Friday, January 3, 2014

2013! 2014!

Well, 2013 involved a lot of changes for me-primarily I moved from a country whose language I speak and whose libraries I could use (and used very frequently thanks to being unemployed) to a country whose language I don’t speak and whose libraries are systematically being closed (and became a student again).  As a result my access to books seriously shifted and my reading priorities radically changed midway through the year. This is the context for the statistics below. Last year's run through can be found here.

In 2013, I read 110 books. This is much less than last year (-81) but as I mentioned, I barely read after I moved to Greece and I had a natural little downturn in England anyway.  This count is much more typical of my reading habits so I’m not perturbed. Last year was a bit of an outlier.

On average I read books that were 302 pages long which I totally believe. It feels about right. I read a bunch of books hovering around the mid 200s along with the bricks I plowed through. My shortest read was Oroonoko with 77 pages. The longest read was Bonfire of the Vanities at 710 pages.

My main reading goal was to read more books by women. I succeeded at 67%! Part of this list are the books I read for the GWC challenge but I also read a lot more white women as well to gain this significant majority of women writers.

My attempts to finish some non fiction took an upswing near to the end of the year as I began my dissertation research but at 27%, it’s still not quite a big number and it's only a 6% increase. This year I can confirm that the majority of my abandoned books were non-fiction.

I definitely continued to read more books I genuinely enjoyed at 63% and if you add in the ones I mostly enjoyed we have a hefty 79%. I disliked 7% of my reads.

Geography wise I hit 32 countries and every continent.  I fairly significantly increased my amount of literature that originated in non-English (35%) languages but unfortunately the shift back to online sources means I still have a 64% rate of English-dominated countries. Part of this is that I had a lot of one hit wonders in terms of other countries but never mind.

My most commonly read decade is unsurprisingly 2010 (53%) with the reliance on digital sources since much of those sources are galleys. Thankfully I've returned to having older outliers. 

Top 13 Books of 2013 in no particular order

Honorable mentions:

Most Disturbing Book of 2013: Empire of the Sun-JG Ballard tied with Baghdad Solitaire-Leslie Cockburn

Hardest to Read of 2013: Bonfire of the Vanities-Tom Wolfe went on for so.long. that I ended up without an opinion and First as Tragedy, Then as Farce-Slavoj Žižek which reduced me to reaction gifs. Then there was the pure literary blow in the face of Will Self's Umbrella.


I plan on spending the majority of this year in Greece so I hope to continue adjusting to a new, limited (by budget) and more digital form of reading access. I will be writing/researching my dissertation on Late Neolithic ceramics so my non-fiction will likely be higher as will my article reading. I will attempt to not freak out about any low counts. I predict more older fiction and more non-fiction.


  1. I can understand why this year will be more of a challenge for you - still I hope you enjoy what you do manage to read!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  2. Thanks. I had wondered why you suddenly stopped contributing to Global Women of Color, but I know all to well how location make some hard to find. I missed your responses. Hope you can come back with a better source of books.
    Good luck on your dissertation. I've been there and know what a drain it can be--or at least an all-consuming project.
    I am still reading from the list of translated Latin American women's books you contributed a year ago and plan to include it in my updated GWC page. It is the best I have seen for those authors.
    How can I sign up to get your blog regularly? I like your reviews whether or not they are GWC.

    1. thanks for the comment! I think I've found a couple of possible sources so hopefully I will be better this year...of course, unless my dissertation completely swallows me up.
      As for following my reviews, I don't know how you do your blog reading but I am present on bloglovin' and my RSS feed should cover most other platforms: including emails.