Thursday, January 05, 2012

Summarizing a Year of Reading - 2011

If you're new to my blog, you may not know that I keep a number of reading lists from the last several years on this page.  You can find lists dating back to 2007, in a variety of styles, tracking either the entirety of the books I read in a year, or only those books that were non-fiction.

Earlier this week, I completed my first book of 2012 (one that was admittedly started in 2011), and so I updated my list to start tracking my reads in 2012, and tabulated the final results.

My goal at the beginning of the year was to read at least one to two books per month.  I handily surpassed the score of two books per week!  Lots of time on city transit, commuting to and from classes and work, along with unexpected amounts of free time definitely contributed to this being one of my most prolific years of reading in the last decade.

I finished 140 books.  6 of those were audio books.  34 were non-fiction, and 106 were fictional.

I revisited a number of old favorites - easily read novels by Karen Kingsbury and Lori Wick, along with a re-read of the entire Mitford series and the Father Tim novels by Jan Karon.

I read quite a few memoirs, (accounting for a large portion of the non-fiction) and read a large number of titles dealing with the lives of women in the Islamic world.  Among those, my favorites included "The Butterfly Mosque" by G. Willow Wilson, and "In the Land of Invisible Women" by Qanta Ahmed.

When it comes to audio books, my favorites were diverse.  I loved a revisit to "Angry Conversations With God" by Susan Isaacs.  Other strong recommendations include "Bossypants" by Tina Fey, and "Antarctica on a Plate" by Alexa Thomson.

In terms of Christian or religious titles, I enjoyed the novel "The Constantine Codex" by Paul L. Maier (though I'd be quick to add that this title still doesn't measure up to the brilliance of the first novel by Maier that I ever read, "A Skeleton in God's Closet").  I revisited Robert Benson's "Between the Dreaming and the Coming True" and found it easily as profound on a second trip through as it was the first time I read it, when it seemed to speak to my very soul.  I also found myself challenged and impacted by Dan Allender's "Sabbath".

It was a year full of awesome reads (and lots of the brain candy sort as well)!  I have the goal of reading one to two books a month again in 2012, and am hoping to move through dozens of partially finished or never opened titles that already reside on my shelves, as well as take advantage of our local library, and hopefully encounter a number of new authors to challenge, amuse, inspire, educate and shape me as I make my way through the coming year.

(If you have suggestions for me, I'd love to hear them in the comments below!)