Sunday, January 24, 2010

Judging a book by its cover II

I'm not generally a fan of merchandise tie-ins to movies or television series, but I am going to make an exception for a book published by Hyperion in 2009, Heat Wave by Richard Castle. Richard Castle is a fictional bestselling mystery writer in the eponymous ABC show Castle. The show is fantastic. Richard Castle is played by Joss Whedon alumnus Nathan Fillion of Firefly and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog fame. This would likely be enough to endear me to Castle, but the writing is funny and clever, and it's a real pleasure being entertained by Fillion
for an hour each week.

Back to the book. I'm sure it is not the first of its kind, but it really tickled me to be able to hold the book published in the television series in my hands. The details are perfect, from the back cover picture of Fillion and the mini-biography on the back flap, to the dedication. It all just makes me happy.

I haven't gotten around to reading it yet and honestly am not expecting great things. For me, the actual substance of the book doesn't matter much since the execution of the idea is just so much fun.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

In which I display my geekiness

I present Figure 1, an homage to my geeky tendencies, where I plot data on the books I've read since I started keeping track four years ago. This is actually two plots, the first of which is a bar graph showing the total number of books read by year, and the second a line graph showing the percentage of those books that were written for adults.

Figure 1. The books I've read.

The first thing you will notice is that there is a sharp drop-off in books read from 2007 to 2008. This is easily explained if you know that I met my husband in the first half of 2008, and I suddenly found myself happily distracted. The second is that a very large percentage (>=60%) of the books I have been reading these past four years were not written for adults, but rather teens, young adults and middle readers.

Now there is nothing wrong with this; I count a number of those books among my favorite of all time. However, for the past couple of months I've found myself wanting to reverse this trend and get caught up again in the world of adult literature. I feel there are a great number of fantastic books I've missed out on along the way. So, if you wouldn't mind, please help me by leaving a comment on your favorite books that have been published since 2006 (OK, they can be books published before 2006 as well. Go crazy!).