers, as well as Gabaldon, The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan, and the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series. Our houseparties come close, as usual, and in 2009 and 2008 it was Tolkien and Gabaldon.

Research books:
The Long Weekend by Robert Graves and Alan Hodge - about England between the wars. I couldn't resist reading this, as it's part of my favourite era, and counts as research to the story I hope to wrote after the next one.
The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry - poetry! I wrote a gazel for Rosa's story, Out of the Water.
Tireli Hafsa Hatun: Yildirim Han Zevcesi by Mahmut Ozay - a Turkish novella; a romance. Slightly later than my era, but I picked up a few tips on old-fashioned Ottoman treatment of disease.
Wildflowers of Turkey by Nazan Ozturk - not half so useful as:
The Natural History of the Mediterranean by Tegwyn Harris - I'm still constantly referring to this book for information on plants and animals.
Cultures in Conflict by Bernard Lewis - an exploration of Islam meeting Christianity.
The Book of Good Love - this is the book that Rosa reads during her voyage to Constantinople.
A Panorama of the Renaissance - A Folio Society edition, full of colour photographs and illustrations, kind of like a hardcover Wikipedia.
The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory - I didn't really like Gregory's style of writing (this was the first book of hers I'd read), so I kept reading for research purposes, since the novel takes place just a few years after my story's time.

Books from the 19th Century: None! This is dismal, compared to the past few years. I'd better read some more Dickens and Stevenson, at least.

Books from 1900-1960: Only 12 novels and two short stories. There were 27 such books in 2010, 17 in 2009, and in 2008 this time period made up 1/4 of my list. This is the first year in a while I've read a lot of new books - odd, for me.

Honourable mention goes to The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson, which is all about growing up in a small midwestern US town in the 50s.

I also had four beta reads this year! Very exciting. And, finally, here's the list of poems, besides the handwritten list of poems read:

Winter Has Waned by Nahum
Writer and The Pen by Shem Tov Ardutiel
The Lord Is Good and So I'm Tormented by Todros Abulafia
London by William Blake
The Brook by Alfred Lord Tennyson
At the Round Earth's Imagined Corners by John Donne
A First Attempt in Rhyme by Thomas Hood
Talking Turkey by Benjamin Zephaniah
Lesson for A Boy by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Red Beauty by Gerard Manley Hopkins
The Oak by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
I think that I shall never see by Ron Wodaski
Some keep the Sabbath going to Church by Emily Dickinson
As kingfishers catch fire... by Gerard Manley Hopkins
The Writer's Bestiary by Zan Marie Steadham
The Sparrow's Nest by Wordsworth
Der Erkolnig by Goethe
Philosophy 34 by Irving Layton (reread)
The Mother Mourns by Thomas Hardy
Lullaby by W. H. Auden
Composed Upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth
Shakespeare's Eighteenth Sonnet (shall I compare thee...) (reread)
The West's Awake by Thomas Osborne Davis

Last year I stopped reading the following and I still haven't finished them:
An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon (first reread)
Journey to the Alhambra by Washington Irving
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

This year we have the following to add, though I hope to finish the first three this week:
Poems from the Edge of Spring by Elise Skidmore
Unfinished Tales by J. R. R. Tolkien (reread)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
The Great Explorers
Niccolo Rising by Dorothy Dunnett

Whew! There you have it! Hope everyone else had a fun year of reading!

If you'd like, you can visit Theresa and check out her list, or hop over to Raelyn's and peruse hers.

What were some of your favourite books?


Zan Marie said…
And I thought I was organized! Good grief, Deniz! This list is amazing! I read Sara B's earlier in the week and I realize I probably read as many books as you two do, but I don't keep lists. Too much else to organize to do that. ; )
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks Zan Marie!
I wish I'd kept these lists from when I was a kid. I find it very easy to do now that I have a blog - I just start the list at the bottom of the blog and keep adding to it.
S.P. Bowers said…
Oh, see I forgot to put Scottish Prisoner on my list, and Zan's Christmas and Easter walks. I wonder how many other books I forgot? I didn't list books I started and didn't finish at least half of. Also I didn't list several in the outlander series that I flipped through but didn't technically "read".
Deniz Bevan said…
That's why I wish I'd done this sooner, it's so easy to forget! But having the ongoing list on my blog helps enormously.
Nadja Notariani said…
Excellent listing of your reads. I should keep track half so well. Ha!
Best of luck keeping up that 2.5 books per week average in 2012!

