Unofficial 2011 Book Stats

Last December I wrote a post with the main idea of identifying how I came to read what I read in 2010. Did I “have to” read it for a book club? Did a friend recommend it? Did I hear about it in the book blogosphere, or in the newspaper? Did I pick it for personal reasons? The answers were illuminating and in a few cases surprising. This morning I took a peek at one of my favorite blogs, Melody’s Fingers and Prose, and was reminded to try this again. Here goes…

Total number of books read: 57
Four more than last year, but still “about one per week.” I don’t count short stories here, either, of which I read close to seventy in 2011, largely due to my short story reading project.

Other “volume” statistics:
Fiction 40, Non-Fiction 17
E-books 40, hardcover & paperback 16, audio 1
Male authors 44, female authors 13
Published in the 21st century 28, 20th 22 , 19th6 , 4th century (BC!)-1

How I chose them:

Personal choice: 15.
Much higher than last year, and I think I’m happy about that(?)

Discovered via or recommended by other bloggers: 10
Glad that this number is bigger than last year.

Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library Book Club: 9
How is this not eleven? We met eleven times. I must have miscounted, or I forgot to write some down for my list.

My personal book club: 7
We disbanded in October after an almost six-year run. This year’s book club readings included a short story month and a ghost story month, which added about 15 short stories to my total.

Recommended by others (non-bloggers only): 6

“Discovered in the newspaper or conventional media: 6

Read for other book clubs (where I am not a regular member): 4

Short Story Reading project: 52
One per week!

Started but not (yet) finished: 4
I still have hopes of finishing all of these.

What about you? What led you to read the books you read in 2011. Do you have plans to change up your sources in 2012? I’d love to hear…

Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Books I’m looking forward to reading in 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme sponsored by The Broke and the Bookish.

In no particular order, here are my “Top Ten books that I’m currently looking forward to reading” in 2012:

1. Desperate Remedies by Thomas Hardy
I’ve read a lot of Thomas Hardy over the years, but not this, his first novel. I late 2010, I added Two on a Tower to my Hardy list. I hope his other “lesser known” works are as good as that one was…

2. Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything by Stephen Baker
This is the story of the much-hyped appearance of the supercomputer, “Watson,” on Jeopardy in 2011. I have long been a trivia addict, and in July of 2011 auditioned for the show and made it into the contestant pool (the pool is likely ten times the number of people they need for the show, however, so I’m not holding my breath) for the second time. If I ever DO get the call, I will certainly let everyone here know. This should be a fascinating read for a (high-functioning) nerd like me…

3. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
I think I first heard of this one via Alex at The Sleepless Reader (one of my most reliable sources for reading recommendations). It sounds just introspective enough to be a perfect fit for me…

4. The Brontes – Wild Genius on the Moors: The Story of Three Sisters by Juliet Barker
My main personal project of 2012 is to read twelve biographies of famous authors (Maybe this one should count as three? Can I get a ruling!?) I’ve read and enjoyed many of their novels over the years. The time is right for learning more about THEM.

5. The Leftovers by Tom Perotta
A guilty pleasure read, recommended by Stephen King. Kind of a post-rapture setting, as I understand.

6. O Aleph by Paulo Coehlo
Coehlo was one of my favorite new-to-me authors in 2011. This is his latest book.

7. Dickens by Peter Ackroyd
Another literary biography, and a quite famous one at that. February 2012 is the 200th anniversary of Dickens’s birth, and I must mark that event somehow…

8. The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham
Been trying to get to this one for the longest time. One of my reading co-workers read it in 2011. I have to catch up with her. 🙂

9. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
I’ve heard great things about this book from many quarters. Hopefully I will like it more that my somewhat disappointing 2011 “castle book” (I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith)

10. McTeague by Frank Norris
I was reminded of this book last year via another blogger. There is a personal connection for me as – way back in the day – my college fraternity was e same one that Norris belonged to, and we even had an annual Norris Pig Dinner in his honor.

Well that’s a few from my TBR list. What books are you most looking forward to reading in 2012? do we have any in common?


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