Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Best of the Year, 2009

Time once again for a look back at the year's reading. Did I meet the goals I'd set for myself? Well, since my reading goals are not too strict I don't have a lot of problem meeting them - the one thing I had wanted to do which I didn't end up doing a lot of was rereading old favourites (hopefully the Flashback Challenge will help me with that in 2010).

I posted a list of ten great books a few weeks ago, for Weekly Geeks, books I enjoyed and thought were well worth the time spent reading them, but who knows how many will appear on my best-of list now? And next month I could have a different list also...there are too many great books in the year to only love a few. ;) I had a great reading year -- I found so many excellent reads, which was very satisfying. Last year those kind of reads were a bit scarcer on the ground.

Here is a statistical look at my reading in 2009.

Books Read 2009: 180

By women: 119

By men: 54

non-gendered reading (multiple authors, etc.): 7

Fiction: 122

Non-fiction: 58

Rereads: 6

In Translation: 7
1 German, 1 Norwegian, 1 Chinese, 1 Portugese, 1 Quebecois, 2 French

Challenges undertaken: 5

Challenges completed: 2

Review copies read: 18

Library copies read: 137

My own books read: 29
(far more books bought than read on my shelves this year!)

Best of the Year


The Post Office Girl / Stefan Zweig

Broken / Karin Fossum

Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard / Eleanor Farjeon

Come, thou tortoise / Jessica Grant

The Children's Book / A.S. Byatt

Making It Up or Family Album / Penelope Lively

Honourable Mentions:

The Blythes are Quoted / LM Montgomery

Incident Report / Martha Baillie

The Good Mayor / Andrew Nicoll

The Day the Falls Stood Still / Cathy Marie Buchanan


Script & Scribble / Kitty Burns Florey

In Bed with the Word / Daniel Coleman

Read for your Life / Joseph Gold

Where our Food comes from / Gary Paul Nabhan


The Little White Horse / Elizabeth Goudge

Puppet Master / Joanne Owen

Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter / R.J. Anderson

1000 Shades of Blue / Robin Stevenson

Next year? Well, as my last two posts prove, I am going to sign up for a lot of challenges, read some of my own books, and hope to enjoy continued reading and blogging relationships. Can't wait to add to my own tbr when I read everyone else's end of year lists as well!

I also enjoyed taking part in the Year of Readers project in 2009, but did feel as if I wasn't really doing enough to raise money. Still, the total raised is a few hundred dollars, which will help PLOW a little bit. Thanks again to Jodie at Bookgazing for that great initiative.


  1. I enjoy reading the end of the year posts, and seeing everyone's stats. I haven't yet done mine (although I'd better hurry if I want to post it tomorrow) and am curious to see what the final numbers look like. My reading number was really low this year, but I think I made up for it in my enjoyment of what I read.

    Karin Fossum is an author I've been really wanting to try. I'm glad she made your best of list.

    I wish you the best of luck with your reading next year. May you read many wonderful books!

  2. Impressive totals! I find it interesting that your number of female authors is much greater than your male authors. My year end totals are the opposite. I was surprised by that as I don't conciously choose male over female authors, and if anyone was to ask, I don't have a preference-- but the stats suggest otherwise. Is yours an active decision?

  3. I am seriously impressed at the amount of non-fiction you managed to read - I always start the year with good intentions and rarely complete more than a dozen. The number of library books is exemplary, too. Happy New Year and hope you have a great year of reading in 2010!

  4. Literary Feline - I hope you will get yours up - I too enjoy seeing everyone's recommendations, and look forward to yours.

    John - it's funny, I was kind of surprised to see the totals as well. I don't make decisions of what to read based on gender, and was amazed by the huge difference. I do know that I am interested in books about women or from women's perspectives so I guess that shows up in my stats.

    Geranium Cat - I was amazed by the amount on nonfiction as well. Not something I always turn to first, but this year I did find quite a lot of interesting reading - although a lot of it was business related.

  5. 180 books! Wowzer! Do you not sleep or have you figured out how to read while you sleep? :)

  6. Stefanie - ha! Well, I do have the advantage of not having kids, not being at school, having a rapid reading speed, and having a husband who both does most of the housework and fully participates in my bookish habit.

