A year of books: 2011

I’m including here a list of all the books I’ve read in 2011, as well as some commentary on my particular year in reading. I always enjoy when people post these sorts of lists online and actually rather enjoy doing so myself.

I’ve been doing this for a few years now: 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007.

If you’ve posted such a list online somewhere, please post a link in the comments. I’d love to see it!

The list of books I’m posting below includes all the books I started in 2011, with the exception of books that I’m currently reading. In other words, it also includes a few books I’ve abandoned unfinished. As it happens, I’ve been recording every book I’ve read since 1983 in a little booklet and have been mostly transcribing those lists on my other (mostly lapsed) blog I’ve been occasionally transcribing the list on a year by year basis. I’ve stalled a bit the last couple of years, and I keep saying I’ll resume but haven’t yet.

Trends in my reading this year?

  • My book reading time has decreased a little this year for a number of reasons, from 70ish last year to 60ish this year. First of all, I haven’t read as many really good page-turner novels as in past years, so this slowed me down as I tend to get bogged down when I’m not really gripped. As well, the iPad and iPhone are reading time-sinks. In a sense, I’m not reading less, just reading more that’s online. That’s neither good nor bad, automatically, it just is. I do see a tendency in myself to just mindlessly surf and graze and look for the next twitter endorphin hit on my iDevices when I could be focused on something more useful or engaging.

  • I mentioned abandoned books. It was a bad year for those, for sure, just like last year. I won’t say how many, exactly, or which ones, but as I get older I’m not quite as willing to stick with a book until the bitter end. If I look back at some of the older lists I’ve done, in those days I would have finished 100% of the books I started.
  • My genre tastes continue to shift quite a bit as I get older as well. I find I’m reading more mystery and crime fiction as the years go by and this year is no exception. As you might be able to tell from the list below, I tend towards the hardboiled & noir.
  • My science fiction reading this year has decreased really dramatically. It’s not that I love SFFH any less, but somehow in 2011 I didn’t seem to get charged by many SF books. I think I’m still suffering a bit of SF burnout after judging the Sunburst Award a few years ago.
  • But whoa, did I read way more graphic novels this year than in any year I’ve been doing these lists! Fiction, non-fiction, science, superheroes, all across the spectrum of graphicy goodness. I’ve really enjoyed this a lot. And it helped prop up the numbers in a slowish reading year.
  • The Buffy obsession moderated this year a bit, but there’s still a lot of graphic Buffy on the list from Season 8 and, not on the list yet, season 9 issue by issue.
  • I’ve continued updating my reading on Good Reads, which has been very fun this year. If you’re on the service yourself, add me as a friend.
  • As far as magazines are concerned, the ones I read regularly has dropped off a bit in the past few years. Right now, it’s Locus, The New York Review of Science Fiction, The Walrus and about 2/3 of the issues of Classic Rock.

Reading resolutions?

  • Spend a bit less time mindlessly iConnected and more time engaged with useful and engaging texts, be they e- or p-, book or ebook. This is especially true of my commuting time.

  • More novels, more science fiction, and it’s time to get back to more short story collections for my commute. I also want to get back to reading more of the annual science writing collections.
  • It would be nice to get the total back up to 70ish again in 2012.
  • It would also be nice to review a few more of the books I read here, especially the fiction and graphic novels.

So, here goes.

  1. Richard Stark’s Parker, Vol. 1: The Hunter by Darwyn Cooke and Richard Stark

  2. The Lineup: The World’s Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives by Otto Penzler
  3. New Avengers, Vol. 1: Breakout by Brian Michael Bendis, David Finch and Danny Miki
  4. It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi
  5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  6. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
  7. Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
  8. Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Vol. 2 by Fumi Yoshinaga
  9. The Outfit by Richard Stark
  10. Year’s Best SF 13 by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer
  11. Magnus, Robot Fighter 4000 A.D. V.1 by Russ Manning & Robert Schaefer & Eric Freiwald
  12. Hellboy: Unnatural Selection by Tim Lebbon
  13. DC: The New Frontier, Vol. 1 by Darwyn Cooke
  14. Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth by Jay Hosler, Kevin Cannon and Zander Cannon (review)
  15. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales by Joss Whedon, Amber Benson, Becky Cloonan and Jane Espenson
  16. Galileo by J. L. Heilbron (review)
  17. On the Grid: A Plot of Land, An Average Neighborhood, and the Systems that Make Our World Work by Scott Huler (review)
  18. The Crime on Cote des Neiges by David Montrose
  19. Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution by Holly Tucker
  20. City Infernal by Edward Lee
  21. Axis by Robert Charles Wilson
  22. Open Access: What You Need to Know Now by Walt Crawford (review)
  23. How Professors Think: Inside the Curious World of Academic Judgment by Michele Lamont
  24. We Are The Engineers! by Angela Melick (review)
  25. The Silencers by Donald Hamilton
  26. The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA by Mark Schultz, Zander Cannon and Kevin Cannon (review)
  27. Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch
  28. The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics by Paul Gravett
  29. The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe
  30. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, Volume 4 by Various
  31. Cory Doctorow’s Futuristic Tales Of The Here And Now by Cory Doctorow, Dara Naraghi, J. C. Vaughn and James L. Kuhoric
  32. The Walking Dead Volume 14: No Way Out by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard
  33. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
  34. Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths by Shigeru Mizuki
  35. Brimstone by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
  36. Last Car to Elysian Fields by James Lee Burke (review)
  37. M.A.R.S. Patrol Total War by Wallace Wood
  38. Reframing Academic Leadership by Lee G. Bolman and Joan V. Gallos (LIAL post)
  39. The Complete Essex County by Jeff Lemire (review)
  40. Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes: The Authorized Adaptation by Ray Bradbury and Ron Wimberly (review)
  41. Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles: The Authorized Adaptation by Ray Bradbury, Dennis Calero (review)
  42. The King of Plagues: A Joe Ledger Novel by Jonathan Maberry (review)
  43. The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2010 by Freeman Dyson and Tim Folger
  44. Monster Island by Christopher Golden and Thomas E Sniegoski (review)
  45. The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
  46. Paying for It by Chester Brown
  47. Monoculture: How One Story is Changing Everything by F.S. Michaels
  48. Meet Me at the Morgue by Ross Macdonald
  49. Gotham Central Book 1: In the Line of Duty by Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark
  50. Warchild by Karin Lowachee
  51. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Lacks Effect post)
  52. Feynman by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick (review)
  53. I Am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne and Chris Ayres
  54. The Bottoms by Joe R. Lansdale
  55. A Book of Tongues by Gemma Files
  56. Iron Man: My Journey through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath by Tony Iommi
  57. The Walking Dead Volume 15: We Find Ourselves by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard
  58. George R.R. Martin’s Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin, Daniel Abraham, William Christensen and Rafa Lopez
  59. Green River Killer: A True Detective Story by Jeff Jensen and Jonathan Case
  60. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight Volume 8: Last Gleaming by Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson, Scott Allie and Georges Jeanty

Now some lists, in no particular order.

Notable Fiction

Notable Non-Fiction

Notable Graphic Novels

I hope this list provides a little inspiration to all my readers to compile their own reading list for the year. I look forward to seeing them — feel free to drop a link in the comments.

Comments

  1. #1 walt crawford
    January 5, 2012

    Thanks for including OA:WYNTKN in your Notable Non-Fiction list. Greatly appreciated.

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