End-of-year reading meme

Another meme (the last for a while), this one pilfered from Stuck in a Book. I’ve used the outline of the one I did last year, incorporating some of this year’s innovations.

How many books read in 2011?

Fiction/Non-Fiction ratio?
74.5/11.5 (the split book being Days and Nights in W12 by Jack Robinson, which I couldn’t make my mind up about)

Male/Female authors?
69.5/16.5 (a marginally wider disparity than last year – oops)

Favourite book read?
Buddenbrooks, without a doubt

Least favourite?
Perhaps Ted Hughes’ lame children’s poetry collection Meet My Folks!

Oldest book read?
I almost wrote King Lear (or was that Shakespeare?), but then remembered that last year I also read Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival (early 13th century).

Newest book read?
I read Alan Partridge’s autobiography, I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan, immediately on publication. Back of the net.

Longest book title?
Probably Ilana Gershon’s The Breakup 2.0: Disconnecting Over New Media, though it’s a close call

Shortest book title?
Ubik (Philip K. Dick)

How many re-reads?
Only two (Tolkien’s disappointing Smith of Wootton Major and Erich Kästner’s enchanting Emil and the Detectives)

Most books read by a single author?
14 (Alexander McCall Smith). His distant retinue is composed of Armistead Maupin (3), and Jane Austen, Susan Tomes, Raymond Chandler, Robert Graves, Stephen King, Philip K. Dick and Joanne Limburg (2 each).

Any in translation?
8, which seems a meagre return. Four German, one Swedish, one French, one Belgian and one Russian. And nothing in a foreign language, which is bad. This year I will at least make an effort to read something in French, which I failed to do in 2011.

How many books were borrowed from the library?

Best blog recommendation?
Skippy Dies, which I first read about on the pages of Asylum.

I had no clue what was going on:
The late Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker and the even later Flann O’Brien’s At Swim-Two-Birds stand out in this category.

Favourite character encountered this year:
Such a hard call to make, this. I think I have to say Hanno Buddenbrook, but I give the highest commendations to McCall Smith’s Bertie Pollock, Paul Murray’s Ruprecht Van Doren (Skippy Dies), Philip K. Dick’s Mr Tagomi (The Man in the High Castle) and Jane Gardam’s Bilgewater.


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