Wednesday, January 04, 2012

2011 in Review

2011 was another busy year here at Neth Space. The real world has kept me from reading as much as I’d like – but that’s nothing new, just a bit extreme as I adjust to life with 2 kids (one of which has a bit of a medical condition that takes up quite a bit of time and stress). I only managed to read 23 books in 2011, a disappointment, but I still count it as a victory. A few interesting stats are summed up below.


  • 23 books read
  • 21 Published in 2011
  • 2 Published in 2010
  • None were marketed as YA (down from 1 in 2010)
  • 18 are part of a series
  • 22 were provided by the publisher
  • I read more books published by Random House (6) and its various imprints than any other – 4 from Del Rey, 1 from Spectra, and 1 from Doubleday (I suppose you could bounce it up to a total with 7 if you count 1 book from Transworld on the other side of the pond). The next closest was Orbit with 5.
  • 4 books were published by ‘small press’ (up from 3 last year)
  • 1 was an anthology (down from 2 last year)
  • 4 are written at least in part by female authors (down from 8 last year) and 1 was written by a person of color or other distinct ethnicity from my own (down from 4 last year) (possibly more since this is a difficult thing to keep track of)
  • 3are what I consider science fiction (down from 6 in 2010)
  • 8 are what I consider epic fantasy (down from 10)
  • Only 1 is what I consider steampunk (same)
  • 6 are what I consider urban fantasy (down from 8)
  • 2 are what I consider sword and sorcery (down from 4)
  • Only  is what I consider alternative history/historical fantasy (same)
  • I conducted 2 interviews and helped out with a couple of others
  • There have been approximately 54,000 site visits this year (not counting RSS) from 131 countries. Roughly 45% from the USA, 14% from the UK, and 9% from Canada.
  • The Westeros Forums and Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist are the top referring sites (other than Google).
  • My review for the Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson the most popular post, followed by my review of The Crippled God by Steven Erikson. So, this year was clearly Steven Erikson’s year on Neth Space. Third place goes to my review of The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie – a series that has been out for a while now and a review that is several years old (this was 4th place last year). This tells me that Joe has a strong staying power (or that my Google-fu for that post is particularly good). I was pretty surprised that my interview with Brandon Sanderson comes in 5th (I expected it would the most popular post this year).

So, the best books I read this year are listed below. With only 23 total books read this year, I’ve limited it to the few that managed to stand out.

The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie (Book Depository, Powell's Books, Indiebound)

Joe just keeps getting better and better. And this one really is his best one to date. (review)

The Crippled God by Steven Erikson (Book Depository, Powell's Books, Indiebound)

An outstanding conclusion to his epic 10-book series. I’m a huge fanboy for this series, which I consider the best completed fantasy series in long time, possibly ever. (review)

The Sacred Band by David Anthony Durham (Book Depository, Powell's Books, Indiebound)

Another great conclusion to a series. This one is often overlooked and it shouldn’t be. (review)


Honorable Mentions

Of course there are quite a few very good books that didn’t quite crack the uppermost tie – the 2 below just missed the cut. But really, I only read 2 or 3 books that I wouldn’t recommend for one reason or another.

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (review)

The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham (review)

And for kicks – the worst book I read in 2011

The Dark Griffin by K.J. Taylor (review)

This one tries but couldn’t ever be more than terribly cliché.

And the most disappointing book I read in 2011

The White-Luck Warrior by R. Scott Bakker (review)

I wanted to like this one – this was one of the books I was looking forward to most in 2011. But it simply didn’t work for me. After the great start to this new series with The Judging Eye (review) I was very disappointed.


Bob (Beauty in Ruins) said...

Have to disagree with you on The Crippled God - loved the series, but hated the final book.

The David Anthony Durham series is high on my to-be-read list, as is The Wise Man’s Fear (his first book was absolutely amazing) and The Dragon’s Path (I've heard good things).

Justin said...

You know where I stand on Malazan, Ken. Preach it!

I still haven't read SACRED BAND and I need to fix that, stat.

Mark said...

The Crippled God was a good conclusion to the Malazan series, warts and all. I especially liked it because it proved to me that after two disappointing books in the series - TTH and DoD, that Erikson can still write an epic story.

I hope that since he had relatively longer time to write his next book that it'll be back to his earlier form.


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