2010: My Year In Reading

I’ve been keeping a list of every book I’ve finished for the last ten years now.  Below is my list for 2010.  After the title and author, I put the date I finished each one–notice that, since I tend to read several books at once, I go through long periods of not finishing anything, and then a few titles will all cluster together as I wrap up a batch.

The number after each one is how much I enjoyed it (not necessarily how good it is), on a scale of 1-10, though it’s really more of a 1-5 scale, since in ten years, I’ve only given one book a score lower than 6.  For me, 10=perfect; loved everything about it; 9=mostly excellent, definitely enjoyed it; 8=above average, worth reading, but not a favorite that I’d read again; 7=had many good parts, but needed improvement-probably worth reading, but often disappointing; 6=very disappointing, probably not worth reading-not awful, but not very good, either. 

2010 was a good year for reading, but not great.  The best thing I can say about this year is the quality of so many of the books I read–more perfect 10’s this year than any other so far–seven in one year!  Reading only 27 total is just average, though.  In the decade I’ve been keeping track, the best total I had was in 2005–38 books; the worst was 2001 and 2008–only 19 books in those years.  (2005 only had six perfect 10’s.)

Some of these books I reviewed or commented on here already; most I haven’t.  This year I seem to have read a lot of children’s stuff, and memoirs.  There’s no special reason for this.  I usually read a lot more genre novels, and there were no LDS books in 2010.  Other than continuing to pick away at classics, I have no specific goals for reading in 2010, so we’ll see what happens. 

Here’s the list for 2010:

  1. Sister Wendy’s 1000 Masterpieces, Wendy Beckett (2/6, art)–10
  2. Some Fruits of Solitude, William Penn (2/11, self improvement)–7
  3. The Black Cauldron, Lloyd Alexander (2/13, children’s/fantasy)–8
  4. The Meditations, Marcus Aurelius (2/19, philosophy)–9
  5. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (4/26, memoir)–7
  6. Tinkers, Paul Harding (4/30, literature)–8
  7. The Last American Man, Elizabeth Gilbert (5/11, biography, living well)–10
  8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jeff Kinney (6/1, humor, children’s)–7
  9. Analects, Confucius (6/4, philosophy)–7
  10. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Kate DiCamillo (6/4, children’s)–10
  11. Cirque du Freak, Darren Shan (6/19, children’s, horror)–6
  12. The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay (7/1, politics)–10
  13. The Frogs, Aristophanes (7/8, Greek drama, humor)–9
  14. Dune, Frank Herbert (7/14, science fiction)–10
  15. A Lost Lady, Willa Cather (7/17, literature)–8
  16. The Tempest, William Shakespeare (8/4, literature)–9
  17. Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (8/17, current events, memoir)–8
  18. Peace Like a River, Lief Enger (8/24, literature)–9
  19. No Country For Old Men, Cormac McCarthy (8/26, literature)–10
  20. World War Z, Max Brooks (9/11, fiction, horror)–10
  21. The Ruins, Scott Smith (10/9, horror)–8
  22. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins (11/2, children’s, science fiction)–9
  23. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving (11/30, literature)–9
  24. The Life of Our Lord, Charles Dickens (12/20, children’s/religion)–8
  25. My Reading Life, Pat Conroy (12/22, reading, memoir)–9
  26. America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag, Sarah Palin (12/22, politics)–7
  27. Dreaming in Chinese, Deborah Fallows (12/26, language, travel, memoir)–8

2 comments on “2010: My Year In Reading

  1. My ambitious goal for 2011 is to go through Shakespeare’s plays again (for some reason, I don’t care so much about the other stuff). Or, failing that, recapping The Heart Darkness, History of Philosophy and some other basic philosophy.

    The last book in 2010 was Karen Armstrong’s The case for God (the Brits don’t capitalize all words in titles), which I recommend; it helps one understand how theology has developed along with philosophy — let’s say that it’s just an introductory, but does contain some interesting stuff. The major thing there is, what I’ve actually been thinking, that although the revelations we have give some idea about what God is like (we are indeed created in his image), but though we can through our personal revelation have a relationship, our imperfect language will always fall short of being capable of describing the perfect being.

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