It seems like one good way to wrap up 2011 is to recap all the books I read during the year. My official tally is 41, although I consolidated all of the Sherlock Holmes story collections and novels into one item
for simplicity because I was too lazy to add them to my spreadsheet individually.
I read 12 non-fiction books in 2011, which is fairly high for me – the numbers were boosted by my fascination with Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail memoirs in the last few months of the year; having completed a supported four day hike of the Inca Trail, it seems only natural to set my sights on a six-month backpacking journey on one of these 2000+ mile trails, right?
In a tally that should surprise no one, my most-read genre was fantasy novels at 11, with Mystery/Noir and other fiction both coming in at 7, and two SciFi books rounding out the fiction category. My non-fiction reading was 1 training book, 5 memoirs (4 of them the aforementioned trail memoirs), and seven other non-fiction books.
Since I bought a Kindle in August, well over 3/4 of my reading has been on the Kindle. This is partly because the latest books by my favorite fantasy authors were released early in the year, and partially because I was enjoying the light-weight convenience of traveling with the Kindle later in the year. It is nice to read books without having to find a physical home for them, and I have read quite a few books that I might not have otherwise just because of their availability on the Kindle – and I have a lower quality threshold for books that are available for free or low prices on the Kindle, making it easy to load up on “beach reading”-quality books that only take a few days of quick reading to finish. My non-Kindle to-read list hit an alltime low midyear but has recently swollen into double-stacked territory again, so I need to be more diligent about reading those as well.
The books that I would most highly recommend from this year are the Gail Carriger Parasol Protectorate series, Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings (although you may have an excruciatingly long wait for the next book in the series!) , Los Angeles Noir 2 from Akashic Books, and the Barefoot Sisters Appalachian Trail memoirs.
Below is my full list (some finish dates are approximate), with my 1-5 star ratings.
|01/15/11||Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience||Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi||2|
|01/15/11||The Summer Before (Babysitters Club)||Ann M. Martin||2.5|
|02/04/11||Accordion Crimes||Annie Proulx||3.5|
|02/10/11||And Another Thing…||Eoin Colfer||3.5|
|02/18/11||Dancing on Ice||Jeremy Scott||4|
|02/23/11||House Name||Michelle West||5|
|03/04/11||This Is Your Brain on Music||Daniel J. Levitin||4|
|03/07/11||Haiti Noir||Edwidge Danticat (ed)||4|
|03/10/11||Bike Snob NYC||Eben Weiss||4|
|03/14/11||The Gangster We Are All Looking For||le thi diem thuy||4.5|
|03/19/11||Wesley the Owl||Stacey O’Brien||5|
|03/29/11||The Way of Kings||Brandon Sanderson||5|
|04/15/11||Los Angeles Noir 2: The Classics||Denise Hamilton (ed)||5|
|04/16/11||Destiny’s Road||Larry Niven||4|
|04/25/11||The Wonder Spot||Melissa Banks||4|
|06/02/11||The Lost Cyclist||David V Herlihy||3.5|
|06/19/11||Julian Comstock||Robert Charles Wilson||4|
|06/27/11||San Diego Noir||Mary Elizabeth Hart||4.5|
|07/06/11||Namah’s Blessing||Jacqueline Carey||5|
|07/22/11||The Lacuna||Barbar Kingsolver||5|
|07/28/11||Angel’s Flight||Michael Connelly||4|
|07/31/11||State of Wonder||Ann Patchett||4.5|
|08/04/11||Fury of the Pheonix||Cindy Pon||5|
|08/08/11||Ender’s Game||Orson Scott Card||4.5|
|09/01/11||Sometimes Madness is Wisdom||Kendall Taylor||3.5|
|09/15/11||Sherlock Holmes (All of them)||Sir Arthur Conan Doyle||4.5|
|10/01/11||Cast in Chaos||Michelle Sagara||4.5|
|10/03/11||Into the Wild||John Krakauer||4.5|
|10/06/11||The 12-Week Triathlete||Tom Holland||3.5|
|10/13/11||A Brisket, A Casket||Delia Rosen||3|
|10/20/11||A Game of Thrones||George RR Martin||5|
|10/30/11||Barefoot Sisters: Southbound||Lucy & Susan Letcher||4.5|
|11/08/11||The Headhunter’s Daughter||Tamar Myers||4|
|12/05/11||A Clash of Kings||George RR Martin||4.5|
|12/14/11||Skywalker–Close Encounters on the Appalachian trail||Bill Walker||3.5|
|12/17/11||Skywalker–Highs and Lows on the Pacific Crest Trail||Bill Walker||2|
|12/28/11||Barefoot Sisters: Walking Home||Lucy & Susan Letcher||5|