Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Reading and Challenges Retrospective

2009 was a mixed year for me. It started off well; not only was I reading, I was reviewing as well. But then I had issues with my depression that took over a large part of the year and cut my reading down significantly. I only read three books in June, which is possibly a lifetime low for me since I learned to read.

I had started off in high hopes and joined a series of challenges. Some I finished and some I didn’t, but overall the year went quite well.

I had a bit of trouble defining a “read” as some challenges said a whole book, while others said anything would do, including short stories. If a series I’m reading has a short story in an anthology, I’m quite likely to read only that particular story since I’m not all that keen on shorts, and that continually confused me when working out totals. I’m still not convinced that everything matches.

Anyway, counting those single short stories as a “read”, I think I managed to read 101 things this year. Counting only “real” books, I think my total was 97 as that’s the total I have in my 100+ Challenge list.

Most interesting to me was the proportion of paper books to ebooks I read in 2009. In the past I’d thrown around a 50/50 figure without an data to back myself up, so I made a point of keeping a record this year. The final figure was 45% paper to 55% e, which was pretty close to what I’d guessed and skewed a bit by December when I read 9 ebooks and only 1 paper book.

I read 13 books I rated 10/10 this year and there were 11 I didn’t finish. I read 79 books I hadn’t read before and reread 16. (Like I said, I know my numbers may not add up, but it is much too much work to try to find the discrepancies – and my struggle with the definition of a “read” may be a factor as well. I apologise).

In terms of challenges, I just missed out on the 100+ challenge, falling 3 books short. Considering my year, I’m not worrying about that too much. You can see my list here.

I easily completed the eBook challenge (list here) and Romance challenge (list here) in February, meaning everything else I read for the rest of the year was a bonus in terms of challenges. I finished the first stage of the Library challenge (list here) in March, which was what I had signed up for. All the same I had hoped to make it to the second level of 25 books. I fell one short, reading 24 library books in 2009.

I also read three books my one of my favourite authors, Patricia McKillip, completing that challenge in October (list here).

I didn’t make the YA challenge, reading only 9 books out of 12 (list here) and almost finished the Once Upon a Time Challenge III (list here), only failing because I didn’t manage to watch or read A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

I’m not going to do a “best of” or “worst of” list this year, but here are those 13 books I rated 10/10 (in the order I read them):

  1. The Grey King – Susan Cooper
  2. Lear’s Daughters – Marjorie B. Kellogg
  3. The Ordinary Princess – M. M. Kaye
  4. Born in Ice – Nora Roberts
  5. Shards of Honor – Lois McMaster Bujold
  6. Branded by Fire – Nalini Singh
  7. Angels’ Blood – Nalini Singh
  8. The Invisible Ring – Anne Bishop
  9. Diamond Star – Catherine Asaro
  10. The Shadow Queen – Anne Bishop
  11. Daughter of the Blood – Anne Bishop
  12. Heir to the Shadows – Anne Bishop
  13. Queen of the Darkness – Anne Bishop

While I rated it 9 rather than 10, I’m also going to add Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier to my notable books of 2009 as I thought it was a fantastic book and I’m looking forward to reading more Marillier in 2010.

Of the books on the above list, six were new reads and seven rereads. If you add in Daughter of the Forest it balances out to seven each.

I’m going to continue keeping lists in 2010 as I found it rather a satisfying thing to do. I’ve only joined three challenges as I want to keep the pressure down, and I’m looking forward to a new reading year.

1 comment:

orannia said...

I'm very impressed - at the number of books you have read and your lists. All the best for 2010!