Saturday, January 2, 2010

2009 Book Report

Now that I've listed all the books I read this year, I thought I'd add up some totals and look at some trends, then consider my best five (new) books I read this year.

In 2009, I read:

92 total books (an average of 1.76 per week)
65 books for the first time
33 books were for children or young adults
13 books were Austen or Austen-related
23 books were fantasy
27 books were science fiction
8 books were nonfiction (mostly biographies, mostly for work)
5 were classics I read for the first time

The total number is a bit disappointing; I think I usually read more than 100 books a year (at least two a week), but all the extra assignments this year, plus the gap caused by NaNoWriMo, brought the number down. I actually read more books for the first time than I did old favorites, which surprises me. (Thank goodness for the library.) Over a third of the books were for younger readers, which is something I worked at this year. I was also surprised to see that I read more science fiction than fantasy; usually the proportion is the other way around, but between my yearly re-reading of Bujold's Vorkosigan series and my discovery of YA author Scott Westerfeld, I got a lot more in this year. (YA sci-fi is pretty unusual, at least compared to the amount of fantasy out there, so I was curious to check it out, and was glad I did. Westerfeld is a fun author to read.)

So now it's time to consider what were my favorite books I discovered this year (ie, read for the first time). This is a toughie, picking just five out of 65, but I'll try my best.

Favorite book in the 1st quarter
Richard Peck, The River between Us, a wonderful YA historical set during the Civil War with a fantastic twist to it.

Favorite book in the 2nd quarter
Scott Westerfeld's Peeps, a welcome, SF-oriented antidote to all the angsty romantic Twilight vampire madness.

Favorite book in the 3rd quarter
John Green's Paper Towns, an Edgar-winning YA mystery that's more about discovering character than solving a puzzle.

Favorite book in the 4th quarter
Cormac MacCarthy's The Road, and yes, I know I'm late to this classic apocalyptic elegy, but I love a good end-of-the-world story and this one is beautifully written.

Favorite book of the year
Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, The 2009 Newbery Award winner that begins with a toddler fleeing a murderous killer with a dripping knife, but is more a coming-of-age tale than a horror story. Gaiman remains one of my favorite authors writing today.

Hmmm. Four of my favorite new books of the year were written for young adults. Either I'm immature or I just know good literature. In any case, it's good to know I'm writing in a genre I really enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Great list! I did the same thing (posted all the books I read). I should break it all out the way you did as well.

    I didn't actually keep track very well, so a few may have escaped my attention.

    The Graveyard Book was high on my list as well. My excuse for reading so much YA is my 13 year old son who finally has begun to read like he means it! I read everything he recommends. It's nice for "bonding".