Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013: Full List and Stats

2013 was a crazy year, mostly due to having a 13yo daughter and being stuck in the middle of a major renovation, and I must admit that 2014 is already looking to be much better (both major items are making major progress).  Even with severe constraints on my time and mental capacity, I somehow managed to read more books than I thought I would.

Biggest success this year?  I read a lot more short stories than I ever have before.  Last year I made an [unsuccessful] attempt to love poetry, this year I focus on short stories and have really come to love them.  Yay!

Biggest goal for 2014? I'd really like to pull back into blogging, both for the social aspect and for how it lets me think through the books I read.  I miss you all—seeing what you are reading and talking about our observations and opinions.  I miss read-alongs.

I felt a lack of nonfiction and classics this year, but it looks like my nonfiction was on par—only my classics count was low.  My other stats are comparable to previous years, looking at the percentages, with one of the most interesting (to me) being the fact that my best reading months center around April, and my worst happen at the end of the year.  Makes sense, now that I think about it.

How many books read in 2013?
(16 less than 2012.  My goal is always to break 100, which I haven't done for the last couple of years, but it's still a good number!)

NONFICTION -  14% (11 books)  [15% in 2012, 14% in 2011]
FICTION -  86% (68 books)  [85% in 2012, 86% 2011]
  • CLASSICS - 15% (12 books) [18% in 2012, 30% in 2011 (novellas!)]
  • JUNIOR / TEEN - 19% (15 books) [21% in 2012, 20% in 2011]
  • ADULT FICTION - 52% (41 books) [46% in 2012, 36% 2011]

Male/Female authors?
FEMALE - 52% (41.5 books) [51% in 2012, 48% in 2011]
MALE - 48% (37.5 books) [49% in 2012, 52% in 2011]

OLDEST? Jane Austen's Persuasion, 1817
NEWEST? Guests on Earth by Lee Smith, late 2013
# WRITTEN BEFORE I WAS BORN? 28 [24 in 2012, 51 in 2011]
# WRITTEN THIS YEAR? 8 [9 in 2012, 20 in 2011]

Longest book read? Ireland by Frank Delaney @ 651pp
Shortest book read? Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl @ 81pp
Number of "chunksters" (450+ pages)? [12 in 2012, 10 in 2011]
Any in translation? 4 (2 modern, 2 classic)

Best/Worst Reading Month?
Best--April and May @ 11 books each [2011: March and April w/13 books each]
Worst--June, November, and December @ 4 books each [2011: September and October w/2 books each]

TOP FIVE of 2012: (I only had four 5-star books, and ten 4.5-star books, so this wasn't very difficult to figure out.  I didn't include Jane Austen's Persuasion, since it isn't new to is an all-time favorite, though, a cherished reread that I highly recommend!)

The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy (breathtakingly beautiful and imaginative)
The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan (wonderful, captivating nonfiction)
Whose Names are Unknown by Sanora Babb (better than Grapes of Wrath for sure)
My Mortal Enemy by Willa Cather (real, intimate, honest, and simply complex)
The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler (quirky yet insightful)


and a comparison chart just for the fun of it--

Again, the most notable change in my reading in the last 5 years is the shift between Junior/Teen Fiction and Adult Fiction.  This is mostly because I'm homeschooling only one kiddo now.  The other [unfortunate] change is a decrease in classics and nonfiction.  I miss it dreadfully.  One of the side-effects of kiddos growing older is that they stay up later, thus infringing on my quality reading time (boo).  That is compounded by our house renovation that sucks time (and life) out of me.  (The good news is that our house should be complete by summertime.  Yay! THEN, I'll be able to unpack my books into their permanent home.  It'll be fabulous.)


Nonfiction: 14% (average rating 3.91)  [2012 average: 3.76, 2011 average: 3.56,2010 average: 3.74]
5 stars:
  - The Worst Hard Time, Timothy Egan
  - Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell
4.5 stars:
  - Below Stairs, Margaret Powell
4 stars:
  - The Famine Plot, Pat Coogan
  - The Water is Wide, Pat Conroy
  - Flapper, Joshua Zeitz
  - Fate is the Hunter, Ernest K. Gann
3.5 stars:
  - Two Guys Read Jane Austen, Chandler & Hill
  - Farewell to Manzanar, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
  - Nelson Mandela: Portrait of an Extraordinary Man, Richard Stengel
2 stars:
  - Wild, Cheryl Strayed

Classics: 15% (average rating 3.96) [2012 average: 3.97, 2011 average: 3.74, 2010 average: 4.04]
5 stars:
  - Persuasion, Jane Austen
4.5 stars:
  - The Beautiful and Damned, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  - My Mortal Enemy, Willa Cather
  - The Hound of the Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
  - Whose Names are Unknown, Sanora Babb
4 stars:
  - The Professor's House, Willa Cather
  - The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis
3.5 stars:
  - Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw
  - The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
  - A Room With a View, E.M. Forster
3 stars:
  - Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky
  - Eugene Onegin, Alexander Pushkin

