Monday, January 02, 2012

Books I consumed in 2011. Ugh, I know I said I wasn't going to do any more of these posts, but I can't help myself. I'm not going to do those detailed notes that I did for the films, but here's a list, followed by some basic statistical observations.

First, the list – I only managed to finish 46 books, which is pretty pitiful. Even more pitiful is the number I actually got to review or otherwise comment on; I've linked to these. Some of the comments are from The Enthusiast e-newsletter, so you might need to scroll down to find them. I also made some early comments back in May.

Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris
Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris
An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
The Apple by Michel Faber
The Guardians Of Ga'Hoole: The Capture by Kathryn Lasky
Things Bogans Like by E Chas McSween et al
Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
Black Glass by Meg Mundell
August by Bernard Beckett
Little People by Jane Sullivan
True Grit by Charles Portis
The UFO Diaries by Martin Plowman
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park
Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
State of Decay by James Knapp
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
The President's Vampire by Christopher Farnsworth
Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
The City and the City by China Miéville
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Impostors by Sarah Burton
Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh
Bareback by Kit Whitfield
A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin
A Storm of Swords by George RR Martin
A Feast for Crows by George RR Martin
A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin
Machine Man by Max Barry
The Map of Time by Felix J Palma
Fenrir by MD Lachlan
House of Sticks by Peggy Frew
Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K Hamilton
The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K Hamilton
Triptych by Krissy Kneen
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
Nightwoods by Charles Frazier 
Bossypants by Tina Fey
The Knife Man by Wendy Moore
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
11.22.63 by Stephen King 
Without Warning by John Birmingham
The Castlemaine Murders by Kerry Greenwood

Now to the stats:

Fiction: 41 (89.13%)
Non-Fiction: 5 (10.87%)

Literature: 21 
Genre fiction: 19
Classics: 6
Young adult: 2
Adapted to film/TV: 12 (not including additional books in series adapted to TV)

Vampires: 4
Werewolves: 2
Zombies: 3
Fantasy/Speculative: 23
Time Travel: 3
Crime/Mystery/Procedural: 16
Period Setting: 16
Dystopian Setting: 7

Male authors: 26 (56.52%)
Female authors: 20 (43.48%)

Australian authors: 9 (19.56%)
International authors: 37 (83.44%)

In addition, here's a shout-out to the books I began but didn't finish in 2011:

Zero History by William Gibson – It's a mystery why I didn't enjoy this, given that I really liked its prequel, Spook Country

Adelaide by Kerryn Goldsworthy – wonderful, evocative and personal, a great gift for someone from Adelaide living elsewhere, or someone you know moving to Adelaide. But I was reading it to prepare to interview Goldsworthy when I filled in on Triple R's Aural Text with Sophie Cunningham, and without that urgency it got buried under all the other stuff I had to read.

Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha – Wonderfully provocative. I loved the ideas it raises, constantly talked about it in social settings, and it has encouraged me to be much more critical of evolutionary psychology, but I had so many books to plough through at the time that I just couldn't finish it.

Animal People by Charlotte Wood – great writing, but a deeply unlikeable protagonist meant I felt too exhausted to find out if he breaks up with his girlfriend by the end of the book.

Soulless by Gail Carriger – aka THE WORST, MOST ANGER-FUELLING BOOK I OPENED IN 2011. I was really looking forward to the promise of a steampunk/vampire/werewolf/detective romance, but seriously, the astounding writerly ineptitude that Carriger displays made me put down the book after only two chapters. I don't think I'm the best writer in the world but honestly, this novel filled me with the conviction that I could write a better one myself, while drunk, having done no research or planning. Like a shit paranormal-romance-genre Kerouac, banging away dully at my keyboard. Thank god I only paid $3 for it at Savers.

And here are some books I'm meaning to read in 2012. I began Amor Towles's The Rules of Civility in 2011 but I only finished it today.

The Convalescent by Jessica Anthony
Dune by Frank Herbert
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
The Cold Commands by Richard Morgan
To Die For by Lucy Siegle
The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde
Burning Your Boats: Collected Stories by Angela Carter
Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire (but first I'll have to read Son of a Witch and A Lion Among Men)
A Book for All and None by Clare Morgan

I'm also meaning to read the Harry Potter novels at some stage (I've only ever read the first one), and also I have a monster omnibus of Kathy Reichs novels.

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