A few of my favorite reads this year...
A Thousand Splendid Suns
Journey To The Well
Unknown said…
I am awed at your reading list...I haven't able to attack my TBR list quite well the last couple of years...age and other priorities I guess, hope to remedy it this year.

A thousand splendid suns and the Kite Runner along with some Indian and western classics were the only ones that I enjoyed this year.
Wish you a very happy and successful new year both reading and writing.
Misha Gerrick said…
I actually am not sure how many books I read last year, but since I seriously started writing Doorways, the number of books I read took a knock.

It's as if I can't concentrate on reading when a story's happening in my mind.

I really want to get back to reading more, though.

Carol Riggs said…
Whew!! You make me look bad, with all the books you've read! LOL I'm sincerely impressed. :) I'd like to read more this year too; it's one of my 2012 goals! :)
Heather Kelly said…
I love your categories!

I'm interested in what makes you stop reading. I can only think of a few books that I stopped reading in the past few years, and both were highly acclaimed favorites of a few good writers I know. It's really so subjective!! :)
Jemi Fraser said…
Yowza!!! That's a lot of books and a lot of tracking - wow. I'm going to try to keep track of my reads this year (haven't done that in eons!). I think my favourite book of the year was Dogsled Dreams - loved it! :)
Su said…
Wow, when you write a book post, you do not mess around! Way to go! I defs want to read some of these. Thanks!
Trisha said…
Haha, yeah, what Zan Marie said. I read 42 books last year, and this year I aim to read...43. Nope, not going to strain myself. lol
LR said…
Holy cow, you sure read a lot! :)

Happy 2012!
Sarah McCabe said…
Wow. I have NO idea what I read in 2011. Perhaps I should keep track in the future.
Anonymous said…
Wow, Deniz. This is an awesome list. My goal is to read the Blogger friends' books that I've bought thus far, and to write reviews. This is going to take me some time! But reading this has reminded me of this goal and has spurred me on. So thanks! And have a VERY wonderful New Year!!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs
Golden Eagle said…
Gosh. That is a ton of reading!
Trisha said…
Oh, and I got stalled on a Gabaldon book many years ago...still haven't got back to it! I love them, but I guess that one was just getting a bit tedious...
Robin M said…
Oh my goodness, you are organized. I like that you put them in categories And I'm going to be spending a while checking out books and authors.
Tia Bach said…
Wow. Impressive. I've made a lot of notes and you are responsible for growing my to be read list by quite a bit!
Deniz Bevan said…
Ooh, Nadja, Shantaram is one of the books on my book club's list!

Thanks Rek, Happy New Year to you too!

It's true Misha - I seem to read less when I'm devoting time to writing and editing. But then I try to read more, also, because I need to do research, or just fill up the inspiration well!

Aww, Carol, I don't want to make you feel bad! Reading's like water to me...

Ooh, that's a good question, Heather! I'll devote a post to it soon...

I loved Dogsled Dreams, too Jemi!

Hee hee, it's gotten easier, Su, since I established the categories back in 2008.

Sometimes I wish I could read more slowly, Trisha. It's maybe why I reread so much. And yes, go back to Outlander!

Happy new year, LR!

I'd love to see your list, Sarah!

I'm trying to read more blogging buddy books too, Ann! And yours is on the list [g] Thanks so much for coming by.

I know, Eagle! I can't help it [g]

Thanks, Robin! I invented the categories back in 2008, when no one was looking at my list :-)

You too, Tia! Your books is on my TBR pile!
I love seeing Harry Potter on reading lists!

You have so many books on my to-read list, like Watching Willow Watts and Craving Perfect. I think it's an excellent idea you categorized the books. Maybe I'll do that next year. This time, I just put them in order.

You have some nice classics. I plan to read a Hemmingway book this year (after seeing Midnight in Paris) and reread The Great Gatsby.
Li said…
Wow, i'm boggled by all of this info and the amount you've accomplished. I'll have to re-read this a few times and take notes! (Gosh, I feel like a slacker.)
Deniz Bevan said…
I'm rereading A Farewell to Arms, so we can read Hemingway at the same time, Theresa!

Aww, it wasn't so difficult, Li. I love having a blog roll that helps me keep track!