Books I read in 2010

Been meaning for ages to post about books I've been reading. But I'm very unlikely to write about all of them in any detail, so I'm going to start with a post that just lists the books I read in 2010, without comment on individual books.

I haven't kept track of the books I've read in a given year before; what prompted this was seeing a couple of friends posting in late 2009 and early 2010 that they'd read about 50 books in 2009, and realizing that I used to be an ardent reader, but that lately I hadn't been reading a lot (except magazine submissions). So I figured that keeping track of what I was reading might help remind me to read more.

Here's the list, in chronological order by date finished:

  • Tam Lin, Pamela Dean
  • Suite Scarlett, Maureen Johnson
  • The Secret Country, Pamela Dean
  • Eclipse 1, ed Jonathan Strahan
  • A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
  • Guardian of the Dead, Karen Healey
  • The Hidden Land, Pamela Dean
  • Kid Vs. Squid, Greg van Eekhout
  • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
  • The Whim of the Dragon, Pamela Dean
  • Seaward, Susan Cooper
  • The Deed of Paksenarrion (trilogy), Elizabeth Moon
  • Rasathi (draft), Mary Anne Mohanraj
  • The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
  • One for the Morning Glory, John Barnes
  • Maybe This Time, Jennifer Crusie
  • The Cinderella Deal, Jennifer Crusie
  • The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang
  • Alanna: The First Adventure, Tamora Pierce
  • First Lady, Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  • Infamous, Suzanne Brockmann
  • Match Me If You Can, Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  • An Offer from a Gentleman, Julia Quinn
  • Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons

There were probably also some picture books mixed in, but I didn't keep track of those.

My favorites are in boldface. I hope to write at least a brief note about each of those at some point, but don't know whether I'll get around to it. A book not in boldface does not mean I disliked it; just that it wasn't one of my top five of the year.

A total of twenty-four books, all read for the first time. (I rarely re-read books.) So that's about two a month. (I'm arbitrarily counting Paksenarrion as one book and the Secret Country trilogy as three, for no good reason.) I think only four of them were published in 2010; I rarely get around to reading books in the year in which they're published, which makes it hard to nominate for awards.

About half of them were ebooks. I had read electronic editions of print magazines before, and maybe a couple of ebooks too, but 2010 was the year when I started reading ebooks in earnest. I'm not quite ready to switch exclusively to ebooks, but I seem to be heading in that direction. I'm certainly not opposed to paper books; I'm just finding that the portability, searchability, annotations, and ease of purchase of ebooks are outweighing the downsides (like small screen size—I'm reading them mostly on my iPhone—and sloppy production values). Not all the books I want are even available as ebooks, but a fair number of them are if I check multiple ebookstores.

There were at least ten other books that I started in 2010 but didn't finish; I'm not going to list those here because it'll be embarrassing if I don't finish them in 2011 either.

One other book I have to mention: I finally started reading Don Quixote. I got several chapters into it, and I was complaining about it to Mary Anne, and she said, “You know, it's supposed to be funny.” And I realized that I wasn't finding it at all funny, not even in an occasional-smile sort of way, and I thought Why am I spending my time reading a very long book that I'm not actually enjoying at all? So I gave up on it. I almost never intentionally give up on books, but life's too short to slog through something that long if I'm not getting anything out of it other than being able to say I've read it.

One Response to “Books I read in 2010”

  1. textjunkie

    Huh! That’s always fun to see–of all those, the only ones I’ve ever read is the Dickens, Jane Eyre, and One for the Morning Glory.

    I’m a fan of Jane Eyre but I like Wuthering Heights better. One for the Morning Glory was one of those total surprise books for me–I grabbed it because it looked interesting and was surprised by what it did, where it went, and how it got there. Enjoyed it tremendously again on re-reading years later.

    His other books, however, are just weird. I think I read three or four of them and each one of them was just completely different in style and content. I seriously thought I’d found several different authors by the same name, but no, it’s all him. (_Mother of all Storms_ was just NASTY.)


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