(This was a somewhat unusual year, in that most of my reading time had to be devoted to the now-forthcoming Book Two.)
Favorite novels: Steve Erickson, Zeroville; Hilary Mantel, Bring up the Bodies; Wes Stace, Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer.
Favorite monographs: Jan Melissa-Schramm, Atonement and Self-Sacrifice in Nineteenth-Century Fiction; Kirstie Blair, Form and Faith in Victorian Poetry and Religion; Michael Wheeler, St. John and the Victorians; Matthew Kaiser, The World in Play; M. O. Grenby, The Child Reader, 1700-1840; Alexandra Walsham, The Reformation of the Landscape.
Favorite nonfiction: Aldous Huxley, The Devils of Loudun (or is that "faction"?).
Most unenjoyable contemporary reading experiences: Dave Tomar, The Shadow Scholar; the Clandestine Classics sexed-up Jane Eyre. (The latter did provide some entertainment value, however.)
Favorite novels reread for class: R. L. Stevenson, The Master of Ballantrae; John Fowles, The French Lieutenant's Woman.
Weirdest novel: Martine Desjardins, Maleficium.
Funniest novels: William Beckford, Modern Novel Writing; Kim Newman, Moriarty; Adam Roberts, I Am Scrooge.
Favorite horror fiction: Patrick Senecal, Aliss; Susan Hill, The Woman in Black.
Horror fiction that might have been greatly improved by being cut in half: Chris Bohjalian, The Night Strangers. (Interesting PTSD plot + ludicrous herbal magic plot.)
Horror fiction that never gets old: J. S. LeFanu, "An Account of Some Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street"; E. F. Benson, "The Room in the Tower."
Best genre mashup: Caitlin R. Kiernan, "The Maltese Unicorn." (Think Hammett meets Lovecraft, and you'll get the idea.)
Most audacious rewrite: China Mieville, Railsea. (It's Moby-Dick! But with moles!)
Best response to Dickens: Ruth Rendell, A Judgment in Stone.
Weirdest neo-Victorian novel: Tim Powers, Hide Me among the Graves (Pre-Raphaelite vampires, anyone?).
Favorite neo-Victorian novels: Kathe Koja, Under the Poppy; Isabel Colegate, The Summer of the Royal Visit.
Neo-Victorian novel not to be read over lunch: Maggie Power, Lily. (Unfortunately, I was indeed reading it over lunch.)
Neo-Victorian novel I wanted to like more than I did: Belinda Starling, The Journal of Dora Damage.
Most experimental Victorian religious novel: George Firth, The Adventures of a Martyr's Bible (which is not what it sounds like).
Worst Victorian religious novels: St. Dorothy's Home; "Frank Briton" (John Kensit?), By the By: A Thrilling Tale.
Oddest Victorian religious novel: Bible Island, a utopia about a land in which (you guessed it) the only book allowed is the Bible.
Victorian religious novel I was most excited to get my nands on: Henry Patrick Russell, Cyril Westward.
Best sequel: Barry Unsworth, The Quality of Mercy.
Prettiest exhibition catalogs: Anne L. Poulet, Jean-Antoine Houdon; Stephen Bann, Painting History.
Most timely satire of a genre in need of summary execution: Adam Roberts, I Am Scrooge.
Idea that needs to be put out of its misery immediately: "Sexed-up" classic fiction.
Please do not include the following character in your neo-Victorian novel: Jack the Ripper.
Detective series most in need of retirement: "Benjamin Black"'s Quirke, in a neck-and-neck tie with Charles Todd's Inspector Rutledge. Banville/Black seemed rather bored with Quirke in the last go-round, Vengeance, and Todd's conceit (Rutledge's PTSD takes the form of a "ghost") is becoming more and more implausible. (Surely someone ought to have noticed Rutledge's issues by now?!)
Author angling to have his work included under "Plot Reaper" in TVTropes: In Dead and Buried, Stephen Booth pulls out the most blatant example of this I've seen in some time.
Why I broke down and purchased a smart phone: I managed to duplicate four books in my collection. Access to LibraryThing FTW!
Most antiquarian acquisition: The first US edition of Jane West's The Loyalists (1813).
Best antiquarian bookstore find: A bound anthology of thirty-six plays, most published between 1813-34.
Acquisitions in worst shape: A tie between the novel Montmorency and the bound periodical The Orange and Protestant Banner, both self-deconstructing.
Finally acquired after nearly twenty years of looking: Thomas Laqueur's history of Sunday schools, Religion and Respectability.
Cutest acquisition: The Old Brown Coat and Its Owners, a very tiny tract from the 1830s.
Best secondhand bargain: Robert Lee Wolff, Gains and Losses, for $25.
Best Kindle academic bargain: Belen Vidal, Heritage Film, for $9.99.
Most disappointing price drop: I really got a kick out of Book One being priced at $9999. Alas, you can now obtain it at the far more reasonable rate of, er, $353.12.
Oof: The first volume reprint of G. W. M. Reynolds' The Mysteries of London (1100 pages...and we're only halfway through!); William M'Gavin's The Protestant (1500 pages of anti-Catholic screeds, yikes).