The holidays have been quite different from what I’ve imagined, blog-wise and book-wise. Consider the following parameters: a Baby Smithereens overjoyed to have his mommy all day to himself (bS), a brand new computer positioned in Baby Smithereens’ room (C), but no wireless connection (Wi); 5 books waiting to be reviewed (R); festivities and families (F) that add to Baby Smithereens’ excitement… Combine all this into an equation:
bS + C(bS) – Wi + F² * bS + R*5 = 0
as in: no time to post!
I love blog traditions for the end of year like the yearly roundup, this nice meme I’ve seen going around with first lines of each month, the book stats and the best books of the year, but this time I’m unprecedentedly late. Holidays have been devoted to those close to me, and I’ve neglected the virtual world for a while, which is also a good thing.
So before I tackle these fun activities, let me wish you all the best for the new year. I wish you to discover in 2010 books that will move you, will make you change your mind, will comfort you, will transport you to faraway places, will make you laugh and think and want to share it with your friends, both in real life and in blogs. I also want to thank you readers for your nice comments and support. I love it when my monologues turn into a dialog, so I’ll try to be quicker to answer to your comments in 2010.
In 2009, I managed to read 53 books, a bit down from 2008. I sort of wished I could read more than in 2008 when the first months with Baby Smithereens had been quite crazy, but I’d obviously forgotten that during my prenatal break I’d had time to read quite a lot (not to mention those luxurious naps!).
- Books by American writers: 15 (pretty much the same as last year)
- Books by British writers: 19 (a bit more than last year)
- Books by French writers: 10 (even less than last year, even though I thought I’d try to be more open to my fellow countrymen lit)
- Books by other writers: 9 (Irish, Russian, Japanese, Canadian, Israeli, African and Chilean) – I’m happy that I managed to open a bit the geographical area of the books I read, thanks notably to the Global Voices Challenge, but that’s really not enough. British writers take such a large share of my shelves!
- Fiction: 41 (necessarily down from last year)
- Non-Fiction: 12 (more than last year and very diverse, from essays by Siri Hustvedt to Sakhalin Island by Chekhov)
- Short story collections: 5
- Mysteries: 21 (I’m amazed to discover that many mysteries… It’s a sort of snobbish reflex to care only about highbrow literature, isn’t it? The big winner of 2009 is Ruth Rendell (aka Barbara Vine), with 4 titles within a single year)
- Published in 21C: 29
- Published in 20C: 20
- Published in 19C or before: 4 (that’s not ideal but already better than last year’s paltry one)
- Written by women: 32 (that’s a good surprise!)
I know that Mr Smithereens finds it weird to compute reading stats, but I enjoy doing those, and I’m surprised every time by the outcome. I definitely haven’t a realistic picture of my reading habits in mind, especially about historical and geographical origins, and in writer’s gender. 2010 is perhaps the year to adjust my choices so that my mental representation becomes fact, for a change!