Monday 3 January 2011

End of Year Meme

Except, naturally, it's the beginning of the year - but this is my little sum-up of 2010 in books. I'm using the same meme I've been using since 2007, which adds a nice continuity to it all. And here goes...

- How many books read in 2010?
115, which is rather fewer than last year, but I'd wager I've read more pages this year.

- Fiction/Non-Fiction ratio?
96/19 - surprising few non-fiction titles, given how much literary theory I
've been reading. I intend to read more non-fiction this year, but then again I intend that every year.

- Male/Female authors?

47 by men; 67 by women; 1 by one of each. Not an unusual ratio for me...

- Favourite book read?

Nella Last's War
by Nella Last, as I mentioned in my Top Ten List.

- Least favourite?

I gave up on one or two, but of the ones I finished I confess I was disappointed by The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery.

- Oldest
book read?
I think that honour goes to Mary Shelley and Frankenstein (1818).

- Newest book read?
This little lot were all published this year.

- Longest book title?
I must confess, I haven't done a thorough count of all the titles, but, discounting subtitles, I think Pont wins with The British Character Studied and Revealed and 37 characters.

- Shortest book title?

I've had three-letter titles and four-letter titles win this accolade in past years, but in 2010 the shortest I managed was Christos Tsiolkas' The Slap at 7.

- How many re-reads?

Only 13, which is far fewer than last year's 31 - not something I noticed decreasing, and I can't beging to imagine why.

- Most books read by one author this year?
E.M. Delafield and C.S. Lewis tie on four apiece, despite not having read any Lewis this year until the 20th December. Barbara Comyns is snapping at their heels with three.

- Any in translation?
Probably the most ever, at 12, mostly from the French but with a Scandinavian title or two.

- How many books were borrowed from the library?

27 from the library this year, and at least half a dozen borrowed from friends.

- Name a book you've read this year which was recommended by a blogger?
Annabel (aka Gaskella) not only recommended, but lent, All Quiet on the Orient Express by Magnus Mills - thanks Annabel (and thanks for pointing out that I'd written the wrong title here!)


  1. I have read Nella Last's War and found it very good. I like that period in time very much.

  2. Hi,
    I liked your collection of 2010, since I was lacking time last year to read a book or two. But since I found your recruited ones, I would definitely take your list with me to the bookshop
    Thesis Papers

  3. You meant 'All quiet on the Orient Express' of course! Glad you enjoyed it. Happy New Year Simon!

  4. Agree totally on "The Elegance of the Hedgehog". Difficult to understand how it even got published.

    Many thanks for your ongoing recommendations. I find that I consistently enjoy anything you mention.

  5. Happy new year, Simon!

  6. Mystica - I'm looking forward to visiting the other two Nella Last diaries I have now.

    Liza - thanks

    Annabel - oops, thanks for putting me right! I'll be writing up about it soon...

    Guy - I really don't understand why that novel was so popular - just goes to show, these things are unpredictable. And you're very welcome, it's always such a joy to have people follow up recommendations, and enjoy them too :)

    Claire - happy new year!

  7. Simon, if you enjoyed the diary format and period in history of Nella Last's diary (I've also read 'Nella Last's Peace), I wonder if you'd also enjoy 'My Darling Diary: Volume 2: The Girl in and Out of Love, Oxford 1944-1950' and 'My Darling Diary: Volume 3: The Girl in and Out of Love, Oxford 1950-1955', by Ingrid Jacoby.

    She was an Oxford library assistant and other book related jobs, and lived a semi-bohemian and very funny life, lots of unsuitable love affairs with unsuitable men etc, and very frankly written for those days (disproves Larkin's theory that 'sex was invented in 1963'!)

    ISBNs are 9781852001230 and 9781852001360 respectively. I know one vol is in the public library system in Oxford, as that's where I first came across it...have since bought both vols and can't wait for the next instalment in her fascinating life!

  8. Katrina - thanks so much for that recommendation; I've not heard of her, but I'm definitely intrigued. Will make sure I check out the shelves of Ox library for it, next time I'm there.


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