At the beginning of 2009, I committed to reading 52 books in 52 weeks. By the end of the year I had read 64. However, that number does not accurately represent all the reading I did last year. It doesn’t take into account blog posts, magazine articles, anthologies, all the books I only partially read (reasons: I got bored, I was re-reading my favorite parts, I was interested in just a few chapters of a reference book).
The bulk of my reading was in the fantasy genre. No surprise there. Fantasy is my first love, and what I write. I discovered several trilogies and series that I enjoyed–Garth Nix’s Keys of the Kingdom, Angie Sage’s Septimus Heap books, the Crosspointe novels by Diana Pharoah Francis, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, Nathalie Mallet’s Prince Amir series and Robin Hobbs’ Liveship Traders trilogy. I read Neil Gaiman and Elizabeth Bear for the first time. I rediscovered Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series. A lot of Young Adult and Middle Grade books made it into my reading pile.
I balanced the shorter books with doorstoppers like Charles Dickens and A Suitable Boy. I wanted to read more classics, but only managed a small handful. Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth ranks as the book I’m most ambivalent about, the one I found both fascinating and repulsive. It was like a horrific trainwreck that I couldn’t wrench my gaze away from.
I read some non-fiction, but not as much I would’ve liked. Mark Kurlansky’s Cod and Salt rank as the two of the more enjoyable ones. I only read one book on American history–Joseph Ellis’ American Creation. Outliers was fascinating, Your Child’s Growing Minds was informative and The Creative Habit inspirational. Karen Andreola’s comprehensive A Charlotte Mason Companion rekindled in me the desire for a literature-and-nature-rich education in our home. It made me view parenting and schooling as two sides of the same coin; it brought home to me the importance of character in a child’s education.
My reading goal for 2010 is 75 books (but no beating myself up if I don’t get there), and expand my non-fiction reading. I want to read at least three books each in the categories of American history, creativity and theology. I want to read much more about history and other cultures. I want to read science books (any recommendations?).
If I get any classics in this year, it’ll be gravy.
I’m also changing the way I review books on this blog. I’ll list my monthly reads with little to no commentary, and do separate review posts for those books I feel the need to say a lot about it.
Do you have reading goals for the year?