Thursday, December 30, 2010
2010: The Year in Review
I also read more social history this year than ever before, and through that, got much more interested in fiction and non-fiction about women's lives and their struggles. Thank you Women Unbound challenge for that! I am so glad I read more about women's lives during the first half of this century in particular- it really brought to life how much the world has changed in the past 50 years or so, and how much more change is required.
And though I know I have lapsed with it in the past several months, I love the Spotlight Series and the way it brought attention to small press publishers. I will be on top of that again early in the new year, I promise, once I get an internship squared away for the summer! I am so excited that NYRB Classics has really taken off in blogosphere, as I am obsessed with their books. I am also just glad in general to know more about small presses and the great work they publish. I also checked more books out from the library, which was fabulous.
Want some statistics? Probably not, but I do and find statistics really fun in these situations, so here goes:
Books read in 2010 that were already on my shelves by December 31, 2009: 32 - Somehow, I did way better on this front at the start of the year than at the end of it.
Male/Female Author Ratio: 48 Male/52 Female (Pretty good, I think)
Non-Fiction/Fiction Ratio (including memoirs, graphic novels): 19 non-fiction/81 fiction (eek! And I was very proud of my non-fiction reads for this year!)
"Out of my comfort range" books (i.e., non-historical fiction and fantasy): 49 (YEAH!! I am very proud of myself for this, though I am not sure I am consistent on my definition of "historical fiction.")
Countries Visited: Greenland, India, Vietnam, Lebanon, Palestine, Great Britain, Nigeria, Mexico, Afghanistan, Germany, Russia, Burma, China, Italy, France, New Zealand
But what books really hit home to me this year? Which ones were memorable? The good, the bad and the ugly? Here's what made an impact:
Books that disappointed me: Sunishine, by Robin McKinley (way too much internal monologue); The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Lives, by Lola Shoneyin (way too much gratuitous flatulence); Bachelor Girl, by Betsy Israel (way too much judging single women for being single)
Books that made me feel smarter for reading them because I don't think I understood them fully: The Bone People, by Keri Hulme; Memoirs of an Anti-Semite, by Gregor von Rezzori; The Vintner's Luck, by Elizabeth Knox
Book I thought would be way more intimidating and complicated than it was: Dead Souls, by Nikolai Gogol
Books that opened my eyes a little bit more: The Eyes of Willie McGee, by Alex Heard; Mornings in Jenin, by Susan Abulhawa
Rekindled Literary Crushes: Ammar from The Lions of Al-Rassan, by Guy Gavriel Kay; Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Best Books of the Year (in alphabetical order, and excluding re-reads):
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
The Bone People
The Eyes of Willie McGee
The Graveyard Book
The Hakawati (Review Forthcoming)
To Say Nothing of the Dog