2011 in books

What a year! What a remarkable, memorable, life-changing year 2011 has been! It has brought me wee reader – and with him, parenthood and its many joys and trials. And visits from his grandparents. As well as his first ever flight (and what a long one it was) to the other side of the world to see his extended family. Somehow in spite of this tremendous change, I managed to do some reading. And I surprised myself with doing quite a bit more reading than I expected. So here are the numbers. And here’s wishing everyone a very happy and bookish 2012! Thank you for having shared my journey through 2011.

Total books read: 171 (not counting 9 books I started but did not finish)
Science fiction/fantasy: 17 (9.94%)
Comics/Graphic Novels: 25 (14.62%)
Mystery/crime: 9 (5.26%)
Poetry: 1 (0.58%)
Young adult: 18 (10.53%)
Non-Fiction: 25 (14.62%)

By Women: 82 (47.95%0
By Men: 79 (46.2%)
By Men and Women: 9 (5.26%)

Longest book: Vanity Fair at 912 pages
Shortest book: The Night Bookmobile at 40 pages (page numbers taken from Goodreads)

E-books: 62 (36.26%) (didn’t expect that!)
Library books: 127 (74.23%) (includes Overdrive e-books)

Favourite authors discovered this year: Elizabeth Knox, Laurie R. King, Richard Flanagan, Guy Gavriel Kay
Favourite books of the year: Tigana, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, Dreamhunter/Dreamquake, Wanting, Unbroken

Most memorable characters: Aud Torvingen, Mary Russell

Countries I visited: Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Canada, the Caribbean, China, Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, the future!, Germany, Guyana, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, outer space!, Romania, Sarajevo,
Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States, Vietnam, as well as plenty of invented realms

On beginning The Beginning Place

Life is too short to read books that make me go, eh. But I never thought I’d say that for Ursula K Le Guin. She did after all write one of my favourite series – Earthsea. But I’m about 30 odd pages into The Beginning Place (it’s possibly another sign that I had to turn to Goodreads to figure out the title of the book while writing this sentence), and I’m already thinking of what other books I have to read.

So alas and alack, The Beginning Place is not beginning well for me. And there will be no ending because I am going to give it up and look for greener pastures. The story of Hugh Rogers, price checker at a supermarket who lives with his mother within walking distance of his workplace is not doing anything for me. I didn’t really care what this sad example of a man was doing running towards a stream. His life was just a little pathetic and I didn’t want to find out what happens to him. I was just thinking of how we first meet Ged in A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 1). I guess writers have their, um, off-books.

Perhaps 30-odd pages isn’t a fair enough judge of a book but I guess it’s because it’s Le Guin, I just expected a whole lot more. So toodles!