Thursday, January 5, 2012

2011: Full List and Stats

Stats and graphs are just part of the fun here. This is also where I list all the books I read by [general] genre, and declare my Top 5 reads of the year. I may be silly, but I looove this stuff. :)

How many books read in 2011?
126 (6 more than 2010, but only because I decided each novella is a whole book)

  • 18/126 - nonfiction (14%)
  • 107/126 - fiction (86%)
    • 37/126 - classics (30%) (three cheers for classic novellas!)
    • 26/126 - junior/teen (20%)
    • 45/126 - adult fiction (36%)
Male/Female authors?
  • 61/126 – female (48%) 
  • 65/126 – male (52%) 
  • OLDEST? the bible, then Miguel de Cervantes: The Dialogue of the Dogs, 1613
  • NEWEST? Jeffrey Eugenides: The Marriage Plot, 2011
  • WRITTEN BEFORE I WAS BORN? 51 (23 more than last year, and 18 were 100+ years before I was born)
  • WRITTEN THIS YEAR? 20 (9 more than 2010)
  • Longest book read? the bible (1613pp) and then Gone With the Wind at 959pp
  • Shortest book read? The Duel by Heinrich Von Kleist at 50pp
  • Number of "chunksters" (450+ pages)? 10 (same as 2010)
  • Any in translation? 16
Best/Worst Reading Month?
  • Best--August @ 30 books! (gotta love those novellas)
  • Worst--December @ 3 books (it was an insanely busy month)

TOP FIVE of 2011: (excluding recent re-reads, notably O Pioneers! and Persuasion)
A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry (beautiful language)
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (fabulous insight and philosophy)
Tales of Belkin by Alexander Pushkin (what a storyteller!)
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates (vivid writing)
The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald (evocative setting)

and a comparison chart just for the fun of it--notice how much more balanced my reading is becoming! yay me!  I'd like to fit a bit more NonFiction in next year, but pretty happy otherwise.

LISTED BY GENRE/RATING: (except for the bible, because how do I categorize that??)

Nonfiction: 14% (average rating 3.56) [2010: 21% (average rating 3.74)]
4.5 stars:
  - If There is Something to Desire, Vera Pavlova
  - The Illustrated Elements of Style, Strunk & White
4 stars:
  - At Home, Bill Bryson
  - The Stolen Village, Des Ekin
  - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
  - The Story of Christianity Vol. 1, Justo Gonzalez
  - The Western Lit Survival Kit, Sandra Newman
3.5 stars:
  - Nine Horses, Billy Collins
  - The Boat and the Sea of Galilee, Lea Lofenfeld Winkler
  - Tattoos on the Heart, Gregory Boyle
  - Leavings, Wendell Berry
  - Townie, Andre Dubus III
  - Choosing to See, Mary Beth Chapman
3 stars:
  - The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, Myra Calvani
  - Beautiful & Pointless, David Orr
2.5 stars:
  - A Kidnapping in Milan, Steve Hendricks
2 Stars:
  - Girl, Interrupted, Susanna Kaysen

Classics: 30% (average rating 3.74) [2010: 10% (average rating 4.04)]
5 stars:
  - Persuasion, Jane Austen
  - Villette, Charlotte Bronte
  - Mathilda, Mary Shelley
  - Tales of Belkin, Alexander Pushkin
  - The Death of Ivan Ilych, Leo Tolstoy
  - O Pioneers! Willa Cather
  - Anna Karenina
4.5 stars:
  - Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
  - The Duel, Heinrich Von Kleist
  - The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
4 stars:
  - The Dialogue of the Dogs, Miguel de Cervantes
  - The Duel, Giacomo Casanova
  - Lady Susan, Jane Austen
  - Michael Kohlhaas, Heinrich Von Kleist
  - Bartleby the Scrivener, Herman Melville
  - The Eternal Husband, Fyodor Dostoevsky
  - The Devil, Leo Tolstoy
  - The Country of the Pointed Firs, Sarah Orne Jewett
  - The Duel, Joseph Conrad
3.5 stars:
  - The Troll Garden and Others, Willa Cather
  - Alexander's Bridge, Willa Cather
  - First Love, Ivan Turgenev
  - The Lifted Veil, George Eliot
  - The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg, Mark Twain
  - The Horla, Guy de Maupassant
3 stars:
  - Rasselas Prince of Abyssinia, Samuel Johnson
  - Adolphe, Benjamin Constant
  - The Girl with the Golden Eyes, Honore de Balzac
  - How the Two Ivans Quarrelled, Nikolai Gogol
  - A Simple Heart, Gustave Flaubert
  - A Sleep and a Forgetting, William Dean Howells
  - The Lesson of the Master, Henry James
  - The Awakening, Kate Chopin
  - Lolita, Vladamir Nabokov
2 stars:
  - Benito Cereno, Herman Melville
  - The Beach at Falesa, Robert Louis Stevenson
  - Lord of the Flies, William Golding

