Using my annual meme, with some extensions and wanderings, here are (a bit belatedly) my stats from 2013… just because I find it interesting, and really enjoy reading everyone else’s.
|Encouraged by earlier comments…
here is one of my favourite Sherpa photos.
Number of Books Read
103, which is rather fewer than 2012’s 135, but not far off 2011’s 106.
Number of Books Bought
We don’t count those any more.
64 fiction and 39 non-fiction – every year the percentage of non-fiction gets higher. Will it overtake fiction one year? (Well, yes, maybe… here endeth the investigative journalism).
63 by women, 39 by men, 3 by both. That’s a higher percentage of male authors than last year, and exactly the same number male as non-fiction. Coincidence? (Yes.)
Only 10 – mostly because of my Reading Presently project, I think. Of those 10, 7 were for teaching, thesis, or work.
One. I couldn’t resist putting this in here, and it did impact my reading a great deal.
Oldest book read
After A Century of Books in 2012, I decided 2013 would be the year I read loads of 19th-century literature. So, the oldest book I read? Er, Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes by Harry Graham, from 1902. Oops.
Newest book read
Probably Black Sheep by Susan Hill, right at the end of the year, since it was a 2013 novel.
Was also one of the very best books I read this year – Stet by Diana Athill.
Books in Translation
Oh dear, only 3 I think, which is pretty appalling – and suggests that people tend not to give me books in translation, maybe? They were from French (Phantoms on the Bookshelves), German (All Quiet on the Western Front), and Hungarian (Skylark). And two of them ended up my 50 Books list.
Most Books by One Author
This is definitely a battle of the Dames…. Agatha Christie helped me get through reader’s block in the summer, and I taught Muriel Spark to an undergraduate in the autumn. Who wins? It’s actually a tie – 7 a-piece.
Most Disappointing Book
I’ve hoped that Nina Bawden would be an author that I’d love, but I found A Woman of My Age utterly tedious.
Most Serendipitous Book
Either Floater by Calvin Trillin, about journalists in Washington DC (which I read while staying with journalists in Washington DC), or The Young Ardizzone by Edward Ardizzone, which turned out to be partly set in the village where my grandparents lived for over thirty years.
Animals in book titles
Snake Beach by Lisa Glass, Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn, Skylark by Dezső Kosztolányi, Books, Baguettes, and Bedbugs by Jeremy Mercer, Some Tame Gazelle by Barbara Pym, Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie, Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie, and Black Sheep by Susan Hill.
Strange things that happened in the books I read this year
Snakes infested a modelling contest, letters were systematically banned, a fake war was reported, a old woman was swindled into believing herself immortal, a draper flew, two children discovered an underground world, a dead romantic novelist haunted her husband, fence builders became serial killers, a snow child came alive, and a woman discovered that she was in a novel when she heard a narrator speaking through the walls.