Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Year in Reading

I had a great reading year. I hoped to break 100 books for the year, but I fell a little short, with only 89. I didn’t realize I was so close (yet so far away) until about mid December, and by then I knew it was unlikely I’d cram 11 books into the last days of the year.

I think in the summer I had so many that I got too sure of myself- I didn't take into account that in the Fall, when I'm teaching, my numbers go waaaaay down. 

Though I didn’t reach my goal I still feel great about having read more books this year than last. You can see the list of 89 below, but I wanted to pull out my favorite reads of the year and highlight them. I settled on the top 15, which are (in no particular order):

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Time Machine by HG Wells

Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta

The Giver by Lois Lowry

No Passengers Beyond this Point by Gennifer Choldenko

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

The Geurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

Holes by Louis Sachar

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

The Missing Person’s League by Frank Bonham

Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

What I read this year:
Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
Masterpiece by Elise Broach
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Matched by Ally Condie
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
If I Stay by Gayle Foreman
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
In the Dead of Night by John Marsden
Satisfaction Guaranteed by Lucy Monroe
Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie
Happily Never After (Beta) by Holly Dodson
What my Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
Wake by Lisa McMann
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
A Killing Frost by John Marsden
Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie
The Time Machine by HG Wells
Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough and Michael Braungart (non fiction).
Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade
Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
A Load of Old Ball Crunchers: Women in History by Jo Brand
Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
Messenger by Lois Lowry
A Clash of Kings by George R. R.  Martin
No Passengers Beyond this Point by Gennifer Choldenko
Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Beatle Meets Destiny by Gabrielle Williams
The Half Life of Planets by Brendan Halpin and Emily Franklin
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari
Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
On Writing by Stephen King
The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan
Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
The Geurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
A Wind at the Door by Madeline L’Engle
Phoenix Rising (Beta) by Alicia Gregoire
No System At All (Beta) by Erinn Manack
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
The Book of Time by Guillaume Prevost
The Tale of Desperaux, and
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Shug by Jenny Han
Happily Never After (Beta) by Holly Dodson
Aaron and Ahmed by Jay Cantor and James Romberger
The Exile by Diana Gabaldon
Flutter by Erin Moulton
Holes by Louis Sachar
Making Waves by Tawna Fenske.
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet
Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
Elliott and the Goblin War by Jennifer Neilsen
The Calder Game by Blue Balliett
Erebus (BETA) by Holly Dodson
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
The Missing Person’s League by Frank Bonham
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
Ms Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto
Bossypants by Tina Fey.
The 39 Clues #1 by Rick Riordan
The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
The Christian Mama's Guide to Having a Baby by Erin MacPherson
Stolen Harvest by Vandana Shiva
the murder of roger ackroyd, Agatha Christie
the boomerang clue, Agatha Christie
the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle
Screwing up Time by CM Keller
Penny and Hank (BETA) by Erinn Manack

What was YOUR favorite book of the year?????


  1. I'm about to (well, eventually) reread Never Let Me Go, it's on my bedside table. My favourite reads were The Gathering Powers trilogy by Kelley Armstrong. I'm going to have to analyse my 'best of' list to figure out what it is I love in a book. I know for some of them it was the writing (John Green and Laini Taylor) and for others it was the quirkiness (Laini again, Stargirl). I also seem to like paranormal/fantasy elements quite a lot, which isn't a big surprise since. Should be fun!

  2. I have got to read Never Let Me Go - it's been in my pile to read for like two years now and I just haven't gotten to it. I've got the movie on my DVR, too, but I'm waiting until after I read the book. So it's been on there awhile...

  3. Wow. Amazing list of books. I set my goodreads goal at 60 last year and I was just over. 100 books is amazing. Good job.

  4. I can't really remember all the books I read last year (this year I'm listing!) but Looking For Alaska was definitely a standout. Looking at your list reminds me that I really want to read some Melina Marchetta this year--I haven't read anything by her but keep hearing how great she is :)

  5. Good point Sophia-- it can be for such different reasons. Some because they make me cry (in the good way), some because they wow me, some because they surprise me.

    @Jennifer... oooh, please let me know what you think. I thought it was beautifully written, and a great example of parsing out little hints about the "big reveal".

    Thanks Carrie- I found that MG and graphics upped my numbers some, because they can be such quick reads.

