Reading Roundup 2018 (now with added pie charts...)

My pile of TBR books in the wardrobe...

I finally decided that I would do a reading roundup for 2018 -- but I can't be arsed doing the fancy pie charts this year, so this post won't be as pretty as usual, I'm afraid!
EDIT: Okay, I made the effort and did the pie charts! I was just being slack.

Total Books Read in 2018: 89
This total is well down on previous years. Maybe I had less time. Maybe I was reading more demanding, longer books. Maybe a bit of both.

Children's/YA books: 34
Adult books: 55
In past years, this number has been more evenly balanced, or even tilted toward the children's books tally. This year I read fewer children's books for pleasure; most of the YA I read was for book club commitments. I think in 2018 I was seeking my comfort reading elsewhere!

Books by female authors: 61
Books by male authors: 21
Books with a mixed authorship: 7
Wow. The ladies definitely have it this year! Mind you, a good portion of this total consists of Dorothy L Sayers, so that laid a good fat weight on the scales.

Fiction titles: 51
Non-fiction: 38
As usual, I read more fiction than non-fiction this year, though I did read more non-fiction than usual.

Secondhand books: 45
Library books: 11
Borrowed from friends: 4
Kindle: 7
Re-read: 13
New: 9
Not many e-books this year, though I read three books on my phone. The other Kindle purchases were mostly desperation book club titles. I'd like to think I didn't buy as many secondhand books as in previous years, but I don't dare even go back and check.

UK authors: 38
US authors: 22
Australian authors: 19
Other: 8
The Other category includes Canadian, Irish, French and Italian authors. But clearly I still favour UK authors over all others; I'm not even fighting it any more.

Notable books in 2018
I did a massive, massive binge on Dorothy L Sayers books in 2018. I read all the Peter Wimsey novels and they vastly improve once Harriet appears on the scene. My favourites of the series are Gaudy Night (by a long way, as it's mostly Harriet) and The Nine Tailors (despite no Harriet at all).

I also read a significant number of books about depression, anxiety and psychotherapy. Some were extremely helpful; some were very interesting; some were, unfortunately, neither. The best is one I technically read in early 2019, which I will discuss in a forthcoming post.

I finished the Elena Ferrante Neapolitan novels, which were recommended to me by my dear friend Sandra Eterovic. We never did get round to discussing them properly, and now it's too late.

My favourite fiction came late in the year: Normal People, by Sally Rooney, which was a gift from another brilliant friend, Bridget. Hurry up and write more books, Sally!

The books which made the deepest impression on me in 2018 were, as is often the case, non-fiction.
A Wink From the Universe by Martin Flanagan helped me relive the magic of the Western Bulldogs unlikely 2016 premiership victory.
Deep Time Dreaming by Billy Griffiths is a masterful survey of Australia's archeological history. Readable, fascinating, and not dry at all.
Bookworm by Lucy Mangan was huge fun, nostalgic and delightful. Please be my new best friend, Lucy!
Wildwood by Roger Deakin is a moving and beautiful collection of meditations, portraits and explorations of a vast subject -- humanity's relation to trees and wood. A lovely book that has haunted me.


  1. I loved Bookworm! Someone asked me which famous person I'd most want to sit next to on a long flight, and I said Lucy Mangan, because we could talk about books all the way! Except maybe she'd be lost in a book all the way and not want to talk at all....
    I'm impressed by the number of books you've read, I can't manage half as many these days.

    1. Maybe Lucy can be trapped in the middle seat between us... it would need to be a really long flight!
      My total has gone down this year. Possibly because of Netflix.

  2. Happy New Year, Kate! I loved your pie charts...but maybe next year. It's really interesting to keep track of reading, to see the patterns and the changes from other years too, to pick the stand-out books. Sally Rooney's Normal People was one of my best of 2018, too. And RisingTideFallingStar by Philip Hoare - literature, history, nature, memoir. I didn't keep track of my reading last year at all but will try to do better. Best wishes for reading and writing and life this year.

  3. Happy New Year, Susan! Just for you, I went back and added the pie charts -- it wasn't that hard really, I was just being lazy :)
    I must look out for the Philip Hoare book -- it sounds right up my alley.
    Looking forward to many posts and recommendations from you this year :)

  4. Thank you for those cheeky pie charts!