2014: Reading Round-Up
This was actually the hardest category to define. I read a number of books that could have fallen into either classification: The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Sea Hearts, The Cartographer, To Kill A Mockingbird? But it's come out in a pretty even split. The proportion of adult books was slightly higher this year.
Female author: 65
Male author: 31
My pro-female bias is showing again! This split is about the same as last year. And I must admit, going over my list, I realised that the books I didn't enjoy were usually by male authors. Sorry, guys! But I hasten to add that I did read some really excellent books by men this year -- the two titles mentioned in the intro, for example.
Yikes! Last year the split was about 75% fic/ 25% non-fic. I've read hardly any non-fiction this year, with, again, the notable exception of Far From the Tree, which was massive. Maybe I was looking for escapism in a fairly tough year? I must give a shout-out to Helen Garner's This House of Grief, which was also wonderful.
Borrowed from friends: 9
Re-read/already owned: 7
I bought a higher proportion of new books this year, partly thanks to a book voucher I received last Christmas, but also due to a scary new on-line book habit (thanks, Readings.com.au and biblio.com...) Again, most of my reading matter was sourced from second-hand books shops and library book sales. Interestingly, I bought fewer e-books this year. I made a lot of visits to the library, but looking at the number of books I actually read, I realise that I spent most of those visits borrowing for my children. Sometimes I feel guilty about the number of second-hand books I buy, but even if I bought two a week it probably wouldn't equal my husband's coffee habit, so I won't feel too bad! My re-reads this year were To Kill A Mockingbird and my Antonia Forest collection. The joys of the latter were enhanced enormously by an on-going on-line read-through via Live Journal (I might talk more about this in a later post).
Australian author: 31
This spread is slightly more diverse than last year, but not much. I forgot my resolution to read more non-Anglo authors and my bias toward British authors is still apparent. This reflects a lot of comfort reading this year -- eg multiple Agatha Christie and Antonia Forest titles which I return to repeatedly for reliable pleasures. I did, however, start to address my ignorance of Australian children's writers like Nan Chauncey, Ivan Southall and Hesba Brinsmead.
New releases (since 2000): 46
1950 - 2000: 36
New category! I'm actually quite relieved to see that my reading preferences are not entirely antique! A clear majority of the books I read were recent releases, and most of those were brand new. Doing my bit to support the publishing industry… In future I might break this down more precisely, as there's a big difference between a book published in 1999 and one published in 1950.
This year I'm going to try to be a bit more diligent in reviewing the books I read on this blog, and try to overcome my aversion to reviewing books by authors I might meet (or already know). They might not be long reviews, but I will try to stretch those critical muscles slightly.
Happy New Year, everyone, and I hope you got lots of books for Christmas! (I scored four.)