Adult Fiction: 52% (average rating 3.64) [2012 average: 3.80, 2011 average: 3.81, 2010 average: 3.38]
5 stars:
  - The Illusion of Separateness, Simon Van Booy
4.5 stars:
  - River of Earth, James Still
  - Benediction, Kent Haruf
  - The Secret Lives of People in Love, Simon Van Booy
  - Mudbound, Hillary Jordan
  - The Beginner's Goodbye, Anne Tyler
4 stars:
  - The Death of Bees, Lisa O'Donnell
  - The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller
  - Some Tame Gazelle, Barbara Pym
  - The Heretic's Daughter, Kathleen Kent
  - The Last Runaway, Tracy Chevalier
  - Queen of the Big Time, Adriana Trigiani
  - A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini
  - State of Wonder, Anne Patchett
  - Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? Lorrie Moore
  - Heat Lightning, Helen Hull
  - Kindred, Octavia E. Butler
  - Too Much Happiness, Alice Munro
3.5 stars:
  - Running the Rift, Naomi Benaron
  - Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver
  - Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Dai Sijie
  - Annie Dunne, Sebastian Barry
  - The Chaperone, Laura Moriarty
  - Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, Therese Anne Fowler
  - Bobcat and Other Stories, Rebecca Lee
  - Mary Coin, Marisa Silver
  - Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, Tom Franklin
  - The Prisoner of Heaven, Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  - Possession, A.S. Byatt
  - The Childhood of Jesus, J.M. Coetzee
3 stars:
  - The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, David Wroblewski
  - New Irish Short Stories, various authors
  - Ireland, Frank Delaney
  - Hikikomori and the Rental Sister, Jeff Backhaus
  - Follow the River, James Alexander Thom
  - An Unfinished Score, Elise Blackwell
  - When She Woke, Hillary Jordan
  - Guests on Earth, Lee Smith
2 stars:
  - Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures, Emma Straub
  - The Midwife of Hope River, Patricia Harman

Junior/Teen Fiction: 19% (average rating 3.83) [2012 average: 3.65, 2011: average rating 3.5, 2010: average 3.64]
4.5 stars:
  - The Wheel on the School, Meindert DeJong
  - The Enchanted Wood, Enid Blyton
4 stars:
  - Little Pear, Eleanor Francis Lattimore
  - Toothpaste Millionaire, Jean Merrill
  - Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren
  - The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness
  - Coraline, Neil Gaiman
  - The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Roald Dahl
  - Pippi Goes on Board, Astrid Lindgren
  - Good Masters, Sweet Ladies, Laura Amy Schlitz
  - The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness
3.5 stars:
  - Emily's Runaway Imagination, Beverly Cleary
3 stars:
  - Gib and the Gray Ghost, Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  - The Story of Doctor Dolittle, Hugh Lofting
  - Black Horses for the King, Anne McCaffrey


  1. Very comprehensive. I should try to do something more like this for next year. It is such a geeky thing to do (meant in the very best sense). I like geeky.

    1. I have so much fun with this! I had multiple house guests ask me if I was, just playing. :D

  2. My biggest 2014 goal is also to get back to blogging, hopefully to pre-baby standards (a girl can dream...). I also neglected classics this year, mostly because I did participate in almost any read-alongs, challenges and bookclubs.

    Good luck for 2014 Medoly!

    1. I'm thinking I might try a weekly recap post to get me back on the blog. It's been hard for me to find time to be able to stop thinking about other things long enough to blog, but I'm hoping I'll be able to get into a habit of setting aside a bit of time on the weekend.

  3. Those are some impressive stats! Both in the sense of how many books you read and how many ways you've expressed your various reading statistics.

    You and I didn't have very much overlap this year in our reading...but that just means that I"ll need to look into the books that you loved. Hope to do more blogging myself in 2014 and see more of your blogging, too!

    1. I was actually surprised I read as many books as I did - it certainly didn't feel that way!

      I read a lot of books that were written (or took place) in the 1920s-30s this year, which has been fun. I need to head over to your blog to see what's notable in the currently published arena!

  4. I love your comparison chart! What did you use? Also I'm jealous of your short story commitment, I keep saying I'll read more but never do.

    1. I love graphs. :) I just searched for graph makers, and used the one from NCES (

      It really took me awhile to really appreciate short stories. I always thought I just didn't enjoy them much, but the more I read, the more I find ones I really like. I'm guessing that having a busy schedule made short stories easier to appreciate this year!

  5. This is great! I'll be back to read it again. I'll update my TBR pile in the meantime. I feel stressed just listening about your house renovation....or demolition and rebuild. I'm looking forward to a great 2014 in reading and blogging. I totally understand about the teens taking a lot of time. Actually my 20yo is taking lots of energy and time and discussions and.....etc. Somehow we'll make it over the hump. But there are seasons when investing in our children takes a lot out of a person.

    1. Ack the building project has seriously been SO much work. (What were we thinking?) We ended up firing our contractor and are finishing it by ourselves, which means that progress has sped up, which means that all our final decisions must be made now. But at least we are looking at being done this year after all!

      Spending the time to be what our kids need can be so exhausting, but worth it in the end. A truly worthy investment! But exhausting sometimes, yeah. :)


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