Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Annual Recap & Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy Birthday To Me!

My blog is a chronicle of what I read from one birthday to the next so today is also the start of a new year on my blog - woohoo! I started tracking my annual reads when I turned 30 ... today I turn 32, so that means two years of book stats (although it is not yet my 2nd blogiversary).

This past year has been a pretty good one. Today I'll recap my 31st year in books and later this week I'll recap some of the big events of the year.

(In case you're wondering, yes, that is the exact cake I would choose for my birthday if I were planning it myself. I'm not a big cake fan but chocolate chip cookie cakes are my absolute favorite!)


Before I begin though ...

I want to say thank you to all of my wonderful readers - both those who've been around a while and those who are new here. Blogging wouldn't be the fun thing it is without people to read my posts, and I appreciate each and every one of you whether you comment or not.


*** Favorite Books ***


I'm starting with this because I really don't think most of you are interested in my reading stats - they are more for my own knowledge. But I DO think that you might like to know which books really kept my attention this year ...

I recently looked over all my reviews from the past 12 months and came up with a list of favorites. It was an interesting process because these are not necessarily the books I would have picked at the end of each month. Rather they are ones that have stuck with me throughout the year for one reason or another; when I saw these titles on my list of reviewed books, they jumped out at me. I'm grouping them by genre but I hope you'll check them all out (links take you to my reviews).

- HISTORICAL FICTION -
  • People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks (audio) -I wanted to start listening again as soon as it finished
  • Sword Song, by Bernard Cornwell (audio) - this is the latest in the Saxon Chronicles series and it was fantastic
  • The Last Queen, by CW Gortner -this author is new to me but I've recommended this book to just about everyone, and so far everyone is agreeing with me that it is really good
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows- this one truly does deserve the hype it got - even my Gram, who lived in England during WWII, enjoyed it
  • A Thread of Grace, by Mary Doria Russell - this wasn't an "easy" read but the work I put into it was definitely worth it
- NON-FICTION -
  • The Lost Men, by Kelly Tyler-Lewis - I'm fascinated with polar exploration and this story was new to me and incredibly fascinating
  • The Horse Boy, by Rupert Isaacson (audio) - Kiddo and the autistic boy in this book are very close in age, so this book hit me rather hard
  • Golden Boy, by Martin Booth - an entertaining memoir that gave me a clue of the life my dad lived as a child
- FANTASY -
  • A Companion to Wolves, by Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear - this book had detailed world and character development and approached tough topics head-on

And now for the stats ...

My goal for this year was to get through at least 100 books in some form or another. With 70 paper books and 33 audio books I definitely met that goal.


*** Books - 70
(21,349 pages) ***

Based on those numbers, I read about about 6 books each month with an average of 305 pages each. That turns into about 1,780 pages per month, or about 60 pages a day.


*** Audio Books - 33 (402.9 hours) ***

That is just under 17 days of audio book hours. Again according to my numbers, the average audio book was about 12 hours long and I listened to an average of just under 3 books each month (or just under 30 minutes each day).


*** Short Stories - 3 (48 pages) ***

Not much to say about these ... I read them for a challenge but they didn't stick with me. I did read two short story collections as well; they were good but I'm still not a short story fan.


*** Mom & Son Book Club ***

Kiddo and I reviewed 3 books this year: one, two, and three. We read other shorter books as well but we didn't review those. I hope that we can do better this coming year!


*** DNF (Did Not Finish) - 12 ***

I gave up on 12 books this year. Reasons for not finishing include: didn't like, wasn't what I expected, got bored, and the book was just that bad. One DNF per month is a pretty good average I think. If there were more, I'd be worried ...


*** New TBR (To Be Read) Titles - 177 ***

Of those 177 additions to my TBR list, I read or listened to 20 titles this year.


*** Kiddo's TBR titles - 16 ***

Kiddo and I read one of those books this year.


*** Other Stats/Facts ***

I was going to recap my challenges here but I've decided to save that until the end of the calendar year as that is when most of them actually conclude.



That's all for now ... but I'll be back with more posts soon, after I've enjoyed my birthday. :)

34 comments:

Anna van Gelderen said...

Many happy returns, Heather, or, as we say in Dutch: VAN HARTE GEFELICITEERD!

Goddess said...

Happy Birthday! I am so impressed with your list! Totally cool! Give my love to everyone!

Jenn's Bookshelves said...

Happy Birthday, Heather!!

bermudaonion said...

Happy Birthday to you! You share your birthday with a great man (in my humble opinion.)

