2011 Reads in Review

I like keeping track of things, and the books I read are at the top of my memory keeping list. If I want to re-read or recommend something I read 5 years ago, I can find the book pretty darn easily. But part of keeping track of what I read isn’t just record keeping: it’s competition. With myself. Sort of like that Friends episode where Monica tries to compete with herself: this year’s Thanksgiving dinner vs. last year’s Thanksgiving dinner.

In 2011 I chose a different method of choosing the books I read: I read some non-fiction every month, something about language most months, and then read as many books as I can by color stack (I’ve been going through each color, reading all the books I haven’t read yet). This means that I read way fewer books in 2011 than in 2010, but among the 2011 books were Dickens and textbooks, so who’s counting? I might not have beat myself in quantity of books, but 2011 me definitely won on word count. 2012 me, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Here are the reads posts for 2011 by month: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

Below are the finished stacks. There are a few books that I’ll be reading in 2012 that haven’t made it into the stacks from the red-yellow spectrum that are either newly purchased or sequels to books I haven’t read yet. So there will still be some additions:

Pinkish Stack

Red Stack

Orange Stack

Yellow Stack

In case you might be interested in hearing what I had to say about a specific book, here’s all of the 2012 books, linked to their corresponding monthly post. (Books that took more than one month to read link to the month I finished the book).

Fiction
Things Fall Apart (1958) by Chinua Achebe
Journey Into Fear (1940) by Eric Ambler
Sense and Sensibility (1811) by Jane Austen
The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915) by John Buchan
The Big Sleep (1939) by Raymond Chandler
And Then There Were None (1939) by Agatha Christie
An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England (2007) by Brock Clarke
Our Mutual Friend (1864-1865) by Charles Dickens
The Three Musketeers (1844) by Alexandre Dumas trans. Richard Pevear
The Secrets of a Fire King: Stories (1997) by Kim Edwards
Bridget Jones’s Diary (1996) by Helen Fielding
Eat, Pray, Love (2006) by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Confidential Agent: An Entertainment (1939) by Graham Greene
Water for Elephants (2006) by Sara Gruen
How to Be Good (2001) by Nick Hornby
The Conspiracy Club (2003) by Jonathan Kellerman
Dharma Bums (1958) by Jack Kerouac
The Secret Life of Bees (2002) by Sue Monk Kidd
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2005) by Stieg Larsson
Shutter Island (2003) by Dennis Lehane
Let the Right One In (2004) by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Darkly Dreaming Dexter (2004) by Jeff Lindsay
Dearly Devoted Dexter (2005) by Jeff Lindsay
Dexter in the Dark (2007) by Jeff Lindsay
Dexter by Design (2009) by Jeff Lindsay
Dexter Is Delicious (2010) by Jeff Lindsay
Angel: After The Fall Volume 1 (2008) by Brian Lynch and Joss Whedon
The Nine Tailors (1934) by Dorothy L. Sayers
The Doorbell Rang (1965) by Rex Stout
Saving Fish from Drowning (2005) Amy Tan
The Daughter of Time (1951) by Josephine Tey
Vanity Fair (1847-8) by William Thackeray
Half Broke Horses (2009) by Jeannette Walls
Dr. Horrible and Other Horrible Stories (2010) by Zack Whedon
Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale (2010) by Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, and Chris Samnee
Around the World in 80 Days (1873) by Jules Verne

Non-Fiction
Classical and Contemporary Sociological Theory (2007) Scott Applerouth and Laura Desfor Edles (Chapters 1 and 2)
The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions (2006) by Karen Armstrong
For Our Time: 24 Essays by 8 Contemporary Americans (1970) by Barry Gross (Ed.)
The Koran: Selected Suras (2000) ed. Arthur Jeffery
Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 (2005) by Tony Junt
First Meals: The Complete Cookbook and Nutrition Guide (2004) by Annabel Karmel
Essential Works of John Stuart Mill (1959-1873) by John Stuart Mill
The Brain-dead Megaphone (2008) by George Saunders
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (2004) by David Sedaris
Diary of a Napoleonic Foot Soldier by Jakob Walter
The Hedgehog: An Owner’s Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet (1997) by Dawn Wrobel

Language
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print (2nd ed. 2004) by Renni Browne and Dave King
Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare (2008) by Jeremy Butterfield
Aspects of the Novel (1927) E. M. Forster
Butt Rot & Bottom Gas (2007) by Eric Groves, Sr.
The Polysyllabic Spree (2004) by Nick Hornby
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (1994) by Anne Lamott
A Dash of Style: The Art and Mastery of Punctuation (2006) by Noah Lukeman
The Little Red Book of Very Dirty Words (2009) by Alexis Munier

Arts Crafts
The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and On-Line (2010) by Kari Chapin
We Dare You: Scrapbook Challenges About Real Life (2007) by Kristina Contes, Meghan Heath Dymock, Genevieve Simmonds, and Nisa Finn
Printing by Hand (2008) by Lena Corwin
Life Artist (2007) by Ali Edwards
Sharing Your Story: Recording Life’s Details with Mini Books (2008) by Ali Edwards
52 Scrapbooking Challenges (2006) by Elsie Flannigan
52 More Scrapbooking Challenges (2009) by Elizabeth Kartchner
Get Creative with Type: Fun Typography Ideas and Tips for Scrapbooking (2009) by Brian Tippetts

Black and White Shelves

Maybe in 2012 I’ll even get to the black and white bookshelf!