Oh my god, blog, it’s your birthday in that way where exactly one year ago TODAY I posted your very first post, which were some resolutions or whatever because you know, beginning of January. (For those who are interested, I would say I was mildly successful with resolutions 1, 2, 3, and 7, successful with 5, and not at all successful with 4 and 6.)
Anyway, I am not really into the idea of making resolutions this year so instead I’m going to tell you all about what I read last year, since this is a book blog and I’m curious. You can see the whole list of books I’ve read here. (By the way, I don’t know if you realize this, blog, but every book I read I post about. I’m behind on a few books right now, but I promise I will blog about all of them, and the list of books is up to date as of this moment. Also, just realized that I forgot about Legend so I added that to the list in roughly the area where I read it.)
TOTAL NUMBER OF BOOKS READ IN 2011: 56
- Hardcover books read: 2
- Paperback books read: 9 (6 ARCs)
- Ebooks read: 45
I did not realize that I read so few books that are actually books and not ebooks. I did, however, just buy two books I’m super excited about reading and they are real books, and they are for adults of the grown variety, as opposed the the young one. Speaking of…
- Adult books read: 16
- YA books read: 34
- Middle grade books read: 6
(Fun fact: the vocabulary level of the middle grade books was much higher than that of the YA books.)
Also, you guys, I knew I was reading a lot of YA but holy hell is that way too high a percentage of YA books. More than 50% of the books I read this year were for young adults. I know I am kind of close to / in (according to some) that age range, but… that is ridiculous. Reading YA books in and of itself is not ridiculous, but they aren’t even the books I enjoy the most, so I should spend more time with books I love or am more likely to love.
What books did I enjoy the most, you ask? Here, I will give you my TOP THREE BOOKS READ IN 2011, although they are in NO ORDER OKAY? I can’t decide on which is best, which is why there are three.
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- No One Is Here Except All of Us by Ramona Ausubel
If you haven’t read the first two, do so immediately. I read them both as library ebooks and I am on the hunt for cheap copies at The Strand or another used book store to buy because they are so worth owning. The third you must read immediately after it comes out in February. I will hopefully have blogged about it by then.
I guess I will make a few resolutions, too, but in the way of books and this blog.
- More than 50% of books I read should be FOR ADULTS. Seriously.
- Read MORE than 56 books. 75, even? (Should be doable depending on my job situation. I just looked at my books again and while I was in college I read 9 books, whereas from the summer program in June to the end of December I read the other 47.)
- Blog AT LEAST 4 times a month, lazy. That is so easy, why am I not doing it yet?
- Blog about more movies / TV shows! I do those things, too, not just read books!
Okay, blog. We had an okay 2011 in terms of me blogging and reading, but we can do better this year, right?
Although I’ve only mentioned The King is Dead on this blog, the Decemberists are my favorite band ever as of right now, and have been for a while. Brilliant sound, brilliant lyrics, I just love love love the Decemberists. And guess what, world? Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy has written a children’s book called Wildwood that is illustrated by his wife, Carson Ellis. The first four chapters are available for free here. You can bet your butts that I have read the first four chapters and they are so good.
The story follows Prue, a girl growing up in Portland, Oregon. She is babysitting her younger brother, Mac, when he is kidnapped by a murder of crows and taken into the Impassable Wilderness. She and her schoolmate, Curtis, must journey through this wilderness to find Mac.
Unfortunately for the ENTIRE WORLD who doesn’t have an ARC, there are only four chapters out so far. I loved them so much. What I think I loved most of all, though, is that Meloy doesn’t sacrifice language just because the book is for younger readers. Children are smart, and this book does not condescend to its readers. As a kid, I would’ve been totally into this. I’m still totally into this. But I would have really appreciated a book that uses a higher vocabulary.
I also love the little hints at the Portland culture of hipsterdom. (Examples: Prue, a vegetarian, rides a single speed bicycle. All of her classmates have graduated from doodling superheroes to band logos. Prue’s morning with Mac: “a pair of Levis, not quite the right color, needed returning; the recent arrivals bin at Vinyl Resting Place required perusing; a plate of veggie tostadas was messily shared at the taqueria […]” How great is that?) And of course I love the illustrations. Lovely, quirky, and entirely in line with the story.
AND it got a nice blurb from one of my favorite authors, Jonathan Safran Foer. There are so many things to love.
The only disappointing part? The rest of the book doesn’t come out until the end of August and the excerpt ends with a bit of a cliffhanger. HarperCollins / Colin Meloy, if you’re reading this, do you mind sending me an ARC? I don’t think I can wait that long.
Bonus video (Carson and Colin discuss the book):
Seriously. I cannot talk this up enough. I cannot wait until the rest of it comes out. Everyone else in the world read this right now and suffer with me.