Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Reading List: 2010 Edition

RSS readers (and, inevitably, Facebook readers), this post has some java script that doesn't show up on my Google Reader feed, so you may want to click over to get the full effect.

As with last year's post, I reflect the same sentiments that this idea is not original, but it is mine.

This year, I have kept a fancy spreadsheet with all sorts of bookish information on it and personal notes on the books read.  If you would like to see all the data, click here.  (Conveniently, this spreadsheet also includes a tab at the bottom for 2009's data.)  In total, I've read 71 books, compared to 2009's 55, an increase of 29%.  The collected results are below.

Oldest Book: The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1954
Audio Books*:  11
Library Books: 41
2010 Books: 17
Books Forsaken: 1 (Robert Jordan's The Great Hunt) 
From Publishers/Authors Received: 11
From Publishers/Authors Reviewed: 9
Most Popular Author: Robert Kirkman
Most Popular Publisher: Image Comics
Busiest Month: September (17 reads)
Total Page Numbers: ~18,152
Female/Male: 10/30

    As you can see from the Genre Breakdown, almost half of my reading this year was spent with graphic novels or comics, at least from a quantitative point of view.  Page-wise, graphic novels only accounted for 5430 pages, a modest 30% (compared to the 46.5%).  This is strikingly similar to last year's chart, and, since I still don't consider "Graphic Novel" a genre, I have crafted a sub-genre breakdown of reads.

    This chart is eliminating the "Graphic Novel" genre class and instead looking at a broader spectrum.  Several of these can (and do) overlap, so really this graph doesn't serve much of a purpose but to give you a different perspective.  Heck, the same thing applies to the main genre filter, too.

    It's hard to pick favorite reads.  There are so many things that go into the choice that this list could change at any given time.  Still, I have endeavored to create some sort of list here.  Each book is linked with a review/thought if applicable.  They're also in no order.  And I struggle to know whether or not to include re-reads, so I've tried not to but for one...

    The Warded Man, by Peter Brett
    The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Hellboy Vol. 5: Conqueror Worm, by Mike Mignola
    Consider the Lobster and Other Essays, by David Foster Wallace
    The Passage, by Justin Cronin
    The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien (re-read)
    The Ladies of Grace Adieu, by Susanna Clarke
    The Warded Man is without a doubt the best fantasy novel I've read this year.  It was fresh, exciting, and the story was just flat out awesome.  The same can be said about Collins' Hunger Games series.  These books were brilliant, and I read all three this year.  A friend loaned me DFW's essay collection, and this was a fascinating book that I recommend everyone give a go.  The Passage was much hyped, highly acclaimed, and held up pretty good to the high expectations I sat for it.

    As always, there were plenty of things I didn't get around to reading, and my TBR pile only increased.  One novel I hoped to knock off was One Hundred Years of Solitude, but I never even cracked the spine.  The same goes for any Dostoevsky.  I also only read one STAR WARS novel, sadly, but I hope to rectify that soon.

    There were a few disappointments, too.  For one, Bill Willingham's excellent Fables series took a blow with The Great Fables Crossover arc, but fortunately recovered by issue #100.  Also Ted Dekker's Green was a huge letdown, cringe-worthy at times in its awfulness.  Joe Abercrombie's Best Served Cold was another tragedy, focusing too much on stalling the plot, lengthening the pages, and its lack of any likable characters.

    In the end, 2010 was another great year spent with books and comics.  I accomplished a lot, and I've plenty left to get through.  March will bring Rothfuss' newest (and long-anticipated) Wise Man's Fear, which has been pre-ordered for a while now.  There's also supposed to be some kind of Brandon Sanderson Mistborn novella sometime next year, which should be pretty sweet.  And I won't be holding my breath, but GRRM could even pull something out from ASOIAF if we're really lucky.  Here's to hoping we are.

    *Audio Books that were either partially listened to, combined with actual physical reading, or entirely listened to.


    Brandon said...

    Logan, I TOTALLY dig the spread sheet!
    I started doing one for simple personal enjoyment a few years ago, but no where near the detail yours has. I love it!
    I'm embarrassed to say I can count on both hands the books I got around to reading this year. I wish I had 10 more hours in each day.
    Hopefully next year will be different!

    Carl V. said...

    Fun year end list. I always enjoy this time of year, doing my own and reading everyone else's. Great to see Ladies of Grace Adieu on your 'favorites' list. It truly is a special book. I've read it at least three times, if not more, and the enjoyment has increased, not lessened. Also can't argue with seeing Mignola on the list. Great stuff there!

    logankstewart said...

    @Brandon: Thanks. I'm rather proud of it myself.

    @Carl: I think anytime Clarke puts out a new book it'll make my favorites list. I love the way she writes. Hellboy was a great discovery this year, and I'm nearly through with the 11 graphic novels I borrowed. Thanks for adding me on your list, by the way.

    David Wagner said...

    After the Abercrombie let-down, are you still planning on reading The Heroes?

    I read the first in the Hunger Games set, and was bummed at the fizzle ending. Up to the end, though, it was a great read.

    I hope your 2011 is a great one!

    Kristopher A. Denby said...

    Great googly moogly, Logan! You are a thorough reader. If I kept such a graph this year it would be small numbers, indeed. My eyes, as usual, were bigger than my reading appetite this year. I've got to learn to read faster, select books that suit me, or put them down when the engine starts stalling. I'm just too damned obstinate to give up on books and not see them to the end.

    Nice post!

    Marie said...

    OMG I love your pie chart! awesome!

    Anonymous said...

    i, too, love the pie chart! and i really need to do the spreadsheet (and with such detail) in 2011; brilliantly done.

    Happy 2011! hope it is a great year in many ways...bookishly or otherwise.


    logankstewart said...

    @Dave: Aye, I'll definitely read The Heroes. I mean, I still enjoyed BSC, but it in no way compared to the awesomeness of The First Law. Sorry the end of THG let you down.

    @Kris: Aye, thorough is a good word. I still really hate putting down a book, but if I'm not liking it (after considerable length), then I'll forsake it.

    @Marie: Ha! Thanks.

    @L: Thank you, too. I'm quite proud of the spreadsheet, and I heartily recommend using it (and as a Google Doc, too, so you can share!). Have a great new year yourself.