My Reading Year in Retrospect

I’ve read 99 books in 2010. Sadly, I doubt I’ll have time to squeeze in that last book to make the total an even 100.  The following twenty are my favorite for the year, not listed in order of preference, but listed in order of reading them:

  1. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  2. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  3. A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
  4. A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
  5. Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami
  6. The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig
  7. Out by Natsuo Kirino
  8. Silence by Shusaku Endo
  9. Therese Raquin by Emile Zola
  10. Of Bees and Mist by Eric Setiawan
  11. The Wind in The Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  12. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
  13. Madame Bovary by Gustauve Flaubert
  14. The Victorian Chaise-Longue by Marghanita Laski
  15. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
  16. The Guardians of Ga-Hoole: The Capture by Kathryn Laski
  17. Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
  18. The Catcher in The Rye by J. D. Salinger
  19. The Voyage of The Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis
  20. The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk

Stats. For posterity.

  • Total books read: 99
  • Children’s books:  14
  • Short story collections: 0
  • Graphic novels: 0
  • Nonfiction: 4
  • Poetry: 5
  • Play: 0
  • In translation: 18 
  • Classics: 23
  • Rereads: 14
  • Favourite authors discovered this year: Sarah Waters, Marghanita Laski, Emile Zola, Ivan Doig
  • Best reading months: March (10 books read) and July (11 books read)
  • Worst reading months: September (five books read) and December (only 3 read)
  • Completed challenges: 6 out of 8.
  • Completed read-alongs: 10 out of 10

Highlights from 2010:

  • Starting the year with the Woolf in Winter shared read hosted by Claire, Frances, Emily, Sarah.
  • Paris in July hosted by Tamara and Bookbath.
  • Dr. Zhivago and Madame Bovary shared reads hosted by Frances.
  • The Japanese Literature Challenge 4 I host (still a month to go!).
  • Persephone Secret Santa hosted by Claire of Paperback Reader.

Reading Goals for 2011:

  • Less challenges, more personal choices.
  • Read mostly from the lists in my To Be Read section (Guardian’s 1,000; Pulitzer Prize winners; Virago Modern Classics; Haruki Murakami’s books, etc.)
  • Read the books I’ve bought before buying more. (That goal should last about a week or so… 🙂
  • Remember this quote from St. Exupery’s Little Prince: “L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.” (“What is essential is invisible to the eye.”)

Thanks to Claire of kiss a cloud for much of the statistics outline. Miss her so much, and hope that she’ll return in 2011 if it’s possible within her schedule.

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28 thoughts on “My Reading Year in Retrospect

  1. I love seeing your highlights from this year. I haven't thought about that part of my year. I think I should! I miss Claire too. I hope she comes back soon.

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  2. It's not the quantity of books read, but the enjoyment you experienced. But you've read nearly 100 books–that is pretty amazing! You've had a wonderful year in reading, Bellezza! 🙂

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  3. I love stats and reading, so this is a really interesting post for me! I'm glad you discovered Sarah Waters, I think her books are great. The Talented Mr Ripley and Out are favourites of mine too.Well done on a great achievement, I hope 2011 brings best reading wishes to you!

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  4. What a great reading year for you! One of my main goals was to read at least 52 books this year which I achieved. I love the quote from The Little Prince.I'm going to have to pinch this meme along with other wrapping up memes!

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  5. Mae, definitely not the newest one! I loved my Hayward translation, and struggled with the Pevear one. That was so odd to me, because I loved their translation of War and Peace as well as Dr. Zhivago.

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  6. Isn't it fun to look at everyone's lists? They give great ideas for future reading, plus more insight into the heart of the writer. I couldn't believe it's taken me so long to read The Wind In The Willows; I loved that book! Dr. Zhivago is a great read, too, one I've read twice. I hope you like it when you get to it, Kathy.

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  7. Trish, your comment came in when I was responding to Kathy, but your sentence about getting caught up in numbers and forgetting the pleasure is what I was referring to when I quotes St. Exupery. What is essential is invisible to the eye (numbers!).

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  8. There's a good selection of reads in,that list am in awe of the amount read, also love 2011 challenges, obviously, the Murakami was a must & as for reading already owned books, my problem is the online library, I read about a book, check the library & they've got it, before I know what's happened, I've reserved it ( it's just Diabolical).ParrishPs. Best Seasons greetings to you & yours.

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  9. Parrish, I think you're the first (only?) to have looked at my Challenge tab; I was going to tell you about the Murakami one by Tanabata, but of course you've discovered it already. At least with the library, one doesn't get into financial or shelving issues! Best to you, too, and I love the poem you left on my snow post. Been meaning to get around sooner, but now I'll have time on my break.

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  10. There are several on your list that are on my list to read next year — particularly The Woman in White, The Victorian Chaise-Longue, and A Reliable Wife. 2011 is going to be quite the Gothic and/or creepy reading year for me, I suspect!

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  11. Thanks for sharing the lists… useful for my book choices in the new year. Thanks again for all the posts and reviews in 2010. Your goal of 'Less challenges, more personal choices' is interesting. As for me, I must give credits to your JLC for motivating me to explore new worlds. Have a very Merry Christmas, Bellezza!

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  12. Coffee and a Book Chick, the three novels you mentioned are great reads! I love the idea of Gothic reading in 2011.Aarti, thanks for reading my list, and it makes me so happy that the JLC motivates you as much as it does me to explore new worlds. Love the genre of Japanese Literature! Have you heard of the Murakami challenge Tanabata's hosting for 2011? Click on my sidebar if you want to join in.

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  13. Impressive numbers and list! I'm not sure I've ever read that many books in a year, or at least not since I departed the children's section of the library. Better yet, you found so many good books. Here's to an excellent reading in 2011.

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  14. Claire, did you see C. B. James' TBR Challenge? Only a challenge in terms of reading what we already own; quite a worthy endeavor! I'd love to read Norwegian Wood, too. For that matter, there's Tanabata's Murakami Challenge to read all things Haruki. Those are 2/3 of the challenges I'm joining this year, the only other one being Read A Myth from Bina and JoV. I'd love to join in more shared-reads, though.

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