Well, 2010 is over, and it is welcome to 2011 and a happy New Year to everybody.
Last year was not a bad reading year for me at all. I didn't manage to read as many titles as I did in previous years, but that's just due to having less time. Taking on a course in Local Government Studies took up a lot more of my time than I thought it would and did cut into my reading time. Since I won't take my exam until April, the same will be true for 2011, but it's all in a good cause.
I did have a few nice developments last year.
First of all, I discovered the joys of Young Adult and, to a lesser degree, juvenile fiction, and I can definitely see myself reading more books aimed at younger people in the future.
Secondly, I've discovered the joys of receiving books from publishers and bookshops for review. This was both encouraging, because it's nice to think that people like my reviews enough to want me to review their books, and fascinating because it brought me books I would otherwise never have encountered.
Here are the statistics for last year:
I read 144 books of which only 36 copies were my own. I guess that is an occupational hazard for a librarian, but it still isn't good enough. With over 150 unread owned books on my shelves, and in the certain knowledge that I bought more than 36 books last year, I'll have to make sure I read more books of my own shelves in the future.
My favourite books last year were:
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALL FLOWER by Stephen Chbosky
THE HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY by Suzanne Collins
ROOM by Emma Donoghue
FAITHFUL PLACE by Tana French
A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS by Khaled Hosseini
NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro
THE REBEL PRINCE by Celine Kiernan
THE LACUNA by Barbara Kingsolver
THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNESTS' NEST by Stieg Larsson
LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN by Colum McCarthy
THE DISTANT HOURS by Kate Morton
THE BRUTAL TELLING by Louise Penny
AMONG THE MAD by Jacqueline Winspear
Not quite a top 10, but why restrict myself? It was hard enough getting the list down to these 13 titles (16 if you count the trilogy as three books), and I didn't want to force myself into further reductions. Also, the titles mentioned are not the only books I read last year that I marked 5 or more; in total there were 42 books ranging between 5- to 5++. The big question being if that is because I tend to mark high or because I'm good at picking books for myself. I guess it's probably a mixture of both.
The books I listed above made the list because they still made me feel excited about having read them, because they made me flash back to the feelings they invoked at the time, and because I can see myself reading them again at some point in the future.
Another highlight of the year was the meeting my book club had with Celine Kiernan, author of THE REBEL PRINCE, last October. It's so rewarding to be able to discuss a book with its author, and when that author happens to be a very friendly and engaging person, you find yourself rewarded with a brilliant experience.
As far as my reading plans for next year. Well, I don't really have any. I hope to continue reading at least 10 books a month and I intend to read more of my own books. However, that last resolution is one I have at the start of every year, so whether I actually manage to read more of my own books remains to be seen.
Ultimately my goal for next year has to be to continue enjoying my reading and writing about what I read as much as I've done this year. If I manage that, next year will be another reading success.