Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Reading Stats & Favorite Reads of 2009

This post is a reflection of the books I read last year by numbers, genre and favorites.

The numbers
I read a total of 79 books, averaging 6 to 7 books per month, which is 18 more total books than I read in 2008, so I'm happy about that, especially considering how busy the first half of 2009 was for me with construction on the house, moving back home, unpacking, setting up house and all that other jazz. I'm going to be bold and aim to read 100 in 2010. I'm aiming to read 8 books per month, 10 books each in July and August when I have more spare time.

The genres
I read from a 11 different literary genres in 2009, which made it my most diverse reading year yet and I really enjoyed the variety. I definitely see myself continuing with this pattern of mixing up my genre selections from now on, although I'm sure romance will dominate. Here's a list of the genres I read and the number of books in each:

Contemporary Romance . . . 18
Historical Romance . . . 17
Young Adult . . . 14
Paranormal Romance . . . 10
Mystery . . . 6
Urban Fantasy . . . 6
Fantasy . . . 3
General Fiction . . . 2
Sci Fi . . . 1
Memoir . . . 1
Children's Fiction . . . 1

The favorites
I also keep a running list of the books I read each month at my book archives if you're interested in exactly what I was reading last year. Sometimes I even write a few brief comments or notes on the books, too. My favorite reads, though, do deserve an extra shout out, so I'm going to list them here, although it was very difficult to come up with a list of favorites. I enjoyed every book I read this year and can truthfully recommend them all. I'm not kidding.

I attempted a list of Top 10, but I couldn't draw the line! Hey, it's my blog and I can do what I want, so here's my Top 20 Reads of 2009.

My Top 20 Reads of 2009:
Listed in the order I read them by genre . . .

Favorite Urban Fantasy novels:
Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh
Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews
Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs
Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey

Favorite Young Adult novels:
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Favorite Contemporary Romances:
Stranger by Megan Hart
Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas
The Chocolate Run by Dorothy Koomson
Stolen Fury by Elisabeth Naughton
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Although Garden Spells is categorized as general fiction, it's a contemporary romance according to my standards. ;)

Favorite Historical Romances:
Broken Wing by Judith James
Knight of Desire by Margaret Mallory
The Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare
Surrender of a Siren by Tessa Dare

Favorite Fantasy novels:
The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop

(I'm cheating and naming the whole trilogy)

Favorite Mystery novels:
The Spellman Files series by Lisa Lutz

(Cheating again and naming the whole series)

Are any of your favorite reads of 2009 on my list?

Up next, I'll be making individual posts for each of the Reading Challenges I'm joining for 2010 and uh... I'm just warning you. There's quite a few. It is possible I got a bit over zealous with the challenge thing. Just a bit. :o)


  1. Oh, great (and very impressive :) list Christine! I read Magic Bites last year and really enjoyed it. That surprised me, because a UF novel with a kick-a*s heroine normally isn't for me, but this one worked. I've just finished Magic Burns (the seocnd book) and am hoping I can read Magic Strikes ASAP (I keep checking the library catalogue :)

    I'm looking forward to seeing the challenges you've joined for 2010!

  2. orannia, I'm glad you're enjoying the Kate Daniels series. If I wasn't at the cusp of joining too many reading challenges than I can probably handle, I would volunteer to re-read Magic Strikes with you. I liked it THAT much.

    Michelle, thanks! And here I thought 79 books was modest compared to most book addicts. Do you know how many books you read last year?

  3. That's a great list, Christine, and you read with more variety than I did.

    I hate to try and count because I think the number is close to 200. That's sick. And explains why I always feel sleep deprived. I stay up way too late reading.

    Garden Spells was most definitely a romance. I'm now a huge Sarah Addison Allen fan and I can't wait for her next book. I love the food themes :-)

  4. I'm glad to know someone who has as varied a reading propensity as I do. *g* I became a fan of Ilona Andrews books this year and read every one I could get my hands on. (On the Edge started me off and now I can't wait for book 4 Kate and Bayou Moon.) I didn't keep records this past year since I switched to a Mac, but am hoping to keep better records this year. I can't wait to see how many challenges you've started! *G*

  5. LOL on the cheating! I had a heck of a time and ended up with a double list... I liked so many. Ilona Andrews, yes! I have Lament on my TBR now. I'll be reading that one this year & of course Garden Spells.

    I can't wait to see your list of Challenges. I got a bit over zealous myself. ;P

  6. I'm so happy to see you have The Black Jewels Trilogy listed :D! And you have to list them as one book anyway, because it really is like one book. You certainly can't read one with out the others.

    I loved Surrender of a Siren! And Broken Wing.

    I'll probably only read about what you did this year. About 7 books a month is what I've been averaging the last few months. That'll be kinda weird to read less than 100 books :). I guess I will have to be more selective, make sure I'm getting the most out of my reading time.

  7. Great list, Christine :D and that is indeed a nice number given how busy you've been this year :D and your reads were very varied, that's great :D

    Do you consider The Chocolate Run a romance or chick-lit? i got it from the library, but it does feel a bit more chick-lit than romance.

