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.)