I did a very geeky thing. I copied my list of books read for 2008 and pasted them into Excel. Then I added interesting-to-me columns (setting, author’s country, genre & subgenre, etc) and SORTED and sorted and sorted and counted and sorted and played and analyzed. You can see the whole list on my Past Tense Page.
I am not sure what the results tell me but I had fun on an evening (when I could have been reading?!)
TOTAL. I attempted 78 books and completed 73. Three of the five I gave up on, I hope to try again. [Goal was 33!]
GENRE. Contemporary Literature was my biggest category with 20. I read 1 Alternative History (and it barely rated 1 star), 1 History, 3 Historical Fiction, 1 Inspirational and 1 Self-Help, 3 Fantasy (1 Creepy?), 3 Dystopia, 3 Humor, 3 Short Story Collections, 4 Childrens, 5 in a category I called ‘Light’ (chick lit?), 4 Classics, 6 Crime, 12 Nonfiction (includes 6 Memoirs). I had one I called Southern and I ‘m not sure it should also be Classic and/or Contemporary Lit.
AUTHORS. Most authors, an overwhelming majority, were New-To-Me. I only read 7 books of a ‘repeat’ (twice) author and I read my fourth book by a favorite author, Tracy Kidder. I read all six books by three New-To-Me authors in2008: Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go, When We Were Orphans), Ian McEwan (Atonement*, On Chesil Beach) and Neil Gaiman (Stardust, I finished Coraline today.)
I read 6 books on the 1001 Books To Read Before I Die list and have 2 months to read 4 more? Probably not going to happen. Since it doesn’t really bother me to type that.
LENGTH. I didn’t track number of pages… (darn; a goal for 2009) BUT, I would/could guess that the longest books I read were The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. I read a LOT of short books.
CHALLENGES. I officially completed the Novella Challenge. I was frustrated by the 1% of 1001 Books To Read Before Dying. I don’t think I officially signed up for the In Their Shoes – but could easily have completed that. I abandoned the How To Read Challenge but need and want to revisit that. I have been suckered by even more challenges heading into this coming year and still want to tell you about my choices for the Dewey Challenge. But I’m intimidated by the numbers of book titles that comprises the 09 list that is forming!
FAVORITES. I gave 10 books a 5 star rating, 28 books a 4 star rating, 20 got 3 stars, 6 got 2 stars and 4 got 1 star. And my count is not adding up so I must not have rated some! Oh well.
and my best of the best? These are rated such in that they surprised me…
I’jaam by Sinan Antoon
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn (I’m sure that reading this while watching the Michael Phelps swim at the Olympics has something to do with my fondness for this…)
Intepreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
* Oh yea, Atonement was a re-read…)