2010 is over, apparently. Since this blog has settled into my personal reading review journal, primarily, a recap is in order, if only to remind myself.
I easily achieved 52 books in 2010, finishing 79 titles by December 31st. Of those:
33 were Fiction (42%)
29 were Nonfiction (37%)
18 were Poetry (21%)
Of the Fiction, 8 were Children’s titles that I read with my kids at bedtime; 11 were graphic novels (mostly the Bone series); 3 were collections of short stories; and the remaining 19 were novels. Thomas Pynchon, David Mitchell and Don DeLillo were heavily represented, but I also read Colson Whitehead’s delightful The Intuitionist, David Duncan’s The Brothers K, and, for the first time, Treasure Island (what a yarn!). Barry Hannah’s Airships and Bonnie Jo Campbell’s American Salvage were both remarkable, violent little collections, and I was more than pleasantly surprised by Sharon Creech’s two chapter books introducing poetry to kids, Love that dog and Hate that cat.
As for Nonfiction, the lion’s share went to books about God, Jesus or the Church (11, 38%), including James Smith’s Desiring the kingdom and Conrad Gempf’s Jesus asked. I reread The Reason for God and Pilgrim at Tinker Creek this year, and am not sorry. Chris Hedges’ Empire of illusion has stuck with me, mostly for his clear exposing of how in our self-centeredness we as a culture exploit women, as has the fundamental idea from John McKnight’s The Careless Society that you cannot pay someone to love another person.
But really, this was the year of poetry, beginning with Ed Hirsch’s How to read a poem and continuing through volumes by Bishop, Wright, Hoagland, Bly, Kay Ryan and Philip Levine. I feel like I discovered poetry all over again for the first time this year, and while some of the initial fervor has died down, I don’t think I’ll ever approach it the same way again.