Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 Retrospective

I'm back. No really, I mean it this time. One of my New Year's resolutions is to get back on my feet with regards to blogging and reading, both of which have fallen off precipitously. Compared to the previous two years in which I have completed the following meme, my stats have revealed themselves to be quite pitiful. All in all, 2011 was not a good year.

How many books read in 2011?

Only 39. *sigh*

How many works of fiction and non-fiction?

Three were works of non-fiction.

Male/Female author ratio?

I read 9 books by women and 5 short story anthologies that were mixed. The remaining 23 authors I read were men.

Favorite books of 2011?

The short stories of Robert W. Chambers and Arthur Machen, W.H. Pugmire's Sesqua Valley and Other Haunts (got it for Christmas, will review soon!), The Girl Who Played Go, and Memoirs of Hadrian.

Least favorite?

Ugh, Herland. Terrible example of feminism.

Any that you simply couldn't finish and why?

None this year.

Oldest book read?

The Subjugation of Women, published in 1869.


Two anthologies from the Innsmouth Free Press that came out earlier this year: Historical Lovecraft and Candle in the Window.

Longest and shortest book titles?

Snow had the shortest title in terms of letter count. Leaving out anthology titles such as The White People and Other Stories: Vol. 2 of the Best Weird Tales of Arthur Machen, The Dodecahedron, or A Frame for Frames was the longest.

Longest and shortest books?

The Robert Chambers anthology was the longest at 643 pages. I didn't read every story in it, however. House of Leaves was 662 pages but probably doesn't count either due to its unconventional structure and extensive notes, illustrations, and so forth. That leaves The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo at 590 pages.

How many from the library?

9 from the library, down from a high of 15 last year. But then, I read far fewer books this year so maybe it's proportionally the same.

Any translated books?

20 total, well over half the total number read.

Most-read author this year, and how many books by that author?

Naguib Mahfouz, thanks to the Cairo Trilogy read-along. Machen and Chambers tie in the short story department.

Any re-reads?

Yep. I re-read quite a few Machen and Chambers stories. They are absolute musts for any Lovecraft fan. I almost liked them better!

Favorite character of the year?

Simon Gregory Williams, the gloriously flamboyant spawn of Sesqua Valley. He is the creation of W.H. Pugmire, a modern Cthulhu Mythos author whom I will be reviewing shortly.

What countries did you end up visiting?

So many! In terms of authors' nationalities, I visited Japan, Bulgaria, Serbia, Egypt, China, Sweden, Denmark, South Africa, France, Turkey, Great Britain, Lebanon, Argentina, and Canada.

What books wouldn't you have read without someone's specific recommendation?

None. I didn't stray too far from my comfort zone this year. Maybe that will be another New Year's resolution - explore new books!

What authors were new to you in 2010 and you now want to read more works of?

W.H. Pugmire. In fact, I used the $30 Barnes & Noble gift card I got for Christmas to order yet another one of his books, which I just received today and am already halfway through.

What books are you annoyed you didn't read?

I didn't participate nearly as much in the Year of Feminist Classics as I should have. Very disappointing.

Did you read any books you have always been meaning to read?

Machen, Chambers, Pugmire, and Stanley C. Sargent, thanks to my ongoing Lovecraft obsession.

Complete stats here.


Anonymous said...

over fifty percent in translation is a great total emily ,all the best for the new year stu

Caitlin Martin said...

Read what makes you happy and write about whatever makes you happier whenever you want to and you'll be fine. Blogs and reading aren't work (and shouldn't be even if you're making a zillion dollars in affiliate fees). You need to love this stuff and pick your own way to manage it.

I always enjoy your reviews and will look forward, as always, to seeing more of them and you.

Happy New Year!

Sarah (tuulenhaiven) said...

Memoirs of Hadrien will be on my favorites list as well. And I swear I'll dive into Lovecraft sometime this year, for sure, finally!

E. L. Fay said...

Thanks for stopping by, guys. I'm extending my Year of Lovecraft (which was 2011) to a Lifetime of Lovecraft so be on the lookout for more reviews in that area, in addition to my usual fare of literature in translation.

Anonymous said...

I had a difficult year as well. But this is supposed to be fun so no pressures. Your stats are good and such a high % of translated works is fantastic.

E. L. Fay said...

Yep. Despite my obsession with all things Cthulhu, international literature is still my primary love. I'm actually reading Naguib Mahfouz right now.

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