Friday, December 31, 2010

Year-End Reading Report 2010

Once again the year has passed by much more quickly than I would have ever thought possible, and it's time to compile the annual reading statistics.

I read 136 books this year (for an average of one book every 2.7 days), markedly up from last year but not quite reaching my high (154 books in 2006). The largest chunk of this year's books were read in my capacity as a judge for the Massachusetts Center for the Book's non-fiction award. I also read more than 1,000 issues of the Bermuda Gazette (1784-1804), noting mentions of books, reading, &c.

Here are my top five fiction and non-fiction reads (in no particular order):

- The Complete Ghost Stories of M.R. James: Volume I (review); Volume II (review)
- The Vaults by Toby Ball (review)
- It's a Book by Lane Smith
- My Life with the Lincolns by Gayle Brandeis (review)
- Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (review)

Honorable mentions to Italo Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler (review) and Patrick O'Brian's The Surgeon's Mate (review).

- Too Much to Know by Ann Blair (review)
- Ratification by Pauline Maier (review)
- A History of the Book in America, Vol. II; edited by Robert Gross and Mary Kelley (review)
- In the Eye of All Trade by Michael Jarvis (review)
- The Oxford Companion to the Book; edited by Michael F. Suarez, S.J. and H.R. Woudhuysen (review)

Honorable mentions to David Grann's The Devil and Sherlock Holmes (review), McSweeney's Issue 33 (The San Francisco Panorama) (review), and Robert Darnton's The Devil in the Holy Water (review).

My Publisher of the Year for 2010 is the University of North Carolina Press, for their continued commitment to publishing important scholarly works.

Feel free to post your own favorites for 2010 in the comments, and may your 2011 be filled with good books and good cheer!