Sunday, January 02, 2011

TSS: Top 10 reads of 2010... and some stats!

One of the hard things at the end of the year is to narrow down your list of reads into those books that you absolutely loved. I have to say though that 2010 was a really good reading year. Normally I might grade three or four books as 5/5 reads but this year I actually had 11! If I have another reading year like that in 2011 then I will be one happy reader/blogger this year. Before I do my list of favourites, here are a few stats about my reading year in 2010 including comments about how I did in terms of my reading resolutions for 2010.

Books Read - 166 (14 more than last year). My goal was 125 so I reached that easily.

Library Books -  (70% of all books read). This is less percentage wise than last year, which I would probably attribute to the ereader I bought late in the year.

Books I Own Read - 49 (of which 11 were books I owned at the start of the year). This means that I read more of my own books than last year, but more of those were new. My goal was 10, so I just managed that!

Books Acquired during 2010 - 125 (TBR pile continues to grow rapidly, and this really, really is getting to be an issue. I really need to read more books that I acquire!)

Books by Australian Authors - 10 which was my goal for the year(this is one stat that I have gone back on this year)

New to me authors - 47 (slightly less than the 50 that I tried for the first time last year)

Best reading months - January and December, when I read 18 books in each month

Worst reading month - April and May when I read only 9 books.

No. of rereads - 4 (very surprised at that one. It's quite unusual for me to reread)

Average Grade - 4.06 which is very slightly down on last year

No. of pages read - 61436

Challenges participated in - 23

My other reading resolutions included reading some Jane Austen, read for my perpetual challenges and reviewing more. I still haven't done any of those, so they might make it onto my list of reading resolutions for this year when I finally get around to writing them!

In terms of genre read, I found it a bit more difficult than usual to collate how many of each type I read because cross genre reads are so much more prevalent in my reading. The one result that did surprise me a little is the amount of romance that I read, because I could have sworn that my romance reading was dropping off at the moment, but apparently not!

Crime - 18 (5 of which could have counted as historical fiction)
Fantasy - 27
Historical Fiction - 37
Romance - 51 (18 contemporary (thank you Robyn Carr again), 3 erotic, 24 historical, 8 paranormal)
Young Adult - 21
Graphic - 5
Non Fiction - 1

Here are the books that I loved so much I gave them 5/5 in the order I read them in. I highly recommend them all:

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss - Patrick Rothfuss takes some familiar tropes of the fantasy genre, but manages to make them fresh and exciting, and I can't wait to read the next book, The Wise Man's Fear which is due out in March 2011.

Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer - I have been reading Heyer in the last couple of years and I have liked them, but this is the first one that I have loved!

The Endless Forest by Sara Donati - This year saw the end of one of my favourite series, and what a conclusion! I loved it! I also read the first book in this series again, Into the Wilderness, as well and absolutely loved it again!)

To Defy a King by Elizabeth Chadwick - This was my most anticipated historical fiction read for this year, and it didn't disappoint! Click here to read a conversation about this book from three of the contributors at Historical Tapestry.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett - This appeared on many must read lists for 2009. I can totally see why!

Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos - Some times you read a book at exactly the right time, and this was one of those books for me. I laughed, I cried, and I closed the book at the end with a huge sigh, a good sigh. This is the second book from this author. I liked the first one a lot, but loved this one. I know the author is working on the third book, but I don't know any more than that. I will be looking out for it.

The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley - After reading The Winter Sea last year (and still gushing about that book to anyone that will listen) it was going to be a requirement to read more from this author. In the end, I read three more books from her this year. I liked the others a lot, but loved this one!

Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden - This book was apparently part of the curriculum for people who are a bit younger than me. I only had the pleasure of discovering the book in 2010. I am glad that I read the book before I saw the movie.

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis - This book was recommended to me years ago. I bought it, and it looked so pretty on the shelf, but it took a readalong with Aarti from Booklust for me to actually read it! I wish I had of read it earlier. This year I intend to read The Doomsday Book.

Mr Rosenblum's List by Natasha Solomons - What a wonderful charming book this was!

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly - For the last two years I have been waiting for the third book in the Rose trilogy to come out. When I heard that Jennifer Donnelly was working on a YA novel before working on that book I was a little disappointed. I mean how much longer did we have to wait! And then the buzz started just before BEA, and then the reviews started. I picked this book up to to read during take off on a flight home with the intention of just reading for the 15 minutes and then swapping to my e-reader. I didn't swap back! What a wonderful book!

There are a few books that I want to give an honorary mention to as being books that I really, really liked, and if I was to regrade right now, I might have given them a slightly higher grade than I did at the time.

Virgin River by Robyn Carr (if only because it started a reading glom like I haven't done in ages on this author)
Roses by Leila Meacham (love a big juicy saga, and this was definitely one of those)
The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen (I do love this author's books. Perfect escapism)
The Passage by Justin Cronin (a bit outside my comfort zone but a very good read)
The Countess and the King by Susan Holloway Scott
Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett (my first witches book but not my last and my favourite read for the Terry Pratchett Challenge that I hosted this year)
Song of Seduction by Carrie Lofty (my first e read!)
The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by CW Gortner

Dark Road to Darjeeling by Deanna Raybourn (it's not often that the fourth book in a series becomes your favourite!)

For some other highlights of this year:

January - apparently not a lot that was exciting or interesting happened in January! Or at least nothing that I blogged about!

February - Went to see Rob Thomas in concert, and had the added bonus of seeing INXS perform a couple of songs away. The atmosphere as INXS performed was amazing!

