End of Year Thoughts on 2010 Reading

*****************Updated on 1/6/11 to note that I failed to complete The Sea by end of year, so I only read 70 books in 2010.   Oh well.     ***********








Grab a piece of pie and fill your tea or coffee cup; this is going to be a long rambling post. *smiles*

How many books read in 2010?

I only read 71 (and as I write this, I still need to finish that 71st!   The Sea by John Banville.)   Last year, I read 86 books so my goal to ever read 100 feels like it will never happen.    Maybe I’ll set a goal of 50 books so I can soar right past it.

How many fiction and non fiction?

I read 22 nonfiction books or 31%.     I read 22 NF last year, too – but the percentage is bigger this year!     I had a good mix of topics, too.    Unfortunately, 2 of the 5 DNFs were nonfiction this year – both of the memoir variety.

Male/Female author ratio?

A fifty-fifty split!    But to get extemely technical, I read more female authors, just one!  than male authors.

Favorite book of 2010?

After bugging everyone I met at the Book Blogger Conference with the question, “What’s your favorite read of the year so far?”, I don’t have an answer myself!     Last year I gave 12 books the coveted FIVE PIE SLICE rating and this year, I give out 12 again.  And yet looking over the list, I’m almost *meh* about it all.     I didn’t gushingly overwhelmingly adore ANY except The Book Thief and it was a re-read so I don’t really count it.   Many of the FIVE-SLICERS were rated high because of its literature importance to me, like The Bell Jar, To the Lighthouse, and The Yellow Wallpaper. Mrs. Dalloway was a re-read, too – but this one might count because I fell in love with it MORE upon this second reading.    I had 2  nonfiction books in the top 12:   Woman by Natalie Angier and Overboard by Michael J. Tougias due to how that one got my heart-beating with its charged adventure telling.     And yet, I can’t seem to declare it a love-swoon favorite.    SO.    I guess I will categorize:     For my fun read that is likely not ‘high’ literature (and thus – dare I say it? – I recommendable to ALL) is Waiting for Columbus.    And for my Oh-WOW-OH-WOW book(s), I’m going to cast a tie with To the Lighthouse/V.Woolf and Love Begins in Winter by Simon Van Booy.

The STARTLING realization that comes to mind when I look over my top twelve (which you can see, I hope, by clicking on this goodreads link) is that I really like quiet, in-the-head, crazy-beautiful prose books.      So let’s lump The Sea into my top 12 13 books, shall we?

One easy way to help me decide a favorite is whether or not I really want to read MORE by that particular author and I think Simon Van Booy is tops there.

As to the MANY books I rated FOUR Slices of Pie (27 or 38%), do any shine?    Yes – Oryx & Crake* by M.Atwood, Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, and Fingersmith by Sarah Waters – all authors I look forward to reading more.    My “Books I’ve Read” Page has the links to my reviews or you can just enter in the search box upper right.

Least favourite?

My least favorite of the books I couldn’t even stand to complete:    North Dallas Forty.     It was all get-drunk-screw-complain, repeat.    But of the books that I read in entirety:  Without a Trace by Colleen Coble.

Any that you simply couldn’t finish and why?

Oh yes!   I DNF’d a few and don’t feel guilty.   Ok, yes I do.  A bit.     I include the ‘DNF’ on titles on my Books Read page by month if you care to go see.

Oldest book read?

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, also a DNF but I got 2/3 through it.    I actually think I might attempt this one again and it’s rating might go up because of its importance and amusement-factor.   I was listening to this one and the flowery speech and incredulousness got to me and I had to go to something else.    Shameful, really – it is a short book in pages.


The newest book I read was published in October 2010:   A Secret Gift by Ted Gup, for a TLC Book Tour.    I read TEN books that were published this year!   THAT is amazing and quite unlike me.

Longest and shortest book titles?

Longest NF title was Anne Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down:  A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures. (I have yet to review this one.)

