Monday, June 29, 2009

Musing Monday: Mid-Year Check-Up

Today's Musing Monday meme question is kind of interesting and/or a good way for me to do a check-up of my 2009 progress to date: Now that we’ve come to the middle of the year, what do you think of your 2009 reading so far? Read anything interesting that you’d like to share? Any outstanding favourites?

First off, if I had to judge how well my reading has been this year by the book I'm currently reading, The Iron Lance by Stephen R. Lawhead, I'd say it's dynamite. I cried last night reading a death scene. It's knocking my socks off in a whole new way--the world of Celtic mythology/fantasy genre is new to me, but I'm glad I discovered it. (And I'm wondering where it's been all my life.)

But, seeing as how I should judge 2009 to date a bit more widely, here's the count-down so far: I've read and reviewed 50 books this year and, because I'm a nerd, I thought I'd present the break-down to you in graphic form. (These graphs are not necessarily to scale. For a full listing, please use the links in the right-hand sidebar of the blog.)

Books by Genre: This graph shows that I'm a little deficient in the Science Fiction/Paranormal/Fantasy sub-genres, but that should soon be changing if Stephen Lawhead has anything to do with it. I'm also pretty slim in the Nonfiction category (all of which are memoirs), but I've got about five more memoirs on my shelf that I could probably finish before the year is out. I clearly favor commercial/genre fiction (which was surprising to me because I thought it would be literary fiction), but (as the graph below shows) it's all been pretty good reading this year.

Books by Grade (Literary Rating): What this graph says to me is that the bulk of my reading, in my opinion, is pretty good. A+, A, or A-, which are my equivalent of 5 Stars, made up 42% of my reading... nearly half. B+, B, or B- (aka, 4 Stars) made up another 40%, 10% were in the average rating (C+ or C), and only a paltry 8% were below average or failures. That seems like a good make-up of reading. Further analysis showed that the grades were evenly distributed across the genres, which leads me to believe I've had a pretty balanced year of reading so far.It's hard to pick one stand-out for this year; instead, I'll tell you that I have discovered five authors in 2009 that I've fallen in love with (and plan to read their entire bodies of work). They are, in alphabetical order: Michael Chabon (Literary Fiction transitioning into Genre Fiction), Chris Crutcher (Young Adult Literary Fiction), Stephen R. Lawhead (Historical Fiction/Fantasy), Barry Lyga (Young Adult Literary Fiction), and Richard Russo (Literary Fiction). Even if I only read items by these five guys and my other tried and true authors (John Green, Jane Smiley, and Anne Tyler), then I could be a happy woman.

(But, luckily, I don't have to... there are so many good authors to read.)

13 comments:

Sherrie said...

HI!
Haven't read any of the authors you list. I'll have to check into them and see what they have. Love the graphs! Have a great day!

Sherrie
http://sherriesbooks.blogspot.com/2009/06/musing-mondays_29.html

Lisa said...

Wow! 50 Books - I'm impressed. I'm glad you're enjoying the Celtic/fantasy genre. That's one I've never gotten into, but I've been wanting to broaden my horizons and try it. Happy Reading!

infiniteshelf said...

Oh, I love your graphics! :D I wish I had the patience to do some too!
I've read Lawhead a while ago and absolutely loved it, I can see why he made your favorites' list.

kaye said...

Wow! graphs--my Monday musings

Bluestocking said...

Wow! You're all high tech with the graphs. Here is my Monday Morning Update

Trisha said...

I absolutely love your charts! What a wonderful way to present your information. I'm so freaking text based. :)

Nise' said...

Like the genre graph, I may have to do that too! Happy reading the rest of the year.

Mary said...

Russo is one of (if not THE) my favorite authors. Really looking forward to his new one in August!

anothercookiecrumbles said...

Those graphs are pretty cool... I'd've never thought of doing it :)

I'm still in the early 40s, so... hoping to pick up pace over the next six months.

Rebecca said...

I LOVE the graphs! Now I feel inspired to be all book-graph-nerdy myself :)

ibeeeg said...

The graph is way cool.
I read alot in the celtic/fantasy genre. I really do enjoy Stephen Lawhead. Guy Gavriel Kay is a wonderful author as well.

Heather said...

@ibeeg

Thanks for the recommendation, I'll have to check him out.

Nan said...

I love your graphs!