Adult Fiction: 36% (average rating 3.81) [2010: 30% (average rating 3.38)]
5 stars:
  - Safe From the Sea, Peter Geye
  - The Lover's Dictionary, David Levithan
  - Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day, Winifred Watson
  - Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates
  - The Art of Fielding, Chad Harbach
  - A Long Long Way, Sebastian Barry
4.5 stars:
  - The Road, Cormac McCarthy
  - Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer
  - The Secret Scripture, Sebastian Barry
  - Ten Thousand Saints, Eleanor Henderson
  - Miss Entropia and the Adam Bomb, George Rabasa
  - The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, Maggie O'Farrell
  - On Canaan's Side, Sebastian Barry
4 stars:
  - True Grit, Charles Portis
  - Remarkable Creatures, Tracy Chevalier
  - The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing, Melissa Banks
  - How to Be Good, Nick Hornby
  - After Hours at the Almost Home, Tara Yellen
  - Ghost Light, Joseph O'Connor
  - Beloved, Toni Morrison
  - The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, Eva Rice
  - The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides
  - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Mark Haddon
3.5 stars:
  - Great House, Nicole Krauss
  - C, Tom McCarthy
  - Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, Helen Simonson
  - Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut
  - Wench, Dolen Perkins-Valdez
  - The Fates Will Find Their Way, Hannah Pittard
  - That Night, Alice McDermott
  - Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
  - Small Acts of Sex and Electricity, Lise Haines
  - Hotel Angeline, asstd. authors
  - Turn of Mind, Alice LaPlante
  - The Forgotten Garden, Kate Morton
  - The Sea Captain's Wife, Beth Powning
  - After the Quake, Haruki Murakami
3 stars:
  - The Bride's House, Sandra Dallas
  - Tapestry of Love, Rosie Thornton
  - Bright Before Us, Katie Arnold-Ratliff
  - The Weird Sisters, Eleanor Brown
  - Bright's Passage, Josh Ritter
2.5 stars:
  - Expiration Date, Sherril Jaffe
  - The Ballad of Tom Dooley, Sharon McCrumb
1 star:
  - Remember Me, Deborah Bradford (I should really have stopped reading this right after I read this sentence: Sam was so hungry he could eat a bear!  My mistake.  Lesson learned.)

Junior/Teen Fiction: 20% (average rating 3.5) [2010: 39% (average rating 3.64)]
4 stars:
  - Dragon Flight, Jessica Day George
  - Misty of Chincoteague, Marguerite Henry
  - Dragon Spear, Jessica Day George
  - Elske, Cynthia Voigt
  - Newes From the Dead, Mary Hooper
  - The House at Pooh Corner, A.A. Milne
  - The Giver, Lois Lowry
  - The Trumpet of the Swan, E.B. White
  - Wonderstruck, Brian Selznick
3.5 stars:
  - The School Story, Andrew Clements
  - Flipped, Wendelin Van Draanen
  - Adam of the Road, Elizabeth Janet Gray
  - The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
  - From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg
  - If I Stay, Gayle Foreman
  - Journey to Jo'burg, Beverly Naidoo
  - The Whipping Boy, Sid Fleischman
  - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Betty MacDonald
3 stars:
  - The Door in the Wall, Marguerite de Angeli
  - Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, Cohn & Levithan
  - Magic in the Park, Ruth Chew
  - Dragonspell, Donita K. Paul
  - Dolphin Treasure, Wayne Grover
  - The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin
  - Nothing But the Truth, Avi
2.5 stars:
  - The Iron Dragon Never Sleeps, Stephen Krensky

Wow that list sure seems long, doesn't it?  Too long for me to even dream about linking to my reviews--sorry about that!  Thank you so much for making 2011 a year full of wonderful book discussion.  Let's do it again, shall we?


  1. Yay for Villette and Persuasion -- and Gone With the Wind, which gets 5 BIG stars from me. :)

  2. Wow, I admire how organized your stats are! Congrats on a great year of reading :)

  3. I have got to read Villette and Gone With the Wind. I've got A Long, Long Way on hold at the library.

    Totally funny--you know you should set aside a book when...

    We should start an article with various reasons to quit reading a book.

  4. Teen fiction has been taking a hit over the years - any specific reason?

  5. Jillian, Gone With the Wind was one of those books that transported you to a different era seemingly effortlessly--I loved that about it. Villette was fabulous to read in Wallace's read-along, and Persuasion will always be a favorite of mine. :)

    Teacher/Learner, haha...that's why it took me so long to get the post up! I love looking at stats, though, so it was worth the effort. Here's to more great reading in 2012!

    Heidi, maybe I'll start taking note of that! That particular sentence in that book dumbfounded me. I stopped and thought, "If my 6th grader wrote a story with that line in it we'd be amping up the writing skills lessons." hmm.

    Alex, it's actually been mostly Junior Fiction, and there are 2 reasons it has decreased so drastically. The main reason is tied to homeschooling--I don't have as many of my kiddos home with me anymore so I don't do as much pre-reading and reading aloud. Second, Junior Fiction is really what helped me ease back into reading after I had my 4th. I think I read 6 books the year she was born! I do have a lot of Junior/Teen books I want to read though, and will probably end up doing a month-long challenge this spring to get some of it read.


I'd love to hear what you have to say, leave a comment!