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Sunday Salon: 2009: A Year in Books

January 3, 2010

The Sunday Salon.comHappy Sunday, everyone! And happy first Sunday of 2010! I’m sure everyone is up to their eyeballs in 2009 retrospective posts and “best of” lists, but if you’ve got the patience for one more, here’s mine.

The Stats!


(If you want to make your own pretty graph, you can download my reading tracking spreadsheet here, newly updated for 2010!)

– 155 new books read! (and 27 old books re-read!)
– 123 of those new books were actual books, and 32 were audiobooks.
– That makes a total of 38,186 pages (of new books) read, and 14 days, 17 hours, and 3 minutes listening to audiobooks.

I acquired 136 TBR books in 2009, read 71 books off my TBR pile, and purged 50 other books, for a net total of only 15 books added to the pile this year! I also read 52 books that I didn’t own – borrowed from the library or friends.

The Best of!

I’ve read some fantastic books this year, and so many entertaining and enjoyable ones, that it’s hard to pick. Her are some of the winners, in no particular order.

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
The Hunger Games / Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Graceling / Fire by Kristen Cashore
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachael Cohn & David Levithan
In the Woods by Tana French
The Absolute Sandman series by Neil Gaiman et al.
Temeraire books by Naomi Novik

Some other great books you may have missed:

Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant by Jenni Ferrari Adler et al.
A Secret Alchemy by Emma Darwin
Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold
Heroes of the Valley by Jonathan Stroud
The Sound of Building Coffins by Louis Maistros
Shadowbridge by Gregory Frost
Tomato Rhapsody by Adam Schell
Etta by Gerald Kolpan
Hand of Isis by Jo Graham

The Resolutions for 2010!

I’m not going to set any firm reading resolutions, other than to read *less* – because 2010 is going to be the year of the dissertation, and writing has got to be the priority. But I will set a few minor reading and blogging goals:

1) I really don’t like having a review backlog. It can make blogging feel like a responsibility rather than a fun hobby, and after a while I start forgetting details, which makes the reviews even harder to write, so I procrastinate more, and the cycle gets worse. So, I got myself caught up before 2009 finished, and in 2010, I’m going to do my best to review books within 24 hours of finishing them whenever possible.

2) I’m not setting any book-acquisition bans, since I know I wouldn’t stick to them. However, I am going to try to limit my book borrowing. I can cut my acquisitions down to zero, but if I only read books from the library, that TBR pile is never going to shrink. I haven’t decided if I want to limit it to two borrowed books per month, or do one borrowed for one of my own, but somehow I’ve got to shift the balance. (I’m exempting graphic novels from the “borrowed” count – I can’t afford to acquire them for myself, plus they generally only take an hour or so to read.)

What about you, readers? Got big reading plans for 2010? What’s your top book from 2009 that I should make sure I get to in 2010?

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34 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2010 6:17 pm

    You’ve had a great year of reading! I need to check out some of the books you’ve mentioned. I hope all goes well with the dissertation.

    • January 3, 2010 9:38 pm

      bermudaonion – Well, I think they’re all good reads, so, yes, you should. :)

  2. January 3, 2010 6:17 pm

    All the books on your list of favourites that I’ve read were ones I loved too. I should read the rest :P

    • January 3, 2010 9:38 pm

      Nymeth – I had an equivalent response to your best-of list, so it seems only fair.

  3. January 3, 2010 6:18 pm

    It looks like you had a good reading year. What a great list of favorites! In the Woods made my favorites list this year too. I hope you have a great reading year–and good luck on that dissertation!

    • January 3, 2010 9:39 pm

      Literary Feline – I’ve had The Likeness on my shelf for a few months now, and am really looking forward to getting the chance to read it.

  4. January 3, 2010 6:39 pm

    I’ve added several of you favorites to my TBR list. Have a wonderful week!

  5. January 3, 2010 7:02 pm

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you…I was wondering if you were going to be kind enough to give us a copy of the 2010 blank graph…I have used your graph for the past 2 years and absolutely LOVE it!!!

    What a great reading year you’ve had…good luck on the dissertation!

    • January 3, 2010 9:40 pm

      Kara – Great! It’s always nice to hear that people use the spreadsheet – if you’ve got any suggestions or requests, let me know!

  6. January 3, 2010 7:25 pm

    Zeitoun…Tales from Outer Suburbia…14 Cows for America…all fabulous!

