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My Year in Books 2005

Your Humble Blogger read 118 books in 2005, down from 119 in 2004. Neither number is likely to be accurate within five or so, actually. Still, those numbers are close enough, and the monthly totals I’ve bothered to look at are close enough, that I think it’s reasonable to say I read about two books a week. Or at least that I’ve read two books a week over the last two years, during which time I have not been revenue guy for the house. When I go back to work someday, that will probably go down quite a bit, both because I’ll have less ‘free time’ and because I’ll be more tired during what free time I have. Still, that’s pretty consistent, right?

Except ... evidently other than reading two books a week, my habits appear to have changed somewhat. I re-read fewer books this year (32, down from 44 last year), which means that I read one new book a month more than last year. New, by the way, in all this connection, means new to me, that is, something I hadn’t previously read, rather than something that was newly published. In 2004, I read a lot of essays and nonfiction; this year, I read only 9 non-fiction books, and that includes Overheard at the Museum and At Knit’s End, neither of which have much in the way of content. In 2004, I read 20 new specfic books; this year, I read 32; one a month more. This year I read 14 Young Adult specfic (in addition to the 32 specfic-for-grups mentioned previously), up from 6 last year. In addition, in 2005 I read 3 YA books that I couldn’t (or didn’t) classify as specfic, up from 1 last year. So although I read the same number of books, more or less, I read a lot more easy stuff and a lot less hard stuff. Perhaps, in the New Year, I should make a point of browsing the non-fiction side of the new book shelf in the library.

On the other hand, there were a lot of areas that were more or less the same. 2004, nine mysteries; 2005, eleven. 2004, six graphic novels; 2005, five. 2004, seven nongenre novels; 2005, eight. I think fundamentally the change is simply a change in what comes to hand in the library when, as opposed to a change in what interests me or even in what I feel up for. James Thurber at one point dismissively refers to people who read ‘to get to the end of the book’; that’s Your Humble Blogger. I like reading, and what I read is secondary at best.

Anyway, once again, for those Gentle Readers who made it past all the numbers, here are Ten Or So Books Your Humble Blogger Enjoyed in 2005:

  • Airborn: pirates, zeppelins, etc, etc.
  • Anansi Boys: I am reluctant, for some reason, to include this on a Ten Best list, but also reluctant to leave it off. So there are more than ten on the list, and I am including it, but still reluctantly.
  • The Autobiography of God: A deeply blasphemous book about theodicy, which I read at the right time for me to read it. I don’t know if I would enjoy reading it again at this point in my life, but at the moment it provoked thought and emotion in more or less the right manner and proportion.
  • The Case of the Singing Skirt: This was not only a good read in itself, but a introduction (for me) to the actual writing of Erle Stanley Gardner, and therefore to a whole bunch of books I will likely enjoy.
  • Crux: niftiness in time-travel is still entertaining to me, even though I can’t actually recall what was nifty about it.
  • Dragon Rider: Yes, for the second year in a row, one of my favorite books was one of Cornelia Funke’s tween-aimed fantasies. Wanna make something of it?
  • Fire Sale: A VI Warshawski book, and a good one, too.
  • Futureland: This summer, some months after reading this one, I had the opportunity to buy a copy used and cheap, and passed on it. Now I sort of regret that choice, although I don’t want to read it again now, and don’t think I will soon...
  • The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists: The second book does, in fact, exist now, and I haven’t brought myself to look at it for fear of disappointment.
  • Slaves of the Mastery: looking back, I seem to have liked this book a lot; perhaps I should re-read it, because I can’t recall just why.
  • The Star of Kazan: Neither science fiction nor fantasy, but a nice historical romance for tweens.
  • Thirteenth Night: I should dig this out and reread it; I seem to have only been warm about it on finishing it, but my recollection is that it is quite a good book.

I suppose I will continue logging books in 2006. When I started two years ago, it was a one-year plan, and I am starting on the third year. Habits are hard to break, even (possibly) good ones.

chazak, chazak, v’nitchazek,


If by logging books you include reviewing them here, please do continue in 2006!

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