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.