Reading Roundup 2016

It's that time again, when I analyse my year's reading -- it's interesting to me, even if it's not that fascinating to anyone else! I read a total of 87 books this year, well up on last year's total. I think this may have been because I made a conscious decision to read books I wanted to read, rather than books I felt as if I should read.

I discovered this afternoon that the pie chart is considered "the Comic Sans of the data visualisation world"! Oh dear! But I still like them. (Also, I get a kick out of the fact that Florence Nightingale invented them.)

Male/female authors

As usual, the ladies dominated. But the chaps came much closer to parity! This might be partly due to my discovery of Ben Aaronovitch's six book Peter Grant series, late in the year. I noticed while I was doing my figures that men seem to have written most of the non-fiction I consumed this year. Hm. Something to keep an eye on, perhaps. I read four books with a mix of male and female contributors.

Adult/Children's & YA
Very close to a fifty-fifty split this year! I think I found some adult books I actually enjoyed this year for a change -- I haven't had much luck with adult books in recent times.


And again, fiction is a clear winner, with about three quarters of the total. This is consistent with last year.


What a lovely, colourful, even spread! I'm surprised the proportion of secondhand books is down -- however, this doesn't account for the huge pile of books I've bought secondhand that I haven't got around to reading yet! Lots of books bought for the Kindle, too, a combination of desperation (when I couldn't find a book group title elsewhere) and impatience (hello, Ben Aaronovitch). I re-read lots of books this year too, all my Antonia Forest collection and L. M. Montgomery's Emily series.

Yeah, well, so much for diversity. I'm a little ashamed to say that this was the year of the comfort read, not the challenging read, and the diversity of my authors suffered accordingly. Although I think within those national categories, I did read more diversely than this chart would suggest. Maybe.

Publication date
More than half the books I read this year were published in the last sixteen years, so relatively recently, with the other half being more or less evenly spread through the decades of the twentieth century. Though I notice I didn't read anything published in the 1930s! How did I manage that?

Of the 87 books I read, 5 were graphic novels or predominantly pictorial.

Favourite books of 2016
In no particular order, the books I most enjoyed reading this year were:
A Tangle of Gold, Jaclyn Moriarty: rich, imaginative fantasy
Strandloper, Alan Garner: challenging, thought-provoking, poetic
Everywhere I Look, Helen Garner: deft, sharp, unsparing
Landmarks, Robert Macfarlane: deep, inspiring, quirky
Peter Grant series (Rivers of London), Ben Aaronovitch: intriguing, immersive, magical
Longbourn, Jo Baker: Austen from the servant's perspective; delightful
And I loved re-discovering Elizabeth Goudge, a neglected old favourite: The Dean's Watch, Linnets and Valerians and The Rosemary Tree all soothed and refreshed me this year.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2017 -- and a year filled with reading!

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