  7. Very impressive statistics for the year! Some of the books on your favorites list are on my "must absolutely ready" in 2010 list - which makes me very excited to get started already! (:

    happy almost new year, Melanie!

  8. Wow, you had a great year. What I'm finding interesting about everyone's list of 2009 favorites is that I've read almost none of them. That proves that I need to learn how to read faster or go without sleep. I just can't keep up.

  9. saveophelia - thanks - and I look forward to your thoughts on the books you read in 2010. We'll see if any of my favourites turn out to be yours ;)

    Sam - I know, it is so wonderful how many different books we have all found and become fond of this year. I am always surprised by how much I haven't read, which all sound so fantastic that I must put them on the to-read list that never seems to get any smaller.

  10. Oh, lucky you to have a husband who's into reading too! That an impressive number of library books you read. I read very few this year even though I borrowed lots! Glad to hear you had a great reading year!

  11. I really want to read The Post Office Girl. It looks really good!

  12. Holy crap! Pardon just slipped out of my fingers. That is a great reading year, and it looks like you had good quality as well as quantity. Thumbs up!

  13. Danielle - I am very lucky! And I think working at the library just enables my reading addiction - there are always more to tempt me...

    Kailana - read it if you can - it was utterly amazing - the story just crackles right off the page, it is so full of raw emotion. Loved it.

    Andi - he he... actually I was very fortunate this year to have a real run of fantastic reads. That doesn't always happen. :)

  14. I love reading everyone end of year posts. It's so exciting to see what books people have loved and such...

    Looks like you had a great reading year and here's hoping the next one is just as great or even better!

  15. Those are some great numbers! I'm glad you had such a good year and could read so many books. I'm glad to see the Zweig on your best-of list -- it really was a great book.

  16. Iliana - I did have a great reading year! I also like checking through all the lists and finding new things to read next year ;)

    Dorothy - I agree, the Zweig book has to be on my best-of-list - it was a revelation. I was lucky to start off the year with such a fantastic book.

  17. My best of list is constantly changing depends on my mood when I think back on what I've read.

    Happy 2010...may it bring you lots more reading pleasure!

  18. I've been waiting to get my hands on The Children's Book from the library - it looks SO good!

    You read ALOT this year! LOTS of Nonfic, too :) Congratulations on a wonderful reading year!

    Happy New Year!

  19. great list for 2009! I have Post Office Girl on my 2010 list. Hope that you have a Happy and Healthy New Year. May all they books that your read in 2010 be terrific.

  20. Such an interesting breakdown and an impressive total. I've posted my own list, though I've read about 1/3 as many as you have this year. (How did I get so slow in recent years, sheesh??)

    I was sure I'd hardly read any books by women this year, and then was pleased to see how many I actually had. Still not enough, though. (She said, stomping foot.)

    But now I think I may try to do more directed reading in 2010. More science!

  21. 180! Wow, Melanie. Nice to see The Day the Falls Stood Still getting an honourable mention and with such good company.

    Happy New Year.

  22. Wow, you are a wonderfully prolific reader Melanie.
    Wishing you reading joys, in 2010.

  23. I've only read a couple on your best of lists, so now I want to go read the rest! :)

  24. What a great reading year you had! Hope 2010 proves as fruitful :)

  25. softdrink - my decisions about what to read in the first place, and my evaluations of them in hindsight, are always strongly affected by my mood!

    Susan - The Children's Book is so worth it! Just make sure you have lots of time when you go get it ;)

    Diane - hope you will find Post Office Girl as great as I did. Happy 2010 Reading!

    Phyl - you've read some great books this year. I find having a slight direction in my reading encourages me to read a little more widely - and I love the Science Book Challenge to get me reading some more nonfic!

    Cathy - I so enjoyed the chance to read your book this year. Everything in my list is a book I really found to be great reading.

    Cipriano - thanks, and wishing you much reading joy in 2010 as well. Your enthusiasm for your reading is always inspiring. :)

    Eva - your best-of lists always add to my TBR as well. But I believe you when you say you could read all the ones you haven't yet!

    Gentle Reader - I do as well - one excellent read after another is a bit of an anomaly.


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