At some point over the December holidays I found myself sitting down with a tiny notebook that I received as a gift and began making a list of all the books I read over the past year. It was the first time I ever bothered to do so, and it was largely at the urgings of several friends who have done the same. In the past I’ve always shied away from counting how many books I read in my spare time because I always feared that if I did and someone asked me how many I read over the course of a year that it would somehow seem like I was bragging or exaggerating.
Well, this year I’ve decided not to hide from the fact that I’m a rather avid reader. Making a list like this isn’t all about the numbers, it actually has a lot to do with simply remembering what books I read this year. I realized the importance of this latter bit when a friend of mine recently asked me if I read any good books lately and if I had any recommendations. I named a few titles, but going further back than two or three books caused me to draw a blank; I simply couldn’t remember what I read.
So, in order to avoid future embarrassment of the same sort, I’ll now be keeping track of what I read. For clarity’s sake, I will only be keeping track of books that I read in their entirety (sorry Moby Dick) and in my own spare time. Textbooks and chapters of compilations that are assigned to me in my Grad seminar will be excluded, but novellas, anthologies and monographs will make the grade.
Over the course of 2011, I read a total of 19 books. It was a bit of a slow year where reading was concerned, especially compared to the previous year when I discovered the works of George R. R. Martin and found myself diving into Stephen King for the first time , but I’m nevertheless pleased with the titles I was able to finish.
The list is as follows (grouped by author):
- Rage by Stephen King
- The Long Walk by Stephen King
- Dreamcatcher by Stephen King
- The Shining by Stephen King
- The Stand by Stephen King
- Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert
- The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
- The Girl who Stirred the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson
- The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
- Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson
- Casino Royale by Ian Flemming
- From Russia with Love by Ian Flemming
- I, the Jury by Mickey Spillane
- Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
- The Door into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein
- The Cult of the Saints by Peter Brown
- Saints Alive by David Williams
- Red Sands by A. Sauliere
- Plato and a Platypus by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein