{books} 2011

number of books read in 2011: 143; notably, plenty were picture books, juvenile fiction, and comics. Next year I will record page numbers (was too lazy to back track this time). I did read The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, so yay! me for fitting in a tome! (those who know me understand.)

Children’s Picture Books: 15.   Juvenile Fiction: 53.  Young Adult: 12.  Older: 20.  Non-fiction: 3 (not counting tales in Children’s/Juvenile)

Comics: Juvenile: 19.   Young Adult: 19.   Older: 2

in both comic & literature, juvenile & adult: 15 short story collections, 7 of which were anthologies

of the book would be non-fiction, only one of which is adult non-fiction.

47 were parts of a series.

all but 31 were published in the U.S. by U.S. authors.

25 of the authors were not-white; 44 of the books had at least one significant non-white protagonist. [a few white authors are writing non-white protags. I don’t recall any non-white author writing only white protags.]

Authors: 61 males; 54 females. [rarely a threat for me to find balance here].

the majority of the reads were Fantasy, Tales, and Contemporary Dramas, though I registered an increase in Historical Fiction (~20). Need to expand into non-fiction more.

30 were published in 2010. 46 were published 2011 (a vast improvement to the usual.)

of note: I need to break down Juvenile Fiction a bit as it is rather expansive; and figure out YA a bit better, because there is so much crossing over and around and through…


Best of my Reads:

Juvenile Fiction: Twighlight Robbery aka Fly Trap by Frances Hardinge. It is a given when Hardinge has a book out, it will be the top read. Lian Tanner’s Museum of Thieves is right up there, as well as Ellen Potter’s The Knee Bone Boy and Shug by Jenny Han (must read more of her). Skullduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy was my favorite series to discover, one of my favorite discoveries period.

Young Adult: Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi was one of my first reads of 2011, and is the best YA in 2011. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs should be mentioned, as well as the inimitable Laini Taylor with Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

Of the Older… I’m really in trouble here. I read some phenomenal books (however few); I need to read more so as to make this easier, I think.

[The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson; The Curfew by Jesse Ball; The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes; The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss; Sorry by Gail Jones; Swamplandia! by Karen Russell;The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu; A Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear by Atiq Rahimi; After the Quake by Haruki Murakami; The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester; The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern; Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson; Alan Bradley put two Flavia de Luce Mysteries out…]

Here’s a “Top 3″: yeah, right. no matter how I approach it, most all elbowing for the position; especially the first 10 listed. Notably, I wouldn’t just recommend many out of hand. [but I will recommend via request.]

In comics/graphic novels: Shaun Tan upends everyone so I am putting him in a class of his own. I discovered Sara Varon of Robot Dreams and Bake Sale this year, was happy to meet her, as well as Faith Erin Hicks who has Friends with Boys coming out in 2012 and I am going to read more of hers. Of note, Hope Larson will have an adaptation out of A Wrinkle in Time in 2012 (love her work). I found a lot of published web-comics, so I obviously need to subscribe to some on-line reads.

Juvenile: Jason Shiga’s Meanwhile was just fun! Robot Dreams by Sara Varon is a must.

Young Adult: The Color Trilogy by Kim Dong Hwa; Woolvs in the Sitee by Margaret Wild and Anna Spudvilas

Older…: Bayou (vol 1) by Jeremy Love was most affecting, as was Deogratias by J.P. Stassen.


challenges completed: The Science Fiction Experience (non-challenge); Once Upon a Time Challenge; and Reader’s Imbibing Peril. notice they are all of “Stainless Steel Droppings.” I don’t know how many more I will add to this this year. I really want to do the Europa Challenge (via “Boston Bibliophile”) this year, which encouraged me to read the remarkable Gail Jones book Sorry.


for interested parties:

Sean’s top reads 2011 (in no particular order): Zero History by William Gibson, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, After Dark by Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi; The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (to note, feels Sanderson found his stride in Jordan’s Wheel of Time: Towers of Midnight).

(half-10, half-11) Natalya’s top reads 2011 (in no particular order): Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card; Agatha Christie’s Murder at the Vicarage, Catching Fire (#2)Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins; Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, I, Emma Freke by Elizabeth Atkinson; Albatross by Josie Bloss. She was excited to discover Tamora Pierce and Edgar Allen Poe this year.


