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
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 BrettThe 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.
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
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.