Random (but not really)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010: The Year in Reading

I read 132 books in 2010, an average of 11 books per month.

Unsurprisingly, the peak was June, where I read 23 books when I was working half days after breaking my ankle.

Interestingly, I felt like I was reading less at times, primarily because for the first time in years we traveled quite a bit AND had visitors, which cut into my reading time.

But I am not complaining.

If you read my book blog, you’ll notice that towards the end of the year I got real lax on my reviews, and in many cases simply posted the book information and my rating. This was partially due to travel and partially due to laziness. At some point I could go back and add real reviews–depending upon how much free time I have. (HA!) We’ll see what happens there.

In 2010 I read a mixture of old and new books, and my big discovery was finally reading Georgette Heyer.

I had friends in high school who read bodice rippers, and for years, the bits of those books perused in boredom were what I thought the entire category of romance was. Then I stumbled upon Smart Bitches Who Read Trashy Books (for the bad covers) and slowly came to discover that maybe my notions about Romance were not completely right. And when you consider my love of historical mysteries, this really should not have come as so much of a surprise.

Mind you, I am still not a fan of boinking books, and I can’t see myself ever being interested in bodice rippers, but I discovered there was a whole spectrum of books out there that I might like, just waiting to be discovered. So although I definitely would not classify myself as a huge fan of romance yet, there are some authors I really do like.

Georgette Heyer: Fredericka, Devil’s Cub, Cotillion, Faro’s Daughter, These Old Shades, The Grand Sophy, The Masqueraders

I read some good comics this year, and some that weren’t quite as good.

Brian K. Vaughan’s Ex Machina series seems to have come to and end, and I still can’t decided how I feel about it.

The other big disappointment was Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale, written by Zack Whedon. Entirely too short for what the character deserved, and I don’t buy the explanation of the events in the episode “Safe” as explained by this back story.

There were a couple Fables additions out. Sadly (and surprisingly) I didn’t care for all of them. Volume 13: The Great Fables Crossover was a mashup between the Jack and Fables lines, and I really do not like Jack, so that made this volume disappointing. Cinderella, written by someone other than Bill Willingham, was an even greater disappointment, and I have to admit I pretty much hated it. Luckily, Volume 14, Witches, came out at the end of the year, and restored my love of the Fables storyline and characters.

I also read a good deal of Hellboy, which is always good, if odd.

There were several anthologies this year, some of which had actually been published in 2010 (as opposed to anthologies I picked up that languished upon my shelves waiting for “the right time” to be read. Of the 2010 anthologies, Running with the Pack and Dark and Stormy Knights, despite my dissatisfaction with the final story in Running with the Pack.

Some of my favorite books from this year: Roadkill in the Cal Leandros series, The Grimrose Path in the Trickster seires and Chimera, all by Rob Thurman, Thicker than Water and The Naming of the Beasts, the books that wrap up the Asmodeus story line in Mike Carey’s Felix Castor series. I also read Sandman Slim and Butcher Bird by Richard Kadrey, which I thought were fabulous.

In the mysteries line, I discovered Robert Crais‘ Elvis Cole, who is along the lines of Spenser, but quickly develops his own persona (plus, Joe Pike is most definitely NOT Hawk.)

I also got additions to Donna Leon‘s Inspector Brunetti series, Christopher Fowler‘s Bryant and May series, Dana Stabenow‘s Kate Shugak series, and Andrea Camilleri‘s Inspector Montalbano series.

Aside from the urban/supernatural sub-genre, I’ve actually read very little fantasy–just haven’t been in the mood. Plus, so many fantasy series are multi-volume tomes I am unwilling to commit to.

The big surprise at the end of 2010 was that Michael and I both received eReaders for Christmas, so it’ll be interesting to see if and how that affects my reading. Most of what I’ve downloaded so far are “classics” or books I should have read in school, but didn’t for some reason. We’ll see if I actually enjoy them.

But all in all, 2010 was a good year for reading, and there are plenty of books scheduled to come out in 2011 that I am looking forward to.

Happy Reading in 2011!

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