A Year in Reading

The start of a new year naturally prompts people to look back and review the things they had accomplished the previous year.   People recount the many places they travelled to, the movies they saw, the new friends they made, all the new and exciting things they tried, and of course, all the books they’ve read (or planned to read, but failed).

Reading through other people’s reading lists of 2010, I’m surprised that so many of them tally 50, 80, even 100 or more books read in a year.  I find it amazing how some people can read 50, or even, 150 books in the course of one year.  I envy the person who has the luxury to stay home and read all day long; or someone who can read really fast, for that matter.

Sadly, the best I could do was to read (and finish) 28 books in 2010; and I’m really proud of that, since I can normally just read and finish half of that number in previous years.  As much as I would love to just stay home and read all day long, alas, I am one of the unfortunate people who must work for a living, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.  That and I’m a rather slow reader.

Anyway, the books I read in 2010 were (in no particular order):

  1. The White Tiger – Aravind Adiga
  2. A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
  3. Beat the Reaper – Josh Bazell
  4. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
  5. A Banquet of Hungry Ghosts:  A Collection of Deliciously Frightening Tales – Ying Chang Compestine
  6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  7. In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
  8. Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
  9. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  10. The Enchantress of Florence – Salman Rushdie
  11. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Steig Larsson
  12. The Girl who Played with Fire – Steig Larsson
  13. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
  14. Haroun and the Sea of Stories – Salman Rushdie
  15. I am the Messenger – Markus Zusak
  16. Let the Right One In – John Ajvide Lindquist
  17. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
  18. The Magicians – Lev Grossman
  19. Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
  20. Pirate Latitudes – Michael Crichton
  21. The Prince of Mist – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  22. Po-on – F. Sionil Jose
  23. Percy Jackson and the Olympians:  The Lightening Thief – Rick Riordan
  24. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie – Alan Bradley
  25. Trese (graphic novel) – Budjette Tan/Kajo Baldisimo
  26. Underpass (graphic novel) – Various writers/illustrators
  27. The Uncommon Reader – Alan Bennett
  28. Vernon God Little – DBC Pierre

Most of the books I read this year, I enjoyed a lot.  I normally stop reading a book I don’t find particularly interesting or riveting, except for the case of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, which I finished despite disliking it very much. 

I was quite disappointed with Dracula, Pirate Latitudes and The Banquet of Hungry Ghosts, for various reasons, mostly because they didn’t live up to my expectations.  I was proud of myself for having finished The Enchantress of Florence and Les Miserables, which I both enjoyed immensely.  Novels that stood out for me in 2010 were:  A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Book Thief, The White Tiger, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, In Cold Blood, The Uncommon Reader, and Vernon God Little. 

My goal in 2011:  To read more than 28 books.  Unfortunately, I’m still trying to figure out how to accomplish such a feat…

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