I think it is a tie for novel:


The shortest title is my current read (which I really really REALLY need to go devote some time to!) is The Sea.   It’s short but it’s slow – very provocative and sharp smart use of language – I’m savoring it.

Longest and shortest books?

I read more chunksters this year!   Yay me.      Looking at my stats chart, it amazes me that the most-pages book I read was Gaiman’s American Gods. That it is a chunkster does not come to mind when I think of this book.

Shortest book is debatable but then so is this question since it so depends on format.    I read quite a few books under 100 pages.  I’m going to say Ethan Frome was my favorite of the SHORTs.

How many books from the library?

Eek –  I didn’t do a good job of tracking this and now I can’t remember:  and some were audio’s to accompany a book I own…    I think it is around 6?    I’ve also done a poor job of keeping track of all the ways I got books AND where I sent them.

Any translated books?

Another “uh oh”. I think only ONE book this year was translated into English:   Benny & Shrimp by Katarina Mazeretti/Swedish.  OK, not impressed with myself on this.

Most read author of the year, and how many books by that author?

My most read author in PAGE COUNT is Neil Gaiman!   Woo hoo!   I read two:   Neverwhere and American Gods. I read two books by the following authors:    Virginia Woolf (meant to read 4 plus a bio!), Dashiell Hammett, John Green, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.    I increased the number of books read over my lifetime written by Tracy Kidder to FIVE.   I’ve read FOUR total books each by Jennie Nash and Neil Gaiman.   Fifty-tw0 authors were new to me, most of the others were a second time.

Any re-reads?

Here is a category that shows improvement; spurred on by my accepting to do the Flashback Challenge.   I re-read 4 books!

Favourite character of the year?

Hmmmm.    Nothing.  I got nothing…

Which countries did you go to through the page in your year of reading?

I only visited 14 countries this year which is down from last and a personal disappointment.   I was heavy/heavy in my own country;  I *saw* 14 specifically identified US State places in my reading this year.    My Reading Globally Challenge was not successful.      I only read one book set in Africa, one in Japan, one in fantasyland South America (Herland) and one Afghanistan.   The rest were England, Ireland, Canada, Italy, Germany and Sweden.

Which book wouldn’t you have read without someone’s specific recommendation?

I love this question!   I can blame a bunch of books on other bloggers and a few real-life friends.   It’s too numerous to count but the most different and unlike-me book would probably be Overboard!, a scary true account of disaster AND survival at sea.    It traveled around our dock at the marina.    I blame Marsha.

Which author was new to you in 2010 that you now want to read the entire works of?

I’ve already addressed this but to pick ONE?    ok, a few?    Anna Quindlan, Elizabeth Taylor and Simon Van Booy.  Oh!  and Diana Wynne Jones!

Which books are you annoyed you didn’t read?

Where do I start?    A whole category of other-country round-the-world books comes first to mind.   More translated works – which likely overlaps that other-country thing.     I’ll address this more when I do my 2010 Challenge Wrap Up post.

I didn’t get to ANY Ian McEwan!  What’s UP with THAT!?   I’ll  fix that in 2011.

Did you read any books you have always been meaning to read?

I will state that my DELIBERATE Plan was a success:   I had addressed the question of “Which 3 books do I really hope to read in 2010?” by choosing Watership Down by Richard Adams – I’m so glad I read this one!    and anything/something more by Neil Gaiman (accomplished) and at least one of the four I own but have yet to read by Tracy Kidder.     I will review Among Schoolchildren in January.
Any HIGHLIGHTS from 2010?
The Book Blogger Convention in NYC in May was SUPER FABULOUS!    I got an iPad, which is really cool for ereading.   and just getting to know many of you better and still having the motivation to read and chat about books online through this blog have been WONDERFUL.  Thank you!

