I snuck in a few more books before the end of the year, bringing my total to 79 (including one novella). I read Peter Brett’s The Warded Man, Janice Hardy’s The Shifter, (and on my new Kindle *squeak*) The Sevenfold Spell by Tia Nevitt, A Posse of Princesses by Sherwood Smith and The Bright of the Sky by Kay Kenyon.
I met my goal of reading 75 books in 2010 (yay!) but not my goal of reading more non-fiction (boo). I didn’t read a single book of American history, just one on creativity, and only bits and pieces of theology books. My history reads were For All the Tea in China and The Secret History of the Mongol Queens. Continuing my fascination with Mongolia, I picked up Hearing Birds Fly, an account of one woman’s yearlong sojourn in rural Mongolia. I have yet another Mongolia-based travelogue, Eagle Dreams, in my to-read pile.
My science reads were Napoleon’s Buttons (chemistry) and Reading in the Brain (neuroscience). I also read much of Uranium and Plutonium (for research) but neither made it on to the list since I didn’t read them in their entirety and I’m a stickler for rules. I’m feeling an insane desire to go back to school and get a chemistry degree. I <3 chemistry.
I read six books related to homeschooling/child development/parenting. I lump them all in one category, since mothering and teaching and understanding my children’s brains are all tangled together in my real life.
SF&F (of course) made up the bulk of my fiction reads (48 out of the 75 books). I also read a fair amount of YA. I discovered The Hunger Games trilogy, Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera and Carol Berg. I read a lot of Brandon Sanderson’s non-Wheel of Time work. Two of my favorite books of the year were Frances Hardinge’s The Lost Conspiracy (upper MG/YA) and Catherine Fisher’s Incarceron (YA), both of which were recommended to me by other people.
There were some disappointments. I failed to finish two separate trilogies, having stalled out in the middle of their respective book threes. There were a few highly anticipated and/or well-reviewed books that I wanted to love, but didn’t. One book drew me in with fantastic worldbuilding, but then the protagonist did something so horrific and monstrous toward the end that I’m still reeling from the shock of it.
My goal for this year is to read 75 books again. Most will certainly be fantasy, though I’m going to make a push to get to the space opera on my to-read list. I’m going to make a valiant attempt (again) at reading more non-fiction, especially in history and science, with an exploratory foray into astronomy. I’d like to squeeze in a few classics this year–but I haven’t decided yet whether they will be a hodge-podge of whatever catches my fancy or fall neatly under a thematic umbrella. I’m also going to finish the CS Lewis books currently languishing on my nightstand.
I got a Kindle for Christmas and I’ve already read three books and a novella on it. I didn’t realize I was going to love it this much! Now that I have a dedicated e-book reader, I’ll try out some indie authors.
What about you? What were your favorite books from last year? What are your reading goals for this year?