December 31st, 2006

The 2006 Total

Having totted up my reading for this year, I have to admit glorious failure in attempting to read my height in books. This despite being shorter than some 10 year olds.

Looking through the list, it's not all doom and gloom. This year's favourites include Levitt's fantastically entertaining 'Freakonomics'; the bizarrely entitled 'Killing Yourself to Live' by Chuck Klosterman; Christopher Meyer's 'DC Confidential', which is like reading the best of Radio 4 politics, but with more bitching and Kate Mosse's 'Labyrinth', which actually lived up to the hype.

I also surprised myself by ploughing through Tariq Ali's 'The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity' and promptly forgetting most of it. Ditto Bill Bryson's 'A Short History of Nearly Everything', though it is far and away the more entertaining of the two.

In the 'don't bother' pile, I'd stick 'The Blind Assassin', because even Margaret Atwood gets it wrong at times, anything by Michael Moore (I should have known better) and the intriguing but irritatingly flawed vampire novel 'The Historian' by Elizabeth Kostova.

I'm not sure what my goal is for 2007. This year's reading has been heavily slanted towards non-fiction and unfortunately most of the fiction I have read has disappointed, so I'd definitely like to read more good fiction.

With that in mind, I found Pratchett's 'Wintersmith' in my stocking this year. I wonder, if I start it today, but finish it erm, tomorrow, probably, does it count for 2007? Or perhaps it's more likely that I'll start it today and tonight's guests won't be fed on indeed spoken to...

Update: Erk, I've been rumbled and asked to clean things. I suppose I'll be starting the book in earnest tomorrow.
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Year end totals

I stopped counting the height of the books I was reading in September. I stopped for two reasons, firstly because I was a couple of inches off my height so I was clearly going to reach it and secondly because that's when I started reading electronic books and how do you measure the height of an electronic book?

But I kept on with noting the books I read and the total for 2006 was 83 books, which breakdown as follows:

72 fiction
11 non-fiction
21 Re-reads
62 first time reads

The full list of the books I read in 2006 is here.

The best of the yearCollapse )

I think 83 books is a decent amount to read in a year so I'm not going to challenge myself to read more in 2007, rather I'm going to challenge myself to read more new (to me) authors. This year I read nine new authors (not counting non-fiction). So next year I will set a target of fifteen.

Any recommendations?