2011: My Year in Books

When I went over my 2011 book stats, I was a little surprised. Even with a layoff and a cross-country move, I’ve read 57 books. Well, I didn’t finish all 57. Four I stopped reading. I’ve indicated which below.

This number includes audio books and books I read to the kids. I didn’t keep really close track of these, though, so you can be sure there were more than what I’ve listed below. Especially picture books. And if I got extra credit for reading kids’ books over and over and over, this list would be at least two posts long. I know for sure I read Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea and about 2,700 of Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books this year, but those were on my list from so long ago, they didn’t show up when I pulled the list for 2011 from Goodreads.

So, the stats:

In 2011, I read 57 books (finished 53), with a total number of 16,803 pages.

The average (mean) per month was 4.75, and the average (mean) per week was 1.10.

Of these, 28 were fiction, 3 were memoirs, 11 were children’s books, and the remaining 15 were nonfiction.

I am currently reading How to See Yourself As You Really Are by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Walden by Henry David Thoreau (which may well end up on my “stopped-reading” shelf), The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron, and Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn. And Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I’m hoping to read many fewer self-help books in 2012. How I got so many this year, I’m really not sure.

Below is the book list, by the month I finished (or gave up on) each book. I’ve included links to reviews, if I’ve posted them on this blog. Other reviews you can read on my Goodreads profile. You can also go there to see the other 504 books I’ve read.









  • Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe (Bryson, Bill) (didn’t finish)
  • The Lovely Bones (Sebold, Alice)
  • You Can’t Go Home Again (Wolfe, Thomas) (didn’t finish)
  • The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child (Sears, Robert)
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns (Hosseini, Khaled)
  • Love the One You’re With (Giffin, Emily)
  • Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents (Carter, Christine) (didn’t finish)
  • The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert (Gottman, John) (didn’t finish)

8 Replies to “2011: My Year in Books”

  1. Well done, I hope I can read one book a week, I haven’t counted, but perhaps I will in 2012.

    Good luck with your 2012 challenge and I wouldn’t worry about the self help books, they diminish when we have less of a need for them, though I always have a Dalai Lama text near to hand, his words need a little reading every day in my opinion.


    1. Thank you, Claire! I don’t actually consider the Dalai Lama “self-help,” per se. More just a nudge towards a different and more compassionate way of thinking. Which I suppose (I hope) will help my Self, but I’m not sure I read them for that purpose. In other words, I’m going to keep the Dalai Lama’s books and Thich Nhat Hanh’s books nearby and not call them self-help. 🙂


  2. Awesome 🙂 I was thinking of challenging myself to read 100 books next year… Not counting any kids books or anything, but novels and nonfiction. I’m not so sure i can do it though, that is a lot of reading, and if I get into long science fiction books… well, you can see the problem. Maybe I should try 50, that seems to be much more reasonable venture!

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful 2012. 2011 ended with a bang for us. We went over to my mom’s for dinner, and all you-know-what broke loose. I’m done with it, ready for the new year now!!


    1. It would be a much easier goal if you counted children’s books. And what about kids’ books you read for yourself? I read the Penderwicks and never ended up reading it to my kids. I would totally count that kind of reading. But then, I’d count anything, really, because I prefer the impressive numbers to an accurate and meaningful count. 🙂

      There’s a blog I followed for a while…the author had a reading challenge that had to do with some award winners for each year. Not the National Book Award, I don’t think. Goodness, my mind’s very foggy around this. If I find out any actual information, I’ll share it. Otherwise, I just brought it up to make the point that I think reading challenges are cool, even though I’m actually trying to kind of ramp back on my reading (ie, escapism) in 2012.


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