I read, cover-to-cover, 72 books in 2010. I’ve read more in other years and considerably less in still others. It’s an average of six books a month, which, given all the other stuff I read (and write) is a fair amount.
The last one was Ian McDonald’s River of Gods, which I’d been putting off. I love Ian McDonald’s work, but I am way behind. I, at least, cannot read him quickly. His lines are such that require attention, appreciation. I have half a dozen others on my shelf to get to.
Among others of note, I read Michael Chabon’s Kavalier and Clay, which so wonderfully captures the essence of an age that I can’t recommend it too strongly, especially to all those mothers poised to toss out their children’s comic book collection when they aren’t looking (although such parents might be disappearing by now). I also finally got around to reading Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book, which can be heart-rending.
I found an obscure book called Faust In Copenhagen by Gino Segri, which recounts the history of the physicists gathering at Neils Bohr’s house before WWII, and explores the relationships between the 20th Centuries greatest physicists.
It was a big year for mysteries. I read a string of Ross McDonald, who I consider an underappreciated master—all the strengths of both Hammett and Chandler, few of the weaknesses. Laurie R. King and Rex Stout. I read a few older SF novels I’d either never picked up or had forgotten.
Oh, yes, and the brand new biography of Robert A. Heinlein by William Patterson. Not to be missed.
2010 was also the year I decided to reread all of Dickens. Didn’t make a huge way through, but I will be continuing that in 2011.
2011 will probably be an apparently low reading rate year. I intend to read some very fat books waiting for me. I have two large Thomas Pynchon novels I want to get through, more Dickens, the newest Iain M. Banks, and I have some large history books I need to get through. (Right now, though, I’m reading a Cara Black mystery, Murder on the Isle de St. Louis—so much for fatness.)
I also have a couple of my own novels to finish, so that will require research, especially for the second book of my alternate history. I’m going to have to schedule things carefully as I may find myself back in day job la-la-land.
Anyway, I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year’s party last night and that 2011 will be magnificent for everyone.