End of Year Wrap Up

It’s that time of the year where we do a bit of naval gazing. I’ve pinched the first half of this meme from Other Stories and the second half from Shelf Love. I steered clear of challenges this year, except the ever on-going 1001 Books and my own completist reading list (list also a work in progress). My only goal was to read 52 books which I have achieved! Hurrah!

How many books read in 2010? 58

Fiction/Non-Fiction ratio? 54/4

Male/Female authors? 27/31. It’s pretty even which is a surprise. I’ve never really had a preference for authors of a certain gender which I find very unnecessarily limiting.

Favourite book read? Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. It broke my heart and made me appreciate my education that much more. Hardy is a misery but his stories are so captivating.

Least favourite? The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

How many re-reads? Just one ‘real’ re-read which is a surprise since a lot of the books I read last year were re-reads. This year, only Wuthering Heights is the re-read which was something I had been meaning to do from the moment I finished the book for the first time many years ago. Throw in a couple of Agatha Christie re-reads (The Murder of Roger Ackroyd) and Tintins.

Most books read by one author this year? Surprisingly, Susan Hill with her three short ghostly novellas.

Any in translation? Around seven titles. I can’t remember if Unbearable Lightness of Being was translated or not. If it is, then it is eight. There were a lot of French and Swedish translations this year.

And how many of this year’s books were from the library? 34 from the library and only a ghastly 24 from my own shelves. I’ll have to start reading from my own shelves more particularly since I’ve bought more books this year than any other year.

Favorite New-to-Me Author: Shirley Jackson and her sumptuous We Have Always Lived in this Castle. M.C. Beaton also comes a close second. Something to snuggle up with when after a comfort read.

Favorite Classic: I can cheat a bit here since I already named Jude as my favourite 2010 read. For this question, I’ll have to say The Age of Reason by Jean-Paul Sartre. It was so enjoyable and stimulating and the prose wasn’t stuffy at all or wrapped up in theory which was what I was afraid and intimidated by.

Most On-the-Nose Title: Harbour by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Harbour, as in the docks by the sea, and harbour, as in harbouring someone or something, both which the book was all about.

Most Disturbing: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. Disturbing, yes, but also unexpectedly very funny. I was surprised to find myself chuckling through the first quarter of the book constantly … until the first eyeball popped.

Most Accessible Author Who Intimidated Me for No Good Reason: Again, I have to say Sartre, whose very readable prose, I think, is underrated but I wouldn’t go as far to say he intimidated me for no good reason! Also Emile Zola, who I conquered this year by reading Nana although I was never interested in Zola until I wanted to read Nana.

Most Discouraging Realization: That whatever was haunting the house in The Little Stranger was not going to be revealed and also the foreboding that Maggie Tulliver’s life would not end well in The Mill on the Floss from the moment she is introduced. Anybody with an uncontrollable mass of dark hair did not have a bright future ahead in those days (see also Aurora Floyd).

Most Reassuring Realization: That the Queen was not going to let anybody stop her from pursuing her recently discovered love of reading in The Uncommon Reader.

2011 Reading Goals: Lots of chunksters to look forward to such as Anna Karenina, The Mandarins, Our Mutual Friend and possibly Doctor Zhivago because I want to go and see the new stage production of it.


  1. You are so right about American Psycho. So disturbing I have no interest in seeing the film. And I agree parts were quite funny. I particularly liked the food descritptions. I also agree with you about Mill on the Floss. I was convinced that there was going to be a happy ending. Sigh.

    1. The film does not interest me at all despite it starring Christian Bale (I still can’t believe he was the sweet Laurie in Little Women). The book was violent enough!

  2. That’s quite a wrap up! I’m thinking “American Psycho” just got bumped up on my TBR list. “Anna Karenina” might get tackled next year as well, although I am partaking of a challenge regarding “War and Peace” and so think AK will just have to wait a bit. Love reading your thoughts about all the works you tackled. 🙂 Would it be okay if I hijack for my Friday post?

    I almost forgot: Happy New Year!

    1. Ooh, War and Peace. I have to wait until the interest hits me. Random books interest me in random manner just like when I felt the urge to re-read Wuthering Heights for some reason.

      Hijack away! I’ve hijacked the entire meme from two different bloggers and merged it into one mega meme!

      Happy new year to you and your family too. 🙂

  3. You’ve read some great books this year. I haven’t read Jude the Obscure yet but it’s on my list for 2011. Hardy can certainly be very bleak and depressing but I’ve loved everything I’ve read by him so far. I’m planning to read Our Mutual Friend next year too, and possibly The Mill on the Floss.

    1. I’ve been meaning to read Our Mutual Friend ever since it was featured so heavily in the Lost storyline. Heh! I just had no idea it was so thick.

      I’m going to read more Hardy next year. I’ve already got a few on my shelves. He’s a wonderful writer.

  4. I wish to read Anna Karenina this year as well. Happy 2011! It was so nice “meeting” you in 2010 and I look forward to reading more of your posts in the new year.

  5. Oh, Mae, sorry I missed this earlier. Love your round-up and your very entertaining categories such as “Most discouraging realisation”. That Little Stranger thing was fascinating wasn’t it?

    Anyhow, I wish you good luck with your chunksters this year and hope to see you round the traps!

    1. Ha, no worries. A little late in replying. I’ve heard many theories floating around the blogosphere as to what the ‘stranger’ is and some of them are fascinating.

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