What compelled me to read this year's books?
I did this last year, inspired by Jay, and found it to be eye-opening. It actually inspired me to keep better track of the reason I chose to read each book of 2011. I'm on the never-ending quest for balance, so let's see how this year compared to last year.
Total Books (so far!): 125 (111 in last year's stats)
Book Club: 9 (+2 I didn't finish = 3 less than 2010)
Some were great, some I didn't finish (*cringe) but I always love meeting with my groups and talking books. My favorite was The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell (picked by me, recommended by you, and yet to be reviewed).
Read-Aloud to my Kiddos: 13 (11 less than 2010)
I'm not homeschooling as many kiddos this year (just 1 of my 4) so many less read-alouds this year. Most of these weren't incredibly enjoyable for me, but the kiddos liked them, which is what counts, right? My [perennial] favorite was Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White.
ARCs: 13 (4 more than 2010)
A couple of these were really terrible, which prodded me to adopt stricter personal guidelines for accepting a book for review. I can't choose my favorite: I loved both The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach and Miss Entropia and the Adam Bomb by George Rabasa.
Interest/Mood: 23 (9 more than 2010)
Comprised of my highest rated books of the year (except for Lord of the Flies--yuck) My favorite? A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry (actually my favorite read this year over all).
Recommendations (from many different sources): 17 (1 more than 2010)
I always have mixed luck with these, but most of them were enjoyable. My favorite was recommended by a bookshop in Clifden, Ireland: The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry.
Challenges (all qualifying books): 51 (31 more than 2010!)
First, most of these books I was interested in -- it isn't as if they were all a chore. At some point I think I decided that this category preempted the others. Second, most of these were the novellas I read in August...otherwise the number would have been about the same. Picking a favorite here is hard--I had a lot of wonderful classics, including a favorite I re-read (O Pioneers!) and a couple of terrific read-alongs (Villette and Anna Karenina) but I think that I'm in the mood to pick the Tales of Belkin by Alexander Pushkin.
- Last year I decided to try to let go of obligations, and focus on reading more books for challenges, recommendations, and interests. I think I did a good job with that.
- I'm pretty happy with how these categories balanced out this year, though I wouldn't mind amping up the number of books I read just because I want to read them.
the handy dandy survey!