STATS:    71 Books / RATINGS:  12 FIVE 17%, 27 FOUR 38%, 20 THREE 28%, 9 TWO 13%, 3 ONE 4%

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:   9

Chunksters (over 450 pages): 9

Male Female Ratio   35 : 36

Short Story Collections:   2

Unintentional Themes:   Pets – 4 Dogs, 1 Cat

By Decade:   in 2010 – 10, 2000 – 31, 1990 – 6, 1980 – 3, 1970 – 7, 1960 – 3, 1950 – 2, 1940 – 0, 1930 – 1, 1920 – 3, 1910 – 1, 1900 – 1, 1890 – 1, 1860 – 1, 1810 – 1

New to Me Authors:   52

Nonfiction:   22

Fantasy:  7

Debuts:   at least 2 that I know off the top of my head…

postscript: This is my 2009 WrapUp.

* Just realized that my goodreads has 4 stars for Oryx & Crake but my Books-Read list shows 5…   and I am in such a hurry to post this I will just not worry about it right now…


Copyright © 2010. 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.

50 thoughts on “End of Year Thoughts on 2010 Reading

  1. I think if I wasn’t blogging I would get to 100+ books a year 🙂
    Ah wall, it’s so fun to blog.

    You had a good reading year and wow, I’m impressed with all the non-fiction reads. I’m still coming up with my stats and should have them soon. so fun.

    Have a great reading year ahead!

  2. This may be a long post but I find the thoroughness of it fascinating! I love to see where a person’s reading takes them in a year and upon reflection, how they feel about it. Last year I knew exactly which book would be my favorite. I’m still struggling to decide my standout book this year even though I read many more books that I liked overall this year. I think you did great in your reading this year!

    1. Thorough? I felt like I forgot a lot! oh well. THANK YOU, you are very kind. I recall wondering what I liked/dont like about books cuz sometimes it IS hard to figure it out – I’m getting closer but still enjoy variety so much.

  3. I have to admit that I don’t base my best books of the year on ratings, because I have some books that are fun and earn 5-star ratings but don’t stick around, or books that aren’t perfect and get 4-star ratings but which really affected me greatly.

    Sounds like you had a fun year of reading, Care. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on The Sea.

  4. gosh, so many of you bloggers are SO organized with your end-of-years! i wrote a short end of year with a question to be posted on 1/3…but nothing nearly as comprehensive as this beauty! i was able to read a TON of books this year only because i was averaging 1 audiobook each week in my car (i drive a lot!). wishing you a fab 2011!!! see you on the blogs. 🙂

  5. Looks like you had a pretty great reading year. I’m excited to get to Yellow Wallpaper this year (it’s on my list). I also loved both of the Gaiman novels you mentioned.

  6. Only 71? Shame! (I’m kidding – 71 is fantastic!) I don’t keep track of much when I’m reading, but I enjoy reading your ratios of male to female authors, fiction to nonfiction books. In 2011, I think I’ll try to stay on top of those figures as well.

    1. It’s not like I try to have any kind of M/F or Fic/NF ration – I am just curious… This is one of the EASIEST to track because you usually always or can tell the author gender and if ‘true’ or not. Other than that, if I don’t write it down and sometimes even if I do, I can’t pull it all together for this. Too BIZZY! I really need to be cleaning or reading The Sea…

  7. I *really* want to read Love Begins in Winter, but I had completely forgotten about it. Thank you for reminding me! I read less this year, too, and I was okay with that.

  8. I was a miserable failure at reading deliberately this year. You did a great job of mixing it up. I’m feeling the same way about trying to pick “best” reads. Last year I had five that I just flat out loved. Not so many this year. That’s kind of sad, isn’t it?!

    1. I wonder why this is? that no stunners stick out in my mind? oh well, I still had a good year and am proud that I read a variety. Yes, it was a good year and may 2011 be even better FOR BOTH OF US!

    1. Gavin, I think you would like The Sea, I do. I didn’t like his mystery that he wrote under his other name but this one is good. And the vocab! – I wish I was on the ereader so I could look up as I go…

  9. I really, really hope I’m to blame for introducing you to Simon Van Booy. I can’t even remember. Great wrap-up!! I had such fun reading it. We look back at our year of reading in quite a different way, but I can see some things I need to work on from reading this post.

