annual book roundup 2009

I read only 24 books this year–compare that to 59+ last year!  I suck!

19 non-fiction/79% (47 last year/-1% last year)

5 fiction/21% (12 last year/+1% from last year)

10 audio/42%  (16 last year/+15% from last year)

My commute drastically shrunk this year.  Not only do I live about 40 mins closer to work, I work from home 2 days a week and half my commute has internet access.  I think there’s no doubt that my iPhone has put a MAJOR dent in this list–in good and bad ways.  All of my audiobooks were listened to on my iPhone, as the train in Chicago is quiet enough to listen to audiobooks on (NYC was not).  But clearly all my email checking and music listening in the morning made me less likely to read.  I can’t even say I’ve been spending my time reading magazines–I have totally fallen down on reading.  The Chicago Public Library has also contributed to this drop off.  In short, it’s awful. Their byzantine policies and ridiculous fining structure (if you have even a 1 cent fine you cannot use online resources, e-books, or renew anything) very much contributed to me never using their e-audiobooks, which was a large number of the books I read last year.

Biggest surprise: The Long Hard Road Out of Hell by Marilyn Manson It was pretty witty!

Biggest letdown: 33 1/3 Series books that I read.  Sometimes they are awesome, but the ones I read (Prince & The Smiths) sucked.

Favorites: The Call of the Weird by Louis Theroux; Pyongyang by Guy Delisle; I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me by Trevor Paglen

Most Overrated: Fucking Twilight

Books I could not finish this year included: SO MANY

  • Invisible Man, which I love but am reading very slowly;
  • Give Me a Break by John Stossel which made me too angry to continue;
  • New Moon which I realized I should just stop reading and watch the movie which was better (marginally);
  • The Worst Hard Time which I just started on audiobook;
  • The Singing Creek Where the Willow Grows which I also recently started (AND IT’S AMAZING);
  • My BookyWook which I intend to finish, but I thought it would be funny and instead it was really sad;
  • The Westing Game which is great but I had to return to the library.  I was reading it on audiobook and I think I need to reread it in paper.
  • The Jungle This perhaps makes me ignorant, but I always thought this was non-fiction.  It dragged and I think I’ll eventually read it.  I read it through Stanza on my phone.
  • I most recommend: The Singing Creek Where the Willow Grows; Anything Trevor Paglen or Guy Delisle

    Book tech: Book tech sort of failed me this year.  My new public library’s policies around their digital books makes them essentially unusable.  Which sucks because they have ipod downloadable books.  For the first time I have used audible books, which I liked except the files are WAY too big, so if you lose your place it takes forever to get back to it.  Ipod technology has still found no good way of bookmarking audiobook files, especially if the files are not born digital.  The one good thing is that I DID start reading e-books on my iPhone!  I am excited about this tech!

    Book Wish(es) for 2k10: Mostly the same things as last year:

  • An e-book reader I can somehow check books out from the library with;
  • Less crazy DRMs on ebooks I check out from Overdrive;
  • A more universal book wishlist export standard (so every time a new book website comes out, I don’t have to put all 658 books on the new list manually.  Seriously people, Amazon is the standard.  Find a way to import it.
  • 3 comments

    1. Mark says:

      Ooooh, some nice points I haven’t considered. Hmmm.

      My post is on its way shortly. But I really need to wrap it up and get off the computer for a bit. 😀

    2. Nanette says:

      You read Twilight? I fucking hate that book. I don’t mind it when teens obsess about it, but it drives me batshit crazy when ADULTS obsess about it. Stephenie Meyer took all of the sexy right out of vampires and turned them into creepy, stalk-y, sparkly boringness. I expect better from Mormon fiction.

      My Booky Wook was surprisingly sad. I did like it, but I also tend to like drug addiction memoirs.

      I loved The Jungle when I was a senior in high school. We had a choice between reading The Jungle or My Antonia (which is much shorter and does not contain gory scenes from Chicago’s turn-of-the-century meatpacking plants). I have no idea why I chose The Jungle, but I may have been the only person in my class who did choose it.

    3. jennybento says:

      I was looking for audiobooks to dnld and it was free, so i put it on my phone just in case i needed a book. and then i did! I generally like vampire books (or did as a teen) and I enjoyed the PacNW setting. But then I read it and it was lame.

      My Antonia blew. I haven’t really GOTTEN to the meatpacking because there’s all this shit about them moving here and getting jobs and getting a house blah blah blah.

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