So, it’s not even January any more, but I’ve been meaning to do my annual stats round-up for a while. Leaving it so late at least means that I shan’t be overshadowed by everybody else doing it at the same time…
Number of Books Read
Only 98, which is the lowest I’ve read since I started keeping records – although only five fewer than last year. It makes me realise how unlikely A Century of Books was to be completed…
72 fiction and 26 non-fiction. Non-fiction had been growing every year, and I’m surprised that it slumped in 2014, since it felt like quite a non-fiction-heavy year.
62 by women, 36 by men – which is more or less what I expected.
10, most of which were by or about A.A. Milne.
One, and it lasted for weeks and weeks. Hence the number of Agatha Christie titles I read.
Oldest book read
I think the oldest book I read was exactly 100 years old – Love Insurance by Earl Derr Biggers. Very good it was too.
Newest book read
Shiny New Books meant I read loads of new books. Well, a few. I guess the most recent was Marilynne Robinson’s Lila.
Another victory for Lila!
Books in Translation
5, I think – including lots of Tove Jansson.
Most Books by One Author
Agatha Christie (quelle surprise) with 9. A.A. Milne had a healthy showing with 6.
Most Baffling Book
What on earth happened in Gertrude Stein’s Blood on the Dining-Room Floor? I couldn’t tell you.
Most Disappointing Book
Agatha stood me in good stead, but Elephants Can Remember was dire.
Most Overdue Read
I should have read Swallows and Amazons decades ago. Better late than never!
I didn’t love the novel as much as I’d hoped, but Nancy Spain’s Cinderella Goes to the Morgue still has a beauty of a title.
Animals in Book Titles
This has become an essential category for me now. Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie, Here Be Dragons by Stella Gibbons, Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi, Lets Discuss Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris, Mr Fox by Barbara Comyns, Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome, Pigeon Pie by Nancy Mitford, The Man Who Unleashed the Birds by Paul Newman, and The Midnight Fox by Betsy Byars.
Strange things that happened in the books I read in 2014
Everyone’s favourite category! People teleported and stuck monkey glands to necks, the fifth child turned out to be a demon, the apocalypse came to a country house, a fake chemist entered a dystopia, a woman and a dog swapped minds, Virginia Woolf wandered through modern day New York, enormous silkworms crushed crowds, a hotel was used as a kidnapping front, oh, and lots of ingenious murders, of course.