Last week, I had the misfortune of having to follow Erin's wonderful literary take on The Night Before Christmas and now this week I find myself following beautifully poignant posts by both Erin and Benjamin, two very tough acts to follow.
However, I was also inspired by Josh's post this past Tuesday, so I decided that I would take a shot at analyzing my reading activity from this past year. At the start of 2011, inspired by a librarian acquaintance of mine who has kept a lifelong record of everything she's ever read, I decided to start keeping my own list, so here's the analysis:
Total number of books read or listened to: 47 (Although I'm pretty pleased by this number, I still find myself explaining to the occasional library patron that we add roughly 1,500 new titles to the adult collection each year and it's impossible for me to have read each and every one of them.)
Of that total, the number that were audiobooks: 23
Number of books read for the library book discussion group: 10
Number of books read for Philip Roth discussion group: 4 (these were all second readings of previously read titles)
Number of books that were mysteries/crime fiction/suspense: anywhere between 20-24, depending on how narrowly or broadly you want to define the genre. For one reason or another, not everything I read in this category made it to the blog.
Number of mysteries experienced as audiobooks: 17
Number of books read that were ARCs: 4
Number of books that were nonfiction: 2 audiobooks and 4 paper copies, all of which were memoirs
The most significant piece of information in all of the above is that my practice of listening to audiobooks when I drive allowed me to double the number of books I would otherwise have been able to experience during 2011. What is especially impressive about all this is the fact that I live only a couple of minutes drive away from the library where I work; most of my listening takes place during trips to and from the supermarket or other shopping expeditions, the occasional drive to a work related meeting, doctor's appointment, or other random activities. Were I to have a longer commute to work, I would probably have been able to add at least another twenty titles to my annual list. This is the selling point I use on library patrons who are avid readers but reluctant to give audiobooks a try.
Since I am also inspired by the recycling theme of Jeff's recent post, I am going to list those crime fiction titles I read during 2011 that were most worth recommending:
Moonlight Mile, by Dennis Lehane
The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray, by Walter Mosley
Before I Go to Sleep, by S.J. Watson
Love You More, by Lisa Gardener
Tabloid City, by Pete Hamill
Breaking Silence, by Linda Castillo
Thieves of Manhattan, by Adam Langer - I have not previously blogged about this novel; we read it for the book group and I'm not quite sure how I would categorize this title but the plotting was amazing and it was a great read.
Cut, by James Pelicanos
Jersey Noir, edited by Joyce Carol Oates
Untouchables, by Scott O'Connor - I haven't blogged about this yet but am planning to within the next week or two. Again, I'm not sure if everyone else would categorize this as crime fiction even though it reads like crime fiction.
203 Bones, by Kathy Reichs - I'm about half way through this audiobook and so far am enjoying the ride
I have every intention of keeping up my current reading pace and look forward to my continued exploration of the crime fiction genre.
Wishing everybody a happy and healthy 2012!