  7. January 3, 2010 7:49 pm

    I’m thinking on how I can limit my book borrowing too. I love going to the library! Like you, if I continue to only read library books, I won’t read the books I own. I have decided to continue checking out new releases from the library. I’m working towards the maximum number of books I can have checked out at one time is 5.

    • January 3, 2010 9:42 pm

      Shonda – Wow! If I had 5 books checked out at a time I’d never read anything else.

  8. January 3, 2010 8:22 pm

    Dude! I loved Nick and Norah. Wasn’t it fabulous? And (IMO) so much better than the movie.

    • January 3, 2010 9:43 pm

      christina – It was pretty great! I liked the movie well enough, although not as well as the book… but the book was a lot of in-the-characters’-heads, which had to have been hard to translate to film.

  9. January 3, 2010 9:36 pm

    Wow! Great reading in 2009! Your audio-book stats are amazing too, that’s something I would like to do more of this year.

    • January 3, 2010 9:44 pm

      Joanne – I suspect that’s going to drop this year – less time doing labwork, more time writing. Still, I do love me some audiobooks.

  10. January 4, 2010 1:44 am

    You’ve been keeping track of your reads for awhile now haven’t you? Really the only reading plan I have is to make sure to read at least 50 books that I own. My top book of 2009 was probably Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris but I did read a lot of great ones.

    • January 6, 2010 7:47 pm

      Ladytink – I started in mid-2002 writing the names and dates of books I finished in my journal; when I discovered LibraryThing in 2006 I never looked back.

  11. January 4, 2010 5:11 am

    What a list of great books! Everything that we both read, I really enjoyed too. That means I’ll have to check out the rest on your list, if it’s not already on my wishlist. :D

    • January 6, 2010 7:51 pm

      Meghan – Sounds like a plan! I’ve been having that reaction to a lot of people’s “best of” lists.

  12. January 4, 2010 9:51 pm

    I’m glad to see In the Woods made your top 10 list, I’ve been thinking of reading it even though I too have an aversion to detective stories but I’ve recently read a few lukewarm reviews. Maybe I will read it after all.
    Catching Fire and The Hunger Games made my list as well.
    I couldn’t pick one top book from 2009, but my favourite of just those published during 2009 is The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It was wonderful.

    • January 6, 2010 7:52 pm

      Dominique – I’m not a huge fan of detective novels either, but In The Woods was so much about the characters that the detective part is almost secondary.

      I’ve heard great things about The Help by so many people; I just may have to pick it up.

  13. January 6, 2010 7:45 pm

    I am glad you liked Graceling so much because I am about to start it momentarily.

    • January 6, 2010 7:53 pm

      Lola – And I’ll bet you won’t put it down until you’re done! Happy reading!

  14. January 8, 2010 12:48 pm

    Looks like you accomplished a lot last year! I had a feeling The Hunger Games and Catching Fire would make the list. Good luck with your 2010 goals!

    –Anna

  15. January 8, 2010 1:20 pm

    Another great year in reading. I hope you meet your 2010 goals. Good luck with the dissertation!

  16. January 11, 2010 12:10 pm

    Dude, I SWEAR I commented on this post, I’m so confused! I thought I asked if there were any significant changes, or if you’d mostly just updated the date. I wanted to know if I should re-download before we get too far into the year.

    • January 14, 2010 10:58 am

      Jen – No major changes, just added in columns for 2010 and updated the graphs to show the additional lines.

  17. January 13, 2010 10:22 am

    I’m definitely trying to limit my book acquisitions for 2010 as well. I’m trying to move house and am not relishing the prospect of trying to drag my endless bookcases all round London. Hard to resist the lure of a new book though….

    • January 14, 2010 10:59 am

      literarykitty – One of these days, I will move somewhere that has room for enough bookcases for all of my books, and where I won’t have to move again for at least three or four years. One of these days…

  18. January 14, 2010 9:03 am

    Your reading graph is such a great resource. I’ve been using it for the past couple of years, and I love watching my progress. (Even though it’s been rather frustrating to watch the line on my Books Read chart go down, down, down each year).

    THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY was my favourite of 2009, but I know you’ve already read that one so I’ll recommend THE ANGEL’S CUT instead. It came in an awfully close second. :)

    • January 14, 2010 11:01 am

      Memory – My “page total” graph is what depresses me. Somehow, my 2009 page counts came out lower than my 2007 counts, despite reading almost 30 more books. I blame the graphic novels. :)

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