    Hmm, need to go back and look for your review of Gone Too Far by Jennifer Echols.

    I've decided to wait till the last Spellman is out, see who Izzy ends up with before continuing the series LOL :P

  8. I see a few that made my list and some that are on the tbr pile which is always good news!

    Excellent idea to keep track of the genres. Something I need to add to my speadsheet. :)

    LOL @ the challenges. My challenge list keeps growing and growing.

  9. Great list. I see lots on my tbr list there!

  10. I have read so few of your favourites - must go fix that! I actually have Sarah Dessen's book, I've been hearing such great things about it.

    And yay for the Spellmans :-) I can't wait for the next book.


  11. I'm even more keen to read Magic Strikes. And can I just say I love Derek :) He's just.... *speechless*

  12. I'm always in awe of all you folks who track so diligently. Someday, I will track my books. Or maybe not, LOL.

    I'm going to try to get a best of post up this week. Yeah, don't hold your breath :)

  13. You have such a great list of books! Many are on my Wanna Read

  14. Phyl, 200 books isn't sick! It's amazing! I'd have to lose a lot of sleep to read that many books in a year, too. Thanks, too, for validating my claim that GARDEN SPELLS is a romance. Wasn't it such a sweet story? I plan on borrowing SUGAR QUEEN from the library soon.

    Brandy, I have a Mac, too and simply keep a running list in Notes in the Mail Application. You should try keeping track this year. It's a lot of fun reflecting on the list at the end of the year and crunching some numbers to see what your personal trends were.

    Hilcia, Oh, I hope you enjoy both LAMENT and GARDEN SPELLS when you get to them. Both authors have a wonderfully alluring story telling voice.

    Overzealous with your challenges, huh? Do you mean the 'In Death' one I signed you up for? LOL Did you join others? I was catching up at your blog earlier today but got distracted, so I'll finish up in the morning. Sleep is calling me right now. ;)

    Amy, of course The Black Jewels Trilogy made my list. Thank you so much for encouraging me to finally read it and for actually sending me the books!

    I think you read more than 79 books in 2009! Some months you read over a dozen each! I think you're right about having to be more selective about which books you pick up when you have less time to devote to reading.

    nath, I'm not really sure how to gage whether THE CHOCOLATE RUN is more romance or chick-lit. I would say it is along the lines of Lisa Kleypas' contemporaries where the story is definitely about the female lead and her world... but the ultimate conflict and plot thread is her love life. Does that help? I really loved it... I hope you do, too.

    I actually didn't review GOING TOO FAR by Jennifer Echols, but there are quite a few bloggers in our circle who did. Angieville, The BookSmugglers, Kati, Katiebabs and KMont all reviewed it, I believe.

    You're so funny about waiting to find out who Izzy ends up with. I have a strong wish for how the series ends... I hope it comes true. *crosses fingers*

    Leslie, you have a spreadsheet? So cool. I just keep a running list, then look at the genres and numbers at the end of the year. LOL.

    Linda, Hi! It's always nice to see books on your TBR on someone's favorite list, isn't it? Kind of gives you hope that you will indeed actually read those books on your shelves someday because someone you know liked the books! LOL!

    Li, is your Sarah Dessen book THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER? I absolutely LOVED it. I think I'm actually going to re-read it!

    I can't wait for THE SPELLMANS STRIKE AGAIN, too!!! :o)

    orannia, read MAGIC STRIKES soon! It's so good. A bit graphic here and there... but so good!

    Lori, I can't believe you don't even keep a simple list! LOL! Please do a 'Best of" list, unless you did already. I love seeing what everyone's favorite books were... especially for readers like you who read SO MUCH! It helps me prioritize my TBR and Wish lists. ;)

    J.Kaye, Thanks! I hope you get to those books on your Wanna Read List. Is SANTA OLIVIA by Jacqueline Carey on that list of yours? I happen to think it's one you'd enjoy.

  15. Yes, that's my Sarah Dessen book. Okay, you've convinced me, have to pick it up next!

    And I too have very strong feelings about who Izzy should end up with! :-D


  16. Li, I hope you like the Dessen book as much as I did. Now I'm scared that it'll fall short. LOL.

    I'm thinking we're thinking the same thing about how and who we want to end Izzy's story. I will cry if it's not what we are thinking. Michelle (see second commenter above) already read an ARC of the last Spellman book and knows the ending, but I made her swear not to tell me. ;)

  17. I've gotta read Garden Spells, esp now that someone calls it a romance.

    I loved Truth About Forever, and Bone Crossed on your list. Oh and Going Too Far.

    I'm in a real mood for romance novels right now, it'll be interesting to see how this year shakes out for me.

  18. Love 2009 lists, I see some good books on there, and some I really want to read :)

  19. I am planning to take Garden Spells to Hawaii, good idea? bad idea?

  20. Yes! It will be a nice, sweet, feel good story to read on vacation. A little bit of magic, some sisterly bonding, and a sweet romance... I think you'll like it!


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