Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Books! A 2011 Year in Review

I read in 2011. And despite a good effort during the end of the year, I fell short of my yearly goal to read 40 books. And you know what? I'm OK with that, because I look over my list and I was able to read some good stuff.

I finished the year with 36 books for a total of 13,202 pages. Remember I read 41 books and 14,047 pages in 2010 and 39 books and 12,549  pages in 2009 - the last time I missed the 40-book goal. Now for a fun look at some numbers. With 36 books finished and 13,202 pages read, that comes to an average of 3767 pages per book. The longest book I read was Les Miserables at 1,260 pages (please don't tell me you're surprised) and the shortest was the 160-page Green, Gold and Glorious, which recounted the Green Bay Packers' Super Bowl run. And truthfully, most of those 160 pages were pictures. So the shortest non-picture heavy book was a tie - Charlaine Harris' A Touch of Dead and Mitch Albom's Tuesdays With Morrie which were both 192 pages. There were a couple of authors that made my list multiple times: Sara Shepard (9), Suzanne Collins (3), Charlaine Harris (2) and Tatiana de Rosnay (2).

I did read a bunch of good books this year and there aren't too many on the list that I can't remember what the heck the book was about (but yes, there are a few). I have to admit, I wonder what kind of numbers I would have put up if that 1,260-page monster Les Miserables didn't take me three months to read. I'm pretty sure I would have surpassed that 40-book goal otherwise.
Overall, not a bad year. Here's what I spent my time reading:

A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris
Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner
The Body and the Blood by Michael Lister
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson
Green, Gold and Glorious by the Green Bay Press-Gazette
Everything Nice by Ellen Shanman
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jacyee Dugard
Flawless by Sara Shepard
Perfect by Sara Shepard
Unbelievable by Sara Shepard
Wicked by Sara Shepard
Killer by Sara Shepard
Heartless by Sara Shepard
Wanted by Sara Shepard
Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior & The Golden Retriever Who Saved Him by Luis Carlos Montalvan
You Are An Ironman by Jacques Steinberg
Miracle Beach by Erin Celello
Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson
Twisted by Sara Shepard
A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay
Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Room by Emma Donoghue
Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

So what are my reading goals and plans for 2012? Well of course there's the annual 40 book goal. I kind of liked having a longer classic on my list, so I'll probably find another one to read. I'm not sure which classic I'll choose though.

Right now I have a few titles that have been sitting in my too read pile: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese and Truman Capote's In Cold Blood are two that I can think of off the top of my head. And of course any titles that spark my interest as I go through the year.

Any suggestions on books to read in 2012? Classics or otherwise? Happy reading!


Carolina John said...

I stick to non-fiction so feel free to ignore my choices. But I'm loving 21 Things to Know Before Starting an Ashtanga Yoga Practice right now, it's wonderful. Also I hear Iron War by Matt Fitgerald is really good too.

I was pulling hard for the badgers yesterday. Thought they had it right up to the end.

Katie said...

Running and reading, my favorite kind of topics! What an impressive list you have! My goal was to read 20 books and I squeaked out 23. This year I plan to include some classics, such as Pride and Prejudice and Little Women.

Cindy said...

oh wow, i'll have to check out some of the books you read in 2011 - i've read some of the same so maybe we have similar taste! i loved hunger games and still think about the book thief. good on ya for fitting that many books in, my goal is 15 per year and i can barely get through those!!

Bethany K. Warner said...

You should read "How the Mistakes were Made" by Tyler McMahon. And "The Orchard" by Teresa Weir.

Or heck, here's my top 10 from 2011 list: http://bkwriter.blogspot.com/2011/12/best-of-2011-top-ten-books.html