Tuesday, July 3, 2007

2007 in books: the first six months

It's that time of year again--time to reflect on my obsessive tracking of my reading habits!

2007 has been a good reading year so far. Through June 30 I've read 60 books, which puts me well on pace to achieve my personal goal of at least 100 books per year.

Of those 60 books, 31 were nonfiction, 29 fiction. I seem to be going through one of my nonfiction phases, and I'm also deep in research mode for my WIP, which means reading a lot of history. 16 of the 60 books actually have a 2007 copyright, which is a lot for the first half of the year. I've bought more new releases than I have in the recent past and managed to hear about other books quickly enough to get near the top of the library hold queue.

The genre breakdown is as follows:

Historical Fiction - 8
Historical Romance - 9
Contemporary Romance - 2
Paranormal Romance - 1
YA - 2
Fantasy - 2
Mystery - 5
Nonfiction (history) - 17
Nonfiction (other) - 14

I don't grade books as part of my reading diary. I only blog about the books I finish, and I'm a very picky reader. If a book shows up on my blog, that means I enjoyed it enough to give it at least a qualified recommendation. However, I do keep a sort of informal list of A and A+ books. A book gets an A if it's a thoroughly satisfying example of its kind. A+ goes to books that absolutely wow me. So far I haven't had a 2007 A+, but I only had two in all of '06. Here are my A books:

Venetia, by Georgette Heyer (old-school historical romance)
Gallows Thief, by Bernard Cornwell (historical mystery)
The Water Devil, by Judith Merkle Riley (historical fiction)
The Sharing Knife: Beguilement, by Lois McMaster Bujold (fantasy)
Napoleon & Josephine, by Evangeline Bruce (nonfiction-history)
The Old Way, by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas (nonfiction-anthropology)
Sharpe's Sword, by Bernard Cornwell (historical fiction)
1491: New Revelations of the America Before Columbus, by Charles C. Mann (nonfiction-history)
The Cheater's Guide to Baseball, by Derek Zumsteg (nonfiction)
Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion, by Sara Miles (memoir)
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, by Bill Bryson (memoir)
Sharpe's Honor, by Bernard Cornwell (historical fiction)
Lady Beware, by Jo Beverley (historical romance)
Swords Around a Throne, by John Elting (nonfiction-history)

Here's hoping the second half of 2007 will be as satisfying! Like everyone else on the planet, I'm looking forward to the final installment in the Harry Potter saga. I can hardly wait to get my hands on Kushiel's Justice (I'm #2 in the hold queue!) and the second half of The Sharing Knife, and I'm a bit more calmly awaiting Agnes and the Hitman and the sophomore efforts of two authors whose debuts I enjoyed: Jennifer Echols (The Boys Next Door) and Janet Mullany (The Rules of Gentility).

No comments: