Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The year that was in reading

In just 3 days, we'll be saying good-bye to 2011 and then making those resolutions, futile and otherwise, for 2012. This got me to thinking though: What were my reading highlights for 2011?

To start, I read 111 books, which is fitting for the year '11, no? (I doubt if I'll be able to finish another novel in 3 days with all the get-togethers still squeezed within those 3 days.) And then, I looked back at all those 111 books and said to myself, "Why, yes! 2011 was a good year for KyusiReader!"

I discovered Gary D. Schmidt this year, who instantly became my favorite YA novelist. No magic, no vampires, not a hint of a fantastic element. Just pure storytelling brilliance. His are the kind of books that you want your children, nephews, nieces, classmates, strangers on the bus, and the sexy hunk next door to read.

And then there's Brandon Sanderson. Oh, Brandon, Brandon, Brandon. Where do you get all those friggin' ideas? A world where people use colors for magic, where a city inhabited by gods become cursed, where a gang of thieves can topple a tyrant. You made a lot of people realize that they don't need a George R. R. Martin to get their fantasy fix.

And speaking of GRRM, 2011 is the year when I finally got all hardcovers of A Song of Ice and Fire. Thanks, Iya, for the first edition of A Game of Thrones. In this edition, I can't help but snigger at the author bio, wherein it's mentioned that GRRM is currently at work on his 2nd novel, A Dance with Dragons.

On a lighter note, Tove Jansson's Moomin books were a constant delight. They're the perfect palate cleanser, something to read between those "serious" books. I've read the first 4 and can't wait to read the remaining 5 books.

It's also the year Penguin released their Red series. Again, another excuse for more mindless book buying. How can anyone resist the highly artistic covers! In the cover for D. H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers, for example, artist's inspiration was the woman's vulva.

How can I go wrong with classic science fiction? John Wyndham has given me the perfect escapist novels this year. Very, very enjoyable, I must say.

Y: The Last Man. Best graphic novels ever. Read them! Thankfully, the 5th deluxe edition (the last book) came out this year.

And it's been my tradition to collect the Booker shortlisted novels every year, no matter how late the books become available here in Manila. Funny thing is, I'm missing this year's winner, Julian Barnes's A Sense of an Ending. (So far, I've read only 2 of the 5 that I have. Hehehe.)

How about you, dear reader? What were your reading highlights this year?


Maricel said...

I can't even begin to imagine myself reading a total of 111 books in a year. I thought myself a bookwork once upon a lifetime. But after reading this post, Peter, there's no way I can measure up to your book-reading caliber. Napadaan lang po. :D

Peter S. said...

Hello, Maricel aka careermomonline! Thanks for dropping by! Medyo ginanahan lang ako magbasa this year.

ram said...

tumulo laway ko sa the last man at george r r martin collection.,.sigh!

Peter S. said...

LOL! ram, you can't imagine all the effort that went into finding those. Hehehehe.

Jack said...

Peter! I am honored to welcome you as a follower on my humble site, and pleased to join yours. 111 books! That has to be close to the all time record.

This year I finished the last 2 of R. A. Salvatore's 21-book (so far) Drizzt Do'Urden series, and obtained the Sellswords Trilogy, his spinoff series about Drizzt's nemesis, for Christmas. Licking my chops to get into that. Tried again to get into Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever, by Steven R. Donaldson, but I guess I just can't stomach an antihero. In the field of SciFi, I highly recommend In Fury Born, by David Weber. This involves a young lady in a military strike force in a Star Trek-style universe who just has one thing too many dumped onto her shoulders. Good read if you like a ripping good SF yarn. And there were a few other things, but I don't want to give it all away here...

Hey, but it's good to welcome you to the Hideout. I love your site, and will be back frequently!

All the best,
- Jack

Peter S. said...

Hi, Jack! I love your site too! Thanks for the recommendations!

Mrs. B. said...

Great post Peter! I loved the Moomin books too. I didn't include children's books on my Books I read list though cos' I didn't keep track of them. Hmm, now I want to try this Brandon Sanderson books. Been enjoying the first 2 of Ice & Fire but I heard it gets boring at book 4. I love John Wyndham too! He's great. You must try John Christopher and his book Possessors, similar to Wyndham's style. And Sense of an Ending is a must read. I didn't love it but it will make my 2011 list.

Peter S. said...

Hi, Mrs B! Thanks for the recommendation! I'll be sure to read The Sense of an Ending next year.

Tracie said...

I am currently reading "Clash of Kings" of the Game of Thrones series. I also began reading "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo." I don't know if I could read 111 books in a year, but I can at least try!