    Mrs. Silverstein, LFA was an excellent book. And, yes, do read Marchetta. She has turned into one of my favorite authors.

  6. I'm not sure how many books I read in 2011. I sometimes forget to mark down my titles. I'm not writing so much on my book review blog anymore, having joined goodreads in the fall of the year. When you asked the question - what was my favourite book of the year? - I thought, "That's easy - The Help, by Kathryn Stockett". Then I took another look at the books I'd read, and discovered I had to choose more than one. So, here are the other three: Glom Gloom (children's fantasy) by Jo Dereske, They Almost Always Come Home (Christian fiction) by Cynthia Ruchti, and Too Small to Ignore: Why Children are the Next Big Thing (non-fiction) by Wess Stafford.

  7. The Geurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

    I've read this book three times. It sings!

    But I think you did a great job this past year and accomplished much. And your list for this year is awesome. In fact, you've spurred me on - I bookmarked your list.

    Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

  8. You include your beta reads in your list? That makes so much sense! I already have a few beta manuscripts to read, and was thinking that taking the time to read them would hinder my 52/year reading goal. But I'm going to go ahead and count them. They're still books after all. :)

  9. I am now resolved to keep a list this year of the books I read. What a fascinating map of where you have been! You've read some of my childhood favorites and recent finds. Did you read "A Wrinkle In Time" for the first time, or was it a re-read for "When You Reach Me"?

  10. I love your list. So many great ones there. Never Let Me Go echoed inside me for months after I read it. And When You Reach Me remains my favorite MG novel. I couldn't pick a favorite for the year...but, the book FORBIDDEN is still haunting me so I guess that says something.

  11. Wow, that's a great list, Kat! I love so many of them. I need to get cracking on posting my year-end list. I managed to top my own record in 2011 but a lot of them were MG this year, so as you say, they're, um, fast reads.

    Hard to pin it down to one favorite book, isn't it? Sheesh! I'll go with two that stayed with me long after I finished reading: EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS by A.S. King and DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor. But there are so many others...

  12. Awesome list - and 89 is a fabulous number! You have lots of MG here - I need to work on that area more. I loved Holes. And you read my absolute favorite, Jellicoe Road!! I'm vowing to read that every year now. :)

  13. Shew! That's a lotta books! I have to say, I've heard over and over that Gurnsey Literary & Potato Peel Society is just great. I must grab a copy... As for my faves. Hmm... Well, I did read The Help in Jan 2011 and liked it very much. The Glass Castle was also an interesting read. I read Daughter of Smoke & Bone, too, and liked it very much... I should keep better track like you! :o) <3

  14. @Susan, I like your toppers- a few are new to me. I have to check them out!

    @Kittie- wasn't that a great book? I loved the story, and especially the style, of revealing through the letters. What a great book.

    @Ghenet- totally! I believe they count as books! I always count them.

    @Mare- can you believe, it was for the FIRST time. I know! I somehow missed that growing up. The worst- my husband had a copy ON OUR SHELF and I'd just never picked it up!

    @Christa those are such great ones, I agree completely. Must check out Forbidden!

    @Joanne- I just got a PW email about the Ants book and thought it sounded like something I'd like. I'm eagerly awaiting your list!

    @Angie- thanks! Holes. Ah, what a fab book. And they did such a great job with the movie. Rereading Jellicoe yearly, that is a great idea!

    @LTM- I'm a big nerd, so I love to keep track. The blog is a great reminder in that way.

  15. Even 89 is a daunting number!
    My favorite book? I read two Kate Morton books that thrilled me with the words.

  16. Cool- Susan- I don't know Kate Morton, but I will check her out!

  17. I just read Finnikin of the Rock recently, and I loved it so much that I'm dying to get my hands on anything written by Melina Marchetta. I will be checking out Jellicoe Road for sure.

    Happy reading!

  18. oh, what an awesome list. 89 books is impressive (especially as mum ;))

    i have holes, but have not read it. I have been planning to read it to my boys for a while now (they are 9 and 10 years old, i am thinking maybe that is a good age for it?)

    i loved never let me go as well :)

  19. Love all the Agatha Christies and Lowrys and L'Engles you've got on your list. Wasn't On Writing wonderful? I'm rereading It and Night Shift right now...
    And yay for Diana Gabaldon!


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