Review of 2011 Reading Adventures, Part 2

Part 1 of my Year In Review about my failures — or, rather “Not-Quite-Successes” — can be found by clicking on this sentence.

On to the stats!

How many total books? nn 53   nnLast year I read 70; best year ever was 2009 with 86.  Another goal for 2012 is to have goodreads.com and my own tracking MATCH – but I tend to count books there that I don’t here; i.e. cookbooks, reference.

How many fiction and non fiction?
I read 11 nonfiction books or 21%.  Thirty percent of my reading last year was NF.

Male/Female author ratio?  LOTS more — 68% — more women than men this year.

Favorite book of 2011?

Always a tough question because I qualify.  For books that MOVED me?  The History of Love and The Stone Diaries.  For ones that felt cozy warm and safe and happily-sighable?  The Tapestry of Love – also my biggest surprise of the year.

I rated 9 books 5 stars and this continues my trend ranking 17% in the top group; same percentage as last year AND the year before.

The Sea / John Banville
The Things They Carried / Tim O’Brien
Sugar Queen / Sarah Addison Allen
The Secret Garden / Frances Hodgson Burnett
The History of Love / Nicole Krauss
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks / Rebecca Skloot
The Tapestry of Love / Rosy Thornton
The Killer Angels / Michael Shaara
The Stone Diaries / Carol Shields

As to the MANY books I rated FOUR Slices of Pie (24 or 45%), do any shine?  Hunger Games, of course. The only change I dared make was to bump Just Kids by Patti Smith up to 4 stars only because it still makes me smile.

Least favourite?  I had more DNF’s this year and one I didn’t rate at all (Ulysses).  I only finished one of the 6 TWO star books I rated:  Broken Colors was not impressive.  I had NO 1 star books.   (Per goodreads.com, TWO STARS is ‘I liked it only OK.”)

Any that you simply couldn’t finish and why?  I gave up on The Paris Wife, Beneath the Thirteen Moons, Eyes Like Stars, The Book of Awful and Ulysses.

Oldest book read?  Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles, 1891.

Newest? I read a bunch more current-year publisheds!  9.  But I don’t have it recorded which was LATEST.  I read a lot more published in 2010, too.  So I stayed much more in the ‘recently published’ than I ever have.

Longest and shortest book titles?   Fiction:  The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine,  Nonfiction:  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, I think.   Shortest was D.V.

Longest and shortest books?  
Last year I bragged about reading more chunksters; this year I read ONE.  Only two books were over 400 pages!  egads that sounds horrendous. oh well. I read 7 books that had fewer than 200 pages.  With 16,176 pages over 53 books, the average length is 305.

Most pages: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami. 604
Fewest pages:  The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. 160

How many books from the library?  Six, one audio.

Any translated books? Yes, after not having any last year, I had 3 in 2011:  from Japanese, German and Italian.

Most read author of the year, and how many books by that author?  I didn’t read any author twice within the 12 months but I repeated the following for a second time:  Geraldine Brooks, Helene Hanff, John Banville, David McCullough, Simon Van Booy, Sarah Addison Allen, and Lisa Genova; for my ‘mulitiples’: John Green (4th) and C.S.Lewis (8th)   Boy if that doesn’t prove I don’t read series books…  But it does strike me odd how many males ‘repeat’.  Hmmmm.

Any re-reads? NOPE.

Favourite character of the year?  Molly, the real kickass chick in Neuromancer?

Which countries did you go to through the page in your year of reading?  Austria, Italy, Japan, Greece, Bosnia, France, Ireland, Russia, Germany, the UK, Canada and Viet Nam (12).  The US states I visited specifically are Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maryland, New York, Arkansas, Minnesota, California, Illinois and Tennessee (10) but some books wandered through the Northwest and also the Southwest, and the Plains.

Which book wouldn’t you have read without someone’s specific recommendation?   Let’s just say I can blame Nancy the BookFool for many many.  Quite a few, she sent or put into my hands.

Which author was new to you in 2011 that you now want to read the entire works of?  Rosy Thornton and Carol Sheilds.  Simon Van Booy was the only author I mentioned in this answer last year that I managed to try again.

Which books are you annoyed you didn’t read?

And I quote from last year’s report:  “I didn’t get to ANY Ian McEwan!  What’s UP with THAT!?   I’ll  fix that in 2011.”  I didn’t.   I didn’t read any Tracy Kidder, Diana Wynne Jones, Margaret Atwood!   And I keep piling on the author must-read list…

Did you read any books you have always been meaning to read?   Yes. The Things They Carried, something by Haruki Murakami and Rosy Thornton!  :)

Any HIGHLIGHTS from 2011?   Yes, I really enjoy Citizen Reader‘s Book Menages. I will also add the Europa Challenge.  AND my trip to CharlestonSC to meet Nancy and then hosting her visit to New England to meet SVB!!   Much fun.

STATS:    53 Books

RATINGS:    9 FIVE 17%, 24 FOUR 45%,  13 THREE 25%, 6 TWO 11%, 0 ONE -%

PAGE COUNTS:   19,732 which averages to 278 per book.   [HA!   Last year's page total for 87 books was 24,186 which also averaged to 278 per book.]

1001 Books To Read Before You Die:   6

Chunksters (over 450 pages): 2

Male Female Ratio   17 : 36   (in 2010, my Women Writers count was ALSO 36!)

Short Story Collections:   4 (with Honorable Mention to Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find – I only read 2 in collection and won’t yet mark as done-read.)