I will wrap-up films tomorrow. then on with catch-up reviews and reads I didn’t manage in 2011, but look forward to in 2012: to include: Divergent by Veronica Roth, finishing Erin Bow’s Plain Kate (which, surprisingly, underwhelmed me), and I’ve James Gleick’s Information, he is favorite of Sean’s that I hope to read this year. I’ve a large TBR pile I want to put a dent in in 2012, but I hope to finish my degree in 2012, so we’ll see how much reading of my choosing I will fit in this year.

Published by L

I read, and I write. and until recently, I sold books.

7 thoughts on “{books} 2011

  1. So love that you include Sean and Natalya’s favorites on there as well.

    I suspect you feel about tomes the way I do: thanks but no thanks. That said, I couldn’t be more thrilled with the ones I got off my butt to read: The Name of the Wind and The Way of Kings. Both were truly amazing “i can’t put this down” reads.

    Glad to see N liked Ender’s Game.

    I haven’t read any Gibson yet. To you and/or Sean: which is his best book to read to give him a shot?

    Very excited to see After Dark as well. It was my first Murakami novel and my second overall book of his and it is so good.

    Happy to see that you are among those who really responded positively to Ship Breaker. As I said in my wrap up post, I really thought everyone I knew would be fond of it and was surprised by some who did not.

    You are so right in describing Shaun Tan as belonging in a category all his own. He really and truly does. I am wanting to try to fit in a re-read of Tales of Suburbia this year. Just thinking about that book puts a lump in my throat. It was so creative and inspiring.

    I loved participating together with you in the challenges this past year and look forward to a 2012 spent reading about you and your family here and on Sean’s site. (And I’m jealous you managed to get the latest Flavia book read…I’ve been spending way too much time in Skyrim. LOL!)

    1. Ender’s Game, yes, multiple reads. am very excited for that, too.

      Sean suggests: Gibson’s renowned: ‘Neuromancer’ (but w/ the consciousness of its contextual timing; sired cyberpunk); Difference Engine (w/ Bruce Sterling), sired steampunk. recommended: Bridge Trilogy (Virtual Light, Idori, & All Tomorrow Parties) : high-tech futurist fantasy. Sean loves this the most: “Bigend” Trilogy (Pattern Recognition, Spook Country, & Zero History) : still minding context in publication dates; Writing has grown; for those interested in Digital Culture. He’s a behavioralist (he isn’t an “early adopter”).

      that is weird about Ship Breaker, though I read it early in 2011, I still think on it fondly. Going to read Wind-Up Girl this year, and keep an eye out for that Ship Breaker sequel/companion.


  2. If you use Goodreads and enter the ISBN it’ll track page numbers for you.

    I did enjoy both Ship Breaker & Miss Peregrine’s… And totally agree that Rothuss’ are great books. Loved the Kingkiller Chronicles

  3. Tomes are great, just as long as the author is competent. Thankfully, Rothfuss and Sanderson are more than able.

    I’ve yet to pick up Shaun Tan, but hopefully will ‘ere the end of the year. I remember your review for Tales of Outer Suburbia, and I’ve been intrigued since. Good thing the library has this (and a few others, too).

    Best of luck with finishing the degree!

    1. Shaun Tan can pack the most profound ideas into the most innocent looking packages. His children’s book The Red Tree is in my opinion a must read. And Tales from Outer Suburbia is a delight.

  4. Still need to read The Name of the Wind – and thanks for the reminder about Shipbreaker. I want to investigate Jesse Ball after your comment the other day about the similarity to Calvino. I’m compiling a huge reading list from all these wrap-up posts!

    Glad to see Natalya liked the 2nd Hunger Games book – I got through those this year and really enjoyed them. Also thrilled that she liked The Hitchhiker’s Guide – definitely time for a reread for me. Have you seen the movie with Martin Freeman, Sam Rockwell, Zoe Deshanel (sp?) and Bull Nighy? It’s pretty decent, especially the first 20 min which were overseen by Adams before he died.

    1. sean and i saw the film, but we are going to queue it up soon for Natalya; didn’t know that about the first 20 minutes but will pay extra attention this time. Looking forward to taking Nate and friends to the Hunger Games film (though I question casting)…

      I know, I’ve been compiling a massive list from these wrap-up posts, too!

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