This is the first year I’ve ever tried to record all the books I read during the year. I was pretty successful up until the last six weeks or so of the year, when Aurealis reading and madness at work kind of took priority over recording. However, this is reasonably accurate in terms of numbers. It does not, however, reflect some of the Last Short Story reading I did online. If I read the complete anthology, it’s recorded, but if I picked only some stories, or they were individual online works (such as Clarkesworld or Tor), they’re not here. This is pretty much a record of all the books and graphic novel compilations (not individual issues of comics…) that I read in 2009 – almost all have been commented on throughout the year – see the #mini-reviews tag if you want more details!
Own Books (ie: those I purchased this year or read/re-read off the bookshelf – 90
eBooks – 1 (this is not entirely accurate – I stopped using my eReader fairly early in the year due to technical difficulties, but did read a lot onscreen – this is only reflective of a book I read on the reader that I had downloaded for it… Anticipate much larger numbers here in 2010 when new computer is configured)
Review Books – 38 (included books received direct from publishers, from ASIF! and Fiction Focus – almost all are reviewed in one of those places, sometimes in both, sometimes blogged)
Judging Books – 38 (mostly 2009 Aurealis, but a couple from last year’s judging in other categories, that more rightly should fall under borrowed books!)
Borrowed Books – 37 (from library or friends)
GRAND TOTAL: 204
I don’t think this is completely correct, as I’m certain I’ve missed some, and as I said, it’s not fully reflective of short stories (and doesn’t include Twelfth Planet Press stuff like New Ceres Nights, Horn and Siren Beat…), but still, a reasonable estimate 🙂
Looking through them, I’d say that the best books I read this year (receiving scores of at least 4.5/5) are:
Dragonhaven, Robin McKinley (YA Fantasy)
Beyond the Shadows, Brett Weeks (Fantasy) – this whole series sucked me right in – got the first as a review copy, but was so blown away I went out and bought books 2&3 – that almost NEVER happens! This book was the closest I came to giving a perfect score this year.
The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman (YA Fantasy) – audio book, read by Neil – a sublime experience.
Miles Errant (Omnibus of "Borders of Infinity", Brothers in Arms and Mirror Dance), Lois McMaster Bujold (SF) – I read a lot of Lois this year, and haven’t come across a single one I didn’t enjoy.
Identity Crisis, Brad Meltzer (Graphic Novel)
Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold (SF)
Kushiel’s Justice, Jacqueline Carey (Fantasy)
Kushiel’s Mercy, Jacqueline Carey (Fantasy)
Eclipse 3, Jonathan Strahan (ed.) (Short stories)
Fire, Kristin Cashore (YA Fantasy)
Liar, Justine Larbalestier (YA) – another almost perfect score
Preacher Vol. 2 : Until the end of the world, Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon (Graphic Novel)
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the bulk of these came from books I’d bought. This list excludes any top scores that came from Aurealis Awards reading, as the winners aren’t announced until January 23. I liked a lot of them though 🙂 I would also include Horn, Siren Beat and New Ceres Nights on this list, were I not attempting to be unbiased! If I were to include scores of 4 and over, the list would be a WHOLE lot longer, and 4 is a pretty darn good score – I read a lot of books I really enjoyed in 2009. Here’s hoping 2010 sees me devouring even more!