Unintentional Themes:  Titles with “Of Love: – 3,
 zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzPulitzer Prize Winners – 4

By Decade:
in 2011 – 9
in 2010 – 11,
2000-2009 – 17,
1990 – 5,
1980 – 3,
1970 – 2,
1960 – 1,
1950 – 1,
1940 – 1,
1930 – 0,
1920 – 1,
1910 – 1,
1900 – 0,
1891 – 1  Oldest book:  Tess by Hardy

New to Me Authors:   44

Nonfiction:   11, 21%

Fantasy:  7

Debuts:   at least 2 that I know off the top of my head, but I’m thinking maybe 4-5.  I vow to keep better track of this next this year.

postscript: This is my 2010 WrapUp and this is my 2009 WrapUp.

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.
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30 Responses to “Review of 2011 Reading Adventures, Part 2”


  1. 1 Amanda January 2, 2012 at 9:17 am

    I can’t keep track of my DNFs. I start and put away books all the time, probably over a hundred this year. :D

    I’m so glad Rosy Thornton is up on there so much!

    • 2 Care January 2, 2012 at 10:46 am

      My DNF tracking is very inconsistent. I read the first few pages of a LOT of books and even delved (is that a word?) further in a few more that I didn’t mention here but did in goodreads. I also borrowed a ton of Ulysses reference guides but didn’t really read any.

  2. 3 unfinishedperson January 2, 2012 at 9:47 am

    So what did you think of Murakami? Did you like him, love him or hate him? Just wondering.

  3. 5 softdrink January 2, 2012 at 10:36 am

    At-wood. At-wood. At-wood. At-wood.

    Just a little not-so-subliminal message for 2012.

  4. 7 Trish January 2, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I like your questions better than the ones I used. Might steal this for next year. ;)

    History of Love was a great one, huh? And D.V.? That’s the title of a book?!

    Happy new year!!!!!!

    • 8 Care January 2, 2012 at 11:47 am

      Usually, I go around and am jealous of all the great categories OTHERS use in their year end sums but I wanted to stay consistent.

      D.V. was the autobio/memoir of Diane Vreeland, famous fashion mag editor, but it was annoying. She was a free spirit, I’ll give her that.

  5. 9 BermudaOnion January 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    I did a terrible job of keeping track on goodreads this year too. I hope to do better this year.

    • 10 Care January 2, 2012 at 5:19 pm

      I have goodreads open most of the time. It is my go to place to record a book I want to read. But I need to be better about adding the who/what/where/why things that I wish I knew at the end of the year! LIke I think, right now, I will go update where I got my current read… and to put a post it note IN the book!
      Good luck to you. Say hello if you see me in Goodreads.

  6. 11 Debi January 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I so love reading these end-of-stat things!!!! And every year I’m convinced that I’m going to do a better job keeping track of things…and every year I eventually fail. I made it through about 9 months this year before I started forgetting to keep track though…so maybe this will be my year, huh? :P I’ve got a good handful of your 5 star reads on my shelves (but have actually only read one of them)–so it seems like I have me some good reading ahead. :)

  7. 13 Kathleen January 2, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Congratulations on a great reading year in 2011 and here’s hoping 2012 will be great too!

  8. 15 Belle Wong January 2, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    I love all these stats – you had a great reading year!

  9. 17 Vasilly January 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I always envy bloggers like you, Care, who keep up with different aspects of their reading. :-) We can read some Dianna Wynne-Jones together this year if you want to. Just let me know. I hope 2012 is a great year for you.

  10. 19 Trisha January 2, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    My GoodReads account never matches anything for me either; I’m clearly not good at organizing it. Then again, I own a ton of freaking books. And I can’t believe you have no re-reads; they are such a huge part of my reading I always do a double take when I see other people don’t re-read at all. :)

    • 20 Care January 2, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      I really wonder if rereading is something you had to do as a youngster. I don’t think it ever occurred to me to reread a book. Now, it feels like “I’ve already read this” and it’s uncomfortable.
      THAT SAID… I have very much enjoyed rereading a few books like The Book Thief and Mrs. Dalloway. But it takes tremendous push to get me to forsake the new and shiny and unknown.

  11. 21 Michelle January 2, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Wow! Your stats are so detailed. The accountant in me is really jealous!

    Happy 2012!

  12. 23 Anna (Diary of an Eccentric) January 3, 2012 at 8:57 am

    What a great year in books! So glad to see The Things They Carried on your “best of” list. Loved that book!

  13. 25 Bookfool, aka Nancy January 3, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I’m thinking Ireland, next. You, me, an introductory letter from SVB like they carried in the Old Times.

    Great reading year! Some of your reads were very, very challenging. I don’t think you can fret about quantity, given the quality. The Things They Carried is amazing and The Screwtape Letters an old favorite. I don’t reread much, these days, but occasionally. I get you on the thought that rereading is mostly for youngsters. It feels a bit like a time waste, these days.

    Hmm, wonder if I should get back to using Goodreads. I could never enter everything in my personal library, but it would be nice to have an alternate record (besides the ratty calendars I always drag everywhere with me).

  14. 26 Bybee January 4, 2012 at 4:52 am

    You wrap up so well!

  15. 28 litlove January 4, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I do love everyone’s stats! And always fascinated by the best-of lists. I read The Stone Diaries just before I got married and it made me a committed Carol Shield’s fan – just love that book. I’m also a big fan of Rosy Thornton, so delighted that you enjoyed her this year. As for all the authors you didn’t get to, if it’s any consolation, my list is probably the longest on the planet! Thank goodness books don’t come with use-by dates attached. :)

    Happy happy New Year to you, dear Care!

    • 29 Care January 4, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      I don’t think this was most enjoyable year of reading but discovering Shields was delightful. I was expecting to like Rosy and she excelled.

  16. 30 stacybuckeye January 6, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Great breakdown. One of these years I’ll get on the ball and do a detailed wrap up. I loved History of Love as well. And I’m a SAA fan but this one wan’t my favorite.


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