    1. Thank you Florinda! I sure wish I could comment on your blog – it bums me, but will continue to tweet at you, OK?

      No, I’m not planning on BBC this year. Of course, I might still be talked into it… I actually feel a bit guilty that I haven’t read but one of the books I got while I was there.

    1. It’s a quite WOW. One that when a regular non-Nymeth kind of reader asks me what book I liked best, I probably wouldn’t tell them it was To the Lighthouse (not that they would have ever heard of it!) And I don’t think it’s a snobby thing, maybe like the comparison of how some people like coconut and some don’t.

      Happy New Year, dear Ana. I would have sent a card but wasn’t sure WHERE you would be! so please know that I thought of you and wish you happiest of days.

  10. A great year, Care! I’m especially impressed with your nonfiction stats. I tried to read more this year and ended up just under 25%. To the Lighthouse and Waiting for Columbus are both near the top of my stack for 2011.

  11. Oh, I TOTALLY agree with you on the ratings! Actually, sometimes at the end of the year, I’ll go back over my ratings and think, “Really? THAT’S what I rated the book?” That’s why I don’t do ratings on my blog any more, but I still do them on LibraryThing. I don’t think that many books stood out to me as TOTAL WOWZERS this year. I enjoyed a lot of books, but I also think maybe because I read so many more than in prior years that perhaps I was just overwhelmed by sheer numbers…

    1. oh! If I didn’t rate them for myself, I would never remember which I liked! I rely on them and if they change, they usually don’t change *that* much. 🙂
      I LOVE your questions you ask in your wrap up. I’m going to borrow! Happy New Year.

  12. I love Neil Gaiman and I have to agree that American Gods doesn’t feel like a chunkster when you think about it. (Maybe I’ll read it again next year!) Happy New Year!

  13. Fun chatty post! I love reading people’s yearly book roundups. I like your rating system but I think that would probably stymie me from doing any reviews at all. Was it a 4.. or a 4.5? Or just a 3? I DON’T KNOW! So, I admire your ability to rate them. 🙂 Happy New Year!

    1. Chatty = me. Oh, I don’t let myself get hung up on it (ratings) and just go with my gut on a rating number/count. I don’t change them ever but I can ramp up my enthusiasm for books when I talk about them later.

  14. I love this breakdown! Such fun to see what everyone did this year. Sadly, and oddly, my reading has consistently decreased since I started blogging. I feel like I’ll never get to that 100 goal either. And, I forgot to count up my translations for the year. Thanks for the reminder. Happy New Year!

    1. I keep seeing others summary posts and want to increase the categories I track but I know I never will. Just as long as we enjoy our reading, that’s what is truly important.

  15. Impressive overview!

    I read 103 books, but no triumph, because I aimed for less than hundred to give me more writing time. Well, at least it was better than my 127 books in 2009, and I *did* write more.

    Happy New Year!

  16. Oo, I think it’s a really good idea to pick a small number of books and resolve to read them definitely sometime over the course of the year. That’s a nice, small, doable New Year’s Resolution. May I steal it? 😀

  17. I only read 44 books last year, so you’re ahead of me there! I read Orxy & Crake (re-read actually) last year too, and I love it!

    Happy new year!!! 😀

    1. And O&C is a series book, right? I hope I get to Year of the Flood this year but I’m not going to push myself. Maybe save for RIP? I dunno. Good for you on 44.

  18. Care-Happy New Year-Meeting you and BEA were definate highlights of last year-I am so impressed you look up words-I always say I should-I cannot always say I do.

  19. Very impressed with how many books you completed this year. I got to 19; my goal was more modest– to simply read one more book than I did the year before. I really enjoyed the Book Thief as well; it blew me away with its awesomeness!!

  20. Pingback: Review of 2011 Reading Adventures, Part 2 « Care's Online Book Club

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