Monday, 10 January 2011

A book a week in 2010: the results

The phone lines are closed. The results have been counted and verified. It's time for a round-up of the Book a Week in 2010 project.

Top ten
  1. Information is Beautiful - David McCandless
  2. The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
  3. The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennett
  4. The Girl Who Played With Fire - Stieg Larsson
  5. Grown Up Digital - Don Tapscott
  6. One Day - David Nicholls
  7. The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Mohsin Hamid
  8. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
  9. The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly - Jean-Dominique Bauby
  10. My Fathers' Daughter - Hannah Pool
  • Art (1)
  • Biography (6)
  • Childrens (1)
  • Fiction (28)
  • Non-fiction (11)
  • Poetry (5)
  • Travel (1)

For the pure joy of reading it, Information is Beautiful gets the top spot. It simultaneously challenged, educated and entertained me. And I love books that make me laugh out loud.

One Day: for making me burst into tears - without warning - on the bus (anyone who's read this will know the exact moment I'm talking about). David Nicholls makes you care for the characters like no other. And it took me back to my Brixton party days in the 90s.

For pure, relentless pace, The Girl Who Played with Fire is head and shoulders above the others in the trilogy. I quite literally couldn't put it down. Which proved quite difficult at work. And in the shower.


Print or e?
I like using the Kindle for non-fiction (Gladwell, Reed) or pulp non-fiction (Larsson). Essentially it's the book snob in me. If I want people to know how literary and well-read I am, I want the physical book to add to my bookshelf for visitors to see. If it seems remotely work related or serious, I'm happy to read it electronically. I also enjoy getting my Kindle out on the tube, to prove how geeky/cool/progressive I am. Please don't think less of me because of it.

It's people, stupid.
A big shout out goes to Twitter and Facebook friends, without whom I wouldn't have read such a diverse and entertaining group of titles. I've still got a big list of recommends. It sparks discussion, debate and suggestions. I love this. While reading is in itself an isolated activity, this exercise has proved that it feeds and develops relationships and communities of interest. No real surprise there, but lovely to experience it first hand on what was a personal New Year's resolution. Thank you guys!

Faster, pussycat, faster!
There's no room for indolent reading whilst reclining on a chaise longue. You have to think about how and when you are going to read. You need to keep the pace up, a chapter here and there during the day can make all the difference. There are only so many hours in the day, so something's gotta give. Out go morning papers, lunchtime magazines and evening TV. I let this slip a bit, but managed to pull it back at the end of the year because I had a lot of holiday to take, so could read all day, every day.

It's been a blast, and reminded me how much I love books and reading. I'm hoping to keep it up through 2011, but will set myself a different and new resolution. Watch this space...

1 comment:

  1. Suzanne - respect! I admire you for undertaking this challenge, so well done.

    Not sure I could cope...