March - Alex did an amazing job of making over my blog and also Historical Tapestry! I still like to just sit and look at it some days! I also went on vacation to Phillip Island with my friend and her son.

April - I was all set for a big readathon weekend, when I had to make an emergency dash to the other side of the country because my grandmother was ill. It was also Read Our Own Books month - it was so nice to read some of the books that I wanted enough to actually buy!

May - I started participating in Weekend Cooking, which is now one of my favourite blogging events each week. May was also the month of Armchair BEA. I thoroughly enjoyed pretending to be in New York for the week!

June - It was Anya Seton season at Historical Tapestry and I started the Australian Book Blogger Directory. I am hoping to do a lot more with the directory this year.

July - My blog went French for July thanks to the Paris in July event, and I had a total blast!

August - Out of a conversation on Twitter #spbkchat was born!

September - Powderfinger in concert - Awesome! Another awesome thing - I bought my e-reader, and I still love it!

October - Went to see Australian/Irish author Monica McInerney speak.

November - It was my fifth blogiversary, and I had a really great giveaway, even if I do say so myself! Another trip to Perth, this time for my grandmother's 90th birthday.

December - U2 in concert! I hit the blogging wall a little bit in December, but I am sure that I will recover in due course!

So that was the year that was! Over the next few days I will talk about some of the things I want to achieve during 2011.


  1. Oh, your books are so good. I would love to read Revolution. Great list.

  2. Marg that must have taken you forever to come up with all those stats. Great list of books. I have read Into the Wilderness but didnt know it was a series. Will have to check into that. =)

  3. I could read only 95 books. But that's ok. I was in a reading slump for more than four months.

    Happy New Year to you and your family. Have a great reading year in 2011!!!

    Here are my Best Reads of 2010.

  4. I love how different your list is than others I've been seeing. These are some interesting books! I'll be looking for them. Thank you!

  5. Great end of the year wrap up! Loved reading your top 10. The Help was one of my favorites this year! And I actually have The Name of the Wind, which I started and loved, but other reading obligations got in the way before I could finish. Thanks for the reminder about this book- will have to go back and finish now! And I have Revolution sitting in my TBR pile (from BEA!) which I will be putting on the top of the pile now! :-)

    Have a great week!

  6. Wonderful list. I'm definitely going to check out the ones on there I haven't read, since we seem to have such similar tastes! :--)

  7. You had a wonderful reading year, Marg! It's so great when you read so many books you love.

    I hope to get to The Name of the Wind this year. My husband loved it and assures me I will too. The Help and Belong to Me are others I would love to read one of these days. And you've reminded me that I need to get to the first book in the trilogy. I am glad you enjoyed all of these so much.

    I hope you have a great New Year, Marg!

  8. Another big Susanna Kearsley fan -- I liked Shadowy Horses but loved Mariana and The Winter Sea...and I also nominated Devil's Cub as a top fav. I thought it was hilarious. Great reading year!

  9. A great reading year for you - hope this one holds as many wonderful books.
    I've just finished my first book for 2011 - Doomsday Book - I hadn't read Connie Willis before and I loved itand I'm sure you will too. Now look forward to Say Nothing of the Dog.

    Happy New Year :-)

  10. Cool post seeing all the stats! I cannot believe you read 166 books, holy cow! I was proud of myself for reaching 62 ;)

    Revolution was on my top 10 list of this year was sooo good!

    I hope you have another fabulous year of reading in 2011 Marg! Happy New Year!

  11. you read quite a few more than I did this year, but I am hoping to up the ante this year! I also commend you for getting so many of those from the library! I don't use the library very much, but I have a feeling that I could save a whole stash of money if I started!! Great year in books, Marg! I hope this year is even better!

  12. Wow! I'm impressed with the number of books you read, and by how many of them were library books!

    The only one of your 'tops' that I've read is MR. ROSENBLUM'S LIST, which I know in the US as "MR ROSENBLUM DREAMS IN ENGLISH" I loved it, and it's our book group pick for February.

    Best to you for the 2011 goals!

  13. Well done with the library book reading, though perhaps it would be better to read more of those books you acquire than those from the library ;-)

    If you are willing to wait until May, perhaps, I would LOVE to read Doomsday Book with you! It can be our "thing," reading Connie Willis together :-)

  14. Great job reaching all your goals! I need to read something by Connie Willis soon; sounds like she's a very enjoyable author!

  15. Wow, great post - love your stats. You went to some fantastic concerts last year!

  16. Love your stats and highlights, Marg. The only one of your Top 11 that I've read is Tomorrow, when the war began. I read the first 3 or 4 in the series when they came out and my kids were reading them. I like Marsden a lot, but not being a series reader in general, I tired of them after about 4. (I read even less of Harry Potter, just 2.5).

    Love your comment about re-reads. I don't see myself as a re-reader either, but have discovered since starting my blog that I do so more than I thought I did.

    BTW, I'm waiting for the Jane Austen review.

  17. OMG! This is one of the best year end posts I've seen this year. YOu should be proud of your accomplishments this year. You had a banner year :)

  18. Hang on - did you say you'd read one hundred and sixty six books?? That's amazing. No - inspiring!

    To Say Nothing of the Dog is one of my all-time favourites. The Help and The Name of the Wind are two books I've definitely been meaning to check out. Same with Tomorrow, When the War Began. Can you belieeeeve I've never read it?

    Anyway - Happy New Year, and happy reading!

  19. I love reading everyone's bookish stats. It's so much fun to see where our reading has taken us isn't it?

    Wishing you a great reading year and congrats on those 166 books! That's wonderful.



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