2008 In Review

by Kim on January 1, 2009 · 15 comments

I’m pretty amazed by some of the other 2008 wrap up posts I’ve read in the last couple days.  I never thought to keep track of so many stats and figures about the books I read; I just started being diligent about page numbers a few months ago!  Natasha at Maw Books had a ton of stats about her reading habits, Eva at A Striped Armchair included some interesting top ten lists, and Fyrefly at Fyrefly’s Book Blog had some amazing graphs and charts.  I’m so impressed.

Anyway, since I started Sophisticated Dorkiness in May 2008, I’ve read 55 books.  When you add all the pages, plus the loads of required reading I did for class, I’ve read 16,248 pages since April.  That seems like a like of reading to me, but I guess I won’t know for sure until I can make some comparisons next year.

My favorite books of 2008 were probably The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis, Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon, and A Prayer for the City by Buzz Bissinger.  Clearly, there is a bit of a bias towards literary journalism because of my classes, but I do plan to read more by all of these authors in 2009.

My favorite new genre of 2008 was comic books, which I read a lot of.  They have been a nice break from heavier school reading, and I’ve grown to appreciate how complex they can be.  Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons and Blankets by Craig Thompson were especially great.

As for 2009?  I’ll wait to set some goals and such after the first post in the Blog Improvement Project, starting next Monday.

Photo by flickr user *L*u*z*a*

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne January 1, 2009 at 11:50 pm

Happy 2009!

Time Travelers Wife is one of my favorites from 2008 too.

Since you enjoyed reading Watchmen, are you as excited as I am about the movie? I can hardly wait :)

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Eva January 2, 2009 at 1:10 am

Yay for more nonfic reading suggestions! :) Wordfreak sounds interesting-I’m like you, people always assume I’m good at Scrabble (and crosswords) when I just kind of suck. But I’m always fascinated by people with crazy dedication to something!

I’m impressed you keep track of page counts…I’m thinking of doing that this year. Last year was too lazy, lol. And I never know what to do about nonfic, where the Amazon page count isn’t the same as actual reading pages…what if I forget to record the page count? Or what if it’s a really tiny print edition of something? Should I look at different editions of the classics and average them to figure out the page count? Ok-obviously I’m overanalysing here. :p

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Kim January 2, 2009 at 8:12 am

Joanne: I am SO excited for the Watchman movie; the one preview I’ve seen looks amazing. I’ll be curious to see how the casting works, from what I saw everyone looks a lot younger than I imagined them.

Eva: I just started with page counts in like September, so I had to go back and do Amazon for a lot of the early ones. At first I felt guilty about all the comic books I read — just counted them as regular pages, but clearly they aren’t the same as some of the nonfiction reading I did. But after awhile I figured that it would all even itself out and I was thinking too much :)

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Steph January 2, 2009 at 9:54 am

I have Kavalier and Clay in my TBR pile – I keep letting its size intimidate me (I tend to get this way about any book over 400 pages), even though I know I shouldn’t. Perhaps 2009 will be the year I read it? Also, I remember picking up Time-Traveler’s Wife many years ago, and liking it well enough, and then I put it down and never finished it. Perhaps I need to rectify this as well!

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Chelsea January 2, 2009 at 10:24 am

I loved the Time Traveler’s Wife! I thought it was such a beautiful book, and would love to bring Henry to life more than any other fictional character (with the exception of Mr. Darcy, lol). I’m totally impressed at your keeping track of page numbers – thats a whole lot of pages! I think its awesome that you’ve read so many books in the short time since you’ve started this blog, and it makes me hopeful, as a new blogger, that maybe there is hope for someone as desperately busy as I am. :D

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bermudaonion January 2, 2009 at 10:41 am

I don’t know how you read so much while you’re in school. My son’s in school and he says he doesn’t have the time or desire to read for pleasure after he’s done all of his assigned reading. I’m looking forward to the Blog Improvement Project.

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Dawn January 2, 2009 at 11:44 am

*Wordfreak* sounds good to me; a friend just lent *The Time Traveler’s Wife* to me. Oh, so many books, so little time …

I didn’t do a year-end wrap up post, but it has been interesting to look at others!

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Kathleen Peacock January 2, 2009 at 6:17 pm

I simply could not put Blankets down. It’s become “the graphic novel” I point people towards when they write comics off as being “kids stuff”.

I also adored The Time Traveler’s Wife. It’s nice to see that someone else enjoyed it as it’s taken quite a beating in one of the book communities I belong to.

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Sherry January 2, 2009 at 11:24 pm

The Saturday Review at Semicolon this Saturday is dedicated to book lists. You’re invited to share a link to yours.

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Kim January 3, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Steph: I think I put off Kavalier and Clay for a bit for the same reason, but it’s a much faster read than it appears. Absolutely read The Time Traveler’s Wife, it’s awesome.

Chelsea: Thank you :) I actually think having the blog as motivated me to read more because I want to have things to write about. So I hope that will be the same for you!

bermudaonion: A lot of the books were for school, which helped a lot. I like to read easy things as a break, so I make some time that way too.

Dawn: I liked looking at wrap up posts even more than I liked writing one. Some people has some truly impressive stats!

Kathleen: Yes, Blankets is a great example of how rich comic books can be. I can see why The Time Traveler’s Wife might be criticized, but I love it anyway.

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Jenners January 3, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Just stopping by to get caught up with my favorite books blogs. I think we have very very similar tastes. Although I read it in 2007, The Time Traveler’s Wife is one of my all-time favorites. And I read Word Freak quite a while ago and had forgotten about it until you mentioned it! It was pretty interesting — I’ve never looked at Scrabble the same way again.

This year I read “A Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion but haven’t read this one but I might check it out. I know she is an “important” author and I feel bad that I’ve never read more by her. And I love that poem that title references.

I have Kavalier and Clay sitting on my to be read list for over a year now. Maybe 2009 will be the year for it. Since we seem to share some of the same tastes, I might attempt it.

I haven’t heard of the other one but I’ll check it out. So many books, so little time!

thanks for a great wrap-up post! We seem to like some of the same things so it gives me a sense of what you might be reading in the future.

And I look forward to your blog improvement project!

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Andi January 4, 2009 at 8:32 pm

I always do a little dance of joy when someone comes over to comics. It sounds like you had a fantastic year of reading, and I’m tickled to have found your blog!

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Kim January 5, 2009 at 8:43 am

Jenners: Same with me about Scrabble, I had no idea about the obsession with it until I read that book. I picked out “A Year of Magical Thinking” after I read this book, one of her very early works. I haven’t started it yet, mostly because I want to dedicate a good chunk of time to getting into the book and I haven’t found that yet.

Andi: Thanks! And I am tickled to have found yours :)

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serena January 8, 2009 at 3:03 pm

some bloggers are more diligent about stats than others. I am just happy I read about 63 books in 2008. That made me smile.

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Kim January 12, 2009 at 11:27 pm

serena: Yeah, that is a lot. I’m not sure how many I will get to in 2009, since school reading looks particularly arduous this semester… book!

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