Skip to main content

Bibliophile’s reading report for 2008

Total books read in 2008:
153, which is 10 more than in 2007, making my weekly average 2,95 books.

Last year’s unfinished books were fewer than the year before and consisted only of 2 books I gave up on and a couple of guide books I borrowed and read only the relevant sections of for my trip to Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Breakdown:

Fiction: 117 (76,5%), up by 8,2% since last year.
Non-fiction: 31 (20,3%) down by 10% since last year.
Mixed: 5 (3,3%)

My non-fiction percentage is down from 2007, which means I was unable to fulfil my goal to reach 35% non-fiction in 2009. Maybe this year I’ll do better (I have some juicy travelogues lined up that may pull this average up).

Total no. of pages read: 44691, compared with 38901 in 2007, which is not surprising as I read more books in 2008.
Average number of pages per book: 292. This is 18 pages longer than in 2008. I have some big reads of 700+ pages lined up that may push the average page count even higher this year.
Number of books 300+ pages long: 78 (51%). This percentage was 49% in 2007 and 26,8% in 2006.

Re-reads: 12 (7,8%). This is slightly more than last year.
Library and loan books: 23 (15,1%). This is nearly the same percentage as in 2007.
E-books: 1
Audio books: 1
Translated books: 4 (2,5%)

Books published before 1900:
3. Last year it was 4, so I did not fulfil my goal of reading at least 12 in 2008. However, the count is bound to go up this year, as I am planning on reading some Icelandic Sagas as part of my challenge to read more Icelandic books.
Books published after 2000 (that year not included): 54, or 35,3%, compared with 21,8% in 2008.

Average rating per book (out of a possible 5+): 3+. When I do the actual calculations I interpret the +’s to mean 0,5. Last year the actual average was 3,5 stars, but this year it’s 3,4 stars, so the average rating is ever so slightly down.
Most common rating (out of a possible 5+): Not suprisingly (considering the above), the most common rating is down from 4 to 3,5 stars (representing 34 books, or 22,4%), but the distribution between the most common scores is more even than last year. This year, no books got a score of 1 or 1+, as opposed to 1 each last year. 6 books got 5 stars versus last year’s 5 books, and 3 books got 5+ stars, a distinction given to no book in 2007. I was unable to give scores to 4 books last year, but there were 9 of those in 2007.
(Books that I do not give a score are ones that need different criteria from what I generally use. My usual scoring consists of a combination of literary quality factors (objective, minor point) and reading enjoyment (subjective, major point), but scoreless books generally need not only objective, point-by-point comparison with other books of the same kind, but some also need scoring based on practical application. Those are always non-fiction, usually reference- or educational books, such as craft manuals and travel guide books, and also some history books).

Languages: I read and listened to 148 books in English last year, or 96,7% out of the total. Last year it was 93%. This year’s reading challenge will therefore be to read more books in Icelandic (see posting from December 1st).

Breakdown by genre:
This breakdown is by main genre, so genre-crossing books get classified under one genre even if they could possibly belong to more, sometimes as many as three or four. Books where I only read a few books in the genre are collected under "miscellaneous fiction or non-fiction". The only time I use a fuller genre classification is when there are enough of them to be statistically interesting.
The books that mix (or seem to mix) fiction and non-fiction I divided into genres as I saw fit.

Crime, mystery and action, including one non-fiction crime book: 53 (34,65%), down by 9%
Romance: 44 (28,75%), up by 21,75%
Fantasy, sci-fi, fairy tales, myths and supernatural (incl. horror): 12 (7,8%), down by 5,55%
Miscellaneous fiction: 8 (5,2%) down by 1,85%
Travelogues, memoirs of places, geography, guide books: 15 (9,8%) down by 2,2%
Miscellaneous non-fiction: 21 (13,75%), down by 3,2%

Most read authors:
This was definitely a Nora Roberts year for me. I had been avoiding her non-J.D. Robb books for years because I suspected I would either love or hate her romances and either could be disastrous for my enjoyment of her J.D. Robb thrillers. As it happens, I ended up generally liking the books, but not necessarily loving them. The one standalone novel of hers I read garnered my highest rating out of her Roberts books, a 4. The rest consisted of a novella collection, three trilogies and one tetralogy (that I am trying to hammer together a readable review of), each book with a rating ranging from 2+ to 3+, ending up with an average score of 2,75. The 4 books written by Roberts as J.D. Robb got nearly a whole star more on average than her other books.

The runner-up was Charlotte MacLeod, some of whose books I did love. Her books ended up with an average rating of 3,5. Unsurprisingly, Terry Pratchett came third, as I am still rereading the Discworld novels.

Here is the score:

Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb: 19
Charlotte MacLeod: 8
Terry Pratchett: 7
Jennifer Crusie and Ngaio Marsh: 5 each
Georgette Heyer and Susan Elizabeth Phillips: 4 each
Suzanne Brockmann and Tony Hillerman: 3 each
Rita Mae Brown, Mary & Carol Higgins Clark together (plus one book each), Susan Dunlap, Caroline Graham, Donna Leon, Ellis Peters, Margaret Truman and Connie Willis: 2 each

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book 40: The Martian by Andy Weir, audiobook read by Wil Wheaton

Note : This will be a general scattershot discussion about my thoughts on the book and the movie, and not a cohesive review. When movies are based on books I am interested in reading but haven't yet read, I generally wait to read the book until I have seen the movie, but when a movie is made based on a book I have already read, I try to abstain from rereading the book until I have seen the movie. The reason is simple: I am one of those people who can be reduced to near-incoherent rage when a movie severely alters the perfectly good story line of a beloved book, changes the ending beyond recognition or adds unnecessarily to the story ( The Hobbit , anyone?) without any apparent reason. I don't mind omissions of unnecessary parts so much (I did not, for example, become enraged to find Tom Bombadil missing from The Lord of the Rings ), because one expects that - movies based on books would be TV-series long if they tried to include everything, so the material must be pared down

List love: 10 recommended stories with cross-dressing characters

This trope is almost as old as literature, what with Achilles, Hercules and Athena all cross-dressing in the Greek myths, Thor and Odin disguising themselves as women in the Norse myths, and Arjuna doing the same in the Mahabaratha. In modern times it is most common in romance novels, especially historicals in which a heroine often spends part of the book disguised as a boy, the hero sometimes falling for her while thinking she is a boy. Occasionally a hero will cross-dress, using a female disguise to avoid recognition or to gain access to someplace where he would never be able to go as a man. However, the trope isn’t just found in romances, as may be seen in the list below, in which I recommend stories with a variety of cross-dressing characters. Unfortunately I was only able to dredge up from the depths of my memory two book-length stories I had read in which men cross-dress, so this is mostly a list of women dressed as men. Ghost Riders by Sharyn McCrumb. One of the interwove

Icelandic folk-tale: The Devil Takes a Wife

Stories of people who have made a deal with and then beaten the devil exist all over Christendom and even in literature. Here is a typical one: O nce upon a time there were a mother and daughter who lived together. They were rich and the daughter was considered a great catch and had many suitors, but she accepted no-one and it was the opinion of many that she intended to stay celebrate and serve God, being a very devout  woman. The devil didn’t like this at all and took on the form of a young man and proposed to the girl, intending to seduce her over to his side little by little. He insinuated himself into her good graces and charmed her so thoroughly that she accepted his suit and they were betrothed and eventually married. But when the time came for him to enter the marriage bed the girl was so pure and innocent that he couldn’t go near her. He excused himself by saying that he couldn’t sleep and needed a bath in order to go to sleep. A bath was prepared for him and in he went and