Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Statistical Roundup- The Year in Books

I've done this meme every year since 2009. It's so fun to end the year with this numbers-driven summary of the year in books.

How many books read in 2014? 77 as of today. I doubt I will finish any of my current reads by the end of the year. This number seems low to me but it's actually higher than last year (74) though still down from my 2012 high of 95.

How many fiction and non fiction?
62 fiction and 15 nonfiction. The nonfiction number was bolstered by audiobooks and reading at the gym. Two of the three extra books I read this year were nonfiction apparently.

Male/Female author ratio? 
This year's male to female ratio is about the same as last year 42 male authors versus 35 female. Last year I read 32 books by women, so the three extra were written by women.  I don't like to cherry-pick books based on gender or other demographic factors, because reading isn't about score-keeping for me, but I'm tempted to try to emphasize womens' books more.
Favorite book of 2014?
Probably Pushkin Hills, by Sergei Dovlatov. I never wrote a formal review but it's the one that's stayed with me the most as the year's gone on. I also loved Hild, by Nicola Griffith. For some reason that didn't make it on my best list from last week, but it should be there. It just goes to show how subjective and of-the-moment best lists can be.

Least favorite?
The Bookshop, by Penelope Fitzgerald. Random House sent me a complimentary copy of the new Everyman's collection of her novels and a review copy of the Hermione Lee biography and I so wanted to love The Bookshop but while I admired the artistry of it, it was such a downer that I couldn't bring myself to read any more. Sorry guys.

Any that you simply couldn’t finish and why?
Booker-Prize winners The Old Devils and Rites of Passage proved to be a little dated and dull for me.

Oldest book read?
Climates, by Andre Maurois, was originally published in 1928.

The Beanie Baby Bubble, by Zac Bissonnette, is forthcoming in March 2015.

Longest and shortest book titles?
Longest: There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children, Until They Moved Back in: Three Novellas About Family, by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya. Shortest: J, by Howard Jacobson. 

Longest and shortest books?
Longest: Hild, by Nicola Griffith. Shortest: The Guest Cat, by Takashi Hiraide

How many books from the library?
Three library books: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Orange is the New Black and Jamrach's Menagerie. The first two were audio; Jamrach's Menagerie was an e-book.

Any translated books?
This year I read books translated from Arabic, German, French, Russian, Albanian, Italian, Portuguese, Persian, Basque, Greek and Japanese.

Most read author of the year, and how many books by that author?
Ben H. Winters. I read two books of his, Countdown City and A World of Trouble, the last two books of his end-of-the-world The Last Policeman crime series.

Any re-reads?
No re-reads this year.

Favorite character of the year?
Boris of Pushkin Hills, and Hild of Hild.

Which countries did you go to through the page in your year of reading?
I traveled all over the world this year. In books I went to Egypt, India, Greece, South Africa, Japan, England, Portugal, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, Russia, Germany, Afghanistan, Israel, France, Dominican Republic, China, Brazil, the Belgian Congo, Albania and Burma.

Which book wouldn’t you have read without someone’s specific recommendation?
Annihilation, by Jeff Vandermeer. My husband recommended it to me.

Which author was new to you in 2010 that you now want to read the entire works of?
Richard Flanagan. I've had Gould's Book of Fish in my TBR pile for a while and I'll have to read it now, after The Narrow Road to the Deep North was so good.

Which books are you annoyed you didn’t read?
I wish I'd gotten to Morrissey's Autobiography.

Did you read any books you have always been meaning to read?
Yes. The Line of Beauty, by Alan Hollinghurst.

2014 Book Events in Marie's Book Life:
2014 was a slow year for book events. Working at Porter Square Books through August was wonderful and I continue to talk about the store like I still work there. Moving to New York has been a huge challenge and will continue to offer lots of opportunities for me. Attending Margaret Atwood's event at the 92nd St. Y was pretty fun. But I haven't had a lot of time for running around NYC's literary scene. I'm hoping that will change soon and I'll find a job and a niche in this great city!


Tea said...

I really enjoyed reading your questions and answers. My, you did a lot of armchair travel. Can't imagine seeing Margaret Atwood in person.

Anonymous said...

I loved this. Great way to capture you literary life.

Becca said...

Some of the questions you ask yourself are in line with new stats I am going to be keeping track of in 2015 like gender of author, publication date, translations, etc.

I have most of your fave books on my TBR already but going to look into the rest of them!

Anonymous said...

Great year! I'm sure that New York will offer a sea of opportunities.

Lisa C. Hayden said...

I'm glad to see you enjoyed Pushkin Hills so much! I read the Russian a few years ago and thought the translation was just as fun -- some of the word choices are wonderful.

Happy New Year! And happy reading in 2015!