Friday, January 3, 2014

2013: My Year In Books

Books By the Numbers

36 complete books read (mix of lit theory, novels, plays, graphic novels, short story collections, and non-fiction)
33 authors (Salinger, Shakespeare, and Larsson appeared more than once)
14 female authors
19 male authors
14 living authors
19 dead authors
13 books were read for grad school
9 books were read for work to prep for freshmen and American lit
1 book was read because I had a super major crush on a man and it is his favorite book

1. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: Brilliant and touching, it has been a while since I have loved a book the way I loved this book. Also, how many other novels are out there about Chechnya? 
2. Gone Girl: I recommended this book to more people than I have ever recommended any book. It is just so satisfying, and I think that 95% of people will enjoy it.
3. A Visit from the Goon Squad: Absolutely deserved the Pulitzer (although I have read neither of the finalists from 2011, so I am totally saying that based on the merit of this book alone)
4. This is How You Lose Her: I love Junot Diaz, and I loved this collection of short stories.
5. House of Mirth: So easy and satisfying! 
6. Portrait of a Lady: So difficult and satisfying!
7. Titus Andronicus: This is my new favorite Shakespeare play, and it is so over the top and so unlike other plays that I think it is absolutely worth it. Also, the movie version was top notch. 
8. Incidents in the life of a Slave Girl: I said it after I read it and I still believe it: every American needs to read this book. To that end, my American Lit students were subjected to a chapter to coincide with the chapter of Equiano that their textbook provides. 
9. Maus: Incredible graphic novel that is right up there with Persepolis in my eyes.
10. M. Butterfly: Most people don't, I think, read plays for pleasure, but I can't resist putting this on my list. I worked with this text SO much in my final grad school paper that I have SUCH a sweet spot for it. I hope that I am some day able to see the play.

Special Shout Outs to: 
The webcomics that have kept me entertained this year: Anders Loves Maria, Questionable ContentGirls with Slingshots, and Gunnerkrigg Court (links take you to the first comic).

I have never kept track of the books I've read before, so I can't say whether I read more or less or whether this was an unusual mix or not. Even if I don't always blog about my reading, I do want to start keeping a list of each year's books, just so that as I get older I can look back and remember what was going on in my life (for example, this year's list reminds me that I was taking a class on gender, that I was trying to catch up with all the contemporary books I missed, that I was changing schools and needed to catch up on some classics I had missed). 

I wish I had read more, but I have a problem balancing all my hobbies (ukulele, board games, rock climbing, writing, reading, crossfitting, cooking, travelling), and something always gets shoved to the side. This year was a lot more about crossfitting and rockclimbing than anything else. 

For 2014 I am excited to be blogging with 50 books and I have a self-imposed goal to do 50 short stories which I will still update here!

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