Reading Year in Review, 2011

I read 65 books in 2011.

My average rating for books was 3.29, while the average Goodreads rating for those same books was 3.91. I gave my first 1-star review (The Character of Rain), but I also gave quite a few five-star reviews (the three Hunger Games books, Body Politics, Christ and the Powers, Strength to Love, Loaves and Fishes, and Wittgenstein in Exile). As you can see, most of my five-star books were religious books. I think this comes from my criterion for a five-star book, which is that it has to feel like it has some lasting impact on my perspective–more likely with a religious book (for me).

I read more than one book by a number of authors: Suzanne Collins, Stanley Hauerwas, Bill McKibben, Haruki Murakami, Eliot Wigginton, John Howard Yoder.

The longest book I read was Colin Fletcher’s The Complete Walker (864 pages).

As in 2010, I read relatively few books that might be considered “novels” (about 10-11) and relatively few books by women (9). I did, however, read significantly more books in translation (12). I also read three new books (published in 2011): Owly and Wormy Friends All Aflutter, The Great Stagnation, and Debt: The First 5000 Years.

My method-of-acquisition distribution was a bit more balanced in 2011:

  • Library - 22
  • Borrowed - 20
  • Bought - 13
  • Gift - 8
  • Free Box - 2

My dad noted in his 2011 reading review that he sees buying books from independent bookstores as supporting a good cause. I agree with this to some extent, but I also place value on cultivating non-market, collective and social spheres of existence, and I think reliance on the library and borrowing/lending with friends (and free-box giving/taking!) grow out of that.