Two years ago I decided to keep track of what I read over the course of a year, because I never seemed to be able to remember back more than a month or two on my own. With the aid of a simple Google document, I can look back over 2010 and remember every book I read, and see when I was reading a lot, and when not so much. This year I decided to, at the end of each month, make a note of which book that month had been my favorite. It’s a simple thing (and maybe a little dorky, to those of you with better retention than myself) but I really enjoy having these lists to look back on.
This year, I got a Kindle for Christmas from the ever generous boyfriend, and I love it! I wasn’t sure how well it was going to work for me, as a sentimental bibliophile, but thus far I can say that it pulled me straight out of a reading slump and I find it even easier to read than print, in some ways (sometimes those books are heavy for my little hands!). I’ll be curious to see if it affects my reading this year: Will I read more older books (free on the Kindle!)? Will I read more in print or digitally? Will I read more in general? Will I finally stop collecting things that are really, really heavy to move?
Anyway, on to the important stuff. Here are the books I read last year. The asterisks indicate favorites each month. Many of these books aren’t new, and many I read for the second, or third, or fourth time. I wonder if there will ever be a year when Harry Potter doesn’t turn up on this list? I doubt it…
“The Lost Child” by Julie Myerson
“The Lacuna” by Barbara Kingsolver
“The Subtle Knife” by Philip Pullman
“The Amber Spyglass” by Philip Pullman
“Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking” by Michael Ruhlman
“Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins *
“Her Fearful Symmetry” by Audrey Niffennegger
“Half Broke Horses” by Jeanette Walls
“Bastard out of Carolina” by Dorothy Allison
“Food Matters” by Mark Bittman
“The Girl Who Fell From the Sky” by Heidi W. Durrow *
“Jane Austen and Co.: Remaking the Past in Contemporary Culture” – Suzanne R. Pucci and James Thompson, eds.
“The Help” by Kathryn Stockett
“The Origins of the Arab-Israeli War” by Ritchie Ovendale
“The Irresistible Henry House” by Lisa Grunwald *
“Mennonite in a Little Black Dress” by Rhoda Janzen
“Oryx and Crake” by Margaret Atwood (re-read)
“The Voyage Out” by Virginia Woolf
“Can’t Buy My Love” by Jean Kilbourne
“The Magician’s Nephew” by C.S. Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia Book 1)
I’m actually surprised at how many new books I read, especially in the beginning of the year. I’m an inveterate re-reader, and last January, I promised myself that I would only read one already-read book a month. While there were a few months when I broke that rule, there were more months than I expected when I didn’t re-read at all. So considering my real goal was to read more new fiction, I think I did pretty well for myself. I think it’s also pretty dorky that I made up reading rules for myself, but, well, I’m just rule-abiding kind of lady.
This year I’d like to focus on reading more classics, which should be fairly easy on the wallet, considering I work in an academic library (we gots lots of copies of the classics) and most classics are free in ebook format. I’d also like to try to stick with my goal of reading one work of new fiction a month, but I find that harder, because we don’t carry a lot of new fiction in my library, and those hardcovers are pricey. I’d also like to write more reviews (and more in general), but we’ll see how that goes. I have a sneaking suspicion this is going to be a busy, busy year.
What were your favorite books of 2010? Do you have a favored way of keeping track of what you’ve read? Did you read any of the same books as me in 2010, and if so, what did you think of them?