Hi all! I’m sneaking back in after a hiatus, with the aim of posting weekly. To kick things off, here’s my annual reading recap…
Favourite Books of 2015
In no particular order, my favourite books last year were:
- The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
- Janus by John Park
- The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
- The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Honorable mention: Small Gods by Terry Pratchett (reread)
What I loved about these:
- hard-hitting emotion and psychological depth
- huge questions/twists, either in plot or in worldbuilding, that seem like they could have no possible answer…until they do
- location, location, location
- strong narrative voice
- interpersonal conflicts, not necessarily with a single clear antagonist
- layered stories – frame stories, tales within tales, etc.
I have no idea if these statistics fascinate you as much as they do me (if they do, please comment…) but here goes.
In 2015 I read 20 books, 4 fewer than the previous year. Not good! Must correct!
- 6 were adult fantasy, 3 were adult SF, and 1 was hard-to-classify adult speculative fiction
- 2 were non-SFF adult fiction
- 2 were YA fantasy, 1 was YA SF, and 1 was YA speculative fiction
- 2 were non-SFF YA fiction
- 1 was a book of poetry, and 1 was a graphic novel
- I read no anthologies for the second year in a row. Or rather, I read parts of two but did not finish. Short fiction is just not my gig right now. I also read parts of two non-fiction books but did not finish them either.
12 of the books were parts of series – almost all of my genre reading. The exceptions were Janus by John Park, The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (which almost made my “favourite books” list), and Moonheart by Charles de Lint.
Authors and Publishing
9 of the authors were male and 11 female – a much more even showing than most years, as I tend to tilt heavily female.
To my knowledge, I read only one book by a person of colour. (That would be The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu.) However, in 2016 the stats will be much better because I’m doing a book-buying challenge – half of all the books I bought in 2015 were by authors of colour. I just haven’t read them yet because my buying is at least a year behind my reading…!
Of the 20 books I read, 14 were published in the last 5 years – a higher ratio than years past, thanks in part to the Turtleduck Press books I read and in part due to a book club I’m part of on Twitter (#20reads — come join!), which tends towards recently published books.
I got 3 books from the library, 2 were e-ARCs (electronic Advance Reader Copies), 2 were rereads, 1 was a gift, and 1 was a loan of a physical book. The other 11 I bought.
11/20 were ebooks – 55%. The ratio of ebooks to physical books I read continues to creep upwards – last year it was 40%, then 33%, then 25% (the first year I had an ereader). I own a smartphone but don’t tend to read books on it; I don’t own a tablet. What I acquire in ebook form breaks down like this:
- books where the paperback wasn’t out yet and I wanted to buy it right away but didn’t want the hardcover (3)
- books from my to-read list that go on sale (2)
- e-ARCs (2)
- library books (2 of the 3 library books I read were ebooks)
- big fat fantasy novels that are too heavy to comfortably hold or lug around (1 – I’m looking at you, GRRM)
- books that I bought as ebooks for no particular reason (2)
…argh, I counted something twice there, but I can’t be bothered to go back and figure it out. Ahem.
Your turn! Did you notice any patterns in your reading last year?