2011 in Review–The Reading (part 1): The Numbers, and The Also-Rans

By the Numbers

Summing up my 2011 reading experiences starts with some bookkeeping in the number-crunching sense.

Total books read: 54
Fiction: 33

Adult: 30

YA/Children’s: 3

2010 was the first year in which I read enough YA to make note of it. I probably don’t need to separate it out for 2011, but the precedent is set now. Since YA books tend to be faster reads and they’re taking up more room in TBR Purgatory these days, I hope they’ll contribute more toward meeting my 2012 discretionary-reading goals.

Nonfiction: 21

Memoir: 13
History: 4
Other: Religion (1), Science (1), Books about Books (2)

This number may have been skewed a bit by my reading responsibilities as a judge in the Nonfiction and Biography/Memoir categories of the Indie Lit Awards, but I’m not unhappy with it; it’s pretty close to the balance I want between fiction and nonfiction reading.

Published in 2011: 32 (includes reprints and paperback editions of books previously published in hardcover)
I was a bit surprised by this number. i really thought I’d read more current-year books in 2011 than ever before, but it was exactly the same number as in 2010.

Authors by gender (does not add up to total books because I read multiple books by some writers):

Female: 35
Male: 17

One of my 2011 goals was to read more books by men, and I read twice as many as I did in 2010. The audiobooks and e-books both figured heavily into that shift.


Print (trade paperback and hardcover): 19
ARC: 19
E-book: 9
Audio: 7

2011 was “The Year I Discovered Audiobooks,” and given my daily commute (80 miles round trip in Los Angeles traffic), I’m pretty sure they’ll be part of my 2012 reading mix too–I see them playing a big part in helping me with that previously-mentioned discretionary-reading goal!


Personal copies (purchased/gifts) 22 (includes re-reads, e-books, and audiobooks)
Furnished for blog tours: 9
Furnished for online book clubs:  2
Furnished for paid reviews: 12 (Shelf Awareness and BlogHer Book Club)
Furnished for review from other sources (publishers, authors, etc.): 9

Book ratings:

4 – 5: 24 (4 rated 4.25, including 1 re-read)
3 – 4: 29 (18 rated 3.75)
2 – 3: 0
Unrated: 1 (includes 1 book counted in “read” totals but not yet reviewed at year-end)

Survey says: In general, I liked what I read this year, even if I there were times I wasn’t reading exactly what I may have felt like reading.

Re-reads reviewed for the first time (counted in total books read):
Certain Women: A Novel, by Madeleine L’Engle
The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
The Betsy-Tacy Treasury: The First Four Betsy-Tacy Books, by Maud Hart Lovelace (This is a new omnibus edition, but I’m counting it as a re-read because I’ve read all the stories in it before; I’m also counting it as only one book instead of four because it’s children’s literature)

A Dozen Books I Didn’t Get Around to Reading this year, and Wish I Had (plus two more)

Given that I sent back a bunch of books from my first trip to Book Expo America and have barely cracked any of them yet, as well as the fact that I keep buying books, I can’t help having a few regrets over the books that are still waiting around..and that includes plenty from well before 2011. No promises, but I’d like to release some of these from TBR Purgatory in 2012:

The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York, by Deborah Blum
A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Faith, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown, by Julia Scheeres
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand
Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women, by Harriet Reisen
Columbine, by Dave Cullen
We Need to Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver
Doc, by Mary Doria Russell
The Nobodies Album, by Carolyn Parkhurst

Where do you think I should start?

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