I didn’t get to this before because so far this year I’ve been very lazy. My productivity in all aspects of my life is down right now.
I read 374 books last year, nine more than my goal of 365 (that is, averaging one book a day) and considerably less than the 445 I read in 2010. Most of them were fairly short; Goodreads says I read a total of 89,576 pages, or approximately 239 pages per book.
The first book I read in 2011 was Alex F. Young’s The Encyclopaedia of Scottish Executions, 1750-1963. The last was the legendary Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. (Yes, I do occasionally read bestsellers. Once in a blue moon.)
For my around the world project I read books for the following countries: Albania, Angola, the Bahamas, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Cuba, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Honduras, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mali, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Oman, Palau, Panama, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, the Solomon Islands, Suriname, Swaziland, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu and Zambia. I had hoped to get the project done this year, but alas, I have 17 books to go. However, I’ve got five of those sitting in my lap right now.
If I had to wedge each book into a single category, the “Holocaust” books would be the most read: 94. There were also 46 true crime books, twenty books of history, 33 young adult books and 32 psychology books. Of course, most of my books could fit in several categories. The lack of young adult reading this year bothers me. I need to make up for it this year. Young adult literature is highly under-appreciated.
The longest book I read this year was probably The Warsaw Ghetto: A Guide to the Perished City by Barbara Engelking and Jacek Leociak. It was 960 pages of tiny print and probably my favorite Holocaust book of the year. I have to mention the book with the most arresting title: I Am the Market: How to Smuggle Cocaine by the Ton, in Five Easy Lessons by Luca Rastello. I think my favorite around the world book was Forbidden Bread by Erica Johnson Debeljak for Slovenia. The best true crime book was probably Carol Ann Lee’s One of Your Own: The Life and Death of Myra Hindley.