Friday, December 12, 2008

Year End Reading Wrap Up

I know 2008 is not technically over, yet. However, I know how busy I'm going to be for the remainder of the year. So, I'm going to go ahead and do my end of year wrap up. I guess I was semi-successful with the reading challenges that I participated in this year. At least I was more successful this year than last year. That's progress, right? I completed the following challenges:

Maggie's Southern Reading Challenge

Carl's Once Upon a Time Challenge

Carl's R.I.P. III Challenge

I almost completed Andi's Year of Reading Dangerously Challenge. I finished every book through September. If I could have managed to read The Human Stain by Philip Roth, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and a short story collection, I would have completed this challenge. But, I did read nine of the twelve books for this challenge. So, that's pretty good.

I did terrible with the Orbus Terrarum Challenge. There were nine books for this one, and I think I read four.

I also set myself the challenge to read 52 books this year. I know that isn't a huge number compared with some of you that I see in the book blogging world. But, with my schedule, that's a reasonable number -- one a week. I'm happy to report that I have actually surpassed that goal this year. As of right now, I have read 62 books! I know I will complete at least one more. I'm hoping to read three more before January 1. Either way, I'm happy with this number.

Some statistics just for fun:

Fiction: 59
Non-Fiction: 3
YA: 9
Poetry: 1
Classics: 6
Southern Literature: 6
ARC: 4
Graphic Novels: 2
Books in Series: 11
Own: 55
Borrowed: 7
Mystery: 3
Gothic: 4

Nothing really very surprising here. I always read a lot more fiction, and I love the classics and Southern lit. As you can tell, I also buy most of my books. The only time I borrow a book from the library or from someone is when it is for a book club and it's not something I would want to read otherwise. I guess the biggest surprises would have to be the graphic novels and the YA lit. Maus I and Maus II were actually the first two graphic novels I've ever read. I wasn't sure how I would like the experience, but I was pleasantly surprised.

I tried to come up with a top 5 for 2008, but it is absolutely impossible. So, I'm choosing a top 10 instead. I don't finish books that I don't like so I like everything that I read. Of course, I like some more than others, but it's still a difficult task to choose.

Here is my top 10 list for 2008 in no particular order:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Speaking of Love by Angela Young
Light in August by William Faulkner
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

I like looking back over what I've read throughout the year. Thinking about a book I've read takes me back to the time and place when I was reading it. Now, I'm looking forward to the holidays, some well deserved time off work, and planning what I want to read in 2009!


Lezlie said...

52 books is a lot for a busy person! You did great!! I'm reading Light In August now, so I have to check out your thoughts on that for sure.


Lisa said...

Lezlie, you're right, but I can't help but be envious of all those who obviously have more time to read. One day....

Lezlie said...

I hear you. I do very well, but I would love to be one of those people who gets through 200+ books a year. It's my fantasy! :-)


Iliana said...

I love reading end of year lists. It's so nice to hear what people read and liked. I also have a hard time selecting just one book and end up choosing several as favorites :)

You did great on the challenges and your personal goal. Here's hoping 09 will be filled with a lot of good books too!

Lisa said...

Lezlie, that is a fantasy!

Iliana, It's fun reading everyone's lists, isn't it? I'm looking forward to 2009 and all the wonderful reading ahead. I hope you have a great reading year ahead, as well.

litlove said...

Over 60 books in the life of a busy person is wonderful, I think. And I do like your top ten. I'd very much like to read Olive Ketteridge.

Danielle said...

I think I've done things a bit in reverse. I've already made a couple of lists of books that I want to read next year, and I still need to think over what I've read and really liked during the past year. I always am interested in what other people have read and which books were favorites. I agree that Betty Smith, Angela Young, and Shirley Jackson all have excellent novels. I really need to try the Elizabeth Strout book, too. I think it is in paper now. Enjoy your break from work and I hope you get in lots of reading time!

BooksPlease said...

Maybe next year I'll read a graphic novel. I've read some of your top ten books and agree they're good. I do have more time to read than ever before but I still read about the same number - maybe that's the amount of reading time that's my limit.

JoAnn said...

I always look forward to these year end lists...62 books is very impressive!

Nymeth said...

I don't think I'll be able to do a top 10 even...there were so many books I loved this year! It sounds like you read some great ones too! The Book Thief and We Have Always Lived in the Castle will probably be in my top as well.

stefanie said...

I think We Have Always Lived in the Castle will end up on my top reads list for the year too. Congrats on exceeding your reading goal of 52 books!

Andrea said...

I don't think I've even read 62 books and I'm not as busy as you are, good job! I loved The Book Thief! I wasn't able to find all of the Reading Dangerously books at the library so I won't be finishing that challenge either.

Dorothy W. said...

Reading 62 books (maybe more) sounds good to me! I've managed 58 so far and will probably make it to 60 or 61, and that's not bad for me. I'm not a super-fast reader. Anyway, it sounds to me like you did a good job with your challenges (those were a lot of books you took on!) and had a good year.

Tara said...

Congrats on your 62 - so far -books! I am also about to reach my goal number for the year. Thanks for posting your top ten list, I'm also thinking about mine. You have a few of my favorites on there.

Lisa said...

litlove, I think you'd like Olive Kitteridge. She's a wonderful character -- not always lovable, but real and honest.

danielle, the Strout book is in paperback now and I highly recommend it. I love looking at all the lists you make throughout the year. In fact, I add many titles to my wishlist thanks to you.

booksplease, I know what you mean about reading the same amount no matter how much time you have available. Maybe we do have an internal reading clock.

joann, thanks. I look forward to everyone's lists, as well.

nymeth, The Book Thief is absolutely awesome. It's hard to believe but I know several people who just didn't like it. They had a hard time with death as the narrator. I thought it was amazing.

stefanie, I just wish Jackson would have written more.

andrea, I had a hard time finding some of the books, as well. I can't really blame my not finishing on that, though. I had books for the last three months. I just didn't get around to them. Oh well...

dorothy, as busy as you are, that is amazing! I have a busy schedule but nothing like yours with all the training in addition to work, etc.

tara, isn't it fun to look back over your reading for the year? Congrats on making your goal, as well!