Lezlie said...

Happy Birthday, Heather!

Lezlie

Photogrl said...

Happy Birthday!!

Have a GREAT day! :)

Lenore said...

Happy birthday! May your blog continue to blossom in the years to come :)

WordLily said...

Happy birthday!

thetruebookaddict said...

Happy Birthday! Be sure to enjoy your day to the fullest!

Three of the books you have listed as favorites I have in my library TBR...Sword Song, People of the Book and A Thread of Grace. I'm going to try to incorporate them in to a challenge so I can get them read.

Great post! And again, have a great day =o)

Alyce said...

Happy Birthday! You've had an awesome year of reading! People of the Book is going to be one of my top books of the year too.

Heather J. said...

*** THANK YOU TO ALL!!! ***

Anna - I feel cultured now! :)

Goddess - Will do.

bermudaonion - Happy Birthday to your dad as well - 90 years young!

Lenore - Thank you!

thetruebookaddict - DEFINITELY need to read those! Have you read the rest of THE SAXON CHRONICLES?

Alyce - You and I seem to agree on LOTS of books, more and more often! :)

Regina said...

Happy Birthday!

You've inspired me. I started tracking my reads in January. My goal was 60 books. I've totally done that. Sometime in December I'll have to do a report.

And...yes! You should be hearing much more from me on the Leakey Faucet.

Belated congratulations to Kiddo on his goal!

Love, Regina

Ryan G said...

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Heather, Happy Birthday to you!

And an early Happy Blog Anniversary as well!

Diversions said...

Happy Birthday!
Looks like it was a wonderful reading year. May this next year bring more of the same.

Ti said...

Happy Birthday to you and your blog!

Florinda said...

Happy birthday, Heather, and thanks for continuing to share your "lifetime of books" with us!

trish said...

Happy Birthday, Heather! Glad you recapped your favorite books. A few got added to my list. ;-)

softdrink said...

Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!

Katie said...

Happy Birthday!

OpheliaZepp said...

Happy Birthday!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

The happiest of birthdays to you, Heather!

Serena said...

Happy birthday on both accounts. Wow, that is a lot of stats. What a great list of accomplishments.

Valerie said...

Happy Birthday Heather!1 You're just a spring chicken ;-).

I really enjoyed "Guernsey" and "the Last Queen" this year. I have "People of the Book" in my TBR. I wish I could get as much reading done as you do!

Rebecca Reid said...

Happy birthday! That cookie cake looks very yummy!!!!!!

Amy said...

Happy Birthday! Here's to a wonderful year!
Thank you for sharing your books.

Dreamybee said...

Happy birthday! I'm so glad you decided to keep blogging after your first year!

Given your love of polar expedition stories, I thought you might like this short story by Catherynne M. Valente: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/valente_05_08/

Violet said...

Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday dear Heather
Happy Birthday to you :)

How did you like my singing? :)

Anna said...

Happy Birthday and congrats on all of your accomplishments.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Heather J. said...

*** Thank you for all the birthday wishes!!! ***

Regina - So glad to know that I inspired you! I'll be looking forward to your list in December. :)

Ryan G - Thanks for singing to me!

trish - yes, lists like this can be deadly to other bloggers' TBRs. ~lol~

Valerie - too funny! I always wish I could get as much reading done as bloggers like S.Krishna!

dreamybee - I'll definitely be checking that out, thx.

Violet - Thanks for singing to me!

Suey said...

I'm very late to the party, but I still wanted to drop by to say Happy Birthday! (Mine is next week and lets just say, I'm way beyond 32... but I still feel 17. Sad. Or maybe not. I can't decide.)

Enjoyed the stats. You make me think I really should try the audio books. I just don't think it would work for me, but I guess you never know.

Heather J. said...

Suey - In the right setting, audio books can be wonderful - but you need no distractions. :) Thanks for the bday wishes!

Rebecca :) said...

Happy belated birthday, Heather! Sorry I am so tardy to the party! You had a great reading year. I am having a b-day book giveaway over on my blog if you're interested. Maybe you can win a b-day present!

Nan said...

I'm late, I'm late for a very important date! I hope your day was as special as you are, Heather!

I love keeping stats too. They are on my sidebar, and I expect no one is interested but me. :<) I'm with you on the 'Guernsey' book. I so loved it.

Congrats on your birthday and your blog anniversary.

ANovelMenagerie said...

Happy Birthday, youngin'!

Sorry it's belated.

I'm in homework-hell!

Sheri

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