Sunday, December 27, 2015

2015 Statistical Roundup

2015 was a slow year for reading for me, and a slowish year for book events.  But I still read a lot of great books and had some adventures in my new home. After a full calendar year in New York I can tell you there are lots of opportunities here, and lots of things to keep me busy. We'll see how many more years we log here, but for now I'm having some great days.

How many books read in 2015?
53. This is a sad number for me, down 23 from last year. I don't have a good explanation for this. I didn't read as much crime, and I read several chunkster books that took a lot of time to get through. I haven't listened to a single audio book and have read little day to day. I have gone whole days without reading, which is not like me.

How many fiction and non fiction?
51 fiction and 2 nonfiction. Last year most of my nonfiction was audio; this year I didn't listen to a single audio book but read my nonfiction in print, at the gym. All well and good and I was flying through them last year but I got hurt in February and haven't been going to the gym much since, so it took me until last month to finish a book I started in January.

Male/Female author ratio? 
30 books written by men to 23 written by women.

Favorite book of 2015?
What Ends, by Andrew Ladd. A luminous, beautiful family story set on a fictional Scottish island.

Least favorite?
The Lost Estate, by Henri-Alain Fournier. The French title for this is Le Grand Meaulnes, or The Great Meaulnes, Meaulnes being the name of a character. I didn't see what was so great about him. The book is a reminiscence of a great friendship between two boys, or rather the story of one boy who idolized Meaulnes, who seemed to be kind of a jerk in my opinion. It's an important book in French literature and I wanted to read it and see how it ended, but now I'm done.

Any that you simply couldn’t finish and why?
Several. The Night of the Hunter and Hollow Land by Jane Gardam come to mind. In the case of the former, I couldn't do the high pitch of suspense and anxiety. With the latter, it just didn't connect for me.

Oldest book read?
The Lost Estate originally published in 1913.

The Big Green Tent, by Ludmila Ulitskaya, released in November.

Longest and shortest book titles? 
Shortest title: 3-way tie between Ghosts, Elders and Billie.
Longest title: An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter 

Longest and shortest books?
Longest: Flood of Fire, by Amitav Ghosh
Shortest: Probably The Conversations, by Cesar Aira

How many books from the library?
None! I barely stepped foot in libraries this year except for job interviews. I did borrow a movie, though, Disney's "Aladdin."

One of several books I read in 2015 set in Argentina
Any translated books?
I read books translated from Danish, Italian, Hebrew, Portuguese, French, German, Russian, Spanish and Afrikaans.

Which countries did you go to through the page in your year of reading?
Through books I traveled to China, India, England, France, Argentina, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, Belize, Mexico, Ireland, South Africa, Israel, Brazil, Scotland, Cuba, Greenland, Denmark, Norway, Japan, Spain, Algeria and Zimbabwe.  I also visited the fantasy worlds of The Last Unicorn and Howl's Moving Castle.

Most read author of the year, and how many books by that author? 
Cesar Aira, four books. I also read two books each by Lydia Millet and Ludmila Ulitskaya.

Any re-reads?
I tried to re-read The Night of the Hunter, by Davis Grubb, which I read as a teen.

Favorite character of the year? 
Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle.

Which book wouldn’t you have read without someone’s specific recommendation?
None. None of the books I read this year were recommended to me by someone else. What can I say, I'm a very self-directed reader.

Which author was new to you in 2015 that you now want to read the entire works of?
Boualem Sansal, the Algerian author of The German Mujahid.

Which books are you annoyed you didn’t read?
I'm annoyed I never got to The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra, and All The Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr. Guess it wasn't a great year for Anthonys. I wish I had gotten to A Little Life, by Hanya Yanigahara, but I'm waiting for the paperback.

Did you read any books you have always been meaning to read?
Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne-Jones.

2015 Book Events in Marie's Book Life:
  • Seeing Margaret Atwood at a signing in Boston,
  • Meeting Amitav Ghosh at a signing in Brooklyn,
  • Exploring bookstores in New York, San Francisco and the Berkshires,
  • Joining and leaving a book club,
  • Visiting the Center for Fiction in NYC.
Some day I'll do a post on my favorite NYC bookstores but so far they are
Greenlight Books, Crawford and Doyle, Albertine, Housing Works Bookstore and the Strand. I'm also a fan of the new Rizzoli bookstore and the only independent in Queens, Astoria Bookshop, as well as Idlewild Books, the big Barnes & Nobles in Manhattan and McNally Jackson. Whoever says there are no bookstores in NYC hasn't been here lately! There are also a bunch more used bookstores that I've visited and enjoyed. I've yet to visit the Melville House bookstore, Book Court and WORD Brooklyn, and there are probably others, too. There's always something new going on!


Space Station Mir said...

I highly recommend All the Light You Cannot See! I've also been meaning to get to Howl's Moving Castle forever, maybe next year!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I had a hard time reading this year too. I think I read most of my books in either a day or they took 3 weeks. ha. I am not finished reading for the year because I a trying to hurry up and finish some to make my number closer to my original goal. ;)

Anonymous said...

I don't keep good statistics. Although I start to keep them every January, I never last! Glad you're enjoying life in New York. Some years there's more living and less reading, which is probably as it should be!