Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Can you believe it, another year over already?

And with the New Year revelry and resolutions also comes reflections.

Looking back, 2008 was a big year in the bookie world. Here are some of the highlights...

  • J.K. Rowling released another Harry Potter related book The Tales of Beedle the Bard, to the delight of millions of fans world wide. Her books have sold more than 400 million copies worldwide
  • District Judge Robert Patterson Jr described the Harry Potter books as "gibberish" during the three-day copyright trial into an unauthorised encyclopaedia of her Harry Potter novels
  • Stephanie Meyer's novel-in-progress "Midnight Sun" was leaked online and the author announced she now refused to complete it
  • Meanwhile Meyer's last novel in the Twilight saga "Breaking Dawn" sold 1.3 million copies in the US alone on its first day of sales
  • Terry Pratchett, adored fantasy writer of the discworld series was knighted
  • The financial crisis hit the retail book market heavily with one US publishing house, Harcourt Houghton Mifflin, temporarily suspending purchase of new manuscripts and US book giant Barnes and Noble reporting an 18.4 million dollar loss for its third quarter results
  • Celebs and retired sports stars continued to churn out autobiographies or children's books
  • US vice-presidential wannabe Sarah Palin was allegedly given a $7 million dollar book deal and was accused of trying to ban books while mayor of the small Alaskan town of Wasilla
  • Internet rumours allege Osama bin Laden is to write a book titled Nidal (Struggle) in response to "negative propaganda from the West"
  • Aravind Adiga won the Booker award with his debut novel The White Tiger while Salman Rushdie won "the best of the Booker" title
  • New Zealand's beloved children's writer Margaret Mahy was convicted of drink driving
  • The London home of the publisher of controversial novel The Jewel of Medina that gives a fictionalised account of the Prophet Muhammad's relationship with his child bride, Aisha, was firebombed by fanatics
  • The iconic Edmonds Cook Book celebrated its 100th anniversary
  • The Duffy Books in Homes project gave away its five millionth book to kiwi kids
  • W. H. (Bill) Oliver, Lloyd Jones and Elizabeth Smither, were honoured with the 2008 Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement
  • Oprah Winfrey endorses the Kindle on her show and sales soar
  • Great novels continued to be turned into mediocre movies
  • Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon computer science professor whose book The Last Lecture became an Internet sensation and bestselling book, died of pancreatic cancer aged 47
  • Unity Books in Wellington was named the Thorpe-Bowker Independent Bookshop of the Year
  • Paddington Bear turned 50 and Hairy Macleary from Donaldson's Dairy turned 25
  • Controversy erupts when only 4 titles instead of the usual 5 are announced as finalists for the Montana Book Awards, eventually won by Opportunity by Charlotte Grimshaw
  • Borders Group sold its stores in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore to A&R Whitcoulls
  • Kate and Gerry McCann plan to write a book about their 'year of hell' without missing Madeleine - and stand to gain one million pounds for it
  • The Lonely Planet guidebooks suffer a severe blow to their credibility when one of their authors admits to plagiarising and making up huge slabs of his books
  • Junot Díaz won the Pulitzer prize for fiction with "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao"
  • One of New Zealand's most celebrated and prolific poets Hone Tuwhare passed away, aged 86
  • Self-help manual "If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs" won this year's oddest book title competition

On a personal bookie note, 2008 was pretty epic for me as well. I managed to read a personal best in the books department and am pretty proud of that. Here's my stats:

Number of Books Read = 72 + 3 audio books

Fiction = 48
Nonfiction = 27

Written by Men = 24
Written by Women = 48
Co-Authored = 2
Written by Transgender = 1

Re-Reads = 2

Novels = 47
Memoir = 18
Biography = 6
True Crime = 3
Current Events = 1

Books read by Author Nationality:
Irish = 4
New Zealand = 4 (must do better!)
UK = 16
US = 38
Afghani = 1
Chinese = 2
Australian = 4
Malaysian = 1
Swiss = 1
French = 1
Norwegian = 1
South African = 1

So to all the wellreadkitty readers, I wish you a Happy New Year and many happy hours of reading in 2009!!!!!


Café Chick said...

Happy New Year to you, too! What an inspiration you've been, managing to read all those books while studying full-time. I'm still (slowly) working my way through my pile of summer books and loving every minute of it. So, what's your reading goal for 2009? ;-)

Katie_S said...

Great list Missus! And I learnt a few things I didn't know!
And I'm as curious as Cafe Chick - what's the magic number for 2009?

Online Book Stores said...

Great list...Nice Blogs and Happy New Year to All..

Online Book Stores