I saw this end of the year meme at This Book and I Could Be Friends, and thought it would be a fun way to wrap up the year. It was also a lot of work (I had to count, people! And divide! That’s like higher math). But in the end, it was worth it (except I was too lazy to bother with all of the links…so sorry).
How many books read in 2009?
153. And wow, I didn’t realize it was that high until I counted. There were 11 audio books in there, if that matters to anyone.
How many works of fiction and non-fiction?
40 non-fiction and 113 fiction, although a few of those non-fiction books might be debatable (such as Running with Scissors and The Woman Warrior). Only 2 of the 11 audio books were fiction. I read most of the non-fiction at the end of the year…it was like I suddenly developed a non-fiction craving.
Male/Female author ratio?
I read 98 (64%) books by female authors and 55 (36%) books by male authors. Hah! Actually, I’m surprised the males represent 36%, as I usually gravitate to female authors. In comparison, last year I read 100 books…73% by female authors and 27% by male authors.
Favorite book of 2009?
Oh my, this is a difficult question. I loved Waiting for Columbus. And Eleanor Roosevelt rocked. Precious, Through Black Spruce and The Calligrapher’s Daughter were surprisingly wonderful. The Yellow Lighted Bookshop was a great reader’s book. The Help was awesome. I could go on and on, as I found something worthwhile in almost all of the books I read.
Maybe Frankenstein? Or Mrs. Dalloway? Lies My Teacher Told Me was a miserable experience. Oh, and how could I forget?? Fool. Definitely Fool. This is my biggest regret of the year.
Any that you simply couldn’t finish and why?
Air Guitar (it did itself in with overuse of the word quotidian) and The Feminine Mystique. It went on and on and on…
Oldest book read?
Frankenstein, published in 1818.
The Lacuna was published in November 2009 and I read it in December.
Longest and shortest book titles?
Shortest = Fool. Too bad the book wasn’t that short. The Taste of Dreams: An Obsession with Caviar and Russia andThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian win the award for longest. Runner up is The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down.
Longest and shortest books?
Kristin Lavransdatter was long in a number of ways.
How many from the library?
3. But don’t blame me. Blame my library, which never has the books I want AND charges 50 cents per hold and request. I get fed up and then go to the bookstore to console myself.
Any translated books?
Kristin Lavransdatter, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Angel’s Game, The Elegance of the Hedgehog and The Housekeeper and the Professor.
Most read author of the year, and how many books by that author?
John Green. I read Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns.
I don’t do that. It’s against my reading religion.
Favorite character of the year?
Eleanor Roosevelt. (Like how I sidestepped that question?)
Which countries did you go to through the page in your year of reading?
I’ll list by country, which means there will be some repeats. I was hoping to finish Knots before the end of the year, which would’ve added Somalia to the list, but the book is slow going.
Australia – Without a Backward Glance
Canada – A Boy of Good Breeding, Through Black Spruce, The Flying Troutmans
China – Shanghai Girls
Colombia – Tell Me Something True
Ecuador – First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria
Egypt – Dream Homes, A Map of Home
England – Thank You, Jeeves and How Right You Are, Jeeves, Mrs Dalloway, Company of Liars, The Uncommon Reader, Little Bee, Bitter Sweets, Dracula, The London Scene, The Woman in White, A London Child of the 1870s, The Little Stranger
France – Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Giovanni’s Room, Sarah’s Key, Words in a French Life, Foreign Tongue, A Moveable Feast, The Widow Clicquot, True Pleasures, French Milk
Germany – The Book Thief
Haiti – Brother, I’m Dying
India – Bitter Sweets
Iran – Persepolis, Lipstick Jihad, The Age of Orphans, Caspian Rain
Ireland – Reading in the Dark, The Walking People
Italy – Four Seasons in Rome, The Night Villa
Japan – A Year in Japan, The Favorites
Korea – The Calligrapher’s Daughter
Kuwait – A Map of Home
Mexico – Into the Beautiful North, The Lacuna
Nigeria – Half of a Yellow Sun, Little Bee
Norway – Kristin Lavransdatter
Pakistan – Children of Dust
Romania – Dracula
Russia – A Taste of Caviar
Rwanda – Baking Cakes in Somalia
Scotland – Emotional Geology, Star Gazing
Spain – The Angel’s Game, Waiting for Columbus
Sri Lanka – A Disobedient Girl
Sweden – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire
Uganda – First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria
Vietnam – The Gangster We Are Looking For
Wales – The Earth Hums in B Flat
It’s no surprise that the United Kingdom (and yes, I know I listed Scotland and Wales and England separately, even though they are not their own countries) features so prominently, but I am surprised by how many books I read that were set in France.
61 books (40%) of the books I read were set in another country…I’m pretty happy with that percentage.
Which book wouldn’t you have read without someone’s specific recommendation?
I’d never heard of John Green before I starting blogging, and many of you are directly responsible for his books appearing on the 2009 list. Say Everything was a recommendation from Kim, See You in a Hundred Years from Ali, The Widow Clicquot from Swapna, and Children of Dust from that other Jill who keeps popping up. And there are many more, but I’m kinda bad at remembering stuff like this.
Which author was new to you in 2009 that you now want to read the entire works of?
Entire works?? I don’t think I can go so far as to say that.
Which books are you annoyed you didn’t read?
I’m pretty happy with my year of reading, so I’m not feeling annoyed…besides, there’s always 2010!
Did you read any books you have always been meaning to read?
Dracula and Lolita…what a pair.