I do know that one reason I wasn't posting was that I was trying to pick my book of the year. I am finding that I don't have just one.....and the other reason is I am distracted by my upcoming surgery next Monday. In trying not to
2011 book totals
I read many very good books last year. I read 97 books in all, my best year ever for reading. And I was so close to my goal of 100, that it's now my annual goal until I get there! I'm going to try for 10 books a month, to see if this will help me get to my goal this year.
I also had the goal of reading 50 mystery books last year. I didn't make it - I read 38 only. I was a bit mystified at what I had read instead, until I realized that I had read an astonishing 15 horror books last year! Here is the breakdown:
graphic novels: 7
classics: 1 *hangs head in shame at this total!*
Looking at these totals, the biggest jump is horror. I can only explain this by saying it was one of the most difficult years of my life so far, and it looks like at the worst of it, I turned to my old standby, horror. Possibly because the terror of the characters and thrilling of the horror makes my life not seem quite so bad? Or, possibly I found some new horror that was very good, after a long stretch of the awful slasher books in the genre. There is good horror, and ghost stories, and I'm happy to be reading them again. I do still want to read more of everything, though. Especially mystery and fantasy. So I'm going to try again for 50 mysteries this year, and 25 fantasy novels. Classics: at a minimum, 5. I'd prefer 10, but considering the year ahead of me, which I have to take in small leaps ahead: surgery next week, more surgery possibly late in the year, and at some point a final decision on what to do about the state of my separation from husband. I can see a few horror books creeping in again!
So that was the year that was, 2011. I don't know about you, but I am so happy to see the end of 2011, that I think if I could have touched the year, I would have kicked it into the back of beyond. Goodbye, 2011! *wipes hands off*
Another round of binge buying
Yes, you read that right! I went to Nicholas Hoare (I can't link to them, their site is down tonight) on Saturday, looking for a hard to find first book in a new mystery series set in 1950's Scotland: A Small Death in the Great Glen by A.D. Scott. They had it! I was so delighted. I also found in my hands a copy of:
Mind's Eye - Hakan Nesser (Swedish mystery series, book one)
How to Live - A Life of Montaigne in One Questions and Many attempts to answer - Sarah Blakely (biography of Montaigne, using his twenty questions in his essays to attempt to show his life, and the influences on him, and how Montaigne influenced so many others. I'm making this sound boring, when it's a fascinating book on how ideas, and thoughts, in essay form, came to influence Western thinking all the way down to the form of personal essays we use on blogs, here.)
The Country Diaries - edited by Alan Taylor - (journal entries from the past several hundred years, in the British countryside, for almost every day of the year. Fascinating)
(I'm sorry, but Amazon isn't letting me in right now. I can't query any titles with them.)
Lots to dip into with these books, while I recover next week.
Gift Cards are the next best thing to books
I also used two gift cards to pick up books that I badly wanted, so now I feel able to cope with the surgery next week. I'm not sure if I will read all of these while I'm home next week, though these books do make me feel like I won't mind being housebound for a few days. I have the week to recover, so unless the pain is very bad, I plan on reading every day!
Among Others - Jo Walton (yes! finally! I'm so excited....)
The House at Sea End - Elly Griffiths - ditto. (Not sure which one I will read first. I think I will read The House at Sea End this weekend, though I do have The Snow Leopard (Harry Hole!!!!) also vying for my attention.)
Snow Angels - James Thompson (set in Finland, getting rave reviews)
The Spellman Files - Lisa Lutz (special mention to raidergirl3, who mentioned them to me on a post somewhere that I can't find now. The character is like Bridget Jones Diary as a detective, only a tiny bit more together. It looks hilarious. I will need to laugh next week to help me in my healing, so I look forward to this one! )
A Florentine Death - Michele Giuttari (one of the things I want to do is read more mysteries set - and translated from - other countries. This is another new series, set in Italy, and getting very good reviews.)
Bellfield Hall - Anna Dean (described as if Jane Austen wrote mysteries....this would be it. Set in 1805 England, spinster Dido Kent must solve a mystery or two....billed as a regency mystery, it looks delightful and fun. )
So now that we are in to week 2 of 2012, how are you finding it, Gentle Reader? Are you happy that 2011 is over with now? have you found anything good to read yet in this new year?
I am also hoping to catch up on some of my reviews from last year, so that I can name my best of the year books. Before we are too far gone into 2012....Happy belated New year, everyone.