Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My reading: Reflecting on 2011 and looking forward to 2012

At the start of 2011 I set myself the goal of reading at least 100 books over the course of the year. Now that the year is behind me again, I’m glad to be able to say that I managed to read 125 books in all.
2011 was the year during which I started receiving books to be reviewed by me. Although I had been blogging about every book I read for years by that stage, writing reviews that were intended to be read by others was a whole new, but very gratifying, experience. Receiving books to review also meant that I got to read several books that might otherwise have slipped by me, in genres that I had not been pursuing in the past few years.
It was nice to discover that I do still enjoy the occasional Fantasy and Science Fiction titles. What was even nicer that a few authors have since started to offer their books to me for reviews, which I interpret as meaning that I must be doing something right.
In numbers, the past year looks as follows:

Ø      Books read: 125
Ø      Books owned by me: 62
Ø      Books from the library: 63
Ø      Young Adult/Juvenile Fiction: 15
Ø      Non-Fiction: 6
Ø      Graphic Novels: 1
Ø      Short Story Collections: 2
Ø      Books I graded 5 or higher: 18

And the following were my favourite reads of 2011, in alphabetical order:

Ø      Down These Green Streets, Irish Crime Writing in the 21st Century, edited by Declan Burke (NF)
Ø      The Drop by Michael Connelly
Ø      A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Ø      Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
Ø      Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
Ø      Sister by Rosamund Lupton
Ø      The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Ø      A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (YA)
Ø      State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Ø      The Watchers by Jon Steele
Ø      Before I go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

All  though all these books were marked 5 or higher, not all books marked as such are mentioned here. These are the books that proved to be most memorable for me. 

I participated in one reading challenge last year; The Ireland Reading Challenge hosted by Carrie Kitzmiller on her Books and Movies Blog. I far exceeded the goal I had set myself of reading 6 books that were related to Ireland, but since that’s where I live, that is hardly surprising.
I will be taking part in the Ireland Reading Challenge for 2012 as well. This year the challenge has been spiced up a bit. I’ve now committed myself to reading more then 10 books that are either set in Ireland, written by an Irish author or have some other link to Ireland, as well as to read books in as many of 11 different genres as I can. I’m excited about this because there are one or two genres there, like poetry, that I don’t normally read.
Other than that I haven’t set myself any reading goals for next year yet, but that could easily change over the next few weeks. I do hope to continue reviewing books and also intend to read a few more books in my mother-tongue, Dutch. Last year I read exactly two books by Dutch authors, and that just isn’t good enough.

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