I don't do well with numbers. It turns out that instead of having read 44 books in 2011, in putting together this little recap, I find I only read 42. You can see why I am a reader and not a numbers cruncher.
Anyway, of the 42 books I read, 21 were mysteries, 15 were non-fiction, five were novels, and I read books 1-11 of the Odyssey but don't really know how to classify it.
I read three books on a friend's Kindle and two books on the Nook Color I bought for myself in March as a birthday present.
The book that most surprised me: Dracula by Bram Stoker. It came with my Nook and I was totally compelled by the mixture of diary entries and newspaper stories that made up the tale. It is a very long and heavy 'real' book but on the Nook it was light as a feather.
The book I almost gave up on but am so glad I didn't: A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse. I was lost at the beginning but stuck with it and found the idea of a bookstore stocked by recommendations from a panel of authors to be just right.
The book that shocked and fascinated me: Seal Team Six by Howard Wasdin. Wow. Although not the best written book in the world, it was quite an eye-opener as to the chaos of the military and its operations and the intensity of its training.
The oddest mystery: Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann in which a flock of sheep solve the murder of their shepherd. At the time, I was living on a farm with three sheep grazing in the nearby pasture and this insight into how sheep think was very helpful.
The author I had scoffed at but in turn found I loved: Georgette Heyer. Funny and insightful. I discovered her through her mystery No Wind of Blame. She has 11 more mysteries for me to enjoy.
The most delightful book I devoured in one sitting: An Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. The ending was perfect and came as a complete surprise.
The book that made me want to visit Wales and stay in a castle: Castles in the Air by Judy Corbett. Corbett tells the tale of renovating a castle in a wonderfully warm and witty voice.
The author I am so glad to have discovered: Gladys Taber. An American journalist who wrote about her life at Stillmeadow in the 1950s and '60s. Her book Stillmeadow Calendar is one that I immediately wanted to own. I wonder if the library would miss it. (Just kidding. I would never steal from the library.)