Friday, January 1, 2010

Fourth-quarter book report (2009)

I've been reading for a long, long time (over forty years now), but this is the first time I've ever tracked what I read throughout an entire year. Let's check out the fourth-quarter results. Remember, the number in parentheses means the number of times I've now read the book.

Key: C: Children's; F: Fantasy; H: Historical; Hr: Horror; M: Mystery; MG: Middle Grade (ages 8-12); NF: Nonfiction; P: Poetry; SF: Science Fiction; SS: Short Stories; V: Verse novel; YA: Young Adult (age 13+); *not in the last ten years at least; ^for work.

10/01/09: John Green, Looking for Alaska (YA, 1)
10/05/09: Leslie Connor, Dead on Town Line (YA, V, 1)
10/11/09: Ellen Hopkins, Impulse (YA, V, 1)
10/18/09: Cormac MacCarthy, The Road (SF, 1)
10/21/09: Jennifer Carson (my former critique buddy!), To Find a Wonder (MG, F, 1)
10/24/09: Martin Gottfried, All His Jazz: The Life and Death of Bob Fosse^ (NF, 1)
10/31/09: Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (H, Hr, 1)
11/03/09: Carolyn Marsden and Phillip Matzigkeit, Sahwira (MG, H, 1)
12/06/09: Scott Westerfeld, The Last Days (YA, SF, 1)
12/16/09: Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, The Strain (Hr, 1)
12/16/09: Chuck Liddell, Iceman^ (NF, 1)
12/22/09: Scott Westerfeld, Uglies (YA, SF, 1)
12/27/09: Westerfeld, Pretties (YA, SF, 1)
12/29/09: Westerfeld, Specials (YA, SF, 1)
12/31/09: Westerfeld, Extras (YA, SF, 1)

So I only read fifteen books this quarter; not bad, considering that I basically skipped the entire month of November because I was spending all my spare time writing a novel for NaNoWriMo. The distinctive thing for me this quarter, and probably a first, was that every book I read was one I was reading for the first time. I love to revisit old favorites, but I had a stack of books I had brought home from a writers' conference, plus a couple borrowed from friends or from the library, and I caught up on those first. By the time the end of November rolled around and I realized none of the books on my list were old favorites, I decided I might as well try to focus on new books. It was fine; it allowed me to finally get to MacCarthy's The Road, which many critics were putting on their Top Ten of the 2000's lists, and to get through the "Uglies" series which I kept hearing great things about. (I liked it, but not as well as Westerfeld's other series.) Still, the first book I'm reading in 2010? An old favorite I haven't visited in a while, Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass. I deserve a treat, I think.

Coming tomorrow, I'll look at trends for my whole year of reading, and list my top five favorite books for the year.

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